Qcells says it will invest $100 million to accelerate the commercialization of perovskite-based tandem cells — a next-generation solar cell technology designed to increase the efficiency of solar panels.
Qcell’s parent company, Hanwha Solutions, says it will build a pilot tandem cell production line at its factory in Jincheon, South Korea. The facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2024, and its goal is to commercialize tandem cells by 2026.
To support this goal, the Jincheon pilot plant works closely with Qcells’ technology and innovation headquarters in Thalheim, Germany. Qcells already has an R&D pilot line for tandem cells in Thalheim and is participating in a four-year research project called PEPPERONI to develop a path to the commercialization of tandem cell development in Europe.
“This investment in Jincheon is an important step in securing technology leadership,” says Qcells CEO Justin Lee. “With a global R&D network spanning Korea, Germany and the United States, Qcells is stepping up its efforts to produce highly efficient advanced tandem cells.”
The investment paves the way for Qcells to mass produce perovskite tandem cells, which have a much higher efficiency than silicon-based solar cells that use TOPCon (tunnel oxide passivated contact) or heterojunction technology.
Earlier this year, Qcells, in cooperation with Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, succeeded in developing a tandem cell with an efficiency of up to 29.3%. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory confirmed the result.