Qcells says it is building a pilot line for perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells that will start operating later this year in South Korea. It works closely with its team in Germany, where it has already set up another pilot line for tandem cells.
In November 2022, Qcells and a group of European research institutions in Thalheim, Germany, launched a four-year research project to produce highly efficient tandem solar cells and modules.
The group established a pilot production line in Thalheim through the so-called “Pepperoni” project (Pilot line for European Production of PEROvskite-Silicon tandem modules on Industrial scale).
The company’s parent company, Hanwha Solutions, has also announced plans to invest $100 million to deploy a pilot production line for perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells at its plant in Jincheon, South Korea, by the end of 2024.
“This investment in Jincheon is an important step in securing technology leadership,” said Justin Lee, CEO of Qcells. “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.”
Earlier this year, Germany’s Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin and Qcells introduced a tandem cell with an efficiency of up to 29.3%. The results have been certified by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The device is based on a silicon-based cell based on Hanwha Qcells’ monocrystalline Q.antum half-cell technology and a perovskite-based upper cell.
“This latest record efficiency result of 28.7% is an improvement of nearly one percentage point over the 2020 record of 27.8%,” the module maker said in a statement. “This improvement in tandem efficiency has enabled improvements in both perovskite and silicon subcells.”