The Laboratory of photovoltaics and optoelectronics, University of Ljubljana (LPVO-UL) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have established a very successful collaboration over the past years with vital exchange of scientists leading to several important publications, graduation results and awards, highlighted by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor when he awarded the ‘Apple of Inspiration’ to the cooperation between HZB and LPVO-UL in December 2018.
The strength of the LPVO-UL group in nano-optics, computer simulation and outdoor monitoring of photovoltaic devices matches the needs of HZB to strengthen three strategic initiatives. These are:
- the HySPRINT Helmholtz Innovation Lab, and the Helmholtz high profile future research topics (Helmholtz “Zukunftsthemen”)
- PEROSEED and
- Energy System Integration.
All three are supported by the Helmholtz President´s Initiative and Networking Fund. One of the key scientific elements in these initiatives is the development of next generation solar cells based on silicon and 2 novel perovskite materials and their integration into the energy system of the future. The value chain from fundamental materials research, over device prototyping to system integration needs to be accompanied by multi-scale modelling.
Aim and content
The aim of the present project TAPAS is to structurally strengthen the existing fruitful collaboration by joint research projects, by joint education programs, by the build-up of complementary infrastructures, and by establishing a tenure track type faculty position at the UL which will also be connected to HZB. The topic of the project TAPAS is the fascinating field of tandem perovskite/silicon solar cells. The R&D focus will be on monitoring the stability of tandem devices and finding origins of possible degradation through advanced characterization techniques. Together with optoelectrical modelling, we aim for highly efficient and stable perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells.
The research program comprises:
- training of two PhD students to expand lab-scale indoor and outdoor measurement and modelling of solar cell device performance,
- expansion of the required measurement and computer simulation infrastructure,
- regular education and dissemination activities such as workshops and lectures, as the project foresees the mobility and exchange of postdocs, PhD and MSc students, and
- building up a European consortium to create a monitoring infrastructure for R&D on PV modules, aiming at intercomparison and big data collection as well as analysis.
On the HZB side, the proposed project will be conducted within the CoreLab PVcomB and the Helmholtz Innovation Laboratory HySPRINT, and it will strengthen activities in these labs significantly. For LPVO-UL, the collaboration will add tremendous value to the internationalization of their existing research and education program. The project will further enable LPVO-UL to serve as a hub for students from the wider Balkan region, based on the planned extension of the regional workshop on photovoltaics organized by LPVO-UL in the past.
Towards the end of the project, the team will be able to create an EU-wide network of PV monitoring sites and data resources that will be analyzed systematically, thus enabling an accumulated European database of PV system performance that will serve to improve the application of solar power as one of the key elements of a sustainable and resilient European energy system.