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Imec Continues International Leadership in Photovoltaic Research
by Staff Writers
Leuven, Belgium (SPX) Sep 16, 2015


An emerging research focus at imec is on PV energy yield predictions.

At this week's European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) nano-electronics research center imec will present achievements covering the broad spectrum of imec's comprehensive photovoltaic-related research. Imec's scientists and researchers will present its latest results in n-PERT solar cells, perovskite solar cell technology and its emerging PV energy yield prediction modeling.

Presenting a total of 19 papers, 12 of which are oral presentations, imec will highlight its new record conversion efficiency of 22.5 percent for a six inch n-PERT solar cell, resulting from material and architectural optimizations. N-type silicon solar cells are considered as promising next-generation alternatives to p-type solar cells thanks to their ability to withstand light-induced degradation, and higher tolerance to common metal impurities and high diffusion lengths.

In another presentation at EU PVSEC, imec's perovskite solar cell, which has been further improved to reach new highest conversion efficiencies of 17 percent, will also be featured. Integrated into a module, a 12.5 percent record module efficiency was demonstrated, further validating that organometal halide perovskites are a promising material for thin-film solar applications.

An emerging research focus at imec is on PV energy yield predictions. In order to optimize the energy yield production of the smart grid, we need accurate predictions of the output of solar power plants in variable weather conditions. This information can be used to stabilize the grid, and to develop smart PV modules that react to the environment to optimize their energy generation yield.

Therefore, imec has developed a simulation model that combines imec's in-depth knowledge of solar cell technology with short term weather predictions. At the conference, imec will present promising modeling results that predict energy yield from solar panels under non-homogeneous irradiation, including e.g. the effects of temperature gradients resulting from wind, with an accuracy that is 20 percent better than the current models.

"The combination of talented scientists, a unique environment for R and D, and the drive of our industrial partners to focus on innovation, underscores imec's prominent presence at EU PVSEC," commented Jef Poortmans, Scientific Director of PV at imec. "Imec continues to push the boundaries of PV innovation beyond cell technology towards modeling and system aspects. We invite industrial companies to join us in this endeavor."


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