Study notices

Project PEPPERONI

Publish date: 24.11.2022

Laboratory of Photovoltaics and Optoelectronics LPVO from the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering is representing the University of Ljubljana in a project PEPPERONI_EU. It is a four-year Research and Innovation project co-funded by the European Union under Horizon Europe and supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation that started on 1 November 2022. The project coordinated by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and Qcells Europe will help advance perovskite/silicon tandem photovoltaics (PV) technology’s journey towards the market introduction and mass manufacturing. PEPPERONI‘s goal is to identify and address the barriers to tandem solar technology’s market introduction, and ultimately lay the foundations for new production capacity in Europe. A pilot line enabling this development will be established at Qcells’ European headquarters in Thalheim, Germany.

The European Union (EU) targets climate neutrality by 2050 in a scenario whereby renewable energy plays a central role. Currently, energy is responsible for more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Research and innovation (R&I) are critical for delivering solutions and system transformations. Moreover, the new geopolitical and energy market reality requires us to drastically accelerate the clean energy transition by increasing Europe's energy independence and reducing the continent’s reliance on unreliable suppliers and volatile fossil fuels. PEPPERONI, a new R&I project, will significantly contribute towards reaching these targets.

PEPPERONI aims to set up a pilot line to develop solar modules with perovskite/silicon (Si) tandem technology. The most widely established solar cell technologies to date are made with silicon, and silicon PV is now one of the cheapest means of electricity production in many parts of the world. The solar industry’s success in recent years has pushed the industry towards the current practical limits of efficiency for silicon technology. To exceed the limits of single-material cells, scientists have proposed to add one complementary solar cell to form so-called “tandem” solar cells.

PEPPERONI has selected technology that promises the best ratio of performance over manufacturing costs – silicon/perovskite tandem. Perovskite, a novel class material with a special crystal structure, can be fine-tuned to take advantage of the parts of the solar spectrum that typical silicon PV materials cannot utilize very efficiently, meaning they make excellent hybrid-tandem partners. PEPPERONI_EU will 'spice up' industrial silicon cells with a perovskite top cell.

Increasing the PCE of solar cells is important for two reasons. In the long run, it is the most effective way to reduce the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). And in the short term, it is the best way to promote photovoltaics for applications where space is limited e.g., rooftops, facades, or vehicles.

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