Solar electricity is coming into our life. This growing energy sector is completely dominated by crystalline silicon solar cells, which almost approach the theoretical limit of their efficiency. Is there room for improvement? The big expectation of real revolution in the field is based on the development of a novel class of semiconductors – hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites and (1) the meteoritic growth of efficiency of perovskite solar cells as well as (2) a possible combination of perovskite and silicon in one tandem device. But their operational stability must be significantly improved for these devices to make a real-world impact. Therefore, it is still hope rather than reality. Accelerated aging tests, while technically challenging, are the key to rapid assessment of the operational lifetimes and elucidation of long-term degradation mechanisms. If effectively applied, it can help these emerging photovoltaic technologies to be de-risked, and their time to market can be expedited. In a recent perspective article published in Nature Energy (impact factor = 57), Prof. Eugene Katz from the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center and Dr. Quinn C. Burlingame and Prof. Yueh-Lin Loo (both from Princeton University) discussed the opportunities and challenges for accelerated aging tests of perovskite and organic photovoltaics (https://rdcu.be/diQg2). The authors strongly advocate the promotion of this rather neglected approach and delve into the challenging issue of when accelerated tests could predict real-world operational lifetimes of emerging photovoltaics. Eventually, all this research should help to move the novel devices from the labs to solar farms and our rooftops.
Q. Burlingame, Y.-L. Loo and E. A. Katz. Accelerated Aging of Organic and Perovskite Solar Cells. Nature Energy, v. 8, No. 8 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-023-01330-8