PV Summer School Summary

by Olga Griffith

At the end of August this year, fully virtual International Summer School on Organic, Perovskite, and Building Integrated Photovoltaics was organized by DTU Fotonik, Risø Campus and the Mads Clausens Institute at SDU campus Sønderborgand. Insightful lectures from universities and research labs, latest trends in PV industries including BIPV applications, along with great variety of students’ presentations made this summer school a success.  Wide range of topics covered during this summer school included materials properties, simulations, device performance, and critical challenges to solve at the fundamental level and at the industrial scale in the areas of organic, perovskite, CZTS, and Si solar technologies. OrganicPV.info was honored to become an official media partner for this amazing event and offer three Best Student Talk awards that include include a voucher at the ICE program of University of Cambridge and an interview session on OrganicPV.info. The winners of these awards are Balaji Dhanabalan from University of Genoa (Italy), who presented work on perovskites, Lara Gillan from University of South Wales (Australia) with the talk on organic PVs, and Michela Prete from University of Southern Denmark (Denmark) with the organic PV talk as well. Congratulations to Balaji, Lara, and Michela!

Organic PV sessions were focused on solution processed devices that use large molecules and polymers as active materials. Deep insights into non-fullerene vs fullerene acceptors were provided. Latest power conversion efficiencies and degradation mechanisms were discussed. The fundamental properties of organic active materials and their correlation with device performance and stability in addition to the latest trends in materials synthesis were also highlighted. Insightful OPV technology status towards commercialization with the focus on BIOPV and smart home applications and current industrial installations, along with general business strategies to bring new technology to market were provided by  Ralph Pätzold – CEO of Armor solar power films GmbH, Tobias Sauermann – Director of Production at Armor solar power films BIOPV, and Tiago Alves – CEO of Sunew.

Perovskite PV sessions started with a brief history of this new, less mature technology, going into main properties of perovskite structures, morphological and chemical stability challenges that affect performance and lifetime of solar devices. Latest advances in perovskite-Si tandem technology were covered as well.

Sessions focused on CZTS solar cells started with technology overview and current status. Fabrication processes with the emphasis on solution methods were covered. Materials challenges were addressed such as impurities in active layers caused by solvent residues and morphological defects that negatively affect performance. Fabrication challenges related to toxicity of used solvents and of fabrication steps as annealing and etching were outlined as well. A variety of open-source online computational and structure visualization resources were also reviewed to simulate inorganic PV devices and individual materials.    

Remaining sessions covered Si-PV technologies for building integration. Bifacial Si-PV arrays and tandem structures, BIPV-related challenges and trends were highlighted. Importance of angle-dependent solar performance measurements and effects of Si texturing on outdoor performance were discussed. Fire safety and aesthetic considerations for Si-PV roof tiles versus panels were reviewed.

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