Perovskite solar cells for space applications
Peter Müller-Buschbaum a
a Technische Universität München, Lehrstuhl für Funktionelle Materialien, Physik Department, Germany, James-Franck-Straße, 1, Garching bei München, Germany
Proceedings of New Generation Photovoltaics for Space (PVSPACE)
Online, Spain, 2022 June 21st - 22nd
Organizers: Narges Yaghoobi Nia, Aldo Di Carlo, Luigi Schirone and Mahmoud Zendehdel
Invited Speaker, Peter Müller-Buschbaum, presentation 010
Publication date: 8th June 2022

Due to massive research, the champion devices for perovskite solar cells have passed the 25% threshold. In general, perovskite solar cells only require comparatively thin absorber layers on the order of 100 nm, which enables a reduction in device thickness of the total solar cells well below 1 µm. Moreover, processing of the perovskite layer can be done from solution on flexible substrates at low temperatures via potential scalable methods like printing and spray coating. Thereby, flexible perovskite solar cells can be fabricated. Combining these advantageous factors, enables fundamentally higher specific energy densities compared to the classical solar cell types used in space so far. Moreover, it will open up new possibilities in transport, deployment, and application of perovskite solar cells in space. However, so far, performance data of perovskite solar cells in space environment is very limited. Besides promising laboratory experiments that can never capture the full set of ambient conditions present in space, some near-space experiments have been performed in the upper atmosphere with appealing results regarding the performance and stability.

Here, we present the first electrical characterization of perovskite solar cells at orbital altitudes [1,2]. Space flights are an ideal platform to investigate the behavior of solar cells in conditions that are characterized by ultra-high vacuum, strong UV solar irradiation, and the absence of oxygen or water outside Earth’s atmosphere. During a suborbital rocket flight, we measured the voltage-current response of perovskite solar cells under different illumination conditions. The combination of the solar cell measurements with irradiance data obtained from simultaneous light sensor measurements allows for deducing the performance parameters. Our results show that the solar cells survived the harsh conditions during transport, the start preparation procedure, and the rocket launch, where the best solar cells reached power conversion efficiencies of more than 10% for perovskite-based solar cell modules. Our results show the versatility of perovskite solar cells for application in various environmental conditions, with promising potential to revolutionize future renewable energy production in space.

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