Green Alliance Invests in EneCoat Tech to Advance Perovskite Research

Highlights :

  • Japan-based tech company Green Science Alliance Co Ltd. has invested in EneCoat Technologies Co., a Kyoto University start-up that focuses on perovskite solar cell research
  • Perovskite solar cells will likely soon replace silicon-based solar cells currently in use as the former are lighter, less expensive, and more flexible.

Japan-based tech company Green Science Alliance Co Ltd. has invested in EneCoat Technologies Co., a Kyoto University start-up that focuses on perovskite solar cell research.

Although silicon based solar cells have been practically commercialized the most till date, a large amount of energy is needed to  melt and refine raw materials to make high quality silicon. Therefore, manufacturing cost for silicon-based solar cell tends to be expensive.

Perovskite is considered to be the appropriate material for developing next generation solar cells because the latter can be manufactured with printing procedure using metal oxide, metal, carbon-based materials and perovskite crystal layers. They would be cheaper and lighter (thickness is 1/100 of silicon-based solar cell) as compared to the generally used silicon-based solar cell.

Since perovskite solar cells can also be made flexible, they can be placed even on curved surface as they can be manufactured using plastic film substrate. In addition, light to electricity conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cell is exceeding 25% and getting close to that of silicon-based solar cells.

Mr. Naoya Kato, CEO, EneCoat Technologies, and Prof. Dr. Atsushi Wakamiya, CTO, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, have been trying to research and develop perovskite solar cell with higher conversion efficiency and durability. Prof. Wakamiya is also striving for for lead-free perovskite solar cell because, in general, perovskite solar cells contain Pb (lead).

Since Green Science Alliance has been developing electrode material for solar cells such as metal oxide, carbon-based material, quantum dot, etc., their collaboration with EneCoat Technologies will contribute to research and development activities. The two companies will also partner on the commercialisation of their technology, especially outside Japan.

Advancements in perovskite technology have been happening at a rapid rate in the last few years but the area is still riddled with challenges related to size, efficiency and stability of the cells. Scientists at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) claimed this year that they have achieved an efficiency of 18% for a perovskite solar module solar module with an area of ​​4cm2. This a world record for a vacuum-processed perovskite panel. On a module surface of ​​more than 50 centimeters squared, they achieved an efficiency of up to 16.6%, and on a module with an area of 4 centimeters squared, the efficiency achieved was 18%.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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