Qcells is investing $100 million to accelerate the commercialization of perovskite-based tandem cells. This is a next-generation solar cell technology designed to boost solar panel efficiency.
Qcells’ parent company, Hanwha Solutions, said it will build a pilot tandem-cell production line at its Jincheon factory in South Korea. The facility is expected to be operational by late 2024 with the aim to commercialize tandem cells by 2026.
To support this target, the pilot facility in Jincheon will work closely with Qcells’ headquarters for technology and innovation in Thalheim, Germany. Qcells already operates a R&D pilot line for tandem cells at Thalheim and participates in a four-year research project called PEPPERONI. The goal of PEPPERONI is to develop a pathway to commercialize tandem cell development in Europe.
“This investment in Jincheon will mark an important step in securing technological leadership,” Qcells CEO Justin Lee said. “With global R&D network spanning from Korea, Germany and the US, Qcells will ramp up its efforts to produce high-efficiency advanced tandem cells.”
The investment will pave the way for Qcells to mass-produce perovskite tandem cells, which have a much higher efficiency rate than silicon-based solar cells that utilize TOPCon (Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact) or heterojunction technology.
Earlier this year, in collaboration with Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, Qcells succeeded in developing a tandem cell with up to 29.3% efficiency rate. The result was verified by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), a renewable energy research institute run by the US Department of Energy.
— Solar Builder magazine
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