Photovoltaic – Versatile in Shape and Color

PRINTPERO: German and Greek researchers and industry partners are developing printed perovskite solar modules for flexible use in buildings

printed perovskite solar modules
Printed colored perovskite solar cells in the form of the logo of the KIT. (Photo: IMT / KIT)

The goal of PRINTPERO is to develop digitally printed, highly efficient and stable solar modules that can be integrated into roofs, facades and windows. In the project coordinated at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), German and Greek scientists and industrial partners demonstrate the technological feasibility of solar modules based on perovskite absorbers. They work on prototypes that can be freely designed in size, shape and color. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research supports the project in the Framework Program Research for Sustainable Development (FONA).

Perovskite semiconductors are currently among the most promising materials for next-generation, highly efficient and affordable solar modules. Thin-film solar cells based on these perovskites already achieve efficiencies of more than 23 percent in the laboratory. However, the processes currently used in the production of perovskite solar cells are not transferable to industrial standards. “One of the goals of our project is therefore to replace the laboratory processes with digital printing processes that run at low temperatures and are suitable for industrial production,” explains dr. Ulrich W. Paetzold,Printed Perovskite Modules for Building Integrated Photovoltaics ).

In the PRINTPERO project, researchers and industrial partners from Germany and Greece are cooperating to develop digitally printed solar modules based on perovskite semiconductors, which are not only highly efficient and stable, but also meet a wide range of architectural requirements for integration in buildings. They work on prototypes that can be tailored in size and freely designed in shape and color. In order to realize these goals, the participating scientists use the potential of digital inkjet printing (inkjet printing). They also develop printable luminescent layers for the realization of different color impressions and the protection of the solar cells against harmful UV radiation (see photo).

Together with the project partners, the researchers in Karlsruhe are also working to improve the stability of the perovskite solar cells, to connect several of these cells serially to form large-area solar modules and to encapsulate the modules in order to protect them from moisture and the resulting decay.

The research institutes KIT and Technological Educational Institute of Western Greece as well as the solar industry companies SUNOVATION Produktion GmbH (Aschaffenburg) and Brite Hellas SA (Thessaloniki / Greece) are involved in PRINTPERO. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the German-Greek cooperation project launched in 2018 and planned for three years in the framework program Research for Sustainable Development (FONA).