Research ArticleENGINEERING

Life cycle energy use and environmental implications of high-performance perovskite tandem solar cells

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  31 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 31, eabb0055
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb0055
  • Fig. 1 Schematics of perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell (on the left) and perovskite-perovskite tandem solar cell (on the right).

    Functional layer with asterisk in the name indicates that the corresponding material has been replaced toward scalable fabrication. No alteration is implemented to the benchmark silicon heterojunction (SHJ) cell.

  • Fig. 2 Overview of primary energy consumption and carbon footprint for the SHJ cell, the perovskite-silicon tandem, and the perovskite-perovskite tandem (on both glass and flexible substrate) on a logarithmic scale.

    (A) Primary energy consumption breakdowns for the SHJ cell and the two tandem solar cells. (B) Carbon footprint breakdowns for the SHJ cell and the two tandem solar cells.

  • Fig. 3 Uncertainty analysis results for the two tandem technologies.

    (A) Monte Carlo simulation results for perovskite-perovskite tandem (red cluster) and perovskite-silicon tandem (blue cluster). (B) Probability distribution for the EPBT and the GHG emission factor of the perovskite-perovskite tandem solar cell. (C) Probability distribution for the EPBT and the GHG emission factor of the perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell.

  • Fig. 4 Sensitivity analysis results.

    (A) Sensitivity analysis results for the perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell in terms of EPBT. (B) Sensitivity analysis results for the perovskite-perovskite tandem solar cell in terms of EPBT. (C) Sensitivity analysis results for the perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell in terms of GHG emission factor. (D) Sensitivity analysis results for the perovskite-perovskite tandem solar cell in terms of GHG emission factor. (E) Effects of lifetime and PCE on the GHG emission factor of perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell. (F) Effects of lifetime and PCE on the GHG emission factor of perovskite-perovskite tandem solar cell. In the last two charts, the diamond icons stand for the base-case points corresponding to the current lifetime and PCE of each tandem configuration. The frontiers between adjacent colored areas represent the isolines of GHG emission factor. The dotted curve corresponds to the GHG emission factor of the current benchmark. The PCE is upper-bounded by the Shockley-Queisser limit.

  • Fig. 5 Full-spectrum life cycle environmental impacts of 1 m2 of the perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell on a logarithmic scale.

    Acronyms go counter clockwise: climate change (CC) (kg CO2 eq); ozone depletion (OD) (kg CFC-11 eq); human toxicity, cancer effects (HTC) (CTUh, c); human toxicity, non-cancer effects (HTN) (CTUh, n-c); particulate matter/respiratory effects (PM) (kg PM2.5 eq); ionizing radiation, human health (IR) (kg U235 eq); photochemical ozone formation (POF) (kg NMVOC eq); acidification (AC) (mol H+ eq); eutrophication, terrestrial (ET) (mol N eq); eutrophication, fresh water (EF) (kg P eq); eutrophication, marine (EM) (kg N eq); ecotoxicity, fresh water (ETF) (CTUe); land use (LU) (kg C deficit); resource depletion, water (RDW) (m3 water eq); resource depletion, mineral, fossil, renewable (RDM) (kg Sb eq); cumulative energy demand, renewable (CER) (MJ eq); cumulative energy demand, non-renewable (CEN) (MJ eq). (A) Life cycle environmental impacts embedded in the raw materials of the add-on. (B) Life cycle environmental impacts associated with the assembling phase of the add-on. (C) Life cycle environmental impacts embedded in the raw materials of the SHJ bottom cell (for both perovskite-silicon tandem and benchmark silicon PVs). (D) Life cycle environmental impacts associated with assembling phase of the SHJ bottom cell (for both perovskite-silicon tandem and benchmark silicon PVs).

  • Fig. 6 Comparative environmental profiles for perovskite-perovskite tandem based on glass and flexible substrates.

    WBG and LBG refer to wide-bandgap and low-bandgap, respectively; PSC stands for perovskite solar cell.

  • Table 1 Technical details of two types of state-of-the-art 2T monolithic tandem solar cells.

    Perovskite-silicon
    tandem (17)
    Perovskite-
    perovskite tandem
    (14)
    Module efficiency25.2%23.1%
    Low-bandgap cellSilicon heterojunction
    (SHJ) cell
    (FA, MA) (Sn, Pb) I3
    perovskite solar cell
    Recombination
    junction
    AZOAZO
    Wide-bandgap cell(Cs, FA) Pb (I, Br)3
    perovskite solar cell
    (Cs, FA, MA) Pb (I, Br)3
    perovskite solar cell

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Life cycle energy use and environmental implications of high-performance perovskite tandem solar cells

    Xueyu Tian, Samuel D. Stranks, Fengqi You

    Download Supplement

    This PDF file includes:

    • Figs. S1 to S3
    • Table S1 to S9
    • References

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Stay Connected to Science Advances

Navigate This Article