On 10-11 October, the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) was based in Berlin for its Steering Committee Meeting, and a factory visit at Oxford PV’s site in Brandenburg an der Havel, Brandenburg.
On 10 October the ETIP PV Secretariat, kicked off the day with a visit of 3 labs at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB Berlin).
- A building-integrated PV test station
- A perovskite solar cells lab holding a solar cell conversion efficiency record
- A new lab that is dedicated to up-scaling perovskite solar cells
The copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar panels on the building integrated PV test station are currently generating 29-30 kWh of energy per year; this is equivalent to powering 10-12 family flats in Berlin. The unique blue/purple colour of the panels is produced from the physical process of interference layers, which reflect a specific point on the colour spectrum.
Following this, we got to see the entire process, and the finished product of a perovskite silicon tandem solar cell up close in HZB Berlin’s laboratory. We also visited a new lab dedicated to up-scaling perovskite solar cells using a solid-state, and liquid-free disposition process.
Afterwards, ETIP PV held its Steering Committee meeting, where it discussed feedback from recent events; its SRIA report update which is aiming to identify future R&I solar priorities and help shape upcoming Horizon Europe funding calls; an analysis of the draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs); a discussion of the progress of its working groups; future ETIP PV positions; and next year’s ETIP PV conference in Brussels!
On Wednesday morning, we went on a manufacturing tour at Oxford PV’s Brandenburg an der Havel factory. We had the opportunity to see Oxford PV’s manufacturing line for its innovative perovskite-on-silicon tandem solar cells first-hand. In May 2023, the manufacturer set the record for the highest recorded efficiency of any commercial-sized solar cell at its Germany factory! During the tour, Chris Case, Oxford PV's Chief Technology Officer, highlighted how the biggest challenge that manufacturers like Oxford PV face is equipment supply issues. Highlights of the tour included viewing the solar cell tester, screen printer, and the light activation box which the cell moves through during its pre-treatment period.
Many thanks to HZB Berlin for the wilkommen, giving us an insightful tour of their laboratories, and hosting our Steering Committee meeting. A special thanks also to Oxford PV for showing us their Brandenburg an der Havel factory.
It’s never been clearer that we need to deliver innovation at scale, and nurture the link between homegrown innovation to European solar manufacturing.