NWO has made a €2 million grant available for a strategic programme in the field of solar cell technology, the Joint Solar Programme III (JSP3). The aim of the programme is to develop fundamental knowledge of hybrid tandem solar cells with a conversion efficiency of 30% or more. The programme follows in the steps of two earlier solar cell programmes and will be financed from the NWO fund for the 2016-2017 Energy Top Sector.

The research focuses on four challenges in the design of new tandem solar cells: designing and producing individual solar cells and their components (among others the thin silicon and perovskite layers), optimizing light capture techniques (called light management) and minimizing losses as a result of ‘sticking’ the two solar cells and the electrodes together.

The consortium that will carry out the programme consists of teams from TU Delft (Prof. M. Zeman, Prof. A. Weeber), Eindhoven University of Technology (Prof. R. Janssen, Prof. E. Kessels), NWO’s AMOLF institute (Prof. A. Polman, Dr E. Garnett) and the University of Amsterdam (Prof. T. Gregorkiewicz). Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) in Petten and its Solliance department in Eindhoven and the companies Shell, Exasun, Eternal Sun, Levitech and Tempress Systems are also contributing resources and/or personnel.

Innovative research on solar cell technologies is not only important for Dutch academics and society in general, but also for the business community in the Netherlands. There are many innovative businesses in the Netherlands who are leading the way in the development of new technologies for the production and characterization of high-efficiency solar cells and modules. Alongside the development of fundamental knowledge, this NWO programme also aims to facilitate knowledge exchange between companies and universities.

The programme will run between 2017 and 2022. The total budget for the JSP3 programme is €2.5 million, of which Shell is contributing €500,000. The other industrial partners are also making a substantial in-kind contribution. Furthermore, the programme will be embedded in the national TKI Urban Energy programme in which all partners are participating.

Source: NWO