Christoph Messmer wins Student Award at the European Photovoltaics Conference

Christoph Messmer, PhD student in the group of Photovoltaic Energy Conversion at INATECH, University of Freiburg, received a Student Award for his plenary talk “The Race for the Best Silicon Bottom Cell: Efficiency and Cost Evaluation of Perovskite-Silicon Tandem Cells” at the 37th European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC).



Christoph Meßmer

In his talk, he elaborated on the efficiency and cost potential of perovskite-silicon tandem devices. Perovskite solar cells have made notable progress in terms of efficiency and can be processed potentially cost effective. Used in a tandem solar cell, where the high band gap perovskite is stacked on top of a silicon bottom solar cell, the fundamental efficiency limit of silicon solar cells can be overcome reaching efficiencies above 30%. Christoph Messmer and his team focused on different silicon bottom cell concepts based on the PERC, TOPCon and SHJ technology. For each tandem device, the technological feasibility was examined, followed by a detailed investigation of the efficiency potential by means of an experimentally validated simulation model. Subsequently, each bottom cell concept was evaluated in terms of all-in cell costs per piece. Bringing the efficiency potential and cost evaluation together allowed to assess the different tandem cell concepts in terms of module cost per Watt peak. The results show that perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells are promising candidates to significantly reduce the levelized cost of electricity for the owner of the PV installation and, in particular, that the race for the best silicon bottom cell is still open.

Christoph Messmer is a PhD student in the group of Photovoltaic Energy Conversion at the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering  INATECH in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE). His PhD is supported by a scholarship of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt - DBU) and focuses on the numerical simulation of high efficiency silicon solar cells, in particular on the investigation of passivating contact technologies and their application in tandem devices like perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells. He received his M.Sc. in Physics at the University of Freiburg in 2017.

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic research, technologies and applications. Applications for the EU PVSEC Student Awards were reviewed and scored by the international Scientific Committee, made up of more than 200 leading research and industry experts from the global PV community. The Awards encourage high-quality work amongst young researchers and recognize their remarkable and outstanding research work in the field of photovoltaics. The prizes were awarded during the online conference.


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