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  1. Tandem photovoltaic (PV) cells with higher efficiency limits than current market dominated crystalline silicon PV devices are poised to be the next generation of solar cells. In this study we focus on analysis of perovskite/Cu(In x Ga 1-x )Se 2 tandem solar cells in the context of real-world conditions. Using material properties and the most recently updated atmospheric data we simulate the device energy yield for locations with different climate conditions. We use the resultant data in calculating module levelized cost and analyze the conditions under which using different forms of tracking become the cost-effective approach at each location.
  2. Future high performance PV devices are expected to be tandem cells consisting of a low bandgap bottom cell and a high bandgap top cell. In this study, we developed a cradle-to-end of use life cycle assessment model to evaluate the environmental impacts, primary energy demand (PED), and energy payback time (EPBT) of four integrated two-terminal tandem solar cells composed of either Si bottom and lead-based perovskite (PK Pb ) top cells (Si/PK Pb ), copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) and PK Pb (CIGS/PK Pb ), copper zinc tin selenide (CZTS) and PK Pb (CZTS/PK Pb ), or tin-lead based perovskite (PK Sn,Pb ) and PK Pb (PK Sn,Pb /PK Pb ). Environmental impacts from single junction Si solar cells were used as a reference point to interpret the results. We found that the environmental impacts for a 1 m 2 area of a cell were largely determined by the bottom cell impacts and ranged from 50% (CZTS/PK Pb ) to 120% of those of a Si cell. The ITO layer used in Si/PK Pb , CZTS/PK Pb , and PK Sn,Pb /PK Pb is the most impactful after the Si and CIGS absorbers, and contributed up to 70% (in PKmore »Sn,Pb /PK Pb ) of the total impacts for these tandem PVs. Manufacturing a single two-terminal device was found to be a more environmentally friendly option than manufacturing two constituent single-junction cells and can reduce the environmental impacts by 30% due to the exclusion of extra glass, encapsulation, front contact and back contact layers. PED analysis indicated that PK Sn,Pb /PK Pb manufacturing has the least energy-intensive processing, and the EPBTs of Si/PK Pb , CIGS/PK Pb , CZTS/PK Pb , and PK Sn,Pb /PK Pb tandems were found to be ∼13, ∼7, ∼2, and ∼1 months, respectively. On an impacts per kW h of Si basis the environmental impacts of all the devices were much higher (up to ∼10 times). These results can be attributed to the low photoconversion efficiency (PCE) and short lifetime that were assumed. While PK Sn,Pb /PK Pb has higher impacts than Si based on current low PCE (21%) and short lifetime (5 years) assumptions, it can outperform Si if its lifetime and PCE reach 16 years and 30%, respectively. Among the configurations considered, the PK Sn,Pb /PK Pb structure has the potential to be the most environmentally friendly technology.« less