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Perovskite materials, which present a number of advantages for photovoltaic applications, have been a topic of interest at Liten for around ten years now. Perovskite cells are less expensive than the III-V cells conventionally used in space applications and offer high yield potential. Liten, a CEA Tech institute, recently demonstrated that the cells' resistance to radiation could make them ideal for use in space. Partial and full stacks of perovskite cells were exposed in an electrostatic accelerator to doses of electronic radiation equivalent to a position in geostationary orbit for a duration of ten years.
After exposure, the cells were tested and their performance was equal to that of control cells. The irradiated cells' PCE was in excess of 15%. These very encouraging results are expected to garner interest from space-industry stakeholders, which should help bring the technology to maturity faster so that it can be scaled up and transferred.
Perovskite cells' excellent resistance to radiation makes it possible to replace the protective glass conventionally used with lighter-weight alternatives like polyimide. Other measurements will be completed with the goal of developing a model to predict cell performance depending on the dose of radiation received.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.