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Thin film light-trapping enhanced quantum dot photovoltaic cells: an enabling technology for high power-to-weight ratio space solar arrays.

Thin film light-trapping enhanced quantum dot photovoltaic cells: an enabling technology for high power-to-weight ratio space solar arrays.

Objective

The project “Thin film light-trapping enhanced quantum dot photovoltaic cells: an enabling technology for high power-to-weight ratio space solar arrays” (TFQD) aims at developing a new generation of high-efficiency thin-film photovoltaic devices for future solar arrays, by exploiting cross-cutting Key Enabling Technologies as: advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, photonics. The core device is a thin-film III-V solar cell embedding quantum dots and photonic nanogratings to boost the efficiency beyond the thermodynamic limit of conventional single-junction devices. Combining the thin-film approach with the nanostructuring of semiconductor layers allows for a drastic improvement of power-to-weight ratio and mechanical flexibility with respect to currently available space solar cells. The incorporation of quantum dots provides improved radiation and temperature hardness. The TFQD device targets efficiency higher than 30% (AM0), at least an eightfold increase of power-to-weight ratio vs. triple junction III-V solar cells and very low bending radius, allowing for the development of rollable or inflatable solar arrays.
Demonstration up to TRL4 will be carried out through on ground testing under representative in orbit conditions over a set of 44 prototypes.
The consortium includes four academic partners having a strong position in modelling, epi-layer structuring and development and manufacturing of thin-film III-V solar cells, a SME able to quickly implement the new technology in their thin-film solar cell production line, and a company that is a European leader in satellite systems as early adopter of the developed devices to boost innovation in space solar panels.
On account of wafer reuse and simplicity of the epitaxial structures, the TFQD solar cells are less expensive than the current state-of-the-art multi-junction solar cells, thus also important impact potential on terrestrial applications, as first in concentrating photovoltaic systems, is foreseen.
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Coordinator

POLITECNICO DI TORINO

Address

Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24
10129 Torino

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 196 472,72

Participants (6)

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STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 230 996,03

TF2 DEVICES B.V.

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 100 000

THALES ALENIA SPACE ITALIA SPA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 65 850

TTY-SAATIO

Finland

TAMPEREEN KORKEAKOULUSAATIO SR

Finland

EU Contribution

€ 270 057,50

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 145 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 687253

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 January 2016

  • End date

    31 December 2018

Funded under:

H2020-EU.2.1.6.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 008 376,25

  • EU contribution

    € 1 008 376,25

Coordinated by:

POLITECNICO DI TORINO

Italy