37th EU PVSEC, 07 - 11 September 2020

05 June 2019

We kick off our introduction and series of EU PVSEC 2019 Programme Highlights – starting today with Topic 1: New Materials and Concepts for Photovoltaic Devices:

Since 1998, it has been a tradition at EU PVSEC to start the conference with the plenary session on Topic 1 on Monday morning. This plenary is seen as the scientific opening and deals with questions on front end research as well as further developments promising new results and astounding presentations. This session is then followed by the prestigious Becquerel Prize Ceremony and the political opening.

In 2019, the first plenary “III-V//Si Three-Junction Solar Cells Reaching 30% Efficiency Using Smart Stack Technology” [1AP.1.1] will publicise record efficiencies for III-V/Si triple-junctions. The Japanese/German collaboration achieved this interesting result by combining a double-junction top cell with the lower-cost Si Cells through a mechanical stacking process (“smart stack”). This could ultimately lower the cost for triple-junction cells considerably by using conventional Silicon cells as substrate. The consortium will certainly use the remaining time before the conference to optimise the design in a way that we can expect even higher efficiency figures.

We recommend you to be ready for the second plenary [1AP.1.2] titled “Interconnection 1, 2, 3, 4.0: Buildup towards a PV Technology Hero?”. The experienced Belgian research consortium addresses questions about interconnecting cells and the potential to become a technology hero. We recommend you attend this highly interesting plenary session which will be all about symbiosis!

The plenary session ends with a presentation from Finland “Approaching Maximum Efficiency of Colored Opaque Photovoltaics with Real Photonic Structures“ [1AP.1.3] with a new and fresh approach to the everlasting challenge of coloured and opaque PV modules. Whilst efficiency enthusiasts always maintain the “black is beautiful” opinion, architects want to have more choices. This plenary presentation is about photonic structures, and how they could make module surface opaque but with very reduced efficiency losses. Sounds like a contradiction but let us see and listen to the presentation which approaches this problem like butterflies do!

This plenary session is followed by the Alexandre E. Becquerel Prize Ceremony. The awardee is selected in a complex procedure and will surely deliver an interesting keynote speech.

Further interesting oral presentations will follow on Monday afternoon and Tuesday, especially those of our three Student Awards finalists:

  • “The Ultimate Potential of Reconfigurable Modules for Increasing the Energy Yield of Partially Shaded Urban Photovoltaics Systems” [1AO.2.1] is the title of this student’s work at Delft University showcasing an innovative solution to the partial-shading problem of PV modules in a built environment. The solar cells within a module can reconfigure themselves autonomously to minimise shading losses.
  • Another Student Award finalist from UNSW Australia has chosen the title “Oxygen-Enhanced Upconversion of Near Infrared Light” [1AO.3.5]. By mixing an organic substance the limiting effect of oxygen in (infrared) upconverting cells is reduced. It might seem like a very theoretical presentation but vivid illustrations in the abstract make us expect a well-structured and captivating presentation.
  • The third Student Awards finalist comes from a surprisingly different academic background in “Advanced Textiles” at Nottingham University. The presentation with the title “Wearable and Washable Photovoltaic Fabrics” [1BO.9.2] describes the production of “solar-E-yarns” by simultaneously soldering on ten miniature crystalline silicon solar and weaving them in larger units with clear resin. The author claims that this wearable PV fabric can recharge devices such as e.g. cell phones. Will the speaker wear it in Marseille?

Summing up, we can assure you that all presentations of Topic 1 New Materials and Concepts for Photovoltaic Devices included in this year’s conference programme show creative, innovative and extraordinary science of photovoltaic technologies paving the way for future PV deployments.