Paving the Way for Cleaner Skies through Solar Innovation

September 7, 2023

The International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies is a global initiative focused on raising awareness about the critical need to address air pollution and promote cleaner environments. To face the grand challenge of transforming the energy system, the European project SITA aims to explore innovative concepts for tandem solar cells.

SITA: Transforming Solar Energy Technology

SITA introduces a revolutionary concept in tandem solar cells with a 2-terminal (2T) approach, combining the expertise of Silicon Heterojunction (SHJ) and high bandgap Cu(In, Ga)(Se, S)2(CIGS) technologies. This project demonstrates INL’s commitment to cutting-edge research and its dedication to addressing the urgent challenges of air quality and sustainable energy.

The core idea behind SITA lies in creating tandem solar cells that eliminate the need for additional cables or electronics, a feat made possible by recent advancements in wide-gap CIGS devices boasting remarkable efficiency levels, exceeding 18%. The different partners of the consortium are working to showcase the durability of these new modules under real-world outdoor conditions, promising the next generation of stable inorganic tandem solar modules with greater device efficiency.

This leap in efficiency carries the potential to reduce area-related system costs substantially, and consequently lower the ‘levelized cost of electricity’ (LCOE). SITA also aims to address the remaining limitations in terms of stability, scaling, manufacturing costs, and environmental impact.

The alignment of Clean Air Day with the innovative project SITA underscores the collective commitment of the scientific community, industry partners, and global citizens to combat air pollution and drive innovation in sustainable energy. INL’s efforts demonstrate that ground-breaking research can be a driving force in building a greener, healthier future for all.