U.S. startup advances solar perovskite thin film roll-to-roll coating

Verde Technologies, a U.S.-based spinoff of the University of Vermont specializing in single junction and all thin-film tandem perovskite solar technologies, has demonstrated that its coating processes are transferable to existing commercial roll-to-roll manufacturing lines in a project with compatriot manufacturer Verico Technology.

Verde Technologies, a U.S.-based spinoff of the University of Vermont, developing lightweight and flexible perovskite solar modules, has made progress with its thin film coating technology in a pilot with Verico Technology, a contract manufacturer located in nearby Connecticut.

The partners completed the deposition of perovskite solution on a flexible substrate measuring 76.2 cm x 6,096 cm using standard manufacturing processes, equipment, and environmental conditions. The novel coating tool and process is dubbed Verde Slot Coating.

“Verde Slot Coating achieves the scalability associated with slot-die coating, while significantly accelerating iteration cycles and film optimization,” Verde Technologies CEO, Skylar Bagdon, told pv magazine.

“This means we can make rapid progress on a small scale but unlike spin-coating or blade coating, the findings are transferable to large commercial roll-to-roll systems, as the pilot with Verico makes clear,” said Bagdon.

The Vermont-based company intends to develop single junction and all thin-film tandem perovskite solar technologies. Its perovskite cell technology has reportedly a lab-scale power conversion efficiency of above 21%.

Looking ahead, Bagdon said, “Verde’s next phase of development will be focused on outdoor testing of modules with early customers.” He added that the team will be doing testing with the Perovskite PV Accelerator for Commercializing Technologies (PACT) consortium and at new solar research and testing facility recently opened in Burlington, Vermont.

The company’s commercial roadmap is to initially target repowering projects, typically utility scale projects exchanging end-of-life panels with higher-performing panels, before expanding to other lightweight PV segments, such as “large commercial metal and membrane” rooftops.

The company was able to tap into national U.S. research and development programs. For example, last summer Verde entered a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) which gives it access to some of NREL’s perovskite breakthroughs, such as lead sequestration and active encapsulation.

Verde also has an exclusive partnership with the University of Toledo to commercialize its perovskite cell technology with promising stability performance.

Most recently, the company was the grand prize winner in the latest round of the US Department of Energy’s Perovskite Startup Prize for its progress, focus on domestic solar manufacturing, scalability and collaboration , according to Bagdon.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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