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Switzerland

Quantum dot layer pushes perovskite solar cell efficiency up to 25.7%

Researchers in Switzerland have replaced the electron transport layers in perovskite solar cells with a thin layer of quantum dots. On an area of 0.08cm2, they achieved a record efficiency of 25.7% and high operational stability.

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Korea Zinc invests in gravity storage developer Energy Vault

Korea Zinc, non-ferrous metal smelting company, has agreed to invest $50 million in Energy Vault, a Switzerland-based gravity storage specialist, in order to use its tech to decarbonise its refining and smelting operations in Australia.

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Meyer Burger unveils new solar tiles

Meyer Burger plans to start selling a new building-integrated PV product from 2022. It says the solar tiles have a high energy yield, with simplified installation and the ability to also provide heating. German engineering company paXos designed the tiles.

Solar-powered airplane to reach the stratosphere

The airplane is powered by 22 square meters of solar cells with an efficiency of up to 24% and 14 kWh of lithium-ion batteries. According to its creators, it can reach an altitude of 25,000m.

Perovskites can also detect nuclear radiation

Scientists in Switzerland found that perovskites can be used to detect thermal neutrons emitted by radioactive devices. Taking advantage of several properties that also make the materials attractive for solar cell applications, the group was able to fabricate a novel device that could have various practical applications, including in energy generation.

Meyer Burger plans to launch solar PV roof tiles in 2022

The Swiss group has acquired an integrated solar roof system solution from an unidentified German engineering service provider for this purpose. The aim is grow this sector from a niche market.

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Transparent solar panels for agrivoltaics

Romande Energie and Swiss research institute Agroscope are testing startup Insolight’s transparent PV panels in an agrivoltaic project. The modules are replacing the plastic covers used to grow strawberries and raspberries.

Demand, policies, investment key to green hydrogen development

Ruchi Gupta is a research fellow at the University of Geneva’s Institute for Environmental Sciences. She focuses on how flexibility options, such as sector coupling with hydrogen production, can support renewable energy integration and decarbonise a wide range of sectors.

Perovskite stability, and the effects of defects

An international team of scientists fabricated perovskite solar cells which retained almost all of their initial 21% efficiency after 1,000 hours under continuous operation at their maximum power point. The researchers credit this performance to their discovery of an additive that served to ‘block’ ions that cause device degradation, and also hope their work will contribute to an improved understanding of the relationship between efficiency and stability in perovskite PV.

Containerised, retractable PV system for quick deployment

A Swiss start-up has created a containerised movable PV system that is designed to be easily relocated to allow the use of solar energy in locations where a fixed installation is not an option. The solution is based on a racking technology which can include two racks able to host up to 30 solar panels.

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