Reduction of lead leakage from damaged lead halide perovskite solar modules using self-healing polymer-based encapsulation

Abstract

In recent years, the major factors that determine commercialization of perovskite photovoltaic technology have been shifting from solar cell performance to stability, reproducibility, device upscaling and the prevention of lead (Pb) leakage from the module over the device service life. Here we simulate a realistic scenario in which perovskite modules with different encapsulation methods are mechanically damaged by a hail impact (modified FM 44787 standard) and quantitatively measure the Pb leakage rates under a variety of weather conditions. We demonstrate that the encapsulation method based on an epoxy resin reduces the Pb leakage rate by a factor of 375 compared with the encapsulation method based on a glass cover with an ultraviolet-cured resin at the module edges. The greater Pb leakage reduction of the epoxy resin encapsulation is associated with its optimal self-healing characteristics under the operating conditions and with its increased mechanical strength. These findings strongly suggest that perovskite photovoltaic products can be deployed with minimal Pb leakage if appropriate encapsulation is employed.

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Fig. 1: Assessment of Pb leakage from damaged perovskite solar modules.
Fig. 2: Hail and weather tests on perovskite solar modules with different encapsulations.
Fig. 3: Pb concentration in the contaminated water.
Fig. 4: Self-healing properties of the ER encapsulant.
Fig. 5: Effect of four different weather conditions on Pb leakage with different encapsulation methods.

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by funding from the Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, the OIST R&D Cluster Research Program, the OIST Proof of Concept (POC) Program, and JSPS KAKENHI Grant no. JP18K05266. We thank Y. Iinuma (the technician at OIST) for the ICP–MS measurements.

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Contributions

Y.Q. conceived the idea, initiated and supervised the work. Y.J. and L.Q. designed the experiment, prepared the modules, tested the module breaking conditions and measured the Pb leakage. Y.J. performed the current density–voltage measurements and water CA measurements. L.Q. carried out the differential scanning calorimeter measurements. E.J.J.-P. did the thermogravimetric measurements. All the authors contributed to writing the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yabing Qi.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–14, Supplementary Tables 1–5, Supplementary Notes 1 and 2, and Supplementary references.

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Supplementary Video 1

Mechanical strength of the ER polymers with different composition at 65 °C.

Supplementary Video 2

Mechanical strength of the ER polymers with different composition at 85 °C.

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Jiang, Y., Qiu, L., Juarez-Perez, E.J. et al. Reduction of lead leakage from damaged lead halide perovskite solar modules using self-healing polymer-based encapsulation. Nat Energy 4, 585–593 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-019-0406-2

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