The rapid development growth in Saudi Arabia sprouts many economic opportunities, especially in the energy sector. Renewable energy emerged in KSA since the 70s and KACST was the lead player in the region. Since then, KACST has been advancing the national industry and economy through renewable energy research, and made significant contributions to the solar energy field, from households to large utility scales. KACST also has played a critical role of localizing the solar technology in the kingdom that gave rise to PV-panel production line and reliability laboratory in the Solar Village (Al Uyaynah). Many scientific studies and reports have been published, and technologies implementation has been demonstrated. All efforts to accelerate and solve technology challenges are to advance industry. In addition, KACST contributes in the national economy and pursues less CO2 emission for a clean environment.
Saudi Arabia pursuing ambitious targets for renewable energy by 2030. The magnitude of these targets demands a wide spectrum of supporting activities and capabilities, rather than capacity deployment only, in order to maximize the benefit of the Kingdom’s investments consistent with Vision 2030. . Therefore, KACARE has embarked on a broad program to develop the required enablers for the sector, starting with data measurement, collection and assessment to de-risk renewable energy projects. Additionally, KACARE is supporting technology development through research support with the universities, and localization through cost-sharing projects with the private sector. KACARE efforts also include developing the required human capital, and more generally to enable and orchestrate every aspect of the atomic and renewable sectors.
Achieving the Kingdom’s targets through the Renewable Energy Project Development Office Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) is a long term, multifaceted renewable energy strategy designed to balance the domestic power mix in order to deliver long term economic stability and prosperity to the Kingdom, whilst working towards carbon avoidance commitments in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Guided by principles of competitiveness, adding value to the Kingdom, fairness, transparency, timeliness and minimizing risk, the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) of the Ministry of Energy works to provide a competitive tendering process to the private sector, building a secure and sustainable energy industry for the Kingdom through a systematic project management approach. To date, REPDO has released 12 projects in three rounds following a methodology that provides the market with an assured level of confidence and transparency in the selection process. From pre-development to tendering, REPDO strategically works to minimize risk to developers, guarantee local content requirements are met to create jobs and transfer skills, and ensure projects have a long-lasting impact on the domestic energy market.
PV technology is advancing by the day with new emerging cell technologies and improvements in module efficiencies. Latest technologies come with obvious advantages, however utility-scale PV developers such as ACWA Power, focus is mainly on reliability and long-term durability of a technology in order for large scale power plants to last the design operational term to provide reliable and sustainable renewables energy solutions to important clients and reduce the commercial risks of developers. The talk will focus on how a major renewable energy developer perceive the latest emerging technologies in the photovoltaics.
The first generation solar cells based on silicon widely used for photovoltaic power generation are costly to produce and their efficiency decreases rapidly at higher temperatures. The second generation thin films based solar cells using cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium di-selenide (CIGS) materials lack high efficiency and are toxic and not environmentally friendly. To overcome these issues, third generation solar cells are being developed which are called dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) and perovskite solar cells (PSC). However, due to poor long-term stability, narrow spectral absorption range, charge carrier transportation and collection losses and poor charge transfer mechanism for regeneration of dye molecules, the development of DSSCs over the last two decades is almost stagnant. Here the main challenge is how to improve the performance of DSSCs. We applied various methods, by using new electrode materials with nano-structures, different dye compositions with promising nanocomposites and metal quantum dots as well cost effective hole transporting materials. In addition different nanostructured materials were investigated for photo-anodes and counter-electrodes, including metal oxides and highly mesoporous carbon (HMC) to achieve better efficiency of DSSCs by focusing on materials which absorbs over a broad band of solar spectrum (visible and near infrared) and are less expensive and stable.
On the perovskite side, our focus is to prepare perovskite bulk and thin single crystals which are grown using Inverse thermal crystallization method. Three types of single crystals were grown including pure 3D using methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3), (2D/3D using butylammonium mixing with methylammonium lead iodide (BAI: MAPbI3), and 2D/3D with propylammonium mixing with methylammonium lead iodide (PAI: MAPbI3). The single crystals were characterized using advanced analytical technique such as optical microscope for optical images, scanning electron microscope (SEM) for electron images, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and spectrofluorometry. Finally Single crystals perovskite solar cells were fabricated which exhibited higher efficiency as compared to the poly crystalline based solar cells. In addition to the development of third generation solar cells, our group is also working on thermoelectric materials for energy harvesting based on Seebeck effect & refrigeration based on Peltier effect and on energy storage devices likes super-capacitors. The authors are thankful to KFUPM for supporting this work under project # RG 162002 and K.A. CARE under project # KACARE182-RFP-02
The event "Group Photo Session" starts on 10 February 2020, 11:50 AM and ends on 02 February 2021, 12:00 PM. Please create separate events for each day, or modify the dates so the event only takes place in a single day
Perovskite solar cell (PSC) technology has significant potential to revolutionise the photovoltaics (PV) industry due to high efficiencies and the potential for short energy payback periods in comparison to other established PV technologies making them truly competitive. Recently, solution processed PSCs have reached cell efficiency values outperforming those of established thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technology (CIGS, CdTe), and even crystalline Si (c-Si) records. The challenge is now to transfer this unprecedented progress from its cell level into a scalable, stable, low-cost technology on module level.
We will discuss how high specific power (power-to-weight ratio) PV may generate value beyond the typical “value triad” of efficiency, cost, and reliability that dominates the utility market and how this value might be generated in a largely technology agnostic manner. By examining historical market trends in PV and comparing these to potential markets together with their requirements, we can establish pathways for new technologies to emerge with immediate impact in protected markets to gain experience before transitioning to the highly competitive utility-scale market. We will examine the driving factors to achieve high specific power including cell efficiency, packaging, and interconnect contributions. Tradeoffs and design considerations that researchers must consider will be discussed.
In this presentation, challenges and opportunities of both established inorganic chalcogenides such as CdTe and the upcoming alternatives such as CZTS or Sb2Se3 will be reviewed. The importance of interface engineering and structure designs will be corroborated with current research activities at Northumbria Universities and as part of the North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM). Finally, other research interests related to PV will be introduced, along with wider research initiatives for the uptake of renewable energy, i.e. the recently funded centre for doctoral training: ReNU (Renewable Energy NorthEast Universities led by Northumbria University).
Electron transfer reactions in the photocatalytic hydrogen production rely on the presence of metals of cluster or nanoparticle nature dispersed on top of a semiconductor. Among the most promising methods of photo-catalytic water splitting are those involving modified ultra-high concentrated solar cells. At very high photon flux, the kinetics of the reactions are expected to be different because of possible cluster sintering and changes in electron transfer rates. The complexity of multi-component photo-catalysts hinders accurate measurements dictating the use of simplified methods. In order to explore part of this complex kinetics, H2 production rates of an electron donor, such as ethanol, over Au clusters with different sizes and coverage deposited on single crystal rutile TiO2(110) were studied by scanning tunneling microscopy, online mass spectrometry and complemented by femto second pump probe spectroscopy. It was also found that there is a non-linear increase of the H2 production rate with increasing gold coverage. The key determining factor appears to be the Au inter-particle distance. Increasing this distance resulted in an increase in the normalized reaction rate. These results are explained in terms of competition between particles for excited electrons to reduce H+ (of surface OH groups) to H2. The fact that metal inter-particle distances directly affect the reaction rate indicates that nanostructured synthesis is needed in photocatalyst manufacturing for future technologies.
An update of selected results for hydrogen production from pure water at high sun concentrations using catalysts based on multijunction solar cells and combined multijunction cells with electrocatalysts will be presented.
Selected recent Literature Gold Cluster Coverage Effect on H2 Production over Rutile TiO2(110). K. Katsiev, G. Harrison, G. Thornton and H. Idriss, ACS Catalysis, 9, 8294-8305 (2019) Metal particle size effects on the photocatalytic hydrogen ion reduction, Z. H. N. Al-Azri, Al-Oufi, A. Chan, G. I.N. Waterhouse, H. Idriss ACS Catalysis, 9, 3946−3958 (2019) Importance of O2 Measurements During Photoelectrochemical Water-Splitting Reactions. M. A. Khan, P. Varadhan, V. Ramalingam, H. C. Fu, H. Idriss, J-H. He, ACS Energy Letters, https://doi.org/10.1021/acsenergylett.9b02151 (2019) Methanol Production by H2 Generated from Water Using Integrated Ultra High Concentrated Solar Cells-Electrolysis and Captured CO2: A Process Development and Techno-Economy Analysis, T. T. Isimjan, S. Al-Sayegh, R. Varjian, H. Idriss, ACS. Energy Lett. Accepted
Meeting our future global energy needs in an environmentally responsible way is one of the greatest challenges in the twenty first century. The development of new materials and processes is critical to developing the needed disruptive technologies for energy conversion, delivery, storage, and use. This talk will provide an overview of recent advances from NREL on solar and electrically-driven hydrogen production from water splitting as well as carbon dioxide reduction (CO2R). Our Electrons to Molecules Initiative utilizes a large cross-section of expertise and capabilities across NREL for the purpose of utilizing electricity as an energetic driving force for the conversion of low energy molecules such as water, CO2, and N2 to generate high valued added molecules that can be utilized as either fuels, chemicals, product, and energy storage. We will also discuss R&D efforts on materials design and discovery for these and related solar energy conversion processes.
Semiconductor photocatalysts absorb light and convert it to photogenerated charges that can drive redox reactions on their surface. Organic semiconductors are increasingly being employed for photocatalytic applications, however, photocatalysts formed from a single organic semiconductor typically suffer from inefficient intrinsic charge generation, which leads to low photocatalytic activities. We demonstrate that fabricating organic nanoparticle (NP) photocatalysts that contain a heterojunction between a donor polymer (PTB7-Th) and non-fullerene acceptor (EH-IDTBR) can result in H2 evolution photocatalysts with greatly enhanced photocatalytic activity. Control of the nanomorphology of these NPs was critical to achieving optimum H2 evolution, and was achieved by varying the stabilizing surfactant employed during NP fabrication. Converting the morphology from a core-shell structure to an intermixed donor/acceptor blend increased photocatalytic activity by an order of magnitude, resulting in H2 evolution photocatalysts that are among the most active reported to date, with a H2 evolution rate of over 60,000 µmolh-1g-1 under 350 to 800 nm illumination and external quantum efficiencies over 6% in the region of maximum solar photon flux. Kosco, J. et al. Nat. Mater. In Press. DOI: 10.1038/s41563-019-0591-1
Seaside atrium of University Library
We will discuss our recent work to better understand the role of charge transfer (CT) states in organic solar cell function. For one, we have been exploring organic semiconductor-based thin films that feature crystalline grains of up to 1 mm in extent, termed microcrystalline films. We have found that CT states incorporating these long-range-ordered films can be highly delocalized, contributing to noticeably lower energy losses. In another system, we are studying donor-acceptor pairs that feature very high optical gaps (>3 eV) but relatively small frontier orbital energy offset (<1 eV). Such interfaces present multiple CT states that reveal new insight about photocurrent generation and nonradiative recombination at donor-acceptor interfaces.
Solution-processed semiconductors offer many advantages for energy conversion, saving and storage applications. However the underlying processes that govern electrical processes such as charge transport, the separation of photogenerated charge, and carrier recombination, are not well-understood. New experimental and theoretical approaches to correlate structure with electronic processes are valuable for gaining insights into smart design. In this talk I will discuss our recent results on coupling electrical and optical spectroscopies to study structure-function relationships in organic semiconductors, such as polaron formation and transport in donor-acceptor polymers for photovoltaics, as well as our work on applying impedance spectroscopy to study interfacial dynamics in perovskite solar cells.
One key advantage of solution-processable organic semiconductors is the opportunity of blending different materials in order to attain novel material properties and applications. The concept of ternary blend organic solar cells makes use of exactly that idea: three (or more) organic chromphores are combined to better match the solar irradiance spectrum and thus increase the amount of light absorbed, which in turn will increase the power output of the solar cell. However, charge transport limitations of many current generation polymer blends typically require rather low active layer thicknesses (around 100 nm) for optimum performance. Here, we show the design of non-fullerene acceptor (NFA) and fullerene-based solar cells with reduced charge recombination processes leading to a high short circuit current density (Jsc) and fill factor (FF) in ternary blends, thus demonstrating how the recombination thresholds can be overcome.
10:30 AM: Arwa Albar (University of Jeddah), "Ab‐Initio Investigation of the Band Alignment Between Cu2ZnSnS4 and Different Buffer Materials (Al2ZnO4, CeO2, ZnSnO3)"
10:45 AM: Aslihan Babayigit (KAUST), "Hyperspectral photoluminescence imaging of spatial inhomogeneities in multication"
11:00 AM: Joel Troughton (KAUST), "A solution processed interfacial bilayer enabling ohmic contact in organic and hybrid optoelectronic devices"
11:15 AM: Sudeshna Maity (VU Amsterdam), "Visualizing polaron signatures in organic semiconductors"
11:30 AM: Taylor Moot (NREL), "CsI-Antisolvent Adduct Formation in All-Inorganic Metal Halide Perovskites"
11:45 AM: Stefania Cacovich (CNRS), "Light induced passivation in triple cation halide pérovskites : interplay between surface chemistry and transport properties"
Integrating metal halide perovskite top cells with crystalline silicon or CIGS bottom cells into monolithic tandem devices has recently attracted increased attention due to the high efficiency potential of these cell architectures. To further increase the tandem device performance to a level well above the best single junctions, optical and electrical optimizations as well as a detailed device understanding of this advanced tandem architecture need to be developed. In this talk, Prof. Albrecht will present the recent results on monolithic tandem combinations of perovskite with crystalline silicon and CIGS, as well as tandem relevant aspects of perovskite single junction solar cells that were developed at HZB’s Innovation Lab HySPRINT. By optimization of the tandem stack optics as well as contact layers an efficiency of 26.0% is realized for perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells and it will be presented how especially the fill factor (FF) behaves under current-mismatch conditions. In strong mismatch the FF of the tandem cell is enhanced which reduces the sensitivity of efficiency to spectral mismatch. Additionally, the introduction of light trapping foils with textured surfaces is presented together with the influence on texture position on lab performance and outdoor energy yield by advanced optical simulations. The monolithic combination of perovskite and CIGS was highly challenging up to now as the CIGS surface is rather rough. By implementing a conformal hole transport layer formed by metal oxides from atomic layer deposition, an 21.6% efficient monolithic perovskite/CIGS tandem was realized and will be presented. Cross sectional elemental mapping highlights the conformal coverage and absolute photoluminescence of the perovskite and CIGS sub-cells gives insights into the contributions to the tandem open-circuit voltage (Voc). Recently the group has shown that self-assembled monolayers (SAM) could be implemented as robust, effective and conformal hole selective contacts. The implementation of new generation SAM molecules enabled further reduction of non-radiative recombination losses enabling excellent carrier lifetimes above 2 μs and thus Voc’s up to 1.19 V. This enabled an efficiency of 21.2% for p-i-n perovskite single junctions. Finally, it will be shown how utilization of the SAM molecules and fine tuning of the perovskite band gap in perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells further improved the efficiency to 27.5%. For perovskite/CIGS tandems, the conformal SAM homogeneously covered the rough CIGS surface enabling a certified record efficiency of 23.26%.
In the past decade, halide perovskite (HaP)-based solar cells (PSC) demonstrated a remarkable breakthrough in photovoltaic performance with power conversion efficiencies exceeding 25%. HaPs mark an outstanding class of materials for photon absorption but are prone to degradation due to their hybrid organic inorganic character and hence volatile chemical components and reactive halide ions. While HaPs exhibit a pronounced defect tolerance and self-healing such that the electronic properties do not change considerably with the formation of defects, film degradation will eventually deteriorate the optoelectronic properties. A key strategy to substantially enhance the stability of these compounds is to modify the interfaces and thereby control the chemistry and driving force for ion migration in the perovskite film. My talk will focus on the means and developments to analyze and tailor interfaces in HaP based semiconductor devices to gain control over the electronic properties at the nanoscale and electronic coupling to adjacent functional layers. On the one hand, the device characteristics can be affected by the alignment of the frontier molecular orbitals of an organic charge transport layers (CTL) with the electronic transport level in the perovskite. On the other hand, the doping type of the substrate underneath can template the doping type of subsequently deposited HaP films. In our studies we elucidated these mechanisms by examining a selection of charge transport layers adjacent to the perovskite film.
In silicon and perovskite solar cells, the presence of surface states at their electrical contacts is increasingly recognized as a key factor limiting device performance. In this presentation, first I discuss how such surface states result in Fermi-level pinning (FLP) and surface recombination. FLP impairs the ability of contact materials through their work function to induce an anticipated band bending in the photovoltaic absorber underneath, affecting charge collection. On the other hand, surface recombination inflates the open-circuit deficit WOC = Eg/q – VOC (Eq is the bandgap, q the elementary charge and VOC is the open-circuit voltage). Quite generally, for all photovoltaic technologies, a high WOC also results in a poor FF.
I will present an approach formally based on many-body perturbation theory which introduces the coupling with longitudinal phonons in the evaluation of the self-energy for the GW method and in that of the electron-hole effective interaction for the BSE one. Our scheme allows for calculations of properties such as band-gap and effective masses renormalisation, electron and hole mobilities and exciton binding energies. As the electron-phonon interaction is modelled directly from the Infrared response, these calculations are particularly inexpensive in terms of computer resources and can be seen as a post-processing of DFT or ordinary GW-BSE runs. First, I will discuss the calculation of excition-binding energies in MAPbI3  showing how the inclusion of electron-phonon interactions lowers the binding energy from 30 meV to 15 meV, while cation rotations play only a marginal role resulting in oscillations of the exciton binding energy within a 2 meV range. Then, I will talk about the calculation of electron and hole relaxation times in MAPbI3 showing how our simple scheme is in agreement with previous full electron-phonon calculations. I will clarify the role of different vibrations in the make up of the mobilities showing the implications for other solar-cell perovskites.
 P. Umari, E. Mosconi, F. De Angelis, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 9, 620 (2018).
Despite the rapid growth in photovoltaic technologies over the past 30 years, the total energy generated from solar modules still amounts to less than 0.34% of the global energy consumption. Exploiting the full potential of next generation photovoltaic technologies by research and innovation is imperative for a sustainable energy transition. Nowadays single-junction crystalline silicon solar cells dominate the photovoltaics market, but their power conversion efficiencies are approaching the practical limit for this technology. Therefore, novel strategies to further enhance the competitiveness of photovoltaics compared to other energy sources are needed.
In the area opposite of the Grand Mosque (near the wooden bridge).
KAUST Solar Center Lab Tour in Level 3, Building 5
We are delighted that our guests Nancy Haegel (Center Director for the Materials Science Center, NREL) , Bill Tumas (Associate Laboratory Director for Materials and Chemical Science and Technology, NREL) and Elizabeth von Hauff (Associate Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the VU Amsterdam) will join KSC Professors Thomas Anthopoulos and Frederic Laquai in a Career Development Panel Discussion to be hosted by KSC Director, Prof. Iain McCulloch.
Center Director for the Materials Science Center in the Materials and Chemical Sciences Directorate at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)