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The EYCALC project makes it possible to calculate annual yield with hourly resolution.

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Researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have released licence-free software that could rapidly speed up innovation in the field of photovoltaics, a technology that is already competing with fossil fuels for cost-effectiveness. The EYCALC (Energy Yield Calculator) makes it possible to simulate the yield of next generation, perovskite-based tandem solar cells and thereby speed up their time to market.

Novel perovskite-based tandem solar cells have already achieved efficiencies of 29.5 percent, but yield calculations are more complex to determine due to the sophistication of device architectures, as well as environmental parameters. “How many kilowatt hours a photovoltaic system produces depends on many factors,” explains Ulrich W. Paetzold, from the Institute of Light Technology and the Institute of Microstructure Technology at KIT, in a press release. “Of course, the location and the angle of installation of a solar cell are important. But the position of the sun in the sky also has an influence on the yield.”

The EYCALC, which was developed by his team, makes it possible to calculate annual yield with hourly resolution, taking into account variable parameters such as location-sensitive irradiation data, variety of tilts and using different solar cell constructions. For example, it is capable of simulating tandem solar cells with a range of absorber materials to increase efficiency to 35 percent.

"Such complex tandem solar cells consist of a combination of thin-film solar cells and conventional, optically thick solar cells," says Paetzold. "These can be simulated efficiently with EYCALC." Encapsulation layers on both sides of the tandem cell are also taken into account. The EYCALC has been made freely available to all in order to promote solar technologies and speed up the transition to carbon neutrality.