Flexible/Lightweight Photovoltaics: A Comparative Technoeconomic Analysis and Roadmap
Donald Jenket II, Timothy Remo, Michael Woodhouse, Myles Steiner, Pauls Stradins, Stephen Glynn, Joseph Luther, Lance Wheeler, Lin Simpson, Matthew Reese, Nancy Haegel
NREL, Golden, CO, United States

A technoeconomic analysis was conducted to compare 16-year projections for five photovoltaic absorber materials in single-junction, standalone, flexible/lightweight platforms. Changes in efficiency, areal density, and cost were modeled based on input from subject matter experts in each field. The analysis suggested that module efficiencies will increase from 3% to 11% absolute with perovskites starting the lowest but improving the most and GaAs starting the highest but improving fractionally. Areal density was most affected by deposition constraints in the near-term and by absorber thickness and density in the far-term. The manufacturing costs for most absorber materials changed by up to $.35/W while remining below $1/W for the modeled time period. The exception to this cost trend was GaAs which decreased its manufacturing cost by 1-2 orders of magnitude through multiple processing advances but remained the highest cost absorber after 16 years.    

Area: Sub-Area 7.4: Specialty PV: Flexible, Lightweight and Cost-effective Mobile Solar Power for Terrestrial, UAV and High-altitude Applications