Perovskite Provides PV Power Push
The conditions for solar panels are never perfect, and residential panels tend to have efficiencies of around 20%, but thanks to the advances in perovskite, Netherland researchers have managed to break the 30% efficiency barrier. Research in the implementation of perovskite in solar panels has been ongoing since 2009 and various records have been broken over the years.
Perovskite is a game changer for solar panels. The new method of utilising the synthetic product delivers over 30% efficiency when combined with silicon solar cells. A team in the Netherlands, made up of various universities, used tandem solar cells with perovskite and boosted efficiency over 8 percent compared to conventional silicon means. Traditional silicon cells are only around 22% efficient.
These new types of cell require a thin cell layer of perovskite to be placed on top of a standard silicon cell, which creates these tandem cells. The perovskite in question is a synthetic material that replicates the mineral structure found in natural perovskite.
Researchers in Tokyo first created a perovskite cell with 3.8% efficiency back in 2009. Standard silicon panels have a 15-18% efficiency over the course of five years, but this was beaten by perovskite cells by researchers in Korea in 2014 who managed to achieve over 20% efficiency. Now, not even a decade on, researchers have managed to add another 10% efficiency on top of that.
While a percentage increase may not sound like much, every increase has the potential to add terawatts of energy. In the solar business, the sky’s the limit. Perovskite has been hailed as a miracle material because of its easy use in being implemented in digital technology. From high speed communications and solar, we may start to see efficiencies across the board accelerate leaps and bounds.
The Dutch type of solar cell allows over 93% of near infrared light to reach the bottom device, which allows for more efficiency and more of the sun’s energy to be transformed into electricity. The researchers are hoping to commercialise the technology in order to get a widespread rollout of new and improved solar panels, which would revolutionise renewables across the UK and abroad.
There’s hopes that now the 30% efficiency barrier has been broken, this will allow for further innovation and improvement as the technology becomes mass produced. Unfortunately, these highly efficient solar panels are not yet for commercial sale. As more and more efficient solar technologies become readily available, this will drive the price down and lead to higher adoption rates.
In time, massive money-making non-renewable companies that are resisting green energy production will be worn down. They will not be able to resist the popularity of them from the general public.
The green energy movement can’t be stopped when products become cheaper and are more viable options of generating electricity. This will especially be the case in countries that rely on fossil fuels and don’t have proper energy infrastructure. We could start seeing energy revolutions throughout the world for emerging countries that will have essentially skipped the polluting industrial revolution step that has been so key in other major countries of the world.