Another potential path for ever cheaper solar power is now being researched by scientists investigating the use of perovskite minerals to make solar cells. Perovskites are a very cheap material that have good light capturing properties as well as good conductivity. The advantage that perovskites offer is a great combination of inexpensive production combined with good efficiency in energy production.
Current laboratory experiment versions of perovskite-based solar cells have efficiencies of about 15 percent. Although there are other solar cells with greater efficiency, the figure for perovskite cells is higher than other cheap-to-manufacture methods.
The advantages provided with perovskite materials come from requiring a far less intensive manufacturing process. While fabricating silicon-based solar cells requires careful and expensive processing of silicon to a high degree of purity (not to mention the energy intensity of that manufacturing), cells using perovskites are made by spray applying materials to a glass or metal foil substrate, described as a "solar cell [that] can be fabricated as easily as painting a surface."
Perovskite-based solar cells might eventually be able to be produced for 10 to 20 cents per watt, as compared to present soalr panels which are around 75 cents per watt.
written by Joe Q, November 03, 2013
written by Nick, November 06, 2013
|< Prev||Next >|