25 July 2017

Perovskite solar cells achieve new efficiency breakthrough

A team of researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia created the biggest perovskite solar cell so far, also setting a new efficiency record with it.

More specifically, a 12.1 per cent energy conversion efficiency rating was achieved for a 6.3 sq in (16 sq cm) perovskite solar cell.

The cell is about 10 times larger than any existing high-efficiency perovskite cell.

The team also achieved 18 percent efficiency for a 0.5 sq in (1.2 sq cm) single perovskite cell, as well as 11.5 percent for a 6.3 sq in (16 sq cm) four-cell perovskite mini-module.

They are confident they achieve 24 per cent efficiency within a year.

Perovskite cells are made of crystals which are grown into a structure called perovskite.

Due to their special characteristics, such as the smooth layers of perovskite with large crystal grain sizes, they can absorb more solar light than cells made of silicon, offering the opportunity for high efficiency at a low cost.

Perovskite cells can be created in different colours, or even be transparent due to their chemical composition, meaning that they have the potential to cover, pretty much, every surface.

On March 2017, according to the study published in in the March issue of the Science journal, Researchers at the Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea developed a method to produce hybrid organic/inorganic perovskite solar cells of 21.2 per cent efficiency, with good stability, which is also considered one of the main challenges of perovskite cells- namely retaining 93 per cent of the initial performance after 1,000 hours of light exposure.

Studies have shown that perovskite cells could produce efficiencies as high as 30 per cent.

When this rate is achieved, the technology will be ready for commercialisation, acting as a game-changer to the solar industry and the deployment of renewable energy worldwide.

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