You know what’s the trending topic in the renewable energy sector? Its Perovskite solar cell method. This ultra-form of photovoltaic technology demonstrates high conversion efficiencies from solar-to-electricity; maintaining low production charges. The Huang group at UNC is currently working at hand towards addressing a challenge concerning the Perovskite solar cell method. The aim is to enhance the resistance-procedure of Perovskite solar cells under stipulated environmental conditions. Truly, Perovskite solar cells have undergone rapid innovation in last few years; which made them the apple of photovoltaic industry’s eyes. These days it is a sought-after topic in the academic world too. Their related operational methods provide for huge scopes in Physics and Chemistry.
"Solar energy is abundant. You only need to have a small part of sunlight to create electricity," Huang said. "Our new method of harvesting solar energy is cheaper than the popular method. We want to make energy using the sun, converting it to clean energy that is affordable. We are trying to provide electricity using clean energy but without increasing your bill."
Now let us take a closer look into the Perovskite solar cell method.
Perovskite resembles a structure, mineral first found in the Ural Mountains. The material gained its name from Lev Perovski, the founder of the Russian Geographical Society. The basic composition of Perovskite is usually calcium, titanium and oxygen in the form CaTiO3. Usually, a Perovskite structure will resemble the same crystallographic structure of that a Perovskite mineral.
What are Perovskite solar cells?
Perovskite solar cells are a kind of thin-film solar cells, made out of a man-made synthetic compounds called Perovskites. Their specialty lies in their unique crystallographic structure that is highly effective at converting light photons from the sun into public-consuming electricity. Perovskite solar cells are potentially a high efficiency, low-cost solar technology which, in the future has got tremendous chance of out powering traditional silicon solar panels. Due to its profound structural characteristic traits, it is a growing favorite among the material scientists, physicist, chemist, etc.
Manufacturing of the perovskite solar cell
Perovskite materials has the same crystalline structure resembling the of compound calcium titanium oxide. Although they differ in configuration, perovskite solar cells function in the similar way to the traditional solar panels. The structural formation of these perovskites is again impressive too. Depending on which atoms/molecules have been used, perovskites does have a series of interesting properties – superconductivity, spin-dependent transport, giant magneto resistance, catalytic properties (spintronics), etc. The Perovskite solar cells were first implemented successfully as solid-state solar cells in 2012. Indeed its usefulness has dragged a multitude of cells to use the usual Perovskite form ABX3. Where: [A = an organic cation - methylammonium (CH3NH3+) or formamidinium (NH2CHNH2+) B = A significant inorganic cation - usually lead (II) (Pb2+) X3= A slightly smaller halogen anion – usually chloride (Cl-) or iodide (I-)]
Perovskites being a relatively general structure gives you the privilege to assign it a number of different names. The identities might refer to a more general class of materials or a specific combination. There are a sundry of names that can be drawn out of a basic structure. The discovery of a simpler and cheaper manufacturing method have been immensely beneficial for the material’s (perovskite) use in next-generation solar cells or LED lighting. At the University of Cambridge, scientists have discovered that Perovskites will be more efficient given their chemical compositions being less ordered, making production processes easier and cost-efficient. The Perovskite materials exhibit efficient emission having being excited by energy sources like light, or application of voltage to run an LED.
“It is actually because of this crude processing and subsequent de-mixing of the chemical components that you create these valleys and mountains in energy that charges can funnel down and concentrate in,” said Feldmann. “This makes them easier to extract for your solar cell, and it’s more efficient to produce light from these hotspots in an LED.”
Why would you go for the Perovskite solar method?
“There’s still work to do to make them last on rooftops the way silicon can – but I’m optimistic,” said Stranks. There’s a clear indication that Perovskite solar cells increase the efficiency and lower the cost of solar energy for you. It is indeed a trustworthy source of high efficiency, low potential material; and reduced processing costs. One of the most prominent advantages of these Perovskite solar cells over the traditional solar technology is that, their reacting capability to different wavelengths of light, this allows them convert a greater amount of received sunlight into electricity. Overall, Perovskite solar cells are a doorway for you towards: scalability, flexibility, and light-weight, tailored form factors; semi-transparency & many more. In addition to that, today’s researchers & electronics designers are predicting Perovskites to open up many more applications for solar-cell method, in the near future. The reason behind Perovskite solar cells winning such prominent attention in just a short time-span since 2012 is the power conversion efficiencies of the Perovskite-based devices as compared to the ongoing photovoltaic research technology; and traditional thin-film photovoltaics. Till June 2018, Perovskite solar technology has gone ahead of all other non-concentrator, thin-film technologies. This includes the CdTe and Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) too. No matter how much people argue that greater resources and better infrastructure for solar cell research have been available during the past few years, one cannot simply underestimate the significant rise in Perovskite solar cell efficiency. The third generations of photovoltaics which are expected to overcome current efficiency and performance limits, holds Perovskite PV at the pinnacle of the list.
Contrary to the popular belief that Perovskite solar technology is above all today, a series of major challenges still exist. Amidst of all Perovskite solar cells are still termed as the PV technology of the future. Today both development work and research are working hand-in-hand for bringing this phase into reality. Several companies and scientists are all in their way towards enhancing the efficiency and stability of this brightly promising Pervoskite solar technology, wherein riveting researches are also being carried on combining Perovskites with other technologies, like silicon; to bring forth what are popularly known as “tandem cells”. One of the major problems as faced by the Perovskite solar technology is their overall expenditure. We would like to tell you that the current most common electrode material in perovskite solar cells is gold which sometimes become unaffordable. Also low-cost Perovskites are subjected to shorter life-span and low-efficiency. One bigger hazard stands out to be the usage of lead in manufacturing of Perovskites. Lead Iodide is the breakdown material of Perovskite, which is a toxic pollutant in nature, can act like carcinogenic too. The search for a proper substitution is still in quest; recently researchers have implemented tin in place of lead for the making of Perovskites, whose efficiency turned out to be just 6% but there are still home for its efficiency-increment. Perovskite solar cell technology is still in the early stages of commercialization, as compared to its contemporary solar technologies in the market. Let us wish the best for this system ahead.
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