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Perovskite is the Future of Solar Panels

Silicon is the primary material for solar panels. It was a revolutionary discovery that led it to become a leading material used by many manufacturers today. However, silicon is in short supply today, affecting the widespread adoption of solar panels across the world.

Fortunately, many researchers have found perovskite as the best alternative to silicon. While it isn't used in many retail solar panels yet, it holds promise for achieving high-level efficiency that goes beyond silicon. Scientists also see that it can reduce processing costs. 

One of perovskite's primary advantages is its ability to react to different wavelengths of light and convert more sunlight into electricity. Silicon does not possess this advantage. Perovskite can also offer flexibility, semi-transparency, and weight advantages than silicon.

Perovskite's potential is only held back by mature solar technologies, cost concerns, and material issues. The material costs higher because it uses a gold electrode material opposed to the copper used in silicon. Additionally, perovskite deteriorates rapidly when moisture is present because it accelerates its decay. 

Currently, scientists are trying to improve and scale up perovskite's efficiency ratings with great difficulty. Small cells perform well in laboratories but will still have issues when implemented in actual solar technologies.

Learn from Solar Reviews as to why they see perovskite as the future of solar panel technologies.

At the leading edge of scientific discovery and renewable energy research, a class of materials called perovskites has excited the imaginations of some of the world’s top scientists and engineers. 

These incredible materials have the ability to generate more electricity from the sun than almost anything else, potentially at a much lower cost than traditional silicon solar cells. But perovskites have so far required a lot of testing and trial-and-error, and no single application has reached the point of commercialization. The study of perovskite solar cells has come a long way in a very short time, but there are some big hurdles to overcome. 

Because of the work of many dedicated researchers, some perovskite products may be coming to the market within the next year or two, so it’s important to learn about them now. Unfortunately, most of the information about perovskites on the web is directed at the researchers and scientists who study and work with these materials, and that stuff is necessarily pretty dense and technical. 

What follows below is our attempt to cover perovskite materials in detail, but without a lot of the technical jargon and hard-to-understand concepts of a scholarly journal article. Someday soon, you may be able to have perovskite solar panels installed on your roof, so it’s time to learn about these exciting materials and what they might mean for rooftop solar in the very near future.

What is a perovskite?

Perovskites are a class of materials with a distinctive crystal structure similar to a mineral of the same name first discovered in Russia in 1839. Many varieties of perovskites exist, but the most interesting of these for the solar industry are crystals built out of organic and inorganic molecules connected to atoms of lead or tin. 

The image above is a representation of the structure of one kind of lead halide perovskite crystal. It has a grid of 8-sided molecules called lead halides (an atom of lead connected to 6 halogen atoms of either iodine, chlorine, or bromine), surrounding a smaller molecule called a methylammonium cation (we promise this is as science-y as this article gets).  

Why perovskites are important (Continue reading to learn more)

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