Perovskite: The True Future of Solar Panels

Perovskite solar cells are a new type of solar panel that is cheaper and has a higher efficiency rate than other solar panels. Perovskites are produced using a simple, scalable, and low-cost process.

Perovskites are produced by a method called the 'self-organization method.' In this method, gallium is mixed with an organic solution of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and nitric acid. The gallium ions bind to the organic molecules and form a nanostructured film. This film has a high surface area and is then subjected to an electric field to produce a thin film of uniform size.

In addition, they are a promising alternative to silicon which is the most commonly used material in solar panels.

Perovskite has a larger bandgap than silicon. Silicon has a bandgap of 1.1 eV, while perovskite has 2.2 eV. With these data in mind, it's easy to see how Perovskite can become the future of solar panels.

However, perovskite as a replacement to silicon in solar panels has its shortcomings. It is relatively expensive and effective to use and the fact that it is not as efficient as silicon. However, perovskite solar panels are more durable than silicon solar panels, making them a good option for outdoor applications and an excellent investment for larger and higher-capacity solar panels.

Recently, Toshiba has announced a new coating method dedicated to using perovskite as a replacement for silicon. Read more about it in this post.

Film-Based Perovskite PV Module Achieves Record 15.1% Conversion Efficiency

Toshiba Corp. recently announced a new coating method for the perovskite-based thin-film solar panels that boosts the efficiency of its 703-cm2 polymer film-based perovskite photovoltaic module1,2 to 15.1%—the highest for any large-area panel of its type. The innovative coating method for the perovskite layer also greatly reduces production time and costs, helping reduce overall cost for solar-power generation.

The panels’ increased efficiency, combined with their lighter weight, has the potential to make them an attractive alternative to conventional crystalline panels. The weight and rigidity of crystalline panels makes it difficult to use them in locations such as low load-bearing roofs and office windows.

The new perovskite-layer coating method is an improvement on the two-step coating process originally used to produce the company’s thin-film solar panels. In that process, the first layer of PbI2 (lead iodide) ink was applied to a substrate, followed by a layer of MAI (methyammonium iodide, CH3NH3I) ink, triggering a reaction that formed an MAPbI3 layer. While commercially successful, this process had a low coating rate and often left unreacted sections in the perovskite layer (Fig. 1, left).  An earlier one-step process was developed that applies MAPbI3 ink directly. Though promising, it was difficult to control the crystallization of the MAPbI3 enough to maintain a uniform thickness of the perovskite layer across a large area (Fig. 1, right).

Toshiba estimates that if all roofs in Tokyo5 (approx. 164.9 km2) were covered with the new PV modules, they would generate power equivalent to two-thirds of the annual power consumption of the city's homes.4 The company says that its goal is to increase the efficiency of their perovskite PV modules to 20% or more, and to enlarge the active area to 900 cm2, the size required for practical application. In doing so, the company estimates that the improvements will reduce their manufacturing cost to roughly $0.14/W. (Continue reading here to learn more)

If you have yet to find a dependable solar panel installation team in Golden, CO, you can always count on us at Roper Roofing & Solar for all your needs. Contact us today to learn more about everything we can do for you.


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