Perovskite Solar Cells: A Brighter Future For Solar Panels?
In the ever-evolving world of solar panel technology, new materials and mechanics are constantly being researched and developed. For example, perovskite solar cells are a recent invention, being a mix of different compounds, mainly perovskite material. Whilst they are a relatively modern invention in solar panel technologies, they show a lot of promise and potential. This is because recent breakthroughs in perovskite solar cells have made them tougher and more efficient than ever before. There is a good chance they might outpace standard solar cells in the next few years, and so here at Direct we ask; Are perovskite solar cells the new brighter future for solar panels?
What are perovskite solar cells?
Perovskite solar cells (PSC) and their structure are not that much different from a standard, silicon-based solar cell. They both utilise the same technology to create energy. Solar cells are structured by having the material sandwiched between two conductors, and creating p-n type junctions. This converts light into electricity using the photovoltaic effect. We previously wrote about this in our other blog, and you can read more about it here. Whilst the two cells are similar in that way, there are also differences in the materials used between the two. This also applies to their features and applications.
The perovskite solar cells use a perovskite structure, which is based on a mineral found in nature. Made of a calcium-titanium mixture, the oxide mineral is found within the Earth’s mantle. Incorporating this structure into solar cells, they can be made with lead or tin-based contacts in order to absorb photons. This gives certain advantages to the perovskite solar cell, however, it also comes with some disadvantages as well.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of solar cells made of perovskite?
The main thing about perovskite cells is that the raw materials required to make them are not that expensive. Metals such as lead or tin are plentiful and cheap to produce. The method of fabricating a perovskite solar cell is also inexpensive. This allows the solar cells to be mass-produced for a relatively low cost. This cost is cheaper when compared to solar cells made from other materials. Another great advantage of perovskite solar cells is that they are capable of absorbing more than just the average light, with their absorption coefficient allowing thin films to absorb the entire visible spectrum of light. however, this means that the thin films applied need to be around 500nm. Both of these advantages when combined, allow the production of very low cost, ultrathin, lightweight and flexible solar panels, which are also very high efficiency.
Solar cells perovskite efficiency
Modern, mainstream solar cells operate at around 20-25% efficiency. This is the best solar panels can do for now. However, recent breakthroughs in perovskite cells mean that the majority of them reached around 25.5% efficiency, This doesn’t seem like much, but compared to tests done in 2009, when perovskite cells were only reaching around 3% efficiency, this is a massive difference in a very short amount of time. This fact means that perovskite cells are one of the fastest evolving solar cell technologies, and have the potential to skyrocket in the near future!
What can perovskite solar cells do for solar panels?
Whilst today’s solar panels are more affordable and efficient than ever, silicon-based solar cell technology is not progressing as fast as perovskite cell technologies. The materials needed for good quality solar panels are also more expensive than perovskite cells, meaning that it’s not that crazy to think that they might eventually replace other types of solar cells in solar panel production in the future. Production of perovskite cell solar panels will allow the solar panels to be cheaper, more efficient, as well as more eco-friendly for the environment. This is because the more affordable solar panels become, the more people will want them! This in turn will effectively create a bigger demand for solar panels, meaning more people will rely on renewable solar energy to power their homes, rather than non-sustainable sources such as gas or fossil fuels.
More people investing in solar panels might also help mitigate climate change, as solar power is a green source of energy. Solar power doesn’t contribute to increasing the levels of greenhouse gasses, which pollute the atmosphere and raise global temperature levels. Other sources of energy such as burning fossil fuels have a very negative impact on the environment, which is why everybody in the UK should switch to solar power and help restore the balance between us and nature. And whilst solar panels might lead this nation to a brighter future, you can help make the future happen today!
Invest in Solar Panels today!
Here at Direct Solar Care, we care about nature and the environment. We also care about quality solar panel installations at the lowest possible costs, helping to spread renewable energy to all corners of the UK. On top of solar panel installation, we also provide other solar panel services, such as solar panel cleaning or maintenance, helping your solar panels run in top shape. We are also innovators, and managed to change the game of solar panel protection with our original pigeon proofing method! So, don’t hesitate and get in contact with us today, and help brighten up Britain, as well as your home!