Moving Content Alert
I started a blog titled ‘Renewable Energy Information’ at ‘renewable-solar-information.weebly.com’. This link is dead. I’ve close down this Weebly site. I originally wrote this on 1/5/2016.
What is Perovskites?
Perovskites have a specific crystalline structure. What if I told you this material could be produced in quantities more abundant then silicon and could be used to create a more efficient solar panel. You would probably think I’m crazy or trying to sell you snake oil. Let me provide some facts about Perovskite and you can decide if it’s worth exploring for yourself.
Perovskites are easy to make
Stanford University researchers found that by mixing lead, ammonia, and iodine, anyone could make a lot of Perovskites on the cheap.
Perovskites and Silicon made for a more efficient solar cell when paired
During the study listed above researchers at Stanford, developed a silicon solar cell with an efficiency of 11.4%. They added perovskite to increase the efficient to 17%. The school of this is to use perovskites to augment silicon solar cells and not phase them out complete.
Tandem Solar Cell (Silicon - Perovskite)
Tandem Solar Cell are high-efficiency and low-cost hybrid solar cells. There are Startup companies in the space. They are promising releases in 2017. Yes, that’s only one year away.
Perovskite benefits from multi-light absorption
Silicon solar based cells are one light-absorbing panel. There’s a theoretical limit of 34% efficiency. Yes, we will only collect a 1/3 of the light with our current approach. It’s great we have come so far, but we can do better.
Using two light-absorbing materials, tandem cell pushes the limit to 46% efficiency. This is amazingly close to %50. It’s a matter of perspective on your views. Yes, we are only getting to 50%. If you were a baseball player, that hit .500 or 50% of the time, you would probably one of the greatest players of all time. To play devil’s advocate, I can see someone pointing out you are missing out on the other 54% of energy. Good point, but I will make a deal with it. How about I take all of the 46% efficiency panel now, and you can have all of the 70% efficiency panels when they come out?
Wait, did you say lead?
Yes, I guess you were reading. Creating lead-based perovskite solar cells could provide safe ways to re-use lead from discharged/spent lead-acid batteries. What do you think we do with your car battery when it dies? We throw it in a landfill or the ocean. At least this way, we have a safe way to reuse lead. We are all about renewability here!