Science

Cheap Solar Cells Made From Perovskite Coming Soon

By Rodney Rafols , Nov 08, 2016 11:30 PM EST
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Solar energy is important, especially now that there is a search for better alternatives. With the cost for electricity becomes high, people are looking for something much cheaper. Solar energy as of yet isn't that cheap. However, with advancement in technology cheap solar cells might soon be coming.

Solar cells are typically silicon-based cells. Making them isn't cheap, which makes solar cells expensive. Research is being made on the use of Perovskite solar cells. The use of perovskite would make solar cells less expensive.

Perovskite is easier to manufacture, plus it would be more flexible than silicon-based solar cells. Just like silicon-based solar cells, perovskite solar cells have organic and inorganic elements in it. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are making a perovskite design that is flexible.

Senior author Alex Zettl is a Professor of Physics at the University of California Berkeley and a senior faculty member of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He said that the perovskite cells that they have made are 21.7 percent more efficient than any other perovskite cells being made.

Lead author and University of California Berkeley Physics graduate Onur Ergen said that the perovskite cells they have made have the potential to be the cheapest photovoltaic cells today. He also noted that it is more efficient than the purest silicon solar cells. This has been possible because of the new method used in making perovskite solar cells.

The perovskite solar cells developed are tandem solar cells, according to Berkeley News. That means having a thin layer of hexagonal boron nitride separating the perovskite cells. The hexagonal boron nitride is thus sandwiched between the two perovskite cells.

From there the perovskite-boron nitride sandwich is placed on top of an aerogel of graphene which. This is to promote more perovskite crystals to grow, which would act as a barrier against moisture. At its bottom is a gold electrode while the top has a gallium nitride layer, as Science Daily notes.

Zettl has said that mass producing the perovskite cells would be easy. Adding more layers of the perovskite cells with a layer of boron nitride is possible, though it is not necessary. With perovskite solar cells easy to make, cheap solar cells might be coming soon. Also, the production of the Chevrolet Bolt has already started.

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