Varun Sivaram, Samuel Stranks, and Henry Snaith have written an article for Scientific American about the wonders of perovskite solar cells, which are capable of stunning achievements in the laboratory. Sivaram says, ” [M]any of us believe this is the field’s biggest breakthrough since the original invention of the solar cell sixty years ago.” Why is that?
According to Vox, “In the future, solar power won’t just come from bulky blue panels on rooftops. The solar panels of tomorrow will be transparent, lightweight, flexible, and ultra-efficient. We’ll be able to coat shingles or skylights or windows with them — and it’ll all be as cheap as putting up wallpaper.” One principal advantage they have over conventional solar technology is that they can be engineered to react to many different wavelengths of light. That lets them convert more of the sunlight that strikes them into electricity.
Wow! That is some pretty exciting stuff. Why don’t we have perovskite solar panels right now? One answer is, there is often a huge difference between performance in the lab and performance in the real world. Another thing is that many perovskite solar cells use lead as a principal ingredient. And they deteriorate rapidly in the presence of moisture. Silicon solar cells may be clunky, but they last 25 years or more.
Siravam says that very few scientists are working on solutions to these problems. Instead, they are devoting their efforts to establishing new solar cell efficiency records in the lab. Why? Because new records make for good headlines and headlines are what get their scholarly articles published in leading scientific journals. Basic research goes largely unreported because it’s not sexy enough. If you are a scientist today, your number one priority is getting published. Applied research just has to wait.
Another phenomenon Sarivam talks to Vox about is what he calls the barrier vs bridge dilemma. Current technology can act as a bridge to new technology or as a barrier to its acceptance. One barrier is that manufacturers have invested billions to create the factories that make silicon-based solar panels, and they need time to recoup their investments.
He explains it this way: “As silicon-focused companies scale up their manufacturing operations and create economies of scale, it becomes even more difficult for smaller competitors without scale to enter the market — even if they have a technology that, down the road, could have far superior cost and performance.”
Sarivam suggests that lithium-ion batteries may be another example of technology that presents a barrier to more sophisticated batteries currently under development. The investment required to build a lithium-ion factory — like the $5 billion Tesla is investing in its Gigafactory outside Reno — will take decades to amortize. Until then, manufacturers have a strong incentive not to make it easy for new technologies to gain a foothold in the marketplace.
New technology has to bridge two so-called “Valleys of Death” during the development cycle before it reaches market viability. Sarivam thinks the proper role of government is to provide a bridge for those perilous times.
“Then there’s enabling the bridge, which can be done by addressing the two valleys of death for new technologies. The first valley of death is basic research and protoyping. Public support for R&D is just a slam dunk. The other is demonstration support, which is crucial. The government fills the gap where private investors are too risk-averse — from scaling the technology up from a prototype to pilot scale to factory scale. And that involves making some pretty large and risky investments.”
Read more: Perovskite Solar Cells — What This Breakthrough Needs To Get To Market
The Latest on: Perovskite solar cells
via Google News
The Latest on: Perovskite solar cells
- Robotic octopus reaches out, peppermint and walnuts enhance solar cells, gravity’s effect on how we thinkon February 28, 2020 at 8:54 am
You can read much more about their research here. Peppermint oil and walnut aroma could be something you use the next time you are baking cookies — so you might be surprised that researchers in Korea ...
- Perovskite solar cells made of peppermint oil and walnut aroma food additives, preventing lead leakageon February 26, 2020 at 6:31 am
Converting this solar energy into electrical energy is solar cell energy. Recently a research team from POSTECH developed an eco-friendly organic electronic material technology to solve an ...
- Scientists develop safer lead-based perovskite solar cellson February 26, 2020 at 5:06 am
A team of National Science Foundation-supported researchers at Northern Illinois University and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, report in the ...
- Thermal stability and performance enhancement of Perovskite solar cells through oxalic acid induced perovskite formationon February 25, 2020 at 6:51 pm
Find more information on the Altmetric Attention Score and how the score is calculated. Achieving long-term stability along with high power conversion efficiency is the biggest obstacle for the ...
- Why A Famed Texas Oil Family Is Hunting For Cheap Solar Power From ‘Perovskites’on February 25, 2020 at 10:34 am
Imagine a future powered by cheap solar cells that you could literally paint onto nearly any surface—roofs, walls, even vehicles. The tech isn’t quite here yet, but it’s coming, thanks to innovations ...
- Lead-Trapping Coating Could Make Cheaper, More Efficient Solar Cell Viableon February 24, 2020 at 2:09 pm
Credit: Courtesy of Northern Illinois University U.S. scientists believe they have removed one of the last obstacles to commercializing a more efficient and cheaper solar panel made from an ...
- Plants absorb lead from perovskite solar cells more than expectedon February 21, 2020 at 5:05 pm
Certain perovskite compounds are seen as a great hope for better and, above all, even cheaper solar cells. Their crystal lattice is formed by organic methylammonium cations (MA+) surrounded by heavy ...
- A prenucleation strategy for ambient fabrication of perovskite solar cells with high device performance uniformityon February 21, 2020 at 2:15 am
Consequently, we are able to obtain a compact and uniform perovskite layer, which affords high efficiency perovskite solar cells. More excitingly, the solar cells show high performance uniformity, ...
- Scientists develop safer lead-based perovskite solar cellon February 19, 2020 at 8:42 pm
DeKalb, Ill. -- Researchers at Northern Illinois University and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, are reporting today (Feb. 19) in ...
- On-device lead sequestration for perovskite solar cellson February 19, 2020 at 9:10 am
All prices are NET prices. VAT will be added later in the checkout. Rent or Buy article Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
via Bing News