Researchers from China and Australia have joined forces to accomplish a solar panel with the highest possible efficiency levels with clean and optimal performance. Every day new discoverings that can help to achieve this goal are revealed. However, this time the disclosure doesn´t have much to do with the panel performance itself, but with the materials, they are made of.
Scientists are convinced that if materials used in the manufacturing process of the panels have better qualities than current ones, especially if they’re much cheaper and easier to use, the easiest and more profitable will be to obtain a solar system. Consequently, they have found a new material that could be used in solar panels, called perovskite; a crystalline structure that was found for the first time in Russia, in the middle of the XIX century and it could revolutionize the solar energy field.
The reason why it’s believed this material might represent the beginning of a new era for solar panels is due to, according to researchers’ statements, with the perovskite it’s possible to create cheaper and more efficient panels, which is the main goal for most of the scientists working on the solar energy field. The only issue is the durability.
Thomas White, a research scientist and professor of the Australian National University (ANU) said all the emphasis now is on improving panels efficiency, this is why they came up with this idea of using this material in the manufacturing process.
The best part of the plan is that using perovskite in the panels might increase its production from 16%, which is the average percentage of production, to 35%. In addition to the reduction of the manufacturing costs, some steps of the process will be no longer needed.
There are still some doubts about the durability that the perovskite can allow to the process, but researchers are currently working on joining both, conventional photovoltaic cells and this new material in order to maximize their characteristics.
The Australian National University is receiving support from The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), who has made public their intentions of funding the research and development of advanced solar energy applications. The institution has declared the purpose of its support is “increasing the cost-effectiveness of silicon-based solar PV through the use of tandem materials.”
It is estimated that studies can provide an accurate response during the year in course, which is great news for all solar energy users!
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