We, humans, have disrupted the environment so badly in the last couple of decades that our existence here on Earth is under imminent threat of extinction. We may survive a century or two on non-renewable resources, but eventually, it is the renewable resources that are going to save the day.
The solar cell plates were first introduced to provide a clean, reliable, and efficient resource to supplant the non-renewable kinds upon which a great part of the world is dependent. They are mushrooming at a great pace. However, there is a catch. They are not cost-effective, and allows for little flexibility. So scientists around the world have been working on a better replacement, and in Perovskite they have found the answer.
Perovskite has proven to be more efficient than silicon made solar cells. In Korea, this 21st of October, scientists have succeeded in producing Perovskite solar Cell which has 20.4 percent in photoelectric efficiency. These cells cost much less in production, and can be easily mounted on the wall. Plus, they are translucent and lightweight, so they have pretty good aesthetics. Korea couldn’t find a more eco-friendly and flexible source of power generation than this, as it lacks physical space and has many high-rise buildings to allow for easy installation of perovskite layers.
Perovskite solar cells are purely man-made material and are quite in their making. Some of them are highly unstable, and research efforts have been put on to improve their longevity. In principle, they are tuned to harness energy from different parts of the solar spectrum, and therefore stacked in layers one above the other. They can work in a combination of solar cells, and do really improve their performance. A number of their applications includes providing energy to drones for long flights, cheap electricity source and much more.
The most daunting hurdle in making this technology ubiquitous is that it degrades when comes in contact with moisture. It severely lacks in durability when compared to solar panels. A part of it is due to the fact that the scientists are more focused sn the chemistry of the material for now, then to worries like real-world usage and effective lifetime.
The US-based research team headed by Professor Michael McGehee has also claimed that the technology is worthwhile to be introduced in the market, as it vastly surpasses contemporary silicon chips in terms of cost and efficiency.
Professor Michael McGehee said, “It became clear to me in the 90’s that preventing global climate change would be the most important challenge that scientists and engineers would have to face. There are many ways people can contribute, but since I love working with materials, I decided that I would dedicate my career to advancing solar cell technology to the point where it can generate at least 10%, if not 50% of the energy that the world population needs.”
He added,” I have worked on many different types of solar cells and have tried many things that didn’t work before being in the right place at the right time with a strong group of students and collaborators to make these extraordinary tandem solar cells with perovskite semiconductors.”