Perovskite Solar Cells Update Solar Panels

Perovskite Solar Cells Update Solar Panels

Currently, the world market for solar panels utilizes a silicon solar cell. However, these silicon solar cells have three major fundamental limitations that hold back our ability to fully utilize solar energy. The first major limitation of these silicon solar cells is that the cells are made from a material that is rarely found in nature in the pure elemental form that is needed. The process to break down the silicon to the useful product for the solar cells takes a tremendous amount of energy. The process actually substantially adds to the emission of greenhouse gases- which starts to partially defeat the purpose of solar power.

The next limitation is the weight of the silicon solar cell. The silicon solar cells function best when they are flat and housed in large, heavy panels. For this reason, the installation of these panels on a large scale is very expensive. The final limitation of the current silicon solar cells is that the power conversation efficiency has been stuck at 25% with no clear sign of increasing. The use of Perovskite cells initially only had a conversion efficiency of 4%, but that number has been rapidly increasing as development continues.

While the use of Perovskite cells could potentially eliminate all of the above listed limitations of silicon solar cells, more research needs to be conducted, particularly about long-term weather exposure and how to industrialize the production. However, once researchers answer these questions, the use of Perovskite cells for solar energy could improve the efficiency of current solar panel installations. Perovskite cells would greatly reduce the cost of solar panels, which would provide an opportunity for rural areas without electricity to finally have electricity.