AsianScientist (Dec. 6, 2016) – Engineers in Australia have broken the world efficiency record for their perovskite solar cells, a new material which is flexible, cheap and easily-produced for photovoltaic applications.
The tricky part of making perovskite solar cells, however, is growing a thin film of perovskite crystals so the resulting solar cell absorbs a maximum amount of light. Worldwide, engineers are working to create smooth and regular layers of perovskite with large crystal grain sizes to increase photovoltaic yields.
Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference in Canberra on December 2, 2016, Dr. Anita Ho-Baillie announced that her team at the University of New South Wales in Sydney had achieved the highest efficiency rating of 12.1 percent for a 16 cm2 perovskite solar cell, which is at least ten times bigger than the current certified high-efficiency perovskite solar cells on record. This was independently confirmed by the international testing center Newport Corp in the US.
Her team has also achieved an 18 percent efficiency rating on a 1.2 cm2 single perovskite cell, and an 11.5 percent rating for a 16 cm2 four-cell perovskite mini-module, both independently certified by Newport. Ho-Baillie noted that the researchers think they can get to 24 percent efficiency within a year or so, and in fact, the project’s goal is to lift perovskite solar cell efficiency to 26 percent.
But although perovskites hold much promise for cost-effective solar energy, they are currently prone to fluctuating temperatures and moisture, making them last only a few months without protection. Along with every other team in the world, Ho-Baillie’s is trying to extend its durability.
Source: University of New South Wales.
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