Understanding the Magic of Perovskites in Solar Cells
Perovskites are a family of materials that have shown potential for high performance and low production costs in solar cells. The name “perovskite” comes from the nickname for their crystal structure, although other types of non-halide perovskites (such as oxides and nitrides) are utilized in other energy technologies, such as fuel cells and catalysts.
Recently, perovskite solar cells have made a lot of progress. Their efficiency has gone from about 3% in 2009 to over 25% today, which is a very fast rise. Perovskite solar cells have become very efficient very quickly, but they still need to be fixed a few things before they can be commercial use.
How Do Perovskite Solar Cells Stand Out?
Perovskite solar cells have shown competitive power conversion efficiencies (PCE) and the possibility for better performance, but they are not as stable as the most popular photovoltaic (PV) technologies. They can break down when they come into contact with oxygen and water, or when they are exposed to light, heat, or energy for a long time. To make things more stable, scientists are looking into how the perovskite material and the layers around it can break down. For commercial perovskite solar goods to be made, cells must be made to last longer.
Even though a lot of progress has been made in learning how stable and breakable perovskite solar cells are, they are not yet commercially viable because they only work for a short time. Commercial uses outside of the power sector might be able to handle a shorter operational life, but even these would need changes in things like how stable the device is while it is being stored. Technologies that can’t work for more than twenty years probably won’t work for large-scale solar power creation, even if they have other benefits.
Early perovskite devices broke down quickly and stopped working in minutes or hours. Now, several study groups have shown that they can work for several months. For commercial, grid-level energy production, SETO wants its systems to last at least 20 years, and ideally more than 30 years.
The Future of Solar Energy: Perovskite Solar Cells
In small lab systems, perovskite PV cells have been more efficient at turning light into electricity than almost all thin-film technologies. In the last five years, things have gotten a lot better very quickly.
On the other hand, high-efficiency devices haven’t always been stable or easy to make in big quantities. For perovskites to be widely used, they will need to keep their high efficiency levels and make sure they are stable in large-area units.
If medium-area modules keep getting more efficient, it could be good for markets like mobile, emergency response, or operational energy that need small, powerful devices that can work quickly.
Perovskite PV cells are more efficient than other PV technologies. The current records are 25.7% for single junction perovskite devices and 29.8% for tandem perovskite-silicon devices.
By changing the make-up of the material, perovskites can be made to react to different colors in the solar spectrum. Several different formulations have shown good performance. Because they are flexible, perovskites can be mixed with a different absorber material to make the same gadget produce more power. In this case, there are two devices working together.
By using more than one PV material, tandem devices can have possible power conversion efficiencies higher than 33%, which is the highest that a single junction PV cell can theoretically reach.
Perovskite materials can be tuned to use the parts of the solar spectrum that silicon PV materials don’t work well with. This makes them great partners for hybrid tandem systems.
A perovskite-perovskite tandem can also be made by putting together two perovskite solar cells that are made of different materials.