Chinese researchers at Nanjing University have achieved a noteworthy breakthrough in the development of perovskite solar cells. Perovskites are thin-film devices that exhibit higher efficiency and lower production costs compared to traditional silicon cells. These solar cells have become well known for their ability to utilize a specialized compound for light absorption. This offers the potential for efficient and cost-effective solar power solutions.
Under the leadership of Professor Tan Hairen, the team at Nanjing University has extensively studied perovskite stacked cells, resulting in a significant breakthrough. Their utilization of a layered solar cell structure has enabled them to achieve a remarkable conversion efficiency of 28 percent in small-area perovskite cells, surpassing the performance of traditional silicon cells. Their recent publication in the peer-reviewed journal Nature presents their findings of an enhanced efficiency of 29 percent. This would mark an essential step forward in enabling cost-effective mass production of perovskite solar cells.
As per Professor Tan, the materials needed for perovskite cells are low-cost and easily accessible, resulting in production costs that are roughly one twentieth of traditional solar cells. Furthermore, perovskite cells offer simplified manufacturing processes and the possibility of centralized production in a single facility, resulting in overall production costs that are merely half of those associated with conventional silicon cells. Professor Tan Hairen has taken steps to commercialize the technology by founding Renshine Solar, a start-up aimed at bringing perovskite cells to the market. With a government contract in Jiangsu province, they are constructing a production line projected to have a capacity of 150 megawatts by September. Renshine Solar’s innovative perovskite cells are designed for various applications, such as integrating them into building structures, electric vehicles to enhance their range, and even utilizing them for charging phones or laptops in low-light conditions.
The researchers emphasize that perovskite solar cells exhibit exceptional durability for commercial applications, with a capability to maintain more than 90 percent of their initial performance even after 600 hours of continuous operation. Furthermore, they propose that these advanced solar cells can be effectively incorporated into building-integrated panels and even utilized in space-based electricity generation systems. Perovskite solar cells hold great promise for the renewable energy sector. Understandably, due to their efficiency, cost-effectiveness in production, and versatile range of applications. Ongoing research is aimed towards commercialization and will help spread the adoption of this technology.