Solar panels might be available at lower prices in the near future because they will be simpler to design and easier to install. Recent research has produced promising results in this aspect, and proposed a new method to produce solar panels.
The research states that solar cells should be made from a mineral, which is known as perovskite. Past research focuses on using this mineral along with lead. However, if perovskite is blended with tin, and then used for making solar panels, lower operational costs will arise. The environment will also have less impact and ultimately, the panels can be sold at decreased rates than the ones being observed in the market today.
Two separate groups have carried out this research and both have produced positive results. The initial tests are a success and now efforts have to be made to transfer this technology onto a broader scale. On the first of May, one of these researchers published his results in a reputed journal. He has successfully demonstrated that a tin-perovskite solar cell can convert around 6% of sunlight into electricity. On the 4th of May, similar results have been published in another journal, but this time the recorded efficiency is slightly less at 5.73%.
Indeed, the observed efficiencies may not seem that impressive. The best solar panels in the market today have efficiencies in the range of 35%, which is also not very high. Compared to this, solar cells with 6% efficiency are not such a bad idea when you consider the operational costs. Solar panels with 35% efficient levels are too costly to produce, and so are only utilized in demanding applications like satellites. If the efficiency levels are brought down, the costs do not decrease that much and these units also incur significant operational expenses.
The techniques involved in using perovskite to manufacture solar panels incur lesser operational costs. The methods are also easier to implement. Industry experts believe this to be a promising alternative.
In theory, perovskite solar cells can have efficiency levels of around 31%. If these are stacked together in the form of multi-junction cells, even better efficiency level can be achieved. With regards to this, a reputed professor stated that if they could make solar cells with efficiency levels of just 10%, it will be enough for most uses.