After more than a century, the world is finally starting to move away from fossil fuels in search of cleaner, more sustainable alternatives. Solar power has emerged as one of the most viable options, and for years, scientists have been refining the technology to increase power output while keeping overall costs low. Recently, a research team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (“HZB”), a research institute in Berlin, developed a novel solar cell that beat the world record for efficiency.
The team combined silicon, the standard material in solar cells, and perovskite, a calcium titanium oxide mineral thought to have plenty of untapped potential, to develop a perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell with 29.15% efficiency. The tandem solar cell beat the previous record 28% efficiency and is much closer to the 30% long-term efficiency target for perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells. Additionally, scientists believe they can surpass the 30% long-term efficiency target and create a tandem solar panel with even greater solar efficiency.
According to PHD student and author of the study Eike Köhnen, 29.15% efficiency is at the “very top” of the entire photovoltaic category in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (“NREL”). The perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell can retain 95% of its 29.15% conversion efficiency, the team of researchers say in a report published in the “Science” journal in early December 2020. This is even after being subjected to constant air pressure without any protection via encapsulation for up to 300 hours. The new record-breaking efficiency value has already been certified at Fraunhofer ISE and listed in the NREL chart.
To achieve such a high rate of conversion efficiency, the researchers used solar cells consisting of two semi-conductors (silicon and perovskie) with differing band gaps in tandem. The silicon solar cells convert infrared components of light into electrical energy while the perovskite compounds use the visible components of light. This results in what the researchers term a “powerful combination” that uses the solar spectrum much more efficiently when compared to the individual cells on their own.
Additionally, tandem solar cells that utilize both silicon and perovskite aren’t more expensive than regular solar cells, thus the technology can be viable for consumer use as the world at large slowly migrates to solar energy. Although the research team used a small 0.4 inch x 0.4 inch panel in their studies, they are confident they can scale up the technology.
Still on the topic of renewable energy, Clean Power Capital Corp. (CSE: MOVE) (FWB: 2K6A) (OTC: MOTNF) has recently acquired a controlling stake in a company that makes hydrogen fuel at one-third of the current cost offered by other generators of this energy.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Clean Power Capital Corp. (CSE: MOVE) (FWB: 2K6A) (OTC: MOTNF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MOTNF
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