Climate love

Tabitha Kimani

19 w

University of California

Climate love

Solar panel breakthrough could lead to cheaper renewable energy

Cheaper solar panels could be on the way after a scientific breakthrough.
Using enhanced halide perovskite – a man-made material with repeating crystals shaped like cubes – in place of silicon could produce less expensive devices that stand up better to light and heat, according to researchers led by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Solar power still accounts for a little less than 3% of electricity generated in the US in large part because of the high cost to produce solar cells.
One way to lower the cost of production would be to develop solar cells that use less-expensive materials than today’s silicon-based models, the researchers claim. To achieve that, some engineers have zeroed in on halide perovskite, a type of human-made material with repeating crystals shaped like cubes.
In theory, perovskite-based solar cells could be made with raw materials that cost less and are more readily available than silicon; they also could be produced using less energy and a simpler manufacturing process.
“Renewable energy is critically important,” said UCLA Professor Yang Yang. “Perovskite will be a game changer because it can be mass produced in a way silicon cannot, and we’ve identified an additive that will make the material better.”
A stumbling block has been that perovskite breaks down with exposure to light and heat — particularly problematic for devices meant to generate energy from the sun.
But the UCLA team has developed a way to use perovskite in solar cells while protecting it from the conditions that cause it to deteriorate. In a study that was published recently in Nature Materials, the scientists added small quantities of ions — electrically charged atoms — of a metal called neodymium directly to perovskite.
They found not only that the augmented perovskite was much more durable when exposed to light and heat, but also that it converted light to electricity more efficiently.
“The ions tend to move through the perovskite like cars on the highway, and that causes the material to break down,” Zhao said. “With neodymium, we identified a roadblock to slow down the traffic and protect the material.”

Solar panel breakthrough could lead to cheaper renewable energy

Perovskite-based solar cells could be made with raw materials that cost less

Do you agree?

22 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Marine Stephan

    19 w

    This is great!

    • Peter Kamau

      19 w

      Pocket friendly solar panels will no doubt influence most people to embrace the renewable energy option with relative ease.

      • Kamau WA Githinji

        19 w

        solar energy is much safer, this is a great innovation

        • walter lungayi

          19 w

          That's great news

          • Elizabeth Gathigia

            19 w

            Such innovations should be embraced

            • Edwin wangombe

              19 w

              Such innovations are life changers ... I hope the cheap solar panels will get to Africa soon

              • George Kariuki

                19 w

                The breakthrough in using enhanced halide perovskite in place of silicon in solar panels could lead to cheaper and more durable renewable energy technology.

                • rosebellendiritu

                  19 w

                  Cheaper sustainable energy

                  • Gorffly mokua

                    19 w

                    Solar energy is a sustainable energy source, has a low environmental impact, and promotes energy independence. This is the wat to go.

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