Cheap Solar Power Isn’t a Dream Anymore

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In the contemporary world, solar power is used but in a very limited boundary, as a result it is used for producing less than 1% of world’s electricity. But it seems like the scenario will change now because cheap solar power will no longer remain as a dream. Whom should you thank for this? The credit of providing cheap solar power will surely go to Olga Malinkiewicz, a PhD student at University of Valencia in Spain. She is involved in studying stuffs about Photovoltaics.

cheap solar power
Source: nature.com

What did Olga Malinkiewicz do which forced us to say that cheap solar power isn’t a dream anymore?

Low cost solar power was planned to be achieved with the help of perovskites. Perovskites have the ability to form thin films that can be easily prepared in the lab by sampling mixing cheap salts.

This cheap and simple techniques, makes it different from the slabs of purified silicon used in the core of solar cells. Malinkiewicz tried this very simple technique and in the subsequent year she even won European student innovation prize for successfully coating flexible foil with perovskites.

After receiving many calls from investors she finally decided to run a laboratory in Wroclaw, instituted the privately supported company Saule Technologies and snubbed a proposal of US$ 1.3 million for 10% of the fledgling firm. After her bold and creative move, perovskites gained its access to modern world from the academic laboratories.

What are the competitors doing?

There is competition everywhere in this modern world and so it’s not surprising to say the same level of competition exist in this field. Other research groups after burning midnight oil were able to increase the cells’ efficiency by three times.

Do you want to see a comparison between a large, commercial silicon modules and a small perovskites cells?

The large, commercial silicon modules is able to convert only 17-25% of solar radiation into electricity, while the recently developed perovskites is also able to convert nearly the same amount of solar radiation into electricity in the lab.

The reproduced rate of perovskites is 16-18% which is truly remarkable!

So, how will this will be able to provide cheap solar power?

You have two consider two things when you are talking about cheap solar power:-

  1. Low cost
  2. Efficiency

The combination of these factors will successfully generate cheap solar power and will help in producing electricity at lower rates for an uninterrupted supply of power to various parts.

How does the cells composed of perovskites look like?

You must have realized by now that the cell composed of perovskites is small. The question that now arises is that how small is the size of the cell composed of perovskites?

You will be fascinated to know that it is as small as a postage stamp. These cells are successfully composed of perovskites film packed in between conducting layers.

I hope that now you have the rough idea about the size and look of cells composed of perovskites. To use the cells in a practical manner, the cells composed of perovskites must be scaled up. As a result of which it will face an efficiency drop.

What are the doubts regarding this amazing innovation?

Though it will help in getting cheap solar power, we must remember that it has only been tested inside the laboratory. So, few doubts are hovering a bit on this innovations. Would you like to know more about the doubts that might hinder the dream of using cheap solar power?

  • Will the material last for years when wide-open to conditions outside the lab?
  • Will there be change in position of ions inside the perovskites structure?
  • Another serious problem of using this cell is that it contains a small amount of toxic lead which becomes soluble to water leaching in the interior region.

Well, you don’t need to worry about it because possible solutions has been visualized to protect the cells composed of perovskites.

These measures include:-

  • The cell composed of perovskites should be encapsulated in glass.
  • One of the layer of the cell composed of perovskites will be replaced by a carbon nanotubes embedded in insulating plastics.

Round Up

Many studies and researches are taking place for understanding and using perovskites in a better way. But twisted turn given by Malinkiewicz will surely result into a cheap solar power that can be used for commercial use. It is cheap and can made me made by simple techniques, what else is needed for utilizing it fully?

Mohammad KhajaNazeeruddin, a chemist in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne has rightly said that, ‘It is everybody’s technology.’ What do you think about this innovation and about the statement given by him? How much do you think the world with benefit from this innovation that will create cheap solar power? Let us know in the comment section. Also please do Subscribe To Interest Waypoint. Thank You.

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