Iowa State University engineers have designed a new type of solar cell that is durable, lightweight, and cost-efficient. Researchers have discovered a way to integrate perovskites as the active ingredient in these solar cells, resulting in a device that is flexible, efficient, lightweight, and low-cost.
Perovskite materials are the game-changer in this equation. This hybrid organic-inorganic ingredient works well with silicon cells, as they have a complementary bandgap, can reach efficiency rates of nearly 25%, and can be integrated with silicon with relative ease. Unfortunately, there was one major roadblock to creating these high-powered solar cells: heat.
During testing, it was discovered that hybrid perovskite solar cells break down under high temperatures. Obviously this posed a problem for the solar cells, which require bright, powerful sunlight to operate effectively. Luckily, engineers on the project developed some unconventional solutions to this vexing problem.
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