Researchers have developed a miracle material that has broken the record for solar panels electricity generation.
Longi, a Chinese solar technology company, has set a new record of 33.9% for a tandem silicon-perovskite solar cell. This is a record that breaks the previous record which was set by King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia in May of this year.
The new record efficiency also broke through the theoretical limit of 33,7 per cent of single junction cells found in commercial panels.
The company said in a press release that “this provides meaningful empirical data to show the advantage of crystalline-silicon-perovskite dual solar cells over single junction crystalline silicon solar cells in terms efficiency.”
The emergence of the crystalline silicon and perovskite tandem has opened a new path for the next generation of high-efficiency solar cells. The same area can produce more electricity by absorbing the light.
Although the theoretical maximum efficiency of silicon-perovskite solar cells is 43%, it is unlikely that this level will ever be achieved on a large scale.
Researchers from Nanjing University said earlier this year that an innovative design has made mass production possible.
Researchers claim that the next generation panels will be 50% cheaper and 50% more efficient than the traditional silicon cells. However, they will still be far from the lab-level efficiency.
The UK-based Oxford PV spin-off from the University of Oxford is in the process of commercialising its technology. It hopes to begin full-scale production later this year at a German facility.
“Current solar panels made of silicon have reached their physical limit.” “We’ve found a way to improve the efficiency of solar cells using perovskite”, Chris Case, Oxford PV’s chief technology officer told back in August.
The biggest challenge is reliability and durability. Our current silicon cells are much more efficient than ours, so we spend most of our time researching and developing to improve reliability rather than efficiency.
Perovskite is hailed by many as a “miracle-material” because of its potential to revolutionize everything from high speed telecommunications to renewable energy.
Solar panels’ potential is not just about the gains in efficiency compared with traditional silicon cells. They can also be used in new ways.
Recent advances include solar panels that self-heal and can remain efficient for hundreds of years. solar panels with double-sided are also available, which generate electricity on both sides.
The material can also be used for applications such as building-integrated panels and space-based electric generation.