Several universities around the world are studying perovskite as a possible substitute for silicon in the future.
A team of scientists from the University of Sheffiled, UK, have successfully developed a perovskite-based spray capable of turning any surface into a solar panel.
With a thin layer of perovskite, an efficiency of 20% is achieved, for comparison, the average efficiency of panels with silicon cells is 25%.
One application for this breakthrough will be to be able to create solar panels in cars or mobile devices, without completely flat surfaces and where the assembly of normal solar panels is extremely complicated. It is still in the testing phase. This spray absorbs solar energy in layers up to 1 micron thick, much better than silicon, which requires a minimum of 180 microns to absorb sunlight.
Researchers at Stanford University (United States) are developing perovskite solar cells, which are inexpensive, easy to manufacture and very efficient at absorbing sunlight. A thin film of perovskite is capable of capture as much light as a much thicker layer of silicon, that used for conventional photovoltaic energy.
The new generation of solar cells is based on the use of hybrid materials, partly organic and partly perovskite.
Perovskite is a mineral discovered 150 years ago, but it is in the last few years that practical applications have been found for it. It has a great ability to absorb sunlight, moreover, obtaining perovskite is cheaper than silicon.
But one of its main problems is its durability, tends to degrade quickly, especially in humid and hot conditions. But this year, great progress has been made in this regard, which suggests that this material will be one of the great advancements in solar energy in the future. And not just durability, efficiency has also been improved considerably.
It is estimated that its market price will be almost 5 times cheaper than current thin film solar cells, thanks to its simpler manufacturing process.