Solar cells that survive washing

Solar cells able to come out unscathed after going through the washing machine and others, in this case perovskite, which draw water, oxygen and exposure to the sun itself to enhance the virtues of this material that many believe will cross the future of solar power. These are the latest advances in an industry that does not stop and in which two significant steps have just been taken that link water and solar energy.

The first of these, these water-resistant solar cells, comes from a project promoted in Japan by the University of Tokyo and the RIKEN research institute. “These washable organic photovoltaic, light and elastic may pave the way for its use as a long-term energy source in wearable clothing ”, give clues about him possible impact of this advance Kenjiro Fukuda, from the aforementioned center.

Thanks to this project, a relationship that until then had been a bad avenue was able to end: that of portable solar cells for power supply clothing as sensors for controlling pulsations or body temperature incorporated into clothing. And where science had stuck somewhere – long term stability in air and water; energy efficiency or resistance to deformation – the cells just presented pass on all these points.

To achieve this, several things have been done on these ultra-thin and flexible solar cells. The first is to create them in a very specific material, also developed by this team, which is called PNTz4T. The next step was to coat them on both sides with an acrylic-based elastomer. This coating is precisely what keeps water from seeping in. But also, with it, you gain that elasticity which, in previous attempts towards this same advance, has been resisted.

The results of the tests to which these cells were subjected indicate their possible impact. For example, after two hours of soaking, the efficiency only dropped by 5.4%. With the pressure tests, more or less identical, as well as with the energy efficiency tests, which placed that of this system at 7.9%. It produced 7.86 milliwatts per square centimeter.

Perovskite solar cells that improve with light and water.

The next breakthrough that has been presented these days comes from another scientific team that has just published the results of a perovskite research. Due to its qualities and low price, this material is the subject of numerous studies. It should play a decisive role in the future of solar energy.

For this, the Perovskite still presents several problems which make its extension difficult; including their performance losses. In researching how to overcome these challenges, this scientific team has shown that on a sunny day and a little humidity can be the answer to improve the performance of this product.

“We have shown that the use of light and atmospheric treatments on polycrystalline perovskite films minimizes non-radioactive losses”, point out the study authors before making sure that, with this, the properties of perovskite are close to those of ordinary crystals and, even, the best crystalline semiconductors.

After exposing the perovskite cells to light, oxygen and a little humidity, this scientific team verified how, on the one hand, oxygen neutralizes cell defects. For its part, humidity functions as a protective layer which blocks the oxygen atoms and thus makes it possible not to reverse the positive effect in the perovskite. With that, they assure, “A processing is disclosed which can be performed on an industrial scale and which is capable of producing advanced semiconductor sheets.” Advanced and affordable, of course, which is one of the strengths that the incorporation of perovskite in the industry should play.