New breakthrough on perovskite solar cells could speed up commercialisation

US researchers claim to have achieved a breakthrough in the development of perovskite solar PV cells that could help fast-track commercialisation of the technology.

The team from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) said last week that their work in fashioning a next-generation perovskite PV cell using so-called “quantum dots” had been successfully tested to 10.77 per cent efficiency.

The work, part of the federal Energy Department’s Sunshot initiative, has also led to development of a method to stabilise the crystalline structure of all-inorganic perovskite material at room temperature rather than only high temperatures, according to Recharge News – a key step in commercialisation of the concept.

By using quantum dots – nanocrystals of cesium lead iodide (CsPbI) – the team has removed the need for the cells unstable organic component, “opening the door” to a high-efficiency perovskite cell that can operate at temperatures ranging from far below zero to well over 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

As reported on RenewEconomy, perovskite PV applications have been one of the most-hyped areas for next generation solar PV technology in recent years, with researchers achieving startlingly fast conversion efficiency increases.

It has also, however, been plagued with stability and durability issues, with the material sensitive to moisture contact and high efficiency perovskite cells exhibiting high degradation rates.

In Australia, perovskite development is being led by NSW company Dyesol, who in September 2015 claimed to have produced 1cm squared perovskite cells, at around 10 per cent conversion efficiency, and able to withstand accelerated degradation testing for over 1000 hours.

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