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Surrey Leads Way in Developing New Solar Cells to Boost Green Energy

Published on: 18 Oct, 2020
Updated on: 22 Oct, 2020

Scientists in Surrey University really are world-beating in their development of new solar cells that can boost the universal drive for green energy.

They have improved perovskite-based solar cells that can be used in photovoltaic panels absorbing light and converting it into power.

Perovskite solar cells are the ultra-lightweight heir apparent to silicon-based solar cells because of their high-power energy conversion efficiency and low development cost. Named after a naturally occurring mineral that shares a structurally similar chemical formula, perovskites are synthetic composites with three-dimensional lattice crystal structures.

Perovskites are synthetic composites with three-dimensional lattice crystal structures. Photo Wikipedia

The cells have shown significant potential in reaching the efficiency limit of widely used solar cells by absorbing light in a broader range of wavelengths. Their low-cost, simple fabrication and their efficient combination with other types of solar cells to produce tandems has caught the interest of the green industry.

In a front-cover paper in the top American Chemical Society journal Chemical Reviews, the team from Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) summarise how they have improved the power conversion efficiencies of the cells, including thickness adjustment of perovskite, improving the cells’ transparency, effective protective layers and much more.

The team also highlight measurement techniques, large–scale fabrication, commercialisation development and lead-related environmental issues.

In the paper, the team offer a roadmap for further progress, including strategies for the enhancement of the power conversion efficiencies, stability and reliability assessments and potential applications.

Dr Wei Zhang, the corresponding author and ATI senior lecturer in energy technology, said: “Perovskite tandem solar cells are at the forefront of next-generation photovoltaic technologies.

“Our review summarises the fundamentals of this exciting research field and future applications, which are expected to accelerate the commercialisation of this low-cost and high-efficiency photovoltaic product as a major competitor to the traditional crystalline silicon solar cells.”

Professor Hui Li, first-author, visiting professor and ATI advanced Newton fellow, said: “We are excited to offer this review that is showing great potential for moving our planet towards green energy.”

Professor Ravi Silva, university ATI director, said: “We are happy to see this wonderful research finally being used for real-world applications and we look forward to continuing our collaboration on perovskite tandem solar cells, a research priority area at ATI.”

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Responses to Surrey Leads Way in Developing New Solar Cells to Boost Green Energy

  1. Gordon Bridger Reply

    October 18, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    This is very good news. We need housing for skilled workers involved in this activity – not just low-paid workers in supermarkets.

    Planners, please learn.

  2. Jenny Grove Reply

    October 19, 2020 at 10:35 am

    It would be nice to think that this research will translate into future production in this country. We have the brains and then give it all away to overseas production.

    It’s high time we thought of our people and manufacturing jobs in this country. Covid has shown us just how much our economy is based on thin air with the service industries being particularly badly hit, and young people are now bearing the brunt of this narrow way of thinking.

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