11 April 2017 2017 09:30 AM GMT

New Perovskite Efficiency Record Is A Breakthrough With Significant Potential

Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have achieved a new record efficiency for low-cost semi-transparent perovskite solar cells in a breakthrough that could bring down the cost of generating solar electricity. The team led by The Duong from the ANU Research School of Engineering have achieved 26 percent efficiency in converting sunlight into energy, which could help make perovskite solar cells a viable alternative to existing silicon cells.

Perovskite is a material with a lattice-like structure that can help harvest light. Researchers have achieved 26 percent efficiency by mechanically combining perovskite with silicon solar cells. “Until now efficiencies of this kind have only been achieved using high-cost materials normally used on satellites,” said Mr Duong, a PhD student. “We are now a step closer to a low-cost alternative.” Silicon solar cell technology is about 90 percent of the solar market, but scientists around the world are working to find a way to make them more efficient, affordable, stable and reliable. The research is supported by $3.6 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Professor Kylie Catchpole from the ANU Research School of Engineering said the advances in solar technology were good news for consumers, although the perovskite cells were not yet ready for use on rooftops. “This breakthrough opens the way to increasing the efficiency of silicon solar cells further, and in a cheap way,” Professor Catchpole said. “The key challenge, for now, is achieving the same stability as we have with silicon solar cells that can be put out on a roof for 20 years using perovskite. “Over the next few years, we are planning to increase efficiencies to 30 per cent and beyond.”

The research has been published in Advanced Energy Materials. This work was part of the “High-efficiency silicon/perovskite solar cells” project led by University of New South Wales with research partners ANU, Monash University, Arizona State University, Suntech R&D Australia Pty Ltd and Trina Solar.

Courtesy Of The Australian National University (ANU). Photo: Professor Kylie Catchpole and The Duong, ANU Research School of Engineering.

December 13th 2017
EDF Commissions 179 MW At Two Solar Power Plants In Nevada

Policy makers led by US Senator Harry Reid were present at a celebration formally recognising Switch Stations 1 and 2 solar power plants, with a combined generation capacity of 179 MWac, as fully commissioned and in commercial operation. Senator Reid stated “Less than a decade ago, Nevada’s solar energy landscape was nonexistent, but this commissioning helps fulfil the vision I had to make our state the leader in renewable energy development. A technology giant like Switch committing to using 100% renewable energy is truly visionary and grows our clean energy economy by creating hundreds of good-paying construction jobs here.”

December 8th 2017
Tata Power Solar Commissions India’s First Rooftop Solar Carport In Delhi

Tata Power Solar set another landmark by commissioning an unprecedented rooftop solar project in India – a solar carport on the rooftop of the sprawling 70,000 sq.m Unity One mall, in Rohini, Delhi. The unique rooftop carport is estimated to set off 438 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The company won the bid in an open tender process fielded by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for multi-level car parking. The project enables the mall to earn on the unused and excess solar electricity produced. It also cuts down the need to install a second meter or an expensive battery storage system as it is directly connected to the local power grid.

December 12th 2017
Global Trade In Biofuels Featured At International Renewable Mobility Conference

A significant proportion of global energy use, is in transportation. Action is crucially needed to bring about an energy turnaround in this sector and it’s a topic that has moved higher up the political agenda again since Dieselgate, and with growing calls for a rapid introduction of electromobility. In Germany, the Working Group on Energy Balances (AG Energiebilanzen) has calculated the final energy consumption of 728 TWh by the transport sector in 2016. Data from the German Environment Agency (UBA) reveals that over 90 percent of fuel deployed is derived from mineral oil. World-leading experts meeting in a parallel forum at the 15th International Conference on Renewable Mobility will analyse biofuel trading worldwide, examining various perspectives on requirements, the current state of play and forecasts.



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