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.

June 22nd 2018
Growth Of Renewables In Peru As Enel Opens Largest Wind Farm In Country

Enel is now Peru’s leading renewable energy generator with around 1.1 GW of installed capacity following the commissioning of Wayra I which, with more than 132 MW, is now Peru’s largest wind farm. Built in approximately a year and comprising 42 wind turbines of 3 MW over each, it’s expected to produce 600 GWh per year; enough to avoid the annual emission of over 285,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. The energy generated by the wind farm is being delivered to the Peruvian transmission grid (SEIN) through the Poroma substation. The project is supported by a 20-year energy supply contract with Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines.

June 20th 2018
Battery Boom: Wind And Solar Can Generate Half Of Worldwide Electricity By 2050

Coal is to shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38% now, as costs shift heavily in favour of wind, solar and batteries. Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 due to reductions in cost. “Cheap battery storage means that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

June 18th 2018
IET’s Renewable Power Generation Conference Comes To Copenhagen

The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s popular Renewable Power Generation conference will be making its first visit to Denmark this year. The conference, now in its 7th iteration, will be hosted by the Center for Electric Power and Energy at DTU, which also manages the world-class experiment platform for research and development of renewables integration – PowerLabDK. Over 180 new research papers will be presented at the conference. Attendees will be able to find out the latest ideas and thinking around wind power plant modelling and control; wave and tidal energy; renewable energy forecasting; power conversion and grid interaction; Hybrid systems combining multiple energy sources; the impact of distributed generation and use of HVDC.