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.

October 16th 2017
Nordex Adds To Successes In Argentina, Winning 100 MW Pomona Wind Farm Order

The Nordex Group has added a further chapter to its success story in Argentina with an order for 26 N131/3900 turbines for the “Pomona” wind farm. The contract will be executed on a full EPC basis, including civil and electrical engineering, procurement, construction and manufacturing, delivery and installation of the wind turbines. Preparations for construction will be commencing in 2017, after which the wind power systems will be installed at the beginning of 2019. In addition, a ten-year full operation and maintenance contract has also been signed. 

October 10th 2017
Enel Starts Construction Of Australia’s Largest Solar PV Project

The Bungala Solar One facility is part of the Bungala Solar PV Project and will have an installed capacity of 137.7 MW out of a total of more than 275 MW for the whole project, that will be able to produce 570 GWh per year. The facility will cover an area of approximately 300 hectares and will consist of about 420,000 polycrystalline PV modules mounted on single-axis tracker structures which will follow the Sun’s path from east to west; increasing the amount of energy produced by the plant, compared to PV modules with fixed structures. The overall Bungala Solar PV project is expected to become fully operational in early 2019.

October 16th 2017
Uganda Inaugurates Breakthrough Tororo PV Plant. A Future Model For Africa?

Production has commenced at the Tororo PV power plant; which, with 16 GWh of renewable energy generated annually, will cater for the energy requirements of 35,838 people and help reduce CO2 emissions by 7,200 tons. Overall, $19.6 million was invested to build the 10 MWp plant, with the engagement of several major organisations including KfW and FMO Development Banks, the World Bank and the EU. Attilio Pacifici, EU Ambassador said, “One of the key objectives of this plan is to encourage private sector participation in higher risk investments and we’re happy to demonstrate that Uganda is well positioned to be successful and a good model for replication.”



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