Published on July 16th, 2020 |
by Tina Casey
July 16th, 2020 by Tina Casey
Solar cells weighed in at an eye-popping $300 per watt when they first popped on the scene back in 1956. Who woulda thunk those pricey baubles would some day drop into the single digits and chase mighty king coal out of the energy generation market? Well they are, and fossil gas is the next planet-killing domino to fall. Anyone who still thinks gas has a chance should take a gander at the latest news about low cost perovskite solar cells.
What Is This About Perovskite Solar Cells?
To put things in perspective, solar panels alone cost $300 per watt when the first commercial version hit the shelves in 1956, and that was just for the panel. Installing them someplace cost extra.
Now, 74 years later, solar panels cost as low as 50 cents per watt, and can you can pepper your whole roof with them for an average cost of less than $3.00 per watt, fully installed. That includes the solar panels and all the other hardware, and the grid connection and whatever permits apply, plus your installer’s costs for labor, marketing, administration and what-not.
At 50 cents per watt, one would think that solar cells can take a breather from becoming even more inexpensive. However, the “hard” cost of a solar installation still accounts for about 35% of the total. Getting solar cells down to the cheapest level possible is still a brass ring worth reaching for in terms of where the R&D dollars are going.
So far, all of this cost-dropping action has taken place on the back of silicon technology. However, silicon is a difficult material to work with on the manufacturing side, and the finished product is stiff, heavy, and bulky.
That’s where perovskite solar comes in. Perovskite refers to a class of crystals that can be grown synthetically, involving relatively low costs. In addition, a perovskite solution can be sprayed or printed onto a thin, flexible, lightweight surface, which means that the manufacturing process can deploy roll-to-roll printing and other conventional, low cost methods.
This also means that perovskite solar cells can provide for a much broader range of applications including building integrated solar as well as the emerging field of vehicle integrated solar, among other uses.
The Latest News About Perovskite Solar Cells: Size Matters
If you know your perovskites, you know that perovskite technology still has some major hurdles to overcome. CleanTechnica has been following the perovskite stability issue, but we somehow missed the problem of size, and that’s where the latest research comes in.
As described by a team of scientists at…
Read More: Low Cost Perovskite Solar Cells Breathing Down The Neck Of Fossil Gas