Most solar cells currently on the market are made of silicon, however, they are expensive to make and require a lot of very pure silicon to manufacture. They are also quite thick and heavy, which limits their applications. Perovskite solar cells (PSCs), using materials with the same 3D structure as calcium titanium oxide, are cheaper to make, thinner and can be easily printed onto surfaces. They also work in low light conditions and can produce a higher voltage than silicon cells, meaning they could be used indoors to power devices without the need to plug into the mains.
The downside is they are unstable in water which presents a huge obstacle in their development and also limits their use for the direct generation of clean hydrogen fuels.
According to ScienceDaily News, The team of scientists and chemical engineers, from the University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, has solved this problem by using a waterproof coating from graphite, the material used in pencil leads.
They tested the waterproofing by submerging the coated PSCs in water and using the harvested solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The coated cells worked underwater for 30 hours — ten hours longer than the previous record.
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Date: May 13, 2019 @ 15:30
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