Currently natural gas is the main driver of energy that pushing coal out of the power generation business, but renewable energy is also becoming a force to be reckoned with, and its influence will grow stronger as the cost of photovoltaic modules continues to drop, thanks to new materials such as perovskite.
According to CleanTechnica news, Perovskite is a natural occurring mineral with good optical properties, and its crystalline structure can be replicated with relative ease. NREL, for one, is a huge fan of synthetic perovskites for the low-cost solar cells of the future, but the problem is that they deteriorate quickly when exposed to ambient air.
The research team successfully tested a perovskite solar cell in ambient conditions without protection for 1,000 hours, and it retained 94% of its conversion efficiency.
The team focused first on the “weakest link” in a perovskite solar cell, which typically consists of a thin layer of a tricked out organic molecule called spiro-OMeTAD. Earlier research has established this layer as one epicenter of perovskite degradation, so the research team replaced it with another molecule borrowed from the Colorado School of Mines.
The new molecule, nicknamed EH44, fit the bill because it repels water and because it doesn’t include lithium. But it didn’t solve the whole problem, because there are actually two aspects to perovskite solar cell degradation. One happens quickly at the beginning of the exposure, and the other happens gradually sometime later. ——-***——-
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Location: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Date: Mar 11, 2019 @ 16:30
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