Research into more efficient methods of generating solar electricity is ongoing. Besides universities and industrial concerns, even the federal government is involved, conducting solar energy research at the Solar Energy Research Facility in Golden, Colorado. Solar scientists within all of these organizations are studying the application of perovskites in photovoltaic cells. So should homeowners and businesses wait to install for further development in this area?
Benefits of Perovskites
Perovskite is the crystal structure of the mineral calcium titanium oxide, but any molecule with a similar structure and properties is called a perovskite. Basically, if a mineral is composed of three different atoms that make a crystal in the shape of a cube, you have the essential qualities of a perovskite. And one of the properties of many perovskites is that they are photovoltaic — they produce electricity when exposed to light.
Perovskite photovoltaic (PV) cells are another example of thin film technology. The perovskite is sprayed onto a substrate and sandwiched between conductors to transmit electricity, much like amorphous silicon. Although early electricity efficiencies were very poor, recent lab results are showing incredible promise, with efficiencies over twenty percent.
Creating perovskite PV cells is also rather cheap in comparison to the processes necessary for silicon PV cells. Scientists believe that if perovskite production could be adapted to industrial processes, the resulting solar panels would be very inexpensive. This highlights one of the main problems with perovskites for buyers in 2019 and 2020 — a commercial form of perovskite PV cell simply is not ready for the market.
Other Perovskite PV Problems
Another serious perovskite problem is that the material degrades rapidly in moisture. Given that PV cells are only practical if they can be used outdoors, this issue must be solved before real-world applications are developed.
In addition, the most efficient perovskites for PV use contain lead as one of the three atoms in the crystal. Obviously, this raises serious concerns about safety for workers involved in the production of perovskite PVs and as the products degrade in the environment. Unless alternatives to lead perovskites can be found, public distrust may limit their commercial impact, no matter what the efficiency or cost savings.
You Want Solar Now
If you are reading this page and visiting this website, you obviously want solar energy solutions now, not later. Although perovskite may result in the PV cell of the future, for the time being it is only a potential product with significant promise. Today, the best PV cell on the market for homeowners and businesses is made by SunPower. They produce solar panels with the highest efficiency and longest guaranteed longevity of any manufacturer. And in Sacramento and Northern California, Solaron installs only SunPower photovoltaic products. To learn more, contact Solaron online or by calling 916-631-9293.