Replaceable perovskite in the solar cells

A team of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem developed recyclable perovskite solar cells using nanotechnology and 3D printing.

perovskite structure
schematic diagram of perovskite
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

The continuous rise in the levels of CO2 has raised concerns of researchers around the world to find efficient and clean energy solutions for world needs. The renewable energy sector has seen innovations and developments that are proving to ground-breaking.

Solar energy has proven to be very much effective to provide for sustainable development and is not much dependent upon geographic conditions. There also have been arguments around solar energy being a clean source of energy as its manufacturing is not as green as it’s supposed to be. With their lifetime of about 20-25 years, they will end in the landfills.

What are Perovskite Solar Cells?

Perovskites are any material that has a similar crystal structure similar to mineral perovskite formed of calcium titanium oxide (CaTiO3), most commonly a hybrid organic-inorganic lead or tin halide-based material.

perovskite structure of the solar cell

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

Perovskite solar cells are the 3rd gen solar cells that use perovskite structured lead or tin halide. The solar panel made using perovskite has shown efficiency of 25.5% in 2020 in single-junction architecture and by using the tandem cell method efficiency can be increased to 29.1%. With the proven potential of achieving higher efficiencies, perovskite solar cells are among the fastest developing solar technology.

Single junction architecture uses a single PN junction which converts light into electricity while a multi-junction tandem uses different semiconductor material to absorb light from the different wavelength.

What causes the degradation of perovskite solar cells?

  • Moisture : the ambient moisture causes rapid degradation of the perovskite film, especially is methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3).
  • Temperature degradation also occurs because of high working temperatures.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) : solar panels when exposed to a high amount of UV rays accompanied by other factors (moisture, temperature) also cause degradation.
  • Vacancies in the crystal structure : The defect in the structure leads to ion migration in the perovskite layer which affects the performance of the solar cell.
factors affecting the degradation of pervoskite

Using Recyclable perovskite solar cells

Perovskite solar panels have their drawback in terms of how fast the perovskite layer degrades and left unusable as they can’t be recycled. Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem devised this new manufacturing method for the perovskite solar cells wherein the old degraded perovskite layers can be swapped with the new ones without affecting the efficiency.

This technique involves printing the three-layered all-nanoparticle networks forming the framework for the cell. Such frameworks facilitate the percolation of perovskite between these layers resulting in a solar cell design in which the perovskite can be removed easily. There is minimal effect on the efficiency of the solar cell said the group of researchers.


Leave a Reply

Enable Notifications OK No thanks