A team of researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum in Berlin has made an unprecedented achievement in the field of solar energy. They have developed a solar panel made of silicon and perovskite that has achieved record efficiency.
When we say record efficiency — specifically, 29.15%. The efficiency of the panels that we usually see is about 16 or 17%. The key in this regard has been the use of perovskite to make the panel.
This solar panel has been on the verge of reaching the efficiency limit that was theorized of 33% until recently. A questionable limit, since in 2018, researchers from the University of Amsterdam determined that the use of perovskite presented a “multiplication of carrier efficiency” such that it increased the established limit from 33% to 44%.
As a paper published in the Science journal, the key to this efficiency regarding the use of perovskite lies in the combination of this material with silicon, another material widely used in the solar panel market.
Although the record does not specify that this solar panel is the most efficient in the world, but the most efficient in its category, that is, combining these two materials.
According to SciTechDaily, the researchers managed to bring the tandem to a stable performance of 300 hours, even without encapsulation. The team has managed to break the previous record of 28.0%, also achieved by combining these two materials by the Oxford team of researchers.
This stable performance has been achieved under continuous exposure to the elements, including air and simulated sunlight, again, without encapsulation. This gives hope for these panels’ industrial viability, although it remains to be seen if greater efficiency is achieved.