Solar power generation is experiencing a fast-paced tech development, aimed at a continuous increase in efficiency of power generation from the solar source, thus contributing, along with the increase in the plants number, to the increase of the renewable capacity, toward the ambitious targets set at national and international stages.
A field where researchers are putting a great effort is that of the materials from which photovoltaic cells are made. Last April, scientist from the American government experimental research center Argonne National Laboratory have discovered how to use fluorescence to measure with absolute precision the nanostructures inside the so-called “thin film”, one of the kind of materials used to make modules for PV panels. The discovery will allow to aid the development of this technology toward an increased generation efficiency.
In Poland, last August, maker Saules Technology built some PV shades using perovskite solar cells, which have been installed on a Lublin factory façade. According to the company, it is the first building-applied photovoltaics system (BAPV) made using perovskite, which is calcium titanate, used as a substitute to silicon in modules production.
Researches of the Michigan University, a few weeks ago, have developed an organic solar cell with a transparency of 40% and an efficiency of 10%, designed to be used in PV windows. It is a non-fullerene cell, made by using the PCE-10 polymer as a donor and the BT-CIC as an acceptor. These cells should have an estimated lifespan of thirty years, much longer that those made with fullerene, despite the latter having a better efficiency, around 18%.
Regarding efficiency, in the previous days scientists from Swiss EMPA have reached a rate of 21.38% for the flexible version of CIGS cell, the kind made with a composite semiconductor called that way (acronym for copper indium gallium (di) selenide). As for today, the record for regular CIGS cell is 23.335%, achieved by Japanese maker Solar Frontier, and 19.64% for those in “thin film”, by German maker Avancis.
Experimantion goes on also on materials durability, especially in extreme conditions: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, another American government center, announced that it will send perovskite cell samples in space to test their potential use outside from Earth atmosphere, so to test its resistance in space. If results were to be positive, this would allow to reduce production costs for the special kind of solar panels installed on space station.
And by last, studies are running on how to use PV to supply the energy needs for green hydrogen production: according to estimates for these days by European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltais, the cost of the fuel so made could lower quickly in the following decades, touching a competitive average cost between €0.7 and €1.8 per kilo in 2030 and between €0.3 and €0.9 per kilo in 2050.
Chiron Energy maintains a constant focus on the development of its photovoltaic plants, with particular attention to the factors of technical and technological innovation of the solutions adopted to reduce land consumption and maximise energy use while fully respecting the environment.