Australian researchers achieve record efficiency for low-cost solar cells

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-05 09:12:22|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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CANBERRA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Low-cost solar cells could become even cheaper after Australian researchers managed to achieve a new record in efficiency for semi-transparent perovskite solar cells.

The breakthrough, which could one day lead to cheaper generation of solar power, could also result in a more widespread application of perovskite solar cells, which are not as common as traditional silicon cells..

PhD student, The Duong from the Australian National University (ANU) Research School of Engineering said his team achieved 26 percent efficiency in converting sunlight into energy, which could help make perovskite solar cells a viable alternative to using silicon technology.

"Until now efficiencies of this kind have only been achieved using high cost materials normally used on satellites," Duong said in a statement release late Tuesday. "We are now a step closer to a low-cost alternative."

Currently, silicon solar cells make up around 90 percent of the solar market, but scientists in Australia and around the world are working hard to find a way to make them more efficient, affordable, stable and reliable.

The ANU's Professor Kylie Catchpole said perovskite could be the answer researchers were looking for.

"This breakthrough opens the way to increasing the efficiency of silicon solar cells further, and in a cheap way," Professor Catchpole said.

"The key challenge for now is achieving the same stability as we have with silicon solar cells that can be put out on a roof for 20 years using perovskite.

"Over the next few years we are planning to increase efficiencies to 30 percent and beyond."