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Why and how solar cells can be lining your shirt in a few days

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I know, this sounds eerie, maybe. But hold on. There’s a lot to this story and you really can’t get the point without mulling over all that is necessary to know. Silicon solar cells are undoubtedly one of the sought-after forms when you talk about Photovoltaics. In the 1950s when silicon panels were first built, they were merely capable of turning 5-6 percent of light towards electricity. Fast forward to 30 years; it significantly increased to 15-20 percent which is, where it stands in current times. Just last year, a whole new material took a jump from being at just around 4 percent to almost 23, which finally got people’s attention. Yes, we are looking at after eight years since it was developed in the first place. The new material as it is called perovskite is nothing but a mineral found in abundance across Earth’s crust. As such, Perovskite photovoltaics carry a similar structure to that of the mineral which renders semiconductor properties to the material. Hence, at times, they are often referred to as hybrids. In other words, one is presented with good and bad in tandem. Let’s take a dig at the good part first.

In a typical solar panel, you have the smelting of silicon in high temperature before it gets transformed into wafers. However, the advantage of using perovskites is that it facilitates ink like printing. In other words, it involves much less manufacturing cost. Moreover, the structure of perovskite is less rigid when compared to silicon hence they are more agile and flexible in equal measures. Now, you know why they can use as an effective inner lining for clothing, for windows of vehicles and other electronics as well.

Now, the part that all hate to discuss. The challenges. One of the primary issues of working with perovskites is the volatility. Also, the crystal structure can be degraded easily which is a glitch in their effectiveness. Strictly from an economic perspective, competing against silicon with perovskites could be a baffling affair, if one is eyeing market entry. The key here is to shift the thinking process where energy would flow from producers which include companies that run big power plants. A startup organization operating out of Brooklyn is bent on experimenting with this particular energy kind where neighbors can trade solar power between each other. Before such things take place in reality, a set of microgrids are being employed to test drive software which is required for effective energy shuffle across a network that is all the way complex. That is a wise thought in place as perovskite gives way to a brave new world where solar installation can be seen as an utmost economic offering and can be adopted across all mainstream channels.

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