Making solar cells efficient, cheaper, recyclable: IIT-Guwahati finds a way

What is the News?

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have developed Hybrid Perovskite-based Devices that can generate electricity through solar energy at a power conversion efficiency of more than 21%.

What is the current method to produce electricity through solar energy?

Among all the renewable energy sources, the energy from the sun is considered to be the most sustainable due to its ample availability on the surface of the earth. 

Currently, silicon-based inorganic solar cells are a major player in the market. However, this technology requires high-temperature processing that results in the high price of solar panels. Further, the recycling of solar panels is perilous and complicated.

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What is an alternative to silicon-based inorganic solar cells?

The perovskite-based devices also called photovoltaic devices are considered as an alternative.

These devices are affordable, easy to manufacture, eco-friendly and can be recycled easily. However, perovskite materials are unstable towards humidity and oxygen, which restricts their commercialisation.

What have the researchers done to overcome this drawback of perovskite-based devices?

Researchers have used a coating of appropriate material on perovskite-based devices so that it becomes ‘stable’ or less readily affected by the environment, in this case, humidity and oxygen. 

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Source: This post is based on the article ‘Making solar cells efficient, cheaper, recyclable: IIT-Guwahati finds a way’ published in Down To Earth on 31st Dec 2021.

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