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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Roll-On Solar, Roll On

Roll-On Solar, Roll On

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, May 5, 2017/Categories: sustainability, art and design, environment

                                                                 Perovskite Ink Solar Cells (credit: NREL)

Another solar energy breakthrough using the photovoltaic (PV) material perovskite was announced. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has created a perovskite "ink" that can be sprayed onto a surface and that could eventually be rolled into a flexible form. Perovskite is highly efficient at converting sunlight into electricity and since their discovery just a few years back the conversion rate has risen from 3% to 18%. However, solar cells made from the material have so far been limited to laboratory scale due to difficulties in production of the crystallline material. According to the national lab based in Colorado, the new ink offers the opportunity for "scalable production of perovskite thin films for high-efficiency solar cells". The goal of the research group is to create PV conversion efficiencies above 20% of photons (sunlight) into current (electricity).

More work is required on manufacturing and pricing for the roll-on solar films but that hasn't stopped architects and designers from envisioning entire buildings coated in the photovoltaic material and becoming electricity generators.

The perovskite research is part of the SunShot Initiative of the Department of Energy with the goal of continuing to drive down the cost of solar electricity and solar energy adoption. The new research was published in Nature Energy here.

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