Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

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New solar panel tech generates a third more electricity

18 August 2020
The new perovskite solar cells (Image: Oxford PV)

A breakthrough in solar panel technology means that the next generation of panels could generate almost a third more electricity.

Technology firm Oxford PV said that coating panels with a thin later of a crystal material called perovskite can increase panels’ power generation because the crystal is able to absorb different parts of the solar spectrum than traditional silicon.

An ordinary silicon solar cell can convert up to 22% of the available solar electricity but Oxford PV’s perovskite-on-silicon solar cell can reach a level of up to 27.3%, the company has claimed.

Oxford PV’s perovskite-coated panels will have a black tint allowing them to blend in more easily with rooftop slates.

“Silicon has reached its culmination of capability,” Dr Chris Case, Oxford PV’s chief technology officer told The Guardian. “From a performance standpoint it is at its efficiency limit. The perovskite material is something totally innovative for solar.”

The firm aims to start manufacturing the new panels by the end of the year and start selling them within the next year, a spokesman said.

Comments

This is great news lets hope it will go mainstream in roofing.

Mike Botwright CIAT Retired, 18 August 2020

Agree with Mike; let’s hope this can be commercialised to large scale application – and manufactured in UK – as a step change in the industry. I’d like to see greater (tax) incentive toward the capital investment in retro as well as new fit, both commercially and domestically. ‘breaks my heart to see our fields ‘planted’ with PV arrays when acres and acres of large scale roofs (eg Factories, Distribution Centres, Warehouses and even Shopping Centres) just get the standard unproductive decking solution. We need to reduce the pay back period to provide the ‘no-brainer’ decision that it’s the way to go.

Steve, 19 August 2020

Anything that can help bring about an end to those awful windfarm eyesores has to be good.

Tom, 31 August 2020