While so far, it has been the crystalline silicon technology (denoted as c-Si) that has been dominating the solar PV market, with around 90% of total market share, one alternative that could pose some serious competition to siliconis Perovskite.
Perovskite solar cells that is made up of a perovskite-structured compound. Perovskites comprise organic molecules such as carbon and hydrogen that bind with a metal such as lead and a halogen such as chlorine in a three-dimensional crystal lattice. Scientists claim perovskite solar cells can be made cheaper and with fewer emissions.
Perovskites have become the fastest advancing solar technology with solar cell efficiencies having increased from 2.2% in 2006 to 22.1% in early 2016. They are opening up a big market mainly because they address some major limitations of conventional solar cells.
Read more about the Perovskite solar cells from this Solar Mango blog post on solar innovations. (part of Innovations in Solar series)
Also check out: EAI Consulting for Solar Energy – Solar PV & Solar Thermal
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The terms “perovskite” and “perovskite structure” are often used interchangeably. Technically, a perovskite is a type of mineral that was first found in the Ural Mountains and named after Lev Perovski who was the founder of the Russian Geographical Society. A perovskite structure is any compound that has the same structure as the perovskite mineral.
True perovskite (the mineral) is composed of calcium, titanium and oxygen in the form CaTiO3. Meanwhile, a perovskite structure is anything that has the generic form ABX3 and the same crystallographic structure as perovskite (the mineral). However, since most people in the solar cell world aren’t involved with minerals and geology, perovskite and perovskite structure are used interchangeably.