If you’ve been unsure about investing in solar panels for your home or business because of the initial setup costs, news from researchers at The University of Manchester could be encouraging.
A team here is using polystyrene particles instead of polymers, which are considerably more expensive, to make the next generation of solar cells.
Their aim is to lower the cost of production and manufacture of solar panels, making them more accessible to households and businesses alike. In addition, their work is also looking at how to make Perovskite Solar Cells (PSCs) more stable.
PSC technology has been hailed as the next important development in solar technology, as it has the potential to provide a low cost per watt, although more work needs to be done on their power conversion efficiency.
It has taken years for PSC panels to have similar power conversion efficiency to solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and the news that these gains could be further accelerated by the research being conducted at The University of Manchester is sure to be welcome news for those in the industry.
Professor Brian Saunders, from the university’s School of Materials, commented: “Improving PSC stability and reducing expensive hole-transport material use are two aspects that are gaining increased attention.”
He added that using polystyrene could be an important breakthrough, given that this is one ten thousandth of the cost of polymers to produce.
Earlier this month, solar power was cited as one of the main reasons why UK power demand hit a new low in July, according to data from energy analyst EnAppSys.
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