A group Researchers Martin Luther University (MLU) in Germany has developed a new method based on door-opening ferroelectric crystals Highly durable and highly efficient solar panels.
Most of the photovoltaic cells that make up commercial solar panels are made from silicon. This material has been used for a long time because it is cheap and relatively efficient, although not very efficient. In addition, various Researchers They have already warned of it This type of silicon-based cells reaches its limit, and new materials must be sought.
Here are some of the possible alternatives that the scientific community is studying Ferroelectric crystals Such as barium titanate or alloy barium titanium oxide. These products Due has long attracted interest High voltage That they can achieve.
“Ferroelectric means that the material spatially separates positive and negative charges,” he explains. Akash Patnagar, MLU Investigator and Principal Editor of the study. “Separation of charges leads to an asymmetric structure that allows electricity to be produced from light.”
German scientists have been working with these materials for some time and have published their results in the journal Scientific advances. They show that it is achieved by placing alternating layers of barium titanate, strontium titanate and calcium titanate crystals. Will greatly increase the efficiency of solar panels.
A thousand times more efficient combination of components
The researchers found that pure barium titanate absorbs very little light and produces less electricity. This led to experimentation with different combinations of materials.
The team noticed it The photovoltaic effect is significantly increased If the ferroelectric layer changes not only with one, but with two layers paraelectric Different. “We embed barium titanate between strontium titanate and calcium titanate,” explains Yazul Yoon, another author of the study. “So we were able to get an object with 500 layers with a thickness of 200 nanometers (0.0002 mm).”
In the measurements carried out by the researchers, they noticed that there was a current flow This arrangement of materials is 1,000 times stronger than the use of pure barium titanate Similar thickness. These results surprised even scientists who reduced the level of barium titanate by almost two-thirds as the main photovoltaic components of the new experiment.
Moreover, they found that the combination of these new ingredients results in some Very strong photovoltaic cells They can maintain the same level of performance for more than six months.
Researchers are still trying to figure out why this impressive electric current occurs in the material. Although they are clear The capabilities demonstrated by this method can be applied to new types of solar panels. “The layered structure is more efficient in all temperature ranges than pure ferroelectrics. In addition, the crystals are very durable and do not require special packaging,” says Patnagar.
Besides foro electric crystals, there is another substance that has revolutionized the scientific community perovskita. “I would say that perovskites are one of the most interesting opportunities for solar cells in the immediate future,” he tells NBC. David Mitzi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University.
This material can store solar energy on its own or through conventional silicon cells, According to some studies, its effectiveness can increase from 29% to 40% or more than 50%. La Perovskita It is a mineral that has been studied a lot, and now offers an energy performance similar to that of silicon, although it still offers many benefits. Among other things, it is easier to make solar panels from perovskite than silicon cells. In addition, it can be used to make panels as thin as sheets of paper or even used to make solar panels. Absolutely obvious. This will allow them to operate on windows, car chassis and other modes of transport or even inside Textile products It generates energy.