The researchers from the University of Manchester have found a method to use polystyrene particles instead of expensive polymers to manufacture the next generation of solar cells, which will be used to make solar panels.
The researchers claim these panels will be more stable and even cheaper than the existing ones. They also claim polystyrene, which is used in this process is 1 ten thousandth of the cost of polymers to produce.
The Royal Society of Chemistry recently published their findings in the journal Nanoscale, it is also claimed that using insulating polystyrene microgel particles will also ensure the all-round durability of perovskite solar cells or PSCs. Brian Saunders, the professor of polymer and colloid chemistry, headed the team.
A perovskite solar cell is a type of solar cell which includes a perovskite structured compound. These are the newer type of solar panels and World Economic Forum has rated it as one of the top ten emerging technologies in the world. The reason for World Economic Forum to rate it so high is their rate of power conversion efficiency over the present PV cells and thus potentially will generate electricity at a much lower cost per watt.
Using Solar power to produce electricity is very commonly used across the world not only in commercial solar power plants but also by household consumers, as the concern for climate change and global warming awareness has increased across the society. But their widespread use is still hampered by the high production costs. The present photovoltaic (PV) panels use silicon to harvest the light which is then converted into energy, which is an expensive, energy-intensive material to produce. But with this recent research, PVs will be manufactured by using a cheaper compound, perovskite, as the light harvesting material instead of silicon.
The researchers also have put a caution note in the same publishing that a lot more further study needs to be done before it is made viable for commercial use on a larger scale.