Who has heard of perovskite? Who even knows how to pronounce it? Well I didn’t yet know of perovskite when I visited my friend John Minson at his solar powered, off-grid paradise on Waihiki Island. Here he is (left) with friends Tony and Katrine visiting Borderline.
John’s home is powered entirely by the sun which makes it an important destination if you want to get into the solar mood. The visit was a great success apart form the tragedy of my solar powered shower pump failing just when I needed my morning shower!
Fear not. I glued the impeller (round white thing) back together with a bit of super glue so I am clean once again.
So you may ask; what has any of this have to do with perovskite? Well it turns out that for quite a while now, solar cells have been manufactured by growing crystals and sawing them up into thin slices which is a costly process. Is there a less expensive way to make solar cells? Perhaps one could paint a bit of magic liquid onto glass or some other suitable substrate to make a really low cost solar cell. Enter perovskite.*
I have reported on a number of breakthroughs relating to batteries but never have I said anything about new solar cells. Until now that is.
So here it is. Hunt Consolidated, an oil and gas company in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Lab, (whoever they are) have come up with a new development in perovskite solar cells. Will it be a game changer?