Spray-On Solar Cells Offer More Efficient Fabrication

August 29, 2014 By Karen Henry

spray-solar-energy-manageResidential Architect magazine has reported on a new method of fabricating solar cells: spray painting. A team of researchers at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom is the first to fabricate perovskite solar cells using a spray-painting process.

Perovskite is a mineral made of calcium titanium oxide. Perovskite-based solar cells are created much like organic cells, except that the key light-absorbing layer has been replaced with a spray-painted perovskite, which provides a significant boost in efficiency. The spray-painted cells offer the potential to combine the high performance of silicone-based solar cell technologies with a less energy-intensive production process.

Perovskite-based solar cells can achieve an efficiency rating of 19 percent—remarkably close to silcon-based solar cells’ efficiency rating of 25 percent. Using a spray-painting process to fabricate solar cells could also facilitate more efficient high-volume manufacturing.

Researchers in the United States, meanwhile, are developing transparent solar materials. Scientists at Michigan State University have invented a solar concentrating module that can be placed on windows to generate energy, while at the same time being transparent enough for people to have a clear view.

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