Jan 2, 2021

Oxford Scientists Develop Record-Breaking Solar Power Technology

Solar technology developed by British scientists has set a new world record for the amount of the sun’s energy converted to electricity by a single cell.  

Oxford PV, a spin out of Oxford University, has spent a decade working on more efficient solar technology. The fruits of its labour is a ground-breaking solar cell that can convert 29.5 per cent of solar energy into electricity. That far outstrips the performance rate of average solar cells, that convert just 15-20 per cent of solar energy into electricity. “Achieving another world record is a fantastic milestone for our perovskite based solar cell, as it demonstrates that we are one step closer to the provision of highly powerful and lower cost solar energy,” said CEO Frank Averdung.

Oxford PV uses perovskite, a man-made material with a crystal-like structure, to supercharge the power of its solar cells. Ordinary silicon solar cells are coated with a thin film of the material perovskite to harness energy from across the spectrum of the Sun’s rays.

The new solar panels convert more solar energy into electricity than traditional technology (Photo: Luca Abbiento)
The new solar panels convert more solar energy into electricity than traditional technology (Photo: Luca Abbiento)

Super-efficient rooftop solar

Oxford PV’s ultra-efficient cells will be incorporated into solar panels for residential roofs, Mr Averdung told i, with the first products set to be on sale in the UK and Europe 2022. A solar installation on a residential rooftop would produce 20 per cent more power with Oxford PV’s technology, he claimed, although would be slightly more expensive to install. 

Making solar technology even slightly more efficient would have a dramatic impact on the amount of renewable power generated in the UK; just an extra one per cent in efficiency of the current installed base of UK solar power could power an additional 150,000 homes.

Promising technology

Perovskite solar technology is a relatively new research field that has emerged only in the last decade. But already tens of thousands of scientists are working full time to investigate the potential of the technology.

Mr Averdung believes perovskite technology will be crucial for enabling solar power to become a dominate force in the global energy system. “Conventional silicon cells have reached their practical limit,” he said. “The combination of a silicon cell and perovskite cell is the only way to drive fast adoption of solar PV in the world.”

No comments:

Post a Comment