Superior photo voltaic panels nonetheless have to cross the take a look at of time


Different testing in additional intense situations has discovered much less constructive outcomes, with one tutorial examine discovering that perovskite cells in sizzling and humid Saudi Arabia misplaced 20% of their effectivity after one yr of operation. 

These outcomes are for one yr of testing. How can we inform what’s going to occur in 30 years? 

Since we don’t have years to check each new materials that scientists dream up, researchers usually put them via particularly punishing situations within the lab, bumping up the temperature and shining brilliant lights onto panels to see how shortly they’ll degrade. 

This type of testing is normal for silicon photo voltaic panels, which make up over 90% of the business photo voltaic market at present. However researchers are nonetheless understanding simply how nicely the correlations with recognized assessments will switch to new supplies like perovskites. 

One of many points has been that gentle, moisture, and warmth all contribute to the short degradation of perovskites. Nevertheless it hasn’t been clear precisely which issue, or mixture of them, can be finest to use within the lab to measure how a photo voltaic panel would fare in the true world. 

One examine, revealed final yr in Nature, prompt {that a} mixture of excessive temperature and illumination can be the important thing to accelerated assessments that reliably predict real-world efficiency. The researchers discovered that high-temperature assessments lasting just some hundred hours (a few weeks) translated nicely to almost six months of efficiency in outside testing. 

Corporations say they’re bringing new photo voltaic supplies to the market as quickly as this yr.  Quickly we’ll begin to actually see simply how nicely these assessments predict new applied sciences’ skill to resist the robust job a business photo voltaic panel must do. I do know I’ll be watching. 

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Learn extra about why super-efficient tandem photo voltaic cells made our record of 10 Breakthrough Applied sciences in 2024 right here.


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