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The Pros and Cons of Halide Perovskite Solar Panels

Key Takeaways

  • Perovskite solar panels are based on hybrid organic-inorganic halide perovskites, which have the chemical formula ABX3. In this chemical compound, A is an organic cation, B is a divalent metal, and X is a halogen or pseudo halogen. 

  • Lead halide perovskites' simple and inexpensive manufacturing process has made them the most obvious choice for mass-producing solar panels. 

  • The active layer of perovskite solar panels is inherently unstable, and external factors such as water, heat, oxygen, and light add to the solar panel's poor stability.

 PV solar panel installation at an airport

The vast unobstructed areas at airports are perfect sites for solar panel installation projects

The aviation industry has an immense effect on the environment, influencing climate change and global warming. Currently, there are not many regulations regarding the industry's greenhouse gas emissions. However, airport authorities are making a conscious effort to reduce their carbon footprint by introducing solar power. The vast unobstructed areas at airports are perfect locations for solar panel installations.

There are many decisions consumers, such as the airline industry, need to make before beginning a solar panel installation project. One of the most important decisions solar contractors will make is selecting a quality solar cell. Let's discuss the advantages of halide perovskites solar panels and how they are revolutionizing the photovoltaic industry. 

Halide Perovskites Properties

Perovskites are transforming the photovoltaics industry and are the main manufacturing component in organic-inorganic halide perovskite solar panels. Solid-state halide perovskite-based solar cells show a drastic hike in conversion efficiency. The possibility of achieving even higher efficiency has sparked scientific research interests in halide perovskite materials.

Perovskite solar panels are based on hybrid organic-inorganic halide perovskites with the chemical formula ABX3. In this chemical compound:

  • A is an organic cation
  • B is a divalent metal
  • X is a halogen or pseudo halogen 

The table below shows the possibilities for halide perovskite components:

 possibilities for halide perovskite components

Photovoltaic Applications of Halide Perovskites 

Methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) is the most popular organic halide perovskite in photovoltaic applications. This halide perovskite provides a stable perovskite structure that crystallizes at room temperature. The inexpensive and simple manufacturing process of lead halide perovskites makes them an obvious choice for mass-producing solar panels.

Applications such as optoelectronics and photovoltaics use variants of the perovskite compound, which include:

  • Metallic perovskites
  • Metal-free perovskites
  • Noble-gas-based perovskites
  • Inorganic-metal-halide perovskites

Manufacturers can alter the properties of halide perovskites by changing the constituents A, B, and X in the chemical structure. By manipulating A and X, it is possible to achieve the electrical and optical properties shown below:

  • Absorption coefficient
  • Bandgap tunability
  • Direct photo-generation of free charge carriers
  • Charge transport
  • Long carrier diffusion length

Inorganic-organic halide perovskites are game-changers in the photovoltaics field. Manufacturing solar panels from halide perovskites is a highly efficient and cost-effective way to attract more stakeholders to photovoltaic solar projects, which plays an important role in commercializing solar power generation. 

The Instability of Halide Perovskites

While perovskite-based solar panels are inexpensive and efficient to manufacture, they have poor long-term stability. The active layer of perovskite is inherently unstable. Apart from intrinsic instability, external factors also aggravate the instability issues of perovskites. These include:

Water - Extended exposure to water causes irreversible water damage to perovskite material.

Heat - The most popular lead halides are unable to withstand thermal stress. The perovskite structure decomposes under heat, producing halogen gases, which cause B metals to form on the perovskite film.

Oxygen and light - The combination of oxygen and light is detrimental to the film in perovskite solar panels. Oxygen acts as an electron scavenger in the chemical structure of perovskite and will form highly reactive superoxides. The prolonged exposure of the film to oxygen and light will affect the longevity of the solar panel.

Looking beyond their inefficiencies, organic-inorganic halide perovskite film solar panels are promising the proliferation of solar power generation in the future. Cadence’s software can assist in designing solar photovoltaic power generation systems.

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