Updated October 24, 2023
Well, kids, hop on the Magic Solar Bus, and let's take a wild ride through the world of perovskite solar cells!
Perovskite solar cells are like the shiny gems of the solar world. They're made of special materials called halide perovskites, which have a super unique crystal structure. It's like Mother Nature's building blocks for amazing solar power!
Now, back in 2009, these solar cells were just getting started and had an efficiency of only 3%. But oh, my dear class, fast forward to today, and they've skyrocketed to a stunning 25% efficiency! That's like going from a tricycle to a rocket ship in the world of solar energy!
But, of course, every adventure has its challenges, and perovskite solar cells are no different. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, or SETO, has identified four big hurdles we need to conquer.
1. Stability and Durability
Perovskite cells are a bit like delicate flowers. They can't stand too much moisture, oxygen, light, heat, or voltage. So, scientists are working their magic to make them tougher and more stable. They want these cells to last at least 20 years, and maybe even 30! They're looking at special coatings, alternative materials, and even fancy protective layers to keep these cells in tip-top shape.
2. Power Conversion Efficiency at Scale
Sure, perovskite cells are like superheroes when they're small, but when we make them big, they need to stay just as powerful! Scientists are exploring tandem devices, which are like teaming up with other solar materials to get more power. It's all about getting the most out of the sunlight and being superheroes for the Earth!
3. Manufacturability Think of making perovskite cells like baking a big batch of cookies. It's easy to make a few in your kitchen, but making thousands or millions in a huge factory? That's a whole different challenge. Scientists are working on tricks to make sure each perovskite cell comes out just right in those big factories, like rolling them out on a massive scale.
4. Technology Validation and Bankability
Before we can put perovskite solar cells everywhere, we need to show that they're reliable. Banks and investors need to trust that these cells are a good bet. So, scientists are creating special tests to make sure these cells can stand up to the real world.
Now, remember, kids, SETO is leading the way on this magical journey. They're supporting all sorts of projects and creating special targets to help these solar cells reach their full potential. The future is bright, just like a sunny day!
So, strap in, my dear students, because with the Magic Solar Bus and your thirst for knowledge, we're on our way to a brighter, cleaner, and more efficient world of energy. Let the scientific adventure continue! Wahoo!
Your loyal Magic Solar Bus driver,
PS: Now ask your 6 year old to explain it back to you.