Researchers are actively trying to find new ways to ensure that solar power becomes increasingly accessible, affordable, and efficient, so that we can one day completely switch over from fossil fuels to the amazing renewable energy freely available to us from the Sun. For this, scientists explore every possible avenue, including the minerals found on Earth.
It would stand to reason that the more abundant a usable mineral is, the more affordable the solar cells would be. Have you ever wondered what the most abundant mineral on Earth is called? You’ll be forgiven for not knowing the name, Perovskite, since it is rarely seen and yet it is estimated to make up 93% of the Earth’s lower mantle and an overall percentage of 38 of all Earth’s mineral composition. A firm founded in the UK, Oxford PV, is currently developing Perovskite cells for commercial use. Their aim, however, is not to reinvent the wheel. Instead, they use the fact that Perovskite captures energy from a different part of the sunlight’s wavelength than silicon does to create Perovskite cells, which can be layered on top of silicon cells. This will maximise the energy production of a solar installation by using more of the same sunlight than an ordinary silicon cell would have used, without needing to take up more space.
More Facts About Perovskite
Silicate Perovskite is the most common in the mantle and is found 660 km below us. It is a sharp boundary which separates the upper mantle from the lower mantle. Perovskite is naturally conductive and therefore is the target of studies to find out how it can be used in various technologies, including screen displays. In 2009, it was discovered that you could produce a small electric charge by shining light on Perovskite, which paved the way for it to be considered for solar power generation.
We will periodically take a look at scientific breakthroughs for solar power with our series, “The Future Of Solar Power.” Watch this space for more exciting developments. If you want to know more about how DPA can help you to switch to solar power for your business and our unique 0% start-up option, then click on through to our Contact Us page and fill in the form.
Image Credit: University Of Oxford Press Office on Flickr