A man walks next to solar panels (bottom L) at a soon-to-be completed solucar solar park at Sanlucar La Mayor, near Seville, February 13, 2008. The first of two solar thermal power plants uses mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays onto the top of a 100 metre (300 foot) tower where it produces steam to drive a turbine. The lines in the photograph are due to reflections on the solar panels. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo (SPAIN) - RTR1X1BR
Researchers from Japan have found a new way to make solar panels almost three times more efficient that enables them to last longer than they do at present.
Countries and industries, the world over, are shifting to cleaner sources of energy mainly due to depleting natural resources. Solar energy, alongside wind, hydro energy among others are some preferred options by governments and multinationals.
However, the cost of maintenance and lifetime functionality discourage people to invest in renewable energy systems.
But now, a Japanese institute has claimed to come up with a solution to this problem. The scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University believe they have resolved a fundamental weakness in the current generation solar cells
Perovskite Solar Cells (PSCs) are next-generation solar energy cells that are cheap to manufacture and are efficient than the panels that are used currently. These solar cells are far more efficient to convert sunlight into usable electricity.
What lacked earlier?
The current generation silicon cells used in panels are far more expensive and less efficient than PSCs, a reason for which the latter has gained a lot of attention from scientists.
A study has proven that the use of titanium dioxide in current and previous generation cells has limited the use and lifetime of these panels.
Scientists replaced the titanium dioxide with tin dioxide that is a stronger conductor and does not degrade as fast as the titanium dioxide.
The researchers made changes by the application of tin dioxide making it more stable, efficient and stable, almost three times more than the current form.
How does it help India?
This could be particularly helpful for India where the use of solar energy is on the rise. For instance, Mumbai Metro has recently incorporated the use of solar panels. As per data, 30% of their power demand is met by solar energy.
Kochi International Airport which was inaugurated last year is run on and was even awarded UN’s highest environmental accolade for being the first international airport for being fully functional on solar energy.