An original approach to mass-producing low-cost solar cell foundation blocks could lead to the wide adoption of solar panels made from perovskite ink – a “miracle material” – according to research from the University of Surrey.

Dr Ehsan Rezaee, a post-doctoral fellow of the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) at the University of Surrey, explained his research in the paper published in Scientific Reports.

Rezaee said, “The objective is simply to produce solar cell building blocks out of perovskite ink. Whilst perovskite ink is not a new technology, current inks do not guarantee seamless transitions on an industrial scale, as the manufacturing process needs to be highly controlled and optimized. Our perovskite ink produces a fast and reproducible way to reliably fabricate these solar cell building blocks on a mass scale, paving the way for its use in commercial markets.”

The graphic image shows the perovskite molecules. the molecules embedded into the substrate and a solar cell roll being printed. Image Credit: Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey. The research sturdy paper link more misinform. and images.

Perovskite solar cells are a low-cost, lightweight solution and can be built either rigid or flexible, with more possibilities to easily transport and install. The new study examines the foundation blocks of solar cells made of perovskite rather than the traditional silicon, as perovskite cells harvest light through the visible part of the solar spectrum, which has more energy.

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the ATI at the University of Surrey, said: “The University of Surrey has always believed in the potential of solar panels to be a critical research area which will, in time, allow us to move away from dangerous old energy sources. However, we must do more to improve the connection between research and production on a mass industry scale in order to see this as a future turning point, which is the purpose of our paper.”

The University of Surrey is a leading research institution that focuses on sustainability for the benefit of society to deal with the many challenges of climate change. It is also committed to improving its own resource efficiency on its own estate in Guildford and being a sector leader. It has set a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. In April, it was ranked 55th in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings which assesses more than 1,400 universities’ performance against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This is the first claim of scalability for perovskite inks that your humble writer has seen. The information needed for replication and possible prototyping a process are said to be in the paper. Plus the journal that published is one of the reputable ones so there has been some peer review.

There is commercial scale to consider, with the claims that the Russian war on Ukraine is a great incentive for renewables, it might be some time until capital is willing make a leap into a new technology that is still in the lab. Then there is the risk that proven up, the communist Chinese will simply steal the tech and under price everyone else on product price.

Its harder now than in the past to get new technology into the market.


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