New technology could help develop low-cost solar cell

There is good news that an economical manufacturing method for producing low-cost solar cells is coming up. This follows researchers making strides in overcoming the hurdle of the temperature gradient in developing a low-temperature production process. Thanks to researchers at the University of Toronto, the making of perovskite solar cells is looking easy in sharp contrast to the costly development of silicon solar cells. Hairen Tan of the University’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and the team successfully crossed the hurdle of making low-cost solar devices called perovskite solar cells. The new method offers cost advantage plus a prospect of printing solar cells just like newspapers with grand economies of scale.

“Economies of scale have greatly reduced the cost of silicon manufacturing,” said Ted Sargent, an expert in emerging solar technologies and the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology. Silicon solar cells are made of crystalline slices of silicon. To make these, complex processes are involved including acute processing methods to attain high purity levels and energy-intensive temperature escalation methods to reach 1,000 degrees Celsius. It also involves hazardous solvents of high volumes. Perovskite solar cells, unlike silicon cells, need only simple techniques such as dip coating, spin coating, thermal evaporation, and vacuum-led crystallisation.