Perovskite Solar Cell Technology of Oxford PV, The Potential Game-Changer

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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At InterSolar North America 2014 in San Francisco, CA, I came across a potentially game-changing technology that holds much promise for low cost solar power in the future.  This technology, the perovskite thin-film solar cells, is currently being developed by Oxford PV (a spin-out from the University of Oxford in 2009-2010 to commercialize this technology, which has exclusively licensed the intellectual property developed by Professor Henry Snaith and his team of 20 scientists). The perovskite thin-film solar cells can be directly printed/sprayed onto glass to produce a semi-transparent colored coating. Below is an interview with the Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Christopher Case, of Oxford PV:


The apparent enthusiasm of Dr. Case is seen in his discussion of the perovskite cell technology. One can understand the source of Dr. Case’s enthusiasm. According to Dr. Case, “the perovskite in solar application is the fastest increasing photovoltaic efficiency of any solar photovoltaic thin film material ever! In just a few years, it went from a lab efficiency of about 6% to well over 17%…the material is a very good solar absorber….bringing the material to 25% efficiency in a monolithic layer and 30%+ in a perovskite tandem layer….potentially the future replacement for silicon.” This perovskite solar cell technology is optimized to drive a paradigm shift in the aesthetics, performance, and cost of BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaic) systems, potentially bringing low cost electricity to the solar market much sooner than predicted. It is no wonder the highly respected international journal, Nature, has named Dr. Henry Snaith of University of Oxford as one of the ten people who have made the most difference in science during 2013 in recognition of his work on this next generation solar power technology. Let’s also take a look at the comparison between Convetional PV vs. Oxford PV, below (provided by www.oxfordpv.com):

 

Conventional PV                                                                         Oxford PV_________________

Opaque                                                                                      Range of transparency options

Blue or Black                                                                              Palette of colors and tints

Contains scarce elements and rare earths                                  Sustainable, abundant, organic ingredients

Complex, high temperature and high vacuum manufacturing    Simple screen printing manufacturing processes

High capital cost of manufacturing                                            Low capital cost of manufacturing

Heavy panels physically attached to building                          Aesthetically attractive glazing panels integrated into the building envelope

__________________________________________________________________________________

Without using the titanium dioxide as a semiconductor, this technology results in higher levels of efficiency, much lower processing temperature, and improved cell stability. Oxford PV plans on continuing to optimize this technology’s cell efficiency and accelerate the transfer of the technology into production. Furthermore, it aims to develop the range of substrates to which the cells can be applied.

Oxford PV has a strong supporting team (such as Kevin ArthurDr. David Fyfe, Paul Vickery, etc.) With its promising future, we, the solar enthusiasts and investors alike, should keep our eyes on Oxford PV in the coming years.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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