Showing posts with label solar energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label solar energy. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Perovskite PV: IDTechEx Discusses Resolving the Stability Challenge


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(Press release Tuesday 26 July 2022, IDTechEx Cambridge, UK)

Perovskite PV: IDTechEx Discusses Resolving the Stability Challenge

Perovskite PV is an exciting new solar power technology. In 2009, the first report of a perovskite solar cell was published with an efficiency of just 3.9%. Just 10 years later, the record efficiencies surpassed 25% – comparable to conventional silicon technology following decades of research. Given the novelty of the technology, the rapid gains in efficiency are impressive; however, high efficiency is not the only promising attribute. Perovskite solar modules are significantly lighter than conventional silicon modules and can even be fabricated on flexible lightweight substrates. Versatility in module design makes them well-suited to a wide range of emerging applications such as self-powered electronics and Internet of Things devices. The new report published by IDTechEx, “Perovskite Photovoltaics 2023-2033”, explores the commercialization potential of perovskite PV and identify the challenges remaining.

What is perovskite PV?

Perovskites refer to a family of materials with a specific material structure. The class of perovskites used in photovoltaics (PV) have a unique combination of electronic and optical properties that make it extremely well-suited to PV technology. Perovskite PV can provide similarly high-power density as silicon PV at lower cost, a fraction of the weight, and with a simpler manufacturing process. It can also be combined with silicon to create tandem cell architectures that can surpass the efficiency limits of single junction solar cells.

Efficiency gains dampened by stability concerns

Despite the demonstration of high-efficiency perovskite modules, commercial adoption has been inhibited by concerns over long-term stability. Instability has a severely damaging effect on the electronic and optical properties of the module. There exist several sources of degradation that impact the stability and longevity of a perovskite module. These can be divided into two categories – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic instability is caused by defects and the migration of ions through the cell layers. Extrinsic instability is a result of contamination from the atmosphere, such as heat, moisture, oxygen, and UV radiation.

How can the stability challenge be resolved? There are two methods. The first is to encapsulate the cell to prevent the ingress of environmental elements. The transmittance rates of oxygen and water must be extremely low, and the encapsulant material must be optically transparent to visible light and ideally non-transparent to UV light. In the IDTechEx report, “Perovskite Photovoltaics 2023-2033”, different conventional and emerging encapsulation methods are identified and benchmarked by their suitability. The second method involves tuning the perovskite’s chemical composition to improve the resistance of the material. As the saying goes, nothing good comes for free. Modifying the chemical composition can improve the stability of the solar cell but may impact other properties such as efficiency and absorption spectrum. Encapsulation techniques and material engineering are crucial to preventing the degradation of the perovskite film. Solving these high-value problems is a compelling commercial opportunity.

There exist numerous sources of instability within perovskite solar cells. Source: IDTechEx

Progress and Route to Commercialization

Resolving perovskite PV stability issues is challenging, with many strategies bringing performance trade-offs or extra costs. Nevertheless, the field has come a long way in its understanding of degradation mechanisms, and substantial progress has been made. Advancements in stabilizing perovskite solar cells have helped to transition the technology from academia to industry. Several companies, such as Oxford PV and Saule Technologies, are poised to enter the unestablished perovskite PV market within the next 2-3 years, with pilot studies and trials currently in progress. For a detailed comparison of the technology readiness levels of the key industry players, emerging applications, primary information, and market forecasts for the coming decade, please visit

Report Overview

The new IDTechEx report, “Perovskite Photovoltaics 2023-2033”, gives 10-year market forecasts, key player analysis, technology benchmarking, and identification of core application areas. It examines the current status and latest trends in photovoltaic technology, supply chain, and manufacturing know-how. It also identifies the key challenges, competition, and innovation opportunities facing perovskite PV. Technical analysis and emerging trends are based on cutting-edge research and primary information from key and emerging players. This report focuses primarily on photovoltaic applications of perovskites and also provides an overview of alternative (non-photovoltaic) applications.

To find out more about this report, please visit or contact Downloadable sample pages are available.

About IDTechEx

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research, Subscription and Consultancy products, helping you profit from emerging technologies. For more information, contact or visit

Media Contact:

Natalie Fifield

Digital Marketing Manager

+44(0)1223 812300

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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

100% Solar-Powered House: a Realistic Goal or an Unattainable Dream



Living in a 100% solar-powered house is a dream for many people who care for nature and aim to have a green lifestyle. Is it a realistic goal or an unattainable dream? In fact, this is a real possibility, and today there are many houses that run on solar power alone. It is certainly possible for a residential solar power system to collect and store enough solar energy to power an entire household. Even if you have a large house, there is a possibility to switch completely to solar energy using batteries.  A solar power system and solar thermal system (or PVT photovoltaic thermal hybrid) can provide solar electricity, hot water, heating, and cooling so, you can run your house solely on solar energy throughout the whole year. Of course, going solar entirely is not as easy as it seems, and it is definitely not cheap. Also, you have to consider some basic things before going off-grid. And you have to be very precise during the planning.

First, you should determine your energy needs – how much energy your house typically uses. You may see your previous electricity bills, as well as, calculate your electricity needs using online calculators. Also, important factors are the size of your house, how many people live there, the roof’s surface, what direction the roof faces, trees around that may shade, your location, and peak sunlight hours. You may take a look at meteorological data for your area, too. This information will help you plan a solar panel system that will make enough electricity. Concerning the weather forecast, you should be prepared for the worst scenario.

Solar energy is free, but to convert this energy to electricity, you will need equipment that is expensive, especially if you want to power your entire house. You will need a solid initial investment before reaching the moment when you and your family will enjoy free and clean electricity. But think of it as a long-term investment. Although to use solar energy you will need the equipment and installing that equipment, which comes at a high price, solar energy is now among the least expensive forms of renewable energy. And if you care for the environment and want to have a green lifestyle, going solar is the right step.

There are also energy-related incentives and rebates that will help you reduce the cost of your solar power system. Keep in mind that the benefits vary in different countries and different states that’s why you have to check them carefully. Taking advantage of grants, tax credits, and per-watt rebates might make the initial investment more affordable for you.

To power your entire home with solar energy you will need to buy more solar panels. But the number of solar panels is not all that matters. Their quality, panel output, and efficiency are important, as well. Most residential solar panels have between 16%-20% efficiency (22% are the best). If you can afford to buy more efficient solar panels, then you would need less space. It is essential to find a good solar installation company that will help you choose the best solar panels for your home and design, and install your solar panel system. It is great to do your own research and have as much information as you can gather before going solar, but professional help and advice are absolutely needed. 

In general, the average home in the United States uses 10,715 kWh of electricity per year. If you buy the average 340-watt solar panel, you’d need around 20-24 solar panels to generate enough energy to power your entire home. But as I wrote above, you have to consider many other factors.

Living in a 100% solar-powered house is possible with a solid initial investment and a proper setup. It will make your home more eco-friendly, and it will be good for the environment. Besides, this is a long-term investment and powering, heating, and cooling your home with solar energy will save you a lot of money in the future.


Saturday, February 19, 2022

Solar Energy Trends to Watch Out For


Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

(Guest post by Enrique Hormillo)

There’s never been a better time to adopt solar energy than today. Having solar panels installed in homes and offices is now more affordable than it was 20 years ago, with numerous companies offering quality products and services in this booming industry.

Moreover, people are becoming more aware of the dangers that traditional sources of power present. For example, 2020 registered hotter average temperatures than the average 20th-century records. The constant threat of global warming looms more prominently with each passing day.

Suppose you’re interested in installing solar panels in your home or office. In that case, it pays to learn about the latest trends surrounding the use of solar power. Having a good idea of the current landscape for solar energy can help you make worthwhile purchases and improve your quality of life in the long run.

Some of these trends can immediately transform how you benefit from using solar energy. It’s also possible you won’t immediately see how solar power can directly affect your day-to-day activities. However, you can be sure that solar energy will play a vital role in residences, offices, and other essential facilities in the coming years.

Trend 1: Solar Energy Costs Will Continue to Drop

While it is still not the most popular mode of power generation worldwide—only 2% of the United States’ overall electricity generation is solar-powered—it’s hard not to expect solar energy to become the preferred mode in the long run.

One of the biggest reasons behind this is the technology is continuously improving. Therefore, a better way of producing solar power is always being developed day in and day out. You can expect these methods to be more cost-efficient than their predecessors.

Another reason for this is the amount of available supply. While oil reserves will eventually run out, solar power will always be a stable source of power that can provide electricity for generations to come.

Trend 2: Increased Installation of Solar Shingles

This trend is somewhat connected to the previous one, as lower prices mean more people becoming enticed to try getting solar panels for their property. Therefore, expect more people to bring this technology to their homes or buildings should the first trend become more prevalent.

The price of solar panels in the Philippines shows encouraging signs for interested individuals and companies. While panels that generate decent electricity can cost you more than PHP 10,000, there are affordable alternatives to help more people get into the movement.

Trend 3: Europe Will Look to Adopt Renewable Energy More in the Coming Years

As the pandemic reduced the overall power demand, various countries in Europe have looked to incorporate more solar farms into their power grid. With 40% of the continent’s electricity coming from renewable sources, it paints an encouraging picture of how the world would look like if powered by renewable energy.

Of course, there’s an entirely different conversation to be had when all industries resume 100% operations and go back to full power. Still, the fact that the EU managed to pull this off provides a blueprint for the world to follow.

Trend 4: There Will Be Jobs in Solar Energy

As prices for installing and maintaining solar energy systems become more affordable, the demand will naturally increase. This increase in demand only means that there will be more solar panel installation jobs, which necessitates openings for solar panel installers.

This trend is much-needed for an economy that is still recovering from the blows it incurred amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With 81 million people in the Asia Pacific region alone losing their jobs due to the pandemic, having more industries that can generate work is surely a welcome change.

Trend 5: Climate Change Will Drive Interest Towards Solar Power

It’s an unfortunate reality, but climate change is driving more people to switch to solar power and other renewable forms of energy. As temperatures continue to rise and sea levels increase, there will be a more concerted effort to use renewable energy to protect the planet.

Why You Should Switch to Solar Energy

There are plenty of reasons why making the switch from traditional power generation to solar energy is an excellent choice. Of course, the most obvious reason for the change is its environmental impact. Still, it also positively affects other aspects of our lives.

The first perk we will get from solar energy is the lessened levels of air pollution that are produced due to the burning of fossil fuels. Solar power also reduces the water used during the process, which gives people more water to drink and use.

Besides protecting our planet, switching to solar energy also lessens our dependence on non-renewable energy sources. They also help us save money in the long run as it cuts our utility bills. Finally, the industry will create jobs for people around the world.

Make the Switch Today

There’s never been an easier time to cut on your power bills than today. With solar energy becoming more and more popular, installing it in your home or business will become more affordable over time.

Indeed, it’s safe to say the earth and your wallet will thank you for using solar energy.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Why Now is the Right Time to Switch to the Solar Powered Lifestyle


solar energy

(Guest post by 
Rich Feola)

Have you found yourself intrigued by the thought of switching your home’s energy power to solar? It is sure to have crossed every homeowner’s mind as solar energy growth exploded during the past decade. In the United States, it remains one of the top two renewable energy sources with no sign of slowing down. 

The exponential growth in the solar industry is proof that millions of homeowners have discovered the benefits of solar energy. Yet others are in the same boat as you and hesitant to make that switch. 

However, when you realize the shift away from traditional power sources means you are not only bringing down your electric costs but also decreasing your effect on nature’s domain, the decision to go solar becomes an easy one. Let’s review just a few benefits you will see when you invest in solar solutions for your home.

Lower those soaring utility costs.

I am from Las Vegas where the sun is always shining and air conditioning is a must. You wouldn’t believe the astonishing advantages of solar energy. Unfortunately, many homeowners are oblivious to just how beneficial solar power could be to their life. 

One of the most clear-cut benefits of solar panels is the ability to hedge utility prices. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average United States resident used roughly 10,649 kilowatt hours in 2019 at a cost of around $1,950 dollars for the year. 

You will begin experiencing savings on those high utility costs the minute your solar panels are installed. Holding off any longer means you are stuck paying those extreme electric costs each month. If you pull the plug now, that is an extra $1,950 you could have in your pocket this time next year.

But the most important factor is how electricity rates rise each year by an average of 6%. This means that your energy bill will cost you double in ten years’ time! If you had invested in solar ten years ago, your own personal power plant would have saved you tens of thousands and you wouldn’t have to worry about the rising cost of electricity on the grid. In fact, many states and local utilities even pay you a credit for the extra energy you produce and transfer to the grid through solar energy.

It should be noted there are a number of variables that will determine the total financial returns you can expect from solar during its lifetime, but with a high quality photovoltaic solar system in place, whatever those costs are will be lowered significantly as your home uses an environmentally friendly way to power itself each day. 

If utility prices continue to rise as expected, those savings will do nothing but surge as time goes on. Going solar is the only way to help protect against these unpredictable increases.

Take advantage of incentives.

Today’s market is experiencing a progressive government attitude towards solar energy, which has resulted in attractive solar power tax rebates at both the federal and state levels. 

In addition to significant tax credits and rebates in place to encourage homeowners to go solar, the installation cost of panels has significantly dropped. As the government continues to incentivize the continued growth of the solar industry, it is important to take advantage while you still can. 

In other good news for today’s shoppers, it costs roughly 70 percent less than it did a decade ago to install a residential solar energy system. Combined with the rebates, your total costs could be potentially cut in half making it the perfect time to use photovoltaic technology. 

There also are an abundance of financing options available if you don’t have the funds for an upfront purchase. If you don’t have the money on-hand, there is most likely a financing option suited just for you, which means you don’t have to outlay any cash upfront for the switch to solar energy.

Reduce your carbon footprint.

Solar energy is clean energy, and I don’t think it is reaching to assume we all want that. Solar systems use pure energy from our sun, helping to combat gas emissions and reduce our collective dependence on fossil fuel. Solar panels absorb D/C current from the sun and convert it to A/C electricity through an inverter which is included in your installation.

Did you know solar can reduce your home’s carbon footprint by more than 3,000 pounds annually? That equals 15,000 pounds of CO2 each and every year. That’s pretty amazing.

Solar panels protect your home, too.

While solar panels are busy helping out the environment, they also protect your home. They start at the very top of your house by extending the life of your roof as it shields it from harmful elements like snow, ice, rain and debris. Likewise, it absorbs the sun and keeps it from beating down on the roof directly. 

Homebuyers also know they have struck gold when they come across a home for sale with solar panels, which increases your value. This provides you a large return on your investment if you ever decide to sell your home. Many local real estate markets see an increase of a home’s value by as much as $26,000 if a solar system is intalled.

As awareness has increased on the importance of reducing our carbon footprint on the environment and financing options have become more readily available, the solar market continues to increase, but is it the right choice for your family? 

Only you can answer that question, but doing research on how solar energy works and the science behind it will help you feel confident in your investment. There is an abundance of information on the long-term benefits of solar on platforms such as YouTube for homeowners ready to go solar. 

It also is important to find the right company. I know from helping solar companies in 39 states that finding the right one for you will pay off in great rewards both environmentally and financially.

Rich Feola is the Founder of the Solar Exclusive, an 8-figure advertising company that generates unique, qualified leads and appointments for solar companies. Solar Exclusive works with solar companies in over 39 states. Rich’s work has been featured in Digital Journal, Yahoo Finance, NBC and Fox among other publications. Want to skyrocket the success of your solar business with top-notch leads? Visit this link to find out more:

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Styles Solar Ice-Cream Van


Styles Solar Ice-Cream Van
                              Image credit:

Britain’s first solar ice-cream van is a concept of David Baker, the owner of Styles Farmhouse Ice-Cream, based in Rodhuish, Somerset. He designed Styles Solar Ice-Cream Van to reduce fumes from diesel engines at festivals. The Styles Solar Van idea came up to him in 2016 after customers, show directors, and event organisers complained about the diesel fumes from its regular vans.

The prototype was ready in 2018 and it consisted of four solar panels. The current model has eight solar panels and was ready in May 2019. Besides solar panels on the top, the van has a big bank of batteries inside. The solar panels and the battery storage power the freezers, ice-cream makers, and coffee machines. “In full sun the van can operate for up to five to six days. On cloudy days it will run for two to three days. The system can be fully recharged using mains electricity in just four hours.”- says Baker

The solar van is built on the Peugeot Boxer Van, though other van types can be used, too. Its latest Euro 6 low emission engine will get you wherever you want but when you are on site selling ice-cream you can rely entirely on solar energy. 

The Style Solar Van has been serving ice-cream to thousands across the UK five months of the year. Baker says that his team has attended around 160 events, including music festivals and agricultural shows. He estimates that solar energy saves him around £4,000, or nearly $5,000 a year. 

Baker’s family has farmed 300-acre land for 119 years. They were growing wheat, barley and oats, and milking cows and sheep. In 1988, Baker decided to diversify his business into making and selling luxury ice-cream in order to get more income. 

Currently, Baker concentrates more on the ice-cream side of the business while other farmers cultivate crops on his land and milk the cows. Styles Farmhouse Ice Cream now has 50 employees and supplies 250 luxury ice-cream shops and works events.

On 3 December, 2019, Styles Solar Ice-Cream Van participated at Somerset County Council’s climate emergency business summit, at Taunton Rugby Club. The van was an example of how local businesses are responding to climate change by reducing their carbon footprint. This summit is part of the county council’s plan to work towards making Somerset carbon-neutral by 2030, by involving local companies in strategies that will help reduce air pollution.

The eco-friendly vehicles officially debuted at the Ice Cream and Artisan Food Show in Harrogate, the United Kingdom which took place between 11-13 February, 2020. Styles Solar Ice-Cream Van is now available commercially and it can be ordered here.


Monday, January 13, 2020

How to Harvest Solar Energy on Cloudy Days


Image credit: SunModo

Talking about solar energy without sunlight, it is interesting to see how solar energy can be harvest on cloudy days. 

Even on cloudy days, there’s still solar energy send down to earth from the sun. And although solar panels don’t produce as much electricity as they do on sunny days, they have been shown to produce 25% of what they produce on a sunny day, or 10% when it’s very cloudy. The exact amount will vary depending on the density of the clouds, and may also vary by the type of solar panel - some kinds of panels are better at receiving diffuse light. SunPower solar cells, for example, have been designed to capture a broader range of the solar spectrum. By capturing more red and blue wavelengths, their solar panels can generate more electricity even when it’s overcast.

We may assume that solar panels thrive in hot, sunny weather, but too much heat can also reduce solar panel output 10-15%. The very hot climate isn't the best condition for them. Most solar panels' power outputs start to degrade if the temperature of the panel goes over about 25°C. 

Solar power can work well in areas known for cloudy, cold weather. For example, New York, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Boston, and Seattle. These cites often have bad weather, from blizzards to rain and fog. However, each of these cities tops the list of those that see major savings due to solar power installations. And rain helps to keep the panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust, pollen, and dirt. Clean panels turn out the most electricity.

San Francisco is well known for its foggy days with cool weather but rooftop solar power systems in San Francisco do function well. The amount of direct sunlight is reduced by fog and clouds, but as already was said, solar panels function better at cooler temperatures, so the electricity output in San Francisco is still significant. Using a home solar power system there can save approximately $1,500 per year on utility bills.

Germany is the fourth-largest PV market in the world that's famous for its lack of sunlight. Germany accounts for about 25 percent of the world's solar power output and achieved its strongest growth in half a decade during 2018, according to a recent Greentech Media article

Going solar is about saving on your energy costs as well as helping our planet and the weather can’t be an obstacle.

And if we choose to rely on solar panels for our home electricity use, we can also use a solar battery system to save money by storing free energy for use when it’s cloudy or for night use. Solar batteries have been around for a while, but up until recently, the costs were very high, the equipment was bulky and they were difficult to use. Except for people who lived off the grid, they weren’t so good investment. But that has changed in recent years. The price of solar batteries has dropped and in many cases, they are now an excellent investment for homeowners in cloudy regions who want to reduce their electricity bills.

Sources: Cleantechnika & Powerhome

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Organic Solar Cells Break New Efficiency Record: 17.3%


In recent years, scientists have been trying to find a way to improve the efficiency of organic photovoltaic cells. Some researchers have even thought that organic solar cells may never improve beyond 15 percent. Solar cells based on silicon, by comparison, are in the 18 to 22 percent range.

But in a new effort, the researchers in China have developed an organic photovoltaic cell that converts 17.3% of the energy in sunlight into electricity. 

“Organic solar cells have been studied for many years, but they’re still relatively young compared to silicon,” said Chen Yongsheng, a chemist at Nankai University in North China's Tianjin. “We still don’t understand their device performance very well.” 

Chen's group used tandem cells, which are put together by different layers of organic materials. Previous designs for tandem organic cells have failed to tap into the abundant solar energy of the near-infrared range, but Chen’s team addressed this issue. 

They used a non-fullerene acceptor molecule known as O6T-4F, which was able to work better at this wavelength. They then combined that with a layer containing a relatively new electron acceptor, called F-M for short, which the team had earlier developed. This material was shown to be an excellent match for its electrical properties and could absorb visible light.

"Different layers of the tandem cells can absorb different wavelengths of light. That means you can use sunlight in the wider wavelengths more efficiently and achieve a higher power conversion rate," Dr. Chen Yongsheng said.

"There’s no reason why an organic solar cell can’t have a similar or higher performance to silicon or perovskites,” according to Chen.



The breakthrough is published in the journal Science

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Solar City Tower Waterfall for Rio Olympics 2016


Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, was selected for the 2016 Olympic Games and it is planning on building a massive solar powered artificial waterfall called "Solar City Tower", designed by Swiss (Zürich-based) company - RAFAA Architecture & Design.

The 344.5-foot tall (105 meters) Solar City Tower is going to be located on the small Cotonduba Island in Guanabara Bay. The enormous waterfall is almost twice the height of Niagara Falls and will be large enough to accommodate the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies. It is one of the first buildings that are being designed for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

This solar energy generating tower will be using many solar panels to produse electricity for the Olympic village by day. Any excess energy would be used to pump seawater into reservoirs at the top, so that it can be released by night as a spectacular waterfall. The falling water would also help turbines create electricity for the nighttime village.

In addition to producing energy, the Solar City Tower would have an elevator to take visitors to the very top of the tower, where a “glass sky walk” offers panoramic views of the surrounding harbor and Rio. There's even a platform at 297 feet (90.5) that provides bungee jumping. The giant tower would also house an auditorium, cafeteria, shop and amphitheater on the ground level.

The Solar City Tower is RAFAA’s entry in the International Architecture Competition for the 2016 Olympics, where the Brazilian metropolis aims to represent the green city of the future and hope to achieve its goal to host the first-ever zero-carbon Olympics.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Solar Energy and Solar Power


Solar energy and solar power are two terms that are often used interchangeably but actually they are not the same thing. They both mean to receive and use solar rays, but more specifically solar power refers to electricity generated from the sun's light.

Solar PV PanelSolar energy is a more generic term and it describes all the uses of the light and heat from the sun. That includes solar power generation, but also solar thermal for water heating, space heating and cooling, and heat for industrial processes. Solar energy includes also passive solar energy that uses building orientation, design and materials to heat and cool buildings. 

Solar power is generated directly using photovoltaic (PV) technology. Solar PV panels (made from a semiconductor material) harness sunlight to create electricity to run appliances and lighting in your home. The electricity created by the solar system is direct current (DC), and the electricity we use in our homes is alternating currents (AC). Thus solar systems need an inverter which changes the DC current into useable AC current.

There are also concentrating solar power systems. They concentrate the sunlight using mirrors or lenses onto a receiver to produce heat. Then the heat can be used to generate electricity through steam turbines.

Solar energy is clean, environment-friendly, and most abundant renewable energy source we can use. In my next few posts, I will write about producing your own solar electricity by installing solar PV panels on the rooftop of your house, and what basic information householders need to know at the beginning.

Monday, April 14, 2008



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