Swift Solar, a startup in Silicon Valley, is revolutionizing solar technology by aiming to manufacture solar panels that are very lightweight, economical, and highly efficient. Instead of using wafer-based solar panel technology, they are working on a thin film-based solar technology with a new semiconductor named Perovskite which will gear up the efficiency game in solar power competition.
Difference between solar panels and perovskites solar power
The usual solar panels installed in homes are wafer-based panels that get covered within glass frames, which are a maximum of up to 20% efficient. Meanwhile, single-junction solar technology can reach up to 33%, but that makes it expensive in manufacturing within old wafer-based technology system. A single-junction solar panel can’t absorb the whole solar spectrum, leaving a lot of helpful photon spectrum wasted. That is something that doesn’t happen with perovskites solar panels.
Perovskites offer unique opportunities for the future of solar. In today’s episode of our learning series on climate and solar energy, CTO @LeijtensTomas will walk us through the advantages of perovskites in solar technology. Let us know what you think! https://t.co/6G6kfvy85l
— Swift Solar (@SwiftSolarPV) January 20, 2022
Perovskite is a new semiconductor that doesn’t require specific material, but any material with a crystal structure having the formula ABX3 can form perovskites. It is found in the shape of Calcium Titanium Oxide, but Swift Solar makes hybrid perovskites combining organic and inorganic salts.
Swift Solar makes thin film-based solar panels that consume 10-1,000 times less material to make solar panels. They are so wafer-thin and lightweight that multiple thin films get installed over each other to absorb maximum photo spectrum, improving the efficiency of the solar power system.
The process of combining several perovskite thin films gets is called tandem, which increases the efficiency of the solar panel by over 40 to 46%. SwiftSolar claims that efficiency can go up to 86% by installing more and more layers of their perovskites method, but that will make it very expensive, and that is why today their efficiency limit stands by 40 to 46%.
Swift Solar secures financing to expand perovskite R&D: The financing round was led by GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij and cryptocurrency expert James Fickel. The company will use the proceeds to expand R&D, develop prototypes and… https://t.co/03Fm39OuQA #solarenergy #solarpv #solar pic.twitter.com/EYCGpBfwR9
— pv magazine (@pvmagazine) December 16, 2020
Why prefer perovskites solar power?
Perovskites fascinatingly use only 1% of the material to manufacture a panel compared to silicon-based solar panels. Silicon crystallization process requires above 1,000 ̊ Celsius temperature. Meanwhile, perovskites get ready within 100 ̊Celsius, which allows manufacturing a product at a lower cost which is 10-25% more efficient. Swift Solar’s product is so lightweight that can be painted over buildings and installed over cars.
Swift Solar is not yet ready to commercialize perovskite solar technology as it needs a lot of engineering details to answer different temperatures, weather conditions, and lifespan competition. However, the prospect opens the door to the future of IoT by providing power at low manufacturing cost, easy installation, and high efficiency.