Paving the way for lead-free perovskites

Scientists in Germany and China have developed an additive which greatly improved the performance of a tin-based perovskite solar cell. Cells fabricated with the additive reached 9.1% efficiency, and the researchers say their work opens up many new possibilities to improve the performance of lead-free perovskites.

A closer look at battery degradation, assisted by machine learning

Scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in the U.S. have developed a machine learning algorithm that can identify and track individual particles within a lithium-ion battery cell. Their findings shed more light on how the batteries lose performance over time, and could challenge previous assumptions of scientists working to develop batteries with longer lifetimes.

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Investigating backsheets and ultraviolet stability

Five testing laboratories led by Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE have begun a ‘round robin’ project to test the effects of ultraviolet light on polymer backsheet materials. Initial results indicate a route to accurate accelerated testing of backsheet UV stability over module lifetimes of 20 years-plus.

Perovskites thrive under pressure

Scientists in the U.S. and Nigeria have studied the effects of pressure on perovskite solar cell production and found the correct application could improve cell efficiency by as much as 40% (relative). Push them too hard though, and they crack.

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The weekend read: New technologies mean new approaches

Measuring the performance of a solar cell is a tricky affair, and even more so for new technologies such as perovskites and tandem cells. In the laboratory, these are measured over a period of several minutes to ensure accurate characterization. But as technology continues its journey toward commercial production, ensuring an accurate power rating without slowing down the manufacturing process presents a new challenge both for suppliers of flash testing equipment and those working on bringing perovskite solar cells and tandem devices featuring them to market.

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Wearable ‘honeycomb’ lithium-ion battery

Scientists in South Korea have worked with graphene and carbon nanotubes to develop a working lithium-ion battery that can be stretched by up to 50% without damage to any of the components. According to the scientists, the battery represents a significant step in the development of wearable or body-implantable electronic devices.

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The week in perovskites

As a focus of research at leading institutes the world over, new developments in the perovskite field come thick and fast almost every week. From x-ray observations on a nanoscale to financing and plans for mass production, pv magazine is bringing together some of the most exciting developments of recent weeks.

Instant battery electrodes – just two minutes in the microwave

Scientists in the United States have used microwaves to convert ubiquitous plastic packaging material polyethylene terephthalate into a battery electrode component. The researchers say anodes based on the material could be suitable for both lithium-ion and sodium-ion devices.

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A new path opens to perovskite development

Scientists in the United States claim to have proven the existence of an atomic-scale phenomenon in a perovskite material. Using powerful, ultra-fast bursts of light, the group was able to capture images of the ‘Rashba effects’ within the material. The researchers say the phenomenon could be harnessed to create new opportunities for PV and other perovskite-based devices.

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A closer look at clouds to optimize energy forecasts

A group of scientists in the United States has developed a weather forecasting model designed to better predict the solar irradiation that a given area will receive. The model uses satellite data to estimate the light transmission properties of clouds, a metric often overlooked in standard weather forecasting, but nonetheless vital in modeling PV energy yield.

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