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Month: March 2024

“Racing” Toward Perovskites – TL;DR

From CleanTechnica:

In a new paper published February 26 in the journal Nature Energy, a CU Boulder researcher and his international collaborators unveiled an innovative method to manufacture the new solar cells, known as perovskite cells, an achievement critical for the commercialization of what many consider the next generation of solar technology.

Here’s the TL;DR – No, perovskites are not dramatically closer to being commercially viable. They found they could reduce oxidation in open air (which is what kills the performance of perovskites over time) by mixing dimethylammonium formate with the perovskite solution before it’s sprayed onto the panel. This allows for retained performance of 90% after 700 hours, up from 300 hours. As the article notes, there are over 8000 hrs in a year.

Still have a ways to go.

Tesla Roof comparisons by Matt Ferrell

Absolutely fantastic video from Matt Ferrell here. He does a pretty fair apples-to-apples comparison between his more typical solar setup and Paul Braren from‘s Tesla solar roof installation. Where I often see very abstract cost comparisons to Tesla’s solar roof, this takes a look at the costs and benefits in a ton of different ways. Both systems are definitely higher in cost than your typical solar install, but the comparisons are fair and useful! Loved this.

Fiberglass PV Frames?!

From pv magazine:

“This composite material is used in applications such as wind turbine blades, to withstand wind pressure, vibration and centrifugal force, as well as railway tracks, to withstand the pressure and vibration of passing trains,” a spokesperson from the company told pv magazine. “Fiberglass-reinforced composite materials have been used for over 20 years in outdoor environments and fields with higher load requirements, with countless successful application cases.”

Fiberglass-reinforced composite for panel frames is fascinating on a number of levels.

  • Panel frame wouldn’t need grounded, which is a very weird thing to think about.
  • Would it make the panel heavier or lighter than aluminum frames? Presumably heavier.
  • Not having to deal with any leakage to ground through the panel frame in 20 years might actually lead to better longevity.
  • Then again, I don’t know how fiberglass-reinforced composite will fare after 30-40 years in direct sun. We know the silicon lasts forever if it’s treated well, but will the composite match aluminum’s durability?
  • This would be worse for recycling

What do you think?