Physicist and businesswoman Olga Malinkiewicz has developed a processing method for perovskites that has the potential to increase the usage of solar panels across the world by making them cheap.
What are Perovskites?
- Identified in 1830s by German mineralogist Gustav Rose, Perovskite is a mineral made of calcium titanium oxide.
- The structure of the mineral allows to place many cations into it.
Perovskite As Solar Cells
- Perovskite compound with leador tin halide-based material acts as a light harvesting layer. And evidently suits as a solar cell to be coated on solar panels.
- Such solar panels are light, inexpensive, flexible and efficient.
- They have varying degrees of transparency and comes with various hues.
- It was in 2009 Japanese researcher Tsutomu Miyasaka discovered that photovoltaic solar cells can be formed out of perovskites.
- The process of forming these cells was complex initially with the requirement of high temperatures and materials such as glass only can be coated.
- In 2013, Ms. Olga Malinkiewicz invented evaporation method where perovskites coating on flexible foils was made possible.
The New Process
- Olga Malinkiewicz invented inkjet printing processing method which is a cheaper alternative to generate solar cells.
- Under this process solar panels are made under lower temperatures which reduces costs.
- The new process enables mass production of these solar cells.
Why The Innovation is Important?
- As per experts, the invention has the potential to end energy poverty in the world.
- This lays out the path for a sustainable future with energy sourced from the Sun.
- These Perovskite solar cells can be attached to any surface like rooftops, windowpanes, cars, laptops etc., making any surface an energy source.
What Is In It For India?
The National Solar Mission targets to achieve 100GW of solar power by 2022. The country is well-within reach to achieve the target through traditional solar panel installations. But, the pollution scenario of the country demands action in the form of reducing our dependence on thermal power which is still contributes to the tune of over 60% in the energy mix.
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Inventions like this has the potential to drastically change the energy production scenario of the world and India in particular.
But, the question is where is the Indian investment in research of such crucial importance. At present, the country is importing solar panels from countries like China with domestic production capacity not fulfilling the demand.
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Some research is being undertaken by the private players, but it is the government which has to promote the research in a big way to put India in a leading position among the world countries.