A Chinese startup is on the verge of revolutionizing the solar industry by initiating the production of ultra-efficient solar panels made from perovskite, a material that has been dubbed the “miracle material”.

Researchers from Nanjing University have been instrumental in a design breakthrough that enables the mass production of these next-generation solar cells. Remarkably, these cells can be produced at half the cost of conventional silicon cells and boast 50% higher efficiency. Professor Tan Hairen of Nanjing University explained to state media that perovskite cells can be manufactured using inexpensive and plentiful raw materials. “The production costs of these cells are merely one-twentieth of traditional solar cells,” he stated.

Adding to their appeal, perovskite solar cells are simpler to manufacture and can be produced within a single facility. Even taking additional factors into account, the aggregate production cost is just half of that required for silicon cells.

To propel the commercialization of this ground-breaking technology, Professor Tan founded a startup named Renshine Solar. The company has already secured a government agreement to establish a production line in Jiangsu province, slated to begin this summer. As reported by the South China Morning Post, the factory is anticipated to reach a capacity of 150 megawatts by September. The perovskite solar panels are versatile, suitable for installation on roofs, walls, and even electric vehicles to enhance their range.

Furthermore, the perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have proven their durability, maintaining over 90% of their initial performance after 600 hours of uninterrupted use, as noted by the research team, which underscores their viability for commercial application.

The team of researchers envisions diverse applications for these next-generation solar cells, including incorporation into building panels and even space-based power generation. In a study published in the scientific journal Nature, titled ‘Next-generation applications for integrated perovskite solar cells’, they elaborated, “With their lower fabrication cost, low-temperature solution processability, roll-to-roll manufacturing, and wide-bandgap tunability, PSCs have the potential to become the candidate of choice for high-efficiency tandem solar cells.”

This development emerges shortly after a South Korean company revealed plans to commercialize tandem perovskite solar cells, backed by a $100 million investment for a pilot production line scheduled for the following year.

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