Perovskite-Based Solar Panels: From Science-Fiction To Reality

Solar panels made of synthetic perovskite are quickly emerging as a new game-changing reality in the field of solar electricity.

The Polish start-up company Saule Technologies, founded by Olga Malinkiewicz,  has teamed up with the Swedish construction giant Skanska and established the world’s first pilot factory printing power-producing halide perovskite solar cells in Wroclaw.

Skanska aims at integrating Saule’s perovskite films in the windows, facades and rooftops in its buildings, and also use them for indoor power production, recycling artificial light and harnessing sunlight entering the buildings.

According to Skanska, it will use the perovskite solar panels on a massive scale in Poland and then conquer the world with them.

Saule said in June 2019 that the performance of its perovskite solar panels had degraded  less than 10% during the 1,000 hours of operation.  In summer 2020, it announced that its new, better protected modules, had not degraded at all during an even much longer period of time.

According to a recent assessment, solar power producing perovskite films can be manufactured with the price of US $2.5 per square meter or by roughly US $0.017 per watt of power producing capacity. 

The price of solar power for the grid applications will certainly not be reduced as much, because solar panels are only one of many cost items in a solar power plant.  But applications that do not require complex installations, inverters or long wires may soon become ultra-cheap, including the use of solar electricity as clean cooking energy, in small-scale water purification or in re-oxygenating water bodies suffering from eutrophication.