1. Subscribersonhouse
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    01 Aug '14 12:20
    http://phys.org/news/2014-08-scientists-spray-on-solar-cells.html

    I wonder when something like this will actually reach the market and what the ultimate price per watt will be.

    Silicon solar is getting down to 1 dollar per watt so it better be a lot cheaper than that to get these cells that will come in at less than half the efficiency of silicon.
  2. Standard memberDeepThought
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    01 Aug '14 14:29
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://phys.org/news/2014-08-scientists-spray-on-solar-cells.html

    I wonder when something like this will actually reach the market and what the ultimate price per watt will be.

    Silicon solar is getting down to 1 dollar per watt so it better be a lot cheaper than that to get these cells that will come in at less than half the efficiency of silicon.
    They are making them from Perovskite, which is a naturally occurring mineral Calcium Titanium Oxide (CaTiO_3). Perovskite has some interesting properties and some superconductors have similar structures [1]. Based on the Wikipedia article on perovskite structure and the abstract of the Science article [2] I think the two main barriers to making it commercial are making the photovoltaic cells large enough and durable enough to be commercially viable. I think the work you cited helps solve the size problem, it's difficult to believe that it would be that hard to make them waterproof. I don't think there are any huge problems of principle, just problems of product development. I'd guess less than a decade, possibly as soon as in five years.

    This looks good as apparently there are big energy advantages in their construction, it all looks a lot less polluting.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perovskite_(structure)
    [2] http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6160/794
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    01 Aug '14 16:59
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    They are making them from Perovskite, which is a naturally occurring mineral Calcium Titanium Oxide (CaTiO_3). Perovskite has some interesting properties and some superconductors have similar structures [1]. Based on the Wikipedia article on perovskite structure and the abstract of the Science article [2] I think the two main barriers to making it comm ...[text shortened]... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perovskite_(structure)
    [2] http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6160/794
    I wonder if this can lead to real solar paint, like for cars. I think you could extend the range of electric cars maybe 20% if the paint was converting some sunlight to electricity and for sure gathering a lot of watt hours while parked in the sun.

    I thought you could power a new gypsy culture of solar paint powered campers, they have a lot of surface area, so you go to some campground, part in the sun, hang out for a few days, gather enough energy for another few hundred kilometers of driving. No pollution, no fossil fuels ever....
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    01 Aug '14 18:29
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I thought you could power a new gypsy culture of solar paint powered campers, they have a lot of surface area, so you go to some campground, part in the sun, hang out for a few days, gather enough energy for another few hundred kilometers of driving.
    Neo hippies, or retirees, do you think?

    😕
  5. Standard memberDeepThought
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    01 Aug '14 19:38
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I wonder if this can lead to real solar paint, like for cars. I think you could extend the range of electric cars maybe 20% if the paint was converting some sunlight to electricity and for sure gathering a lot of watt hours while parked in the sun.

    I thought you could power a new gypsy culture of solar paint powered campers, they have a lot of surface ar ...[text shortened]... ugh energy for another few hundred kilometers of driving. No pollution, no fossil fuels ever....
    There's an error in my previous post, perskovite itself is not photovoltaic. The substances that are have the same structure. There is a problem with contact with water, and they only have a limited lifespan, so the coating would need water proofing and replacing at least annually.
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    02 Aug '14 13:00
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    There's an error in my previous post, perskovite itself is not photovoltaic. The substances that are have the same structure. There is a problem with contact with water, and they only have a limited lifespan, so the coating would need water proofing and replacing at least annually.
    That would depend on the level of passivation and water protection. For instance, our sputtering machines at work sputter among other things, Silicon Dioxide (glass) onto an alumina substrate for our purposes. That purpose in our case is to be an interface layer between the alumina and a further coating of other stuff, in our case Silicon Carbide.

    For our purposes, the SIO2 layer is counted in Angstroms, maybe 300 odd Angstroms thick, then a much thicker layer of SIC, 6000 Angstroms or 0.6 microns of SIC, Silicon Carbide. Without the SIO2 layer the SIC just doesn't stick very well to the Alumina and just peels off. But SIO2 grabs alumina and grabs SIC so it is a nice glue.

    But even a thin layer of SIO2 could protect against water and our machine could do just that. I think there are devices that can do that at full atmosphere, open air. Our sputtering tool does that job in a vacuum chamber which is not cheap. So it is possible to passivate these Perovskite layers.
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