Info
Info
News Article

Perovskite Solar Cells Rocketed Into Space

News

Experiment sets the foundation for future near-Earth application as well as potential deep space missions

Experiment sets the foundation for future near-Earth application as well as potential deep space missions.

For the first time, researchers in Germany sent perovskite and organic solar cells on a rocket into space. The solar cells withstood the extreme conditions in space, producing power from direct sunlight and reflective light from the Earth's surface. The work, published August 12 in the journal Joule, sets the foundation for future near-Earth application as well as potential deep space missions.

One of the goals for space missions is to minimise the weight of equipment that the rocket carries. While current inorganic silicon solar panels used in space missions and satellites have high efficiencies, they are also very heavy and rigid. The emerging technology of hybrid perovskite and organic solar cells that are incredibly light and flexible becomes an ideal candidate for future applications.

"What counts in this business is not the efficiency, but the produced electric power per weight, which is called specific power," says senior author Peter Müller-Buschbaum of Technical University of Munich in Germany. "The new type of solar cells reached values between 7 and 14 milliwatts per square centimetre during the rocket flight."

"Transferred onto ultra-thin foils, one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of our solar cells would cover more than 200 square metres (2,153 square feet) and would produce enough electric power for up to 300 standard 100-W light bulbs," says first author Lennart Reb, of Technical University of Munich in Germany. "This is ten times more than what the current technology is offering."

In June 2019, the rocket launched in northern Sweden, where the rocket entered space and reached 240 kilometres (149 miles) in altitude. The perovskite and organic solar cells, located at the payload, successfully withstood extreme conditions on the rocket ride - from the rumbling forces and heat at liftoff to the strong UV light and ultra-high vacuum in space. "The rocket was a big step," says Reb. "Going to the rocket was really like going into a different world."

In addition to operating efficiently in space, the perovskite and organic solar cells can also function in low-light conditions. When there's no direct light on the traditional solar cell, the cell typically stops working, and the power output turns zero. However, the team discovered an energy output fuelled by the weak diffuse light reflected from Earth's surface from perovskite and organic solar cells that weren't exposed to direct sunlight.

"This is a good hint and confirms that the technology can go into what is called deep space missions, where you would send them far out in space, far away from the sun, where standard solar cells wouldn't work in," says Müller-Buschbaum. "There's really exciting future for this sort of technology, bringing these solar cells into more space missions in the future."

But before launching more new solar cells into space, Müller-Buschbaum says one of the limitations of the study is the short time the rocket spent in space, where the total time was 7 minutes. The next step is to employ long-term applications in space, such as satellites, to understand the cells' lifetime, long-term stability, and full potential.

"It's the very first time these perovskite and organic solar cells ever were in space, and that's really a milestone," says Müller-Buschbaum. "The really cool thing is that this is now paving the way for bringing these types of solar cells to more applications in space. On the long run, this might also help to bring these technologies for broader use in our terrestrial environment."

'Perovskite and Organic Solar Cells on a Rocket Flight' by L. Reb et al: Joule 12th August 2020

Sharp And InnoVent Enter Into Strategic Partnership To Capture Project Business
New Raise Green Tech Platform Automates Process For Starting And Financing A Solar Business
Azur Space Orders Tool From 3D-Micromac
Sharp Launches New 440W Half-cut Cell PV Panel
Foresight’s 50MW Guzman Solar Project In Andalusia Connects To The Grid And Generates At 100% Capacity
Tandem PV Devices Feel The Heat
Convert SC Flex To Equip The Smart Grid Project Of The Sport Center Of Békéscsaba In Hungary
SONNENSTROMFABRIK’s Growth Boosted By Global Group
New Solar Energy Optics Technology Transforms Solar Industry Economics
WinJi Receives €1.65 Million Loan Guarantee From The Swiss Technology Fund
Bboxx Makes Solar Energy Accessible At Scale In Africa With The Launch Of The BPower20 Product
Japan Demands Higher Standards Of Resource Data To Sustain Solar Market Growth
RENA’s Biggest Ever Order
Compatibility Of BYD Battery-Box Premium And Fronius Symo GEN24
ACWA Power Sells Its Stake In A 60 MW PV Power Plant
Schletter Group Enters Into Sales Partnership With Enecsol
Ib Vogt Receives €135 Million Commitment From EIG For Future Growth
Senseeker Introduces Sales Of Oxygen RD0092 DROIC Quarter Wafers
Unprofitable Sunrun Buys Unprofitable Vivint Solar
BayWa R.e. Constructs Hybrid Solar-wind Energy System
Wärtsilä’s GEMS To Centrally Manage Multi-state Energy Storage Projects For Duke Energy
Wiseenergy Signs 550 MW Solar Asset Management Contract In India
Ib Vogt Sells 64.1 MWp PV Plant In Egypt
Power Roll Trials Solar PV To Power Up Himalayan Villages

Info
×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Logo
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Solar + Power Magazine, the Solar + Power Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
X
Info
X
Info
{taasPodcastNotification}