Solar Power Made with Tin

perovskite-tin-solar-cell.jpg

Brooke Berge Weekly Journal 14|

Solar power is becoming more and more popular, and has gone down in price over the years- they cost about half of what they used to in 2000. However, installation and permits can drive the price up. “Solar cells based on a class of semiconductors known as lead perovskites are rapidly emerging as an efficient way to convert sunlight directly into electricity. However, the reliance on lead is a serious barrier to commercialisation, due to its well-known toxicity.” (Engineering Materials). New studies on using tin in solar cells have shown that the material is stable and costs less, and therefore could be a good alternative to using lead in solar power.

Overall, using tin in solar power is safer and cheaper than using lead is solar power. These two factors could lead to solar power being used more often. However, there still needs to be more research and testing done to create solar power with tin that is more efficient. As of right now, the studies have shown that this material is less efficient than lead. Both U.S and U.K researchers have reported 6% efficiency turning sunlight into electricity, but believe they can get it up to 20%. This raises a question of what is more important- efficiency or environmental effects? Solar power should be used more often because it does not harm the environment unlike other power sources. Since solar power is more expensive however, that makes it less desirable to use. Solutions such as cheaper tin solar power could cause a rise in solar power use, if they can be modified to be more efficient.

 

Sources

http://www.ibtimes.com/solar-cells-made-tin-are-very-promising-low-cost-alternative-energy-source-1580105

http://www.materialsforengineering.co.uk/engineering-materials-news/solar-power-could-be-more-widespread-with-tin/148594/

http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/sn.htm

http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/pb.htm

 

 

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