Tinplate has recently gained a lot of attention when it was discovered that it had amazingly high propensity of absorbing the sun rays almost like other known materials productivity. Tinplate is a metal that is silvery-white in appearance and is atomic number 50 in the periodic table.
Researchers from North western University have recently proved that tinplate is the same metal as tin creating a frenzy of activities among scientists keen on solar energy. This is because unlike other good conductors of solar heat like lead, tin is way cheaper a material to use in production which is almost as good as lead in soaking up the rays.
Lead researcher Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, an inorganic chemist at North western said that they had found a breakthrough that would propel solar energy to the very top with a solar cell called perovskite. 'Tin is a very viable material, and we have shown the material does work as an efficient solar cell' he added.
The perovskite are stacked into five separate layers like a sandwich with each solar cell working together with each one of them performing a vital role of allowing the sun rays to produce energy in the closed electrical circuit.
Robert P. H. Chang, a material scientist from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science expounds on the subject further by saying the tin-based perovskite is an efficient sun ray’s absorber. He adds that the sandwiched layers act to transport electric charge that helps in generating electricity to the outside world.
Tin-based solar cells are poised to take over the world of solar energy production with a 6% efficiency level recorded so far compared to their currently popular rival lead perovskite cells which came out with a15% efficiency.
Considering it is a relatively new invention, the scientists are optimistic that with a little fine tuning through research and innovation, tin-based perovskite cells can match lead cells performance or even surpass it. This they hope is the case as lead is a more volatile and highly poisonous metal that’s detrimental to the environment when compared to tin.
This is going to be a huge milestone for solar energy panels producers as the cheaper cost of production will translate to lower prices for consumers. A higher voltage is also expected to be produced from tin based perovskite cells which scientists believe can be produced in less hazardous conditions that are environmentally friendly.
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