財經 北京新浪網 忘了矽吧 使用鈣鈦礦塗層的太陽能面板可將能源轉化效率提高兩倍

忘了矽吧 使用鈣鈦礦塗層的太陽能面板可將能源轉化效率提高兩倍

  使用鈣鈦礦塗層的太陽能面板可以將能源轉化效率提高兩倍

  來源:財經十一人

  Forget silicon. This material could be a game-changer for solar power

  忘了矽吧,這種材料有可能顛覆太陽能行業的遊戲規則

  By Adrian Lydon

  Solar energy is poised for what could be its biggest transformation in over half a century.

  太陽能行業現在可能正在迎接半個多世紀以來最大的一次變革。

  A group of materials called perovskites are being used to create the next generation of solar panels, which could eventually be twice as efficient as current models, and flexible enough to wrap around entire buildings.

  一組被稱作鈣鈦礦的材料現在正被用於製造新一代的太陽能電池板,而後者的效率很可能是現在的型號的兩倍,並且其柔韌度可以使其將一整座建築包覆起來。

  The first solar cell capable of powering everyday electrical equipment was made in the 1950s at Bell Labs in New Jersey. Back then the silicon-based panels were hugely expensive and converted just 6% of sunlight into electricity.

  世界上第一個可以用來為每日使用的電器發電的太陽能電池,是由位於新澤西的Bell實驗室在1950年代生產出來的。當時以矽作為主要材料的面板不僅價格昂貴,並且僅能將6%的太陽光轉化成電能。

  Since then, costs have come down dramatically and today『s silicon solar cells can turn up to 22% of sunlight into power. But they』re nearly maxed out in terms of efficiency. Now, perovskites offer the potential for dramatic increases in power output, and they could ultimately replace silicon altogether.

  從那時發展至今,面板的成本已經顯著的減低,並且今天的矽太陽能電池已經可以將22%的太陽光線轉化成為電力能源。

  Researchers at Oxford PV, a company spun out of the University of Oxford, made a major breakthrough in 2018. By coating silicon with perovskite they achieved 28% efficiency. The company believes it can eventually reach 40%, or higher.

  發端於牛津大學的公司Oxford PV的研究員們,在2018年取得了突破性進展。他們用鈣鈦礦作為矽的塗層,成功達成了28%的轉化率。這家公司相信運用此種方法,效率將不止於此,他們堅信轉化率最終可以達到40%,甚或更高。

  Improved solar cell efficiency will enable installations to pump out more power with fewer panels, reducing costs, and the amount of land, labor and equipment needed to operate them.

  性能提升後的太陽能電池可以使發電裝置用更少的面板產出更多的電能,這會降低整體成本和土地的使用面積,也會減少投入的人力和需要用到的運轉這些裝置的設備。

  「If we want to make it that all new power generation is solar photovoltaics, then we need to keep driving the price down,」 Henry Snaith, professor of physics at the University of Oxford and co-founder of Oxford PV, tells CNN Business. 「One way to do that is to keep pushing the efficiency or the power output of the module up, and this is where perovskites really come into play.」

  「如果我們的新一代能源都想採取光伏發電的話,那麼我們需要堅持不懈地努力以使其降低價格,」 牛津大學的物理學家同時也是Oxford PV公司的聯合創始人的Henry Snaith這麼對CNN商業報導說。降低售價的其中一種方法就是持續提升模塊的功效或者擴大組件的能源產能,而這剛好是鈣鈦礦可以發揮作用的地方。」

  Solar potential

  太陽能的潛力

  Perovskite was discovered in 1839. Oxford PV uses a synthetic version, made from inexpensive materials that are abundant in the Earth『s crust, while other companies use variations of the original mineral, collectively called perovskites.

  鈣鈦礦是在1839年被發現的。Oxford PV公司運用的是一款人造版本的鈣鈦礦,它的原料在地殼裡儲量豐富並且價格實惠,其他的公司用的是原版礦物質的其他變種,但所有這些材料都統一稱為鈣鈦礦。

  As well as improved solar efficiency, they work better than silicon in the shade, on cloudy days or even indoors. Perovskites can be printed using an inkjet printer and can be as thin as wallpaper.

  除了提升了太陽能發電的效率以外,他們在遮擋物下,陰天里和室內的環境下也比矽材料工作得更好。鈣鈦礦不僅可以用噴墨印表機列印出來,而且它的厚度還薄如牆紙。

  Oxford PV hopes perovskite will eventually replace silicon entirely.

  Oxford PV公司希望鈣鈦礦最終可以完全取代矽材料。

  「In the coming decades, all-perovskite solar coatings promise to raise efficiencies even further, reduce the weight and shipping cost of solar equipment,」 says Varun Sivaram, energy expert and author of 「Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet,」 who worked with Snaith while studying at Oxford.

  「在未來的數十 年內,全部使用鈣鈦礦的太陽能塗層可以更高地提升轉化效益,降低太陽能設備的重量和運輸成本。」能源專家、《馴服太陽:那些駕馭太陽能和為這個星球提供能源的發明》一書的作者,同時也是Snaith的同事並且現在在牛津大學做研究的Varun Sivaram說。

  He says that as the technology develops, perovskite could be sprayed or rolled onto flexible surfaces. Semitransparent solar coatings could even be wrapped around whole buildings.

  他提到如果這項技術持續進化,鈣鈦礦可以以噴繪或包裹的形式覆蓋柔性材料的表面。半透明的太陽能塗層甚至可以用來包覆整座建築物。

  Oxford PV aims to begin producing cells made from perovskite on silicon early next year at a new purpose-built factory in Brandenburg, Germany. It estimates that panels made from the cells could save homeowners up to $1,000 on the purchase and installation of the average solar system.

  Oxford PV公司的目標是,明年初由一家位於德國勃蘭登堡的特製的新的工廠生產塗有鈣鈦礦塗層的矽材料電池。這家公司預計到,由這種電池所製成的面板可以為戶主們平均節省最多1000美元的太陽能裝置的置辦和安裝費用。

  Other companies working with perovskite include Warsaw-based Saule Technologies, which has secured funding of €10 million ($11.7 million) from Polish photovoltaics company Columbus Energy.

  其他致力於研發鈣鈦礦太陽能設備的公司包括位於華沙的Saule Technologies,這家公司已經從一家波蘭的太陽能光電公司獲取了1000萬歐元(1170萬美元)的資金。

  Last month, Saule Technologies『 new factory in Warsaw began printing perovskite solar cells using inkjet printers. Early next year, it will start supplying Swedish construction company Skanska Group, which says it wants to be the first developer to attach printed solar cells to the façade of a building on a commercial scale.

  就在上個月,Saule Technologies位於華沙的新工廠就已經開始運用噴墨印表機列印鈣鈦礦太陽能電池了。明年早期,它將會為瑞典建築公司Skanska Group供貨,Skanska Group想要成為首家將列印出的太陽能電池以商用規模附於建築外牆面的開發商。

  「It is set to be a game-changer in the energy sector, because it works in every lighting condition,」 says Saule Technologies co-founder Olga Malinkiewicz. 「You can make it flexible. It『s a wonderful material. Architects will love it.」

  Saule Technologies的聯合創始人Olga Malinkiewicz認為「鈣鈦礦註定會成為能源領域的遊戲規則改變者,因為它能在所有的光照條件下工作,」「而且它還具有高度的柔韌性並且可以曲折。」 Olga總結到,「鈣鈦礦是一種絕妙的材料。建築工程師們會愛上它的。」