"We achieved the highest throughput of any solar technology," Rolston said. "You can imagine large panels of glass placed on rollers and continuously producing layers of perovskite at speeds never accomplished before."
The new perovskite cells achieved a power conversion efficiency of 18 percent.
"Conventional processing requires you to bake the perovskite solution for about half an hour," Rolston said. "Our innovation is to use a plasma high-energy source to rapidly convert liquid perovskite into a thin-film solar cell in a single step."
They estimate r perovskite modules can be manufactured for about 25 cents per square foot – far less than the $2.50 or so per square foot needed to produce a typical silicon module.
Conventional silicon modules produce electricity at a cost of about 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. If the new solar cells can last for 30 years this will bring the cost down to 2 cents per kilowatt-hour and an unsubsidized price competitive with natural gas power.