A system proposed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) could see used car batteries being recycled to produce solar cells. This proposal comes after in depth research around the compound perovskite, a technology that has seen rapid progression over the last two years, starting with initial experiments, the research has advanced to the point where its efficiency is nearly as competitive as other types of solar cells.
Perovskite, or organolead halide perovskite to be more specific, has been identified for its use of lead, and it’s this vital information that has led to the idea of using old car batteries to produce long lasting solar panels that provide emission-free power.
Sustainable Power from One Car Battery
The MIT team’s analysis shows that, due to the perovskite photovoltaic material taking the form of a very thin film, only half a millimetre thick, just one single car battery could produce enough solar panels to power 30 households.
Creating these new cells uses a low temperature process, one that is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the manufacture of a regular cell – just another advantage that comes from the creation of these new cells.
Battery Disposal Avoided
Battery technology itself is currently undergoing its own rapid changes, with the market focussing its efforts on more efficient types, such as lithium-ion batteries. Once battery technology evolves, there will be an abundance of lead-acid batteries that need to be disposed of. The US would potentially be looking at over 200million lead-acid batteries sent to landfill – however with this new proposal, those batteries could be recycled into new solar panels.
MIT researches believe that the use of perovskite will be embraced by other photovoltaic researchers, allowing for more in-depth research and the opportunity to fine-tune the technology, finding new ways to get maximum efficiency from this compound.