Powering drones with ultra-thin, flexible perovskite PV cells

Powering drones with ultra-thin, flexible perovskite PV cells

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

An Austrian research team has demonstrated lightweight, flexible and ultra-thin perovskite solar technology in palm-sized autonomous drones

A PV-Magazine report

A team from Johannes Kepler University Linz has developed lead halide perovskite solar cells that measure less than 2.5 μm thick with a champion specific PV power density of 44 W/g, and an average performance of 41 W/g, which they were able to integrate into modules to power palm-sized quadcopter-style drones.

The technology exhibited promising stability results under several standard tests, as well as the energy harvesting potential sufficient to recharge the vehicle’s batteries. The details of their research appear in “Flexible quasi-2D perovskite solar cells with high specific power and improved stability for energy-autonomous drones,” published in nature energy.

The study’s large-area photovoltaic module, which measured 24 cm2, enabled the autonomous operation of the drone that extended “beyond what is possible on a single battery charge while eliminating the need for docking, tethered charging or other forms of human involvement.” The perovskite solar modules contributed just 1/400 th of the drone’s total weight.

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