Australian Researchers Create Humidity-Resistant Solar Weatherproofing

January 27th, 2016

alternative-21761_960_720Indeed, summer is well and truly upon us when the metal of a seatbelt brands you or the concept of dreadlocks, as an attempt to control humidity hair frizz, is becoming increasingly appealing.  Undeniably, summer in Australia is notoriously hot, humid, and wet – or all three at once.

Certainly, we’ve been taught since we were young to not underestimate the concept of humidity: it can make a warm day feel much hotter and is almost a trademark weather forecast for Australia Day. However, new Australian research has overcome the woes of humidity and developed solar weatherproofing.

The study, recently published in Nature Energy, reveals that the researchers have developed a way of improving the humidity tolerance of a new type of solar cell technology.  The new solar cells, established on a compound known as perovskite, are cheaper to make than traditional silicon cells but their use in real world developments is restricted since they suffer from a descent in performance in Australia’s humid conditions.

In response to this, the researchers have created a way to produce an effective water resistant layer on the solar cells to shelter them from high humidity without dropping their ability to convert solar power efficiently. Improving the humidity tolerance of perovskite materials is an essential stage concerning large-scale production of high-performance perovskite-based devices.

Moreover, the research is line with Turnbull’s Innovation Agenda goal for Australia to be more digitally-driven. To be specific, the Australian researchers are conducting the study using the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), which is high-performance supercomputer, cloud and data repository. Dr Wang, who is researching the study, says NCI plays an essential role in his work and that he wouldn’t be able to conduct the research without having access to digital facilities. He notes, “computational cost is very high to achieve my research goals because all my calculations need to be conducted using a high-performance supercomputer.”

Thus, as the above reveals, research such as this is vital in improving innovation in Australia and cultivating devices that could have a substantial impact on solar cell technology. Moreover, with the rise of long-term environmental and energy-related concerns driven by population growth, limited fossil resources, pollution, and climate change, research into cleaner energy is becoming more central.

In addition, the government provides incentives for businesses who are conducting qualified research and development (R&D) activities in Australia. Whilst the research doesn’t have to be pertaining to humidity resistant solar weatherproofing, but can encompass a broad range of industries and activities. In fact, the R&D Tax Incentive can provide generous tax benefits for a company. Contact us today if you have been conducting R&D activities and think you might be eligible for the scheme.