Perovskite is a calcium titanium oxide mineral composed of calcium titanate.

No, I don’t really know what that means either, but this material has shown to make for some very efficient solar cells.

Scientists have been using it for a while, but the latest is a new record in efficiency, said to be 31%.

The theoretical limit for silicon is 29%, with commercial efficiencies generally 15% to 20%.

This technology will be exceedingly valuable for space applications where weight and size is a major factor. However, for terrestrial solar farm silicon is a far better choice. Silicon is more plentiful and way cheaper than titanium based materials. While perovskites are cheaper than other exotic materials, silicon is best where size is not an issue.

The techniques to improve the efficiency could translate to other materials as well.

Egg-Crate Nanostructured PV Crosses Solar Threshold – Perfecting the perovskite cell with industry-topping 30+ percent efficiencies

Why perovskite solar cells are so efficient