Thursday 2 August 2007

Next-Generation Photovoltaics: Dye-Sensitised Solar Cells

Next-Generation Photovoltaics: Dye-Sensitised Solar Cells: "The Australian company Dyesol Inc, the first in the world to manufacture DSC modules commercially, organised a conference in February 2006 in Canberra on the Industrialization of Dye-Sensitised Solar Cells, which presented an impressive demonstration of how far this new photovoltaic contender has progressed in less than 16 years after the author’s first scientific publication on this topic. The enthusiastic and upbeat mood of the meeting revealed a consensus among the numerous international participants that the DSC has reached the end of its gestation period and moved forward with its first commercial applications. Building integrated photovoltaic and lightweight flexible applications offers particularly attractive near-term opportunities. Figure 4 exemplifies the possibilities of multicolour modules and see-through power-producing windows using DSC technology.

The walls of the Toyota Dream House have installed DSC panels (Figure 5), offering a building-integrated source of solar power to the inhabitants. Dyesol has started pilot production of DSCs in Australia, while British company G24I has built a 20MW plant for flexible DSC fabrication in Cardiff, Wales.

Mesoscopic solar cells suit a whole realm of applications ranging from the lightweight low-power market to large-scale applications. Their excellent performance in diffuse light gives them a competitive edge over silicon in providing electric power for both indoor and outdoor standalone electronic equipment. Application of the DSC in building-integrated photovoltaic has already started and will become a rich field for future commercial development.

The future is renewable

The energy mix of the future will be more regenerative and sustainable. The generation and storage of renewable energy will be the fastest growing sector in energy market for next 20 years. The market volume of renewable energy worldwide will increase from US$ 95.8 billion in 2007 to US$ 124.4 billion in 2010 and reach US$ 198.1 billion in 2015. These figures and developments are based on the whole value chain. The energy efficiency will increase by 1 to 3 percent per year and there will be more then 120000 direct jobs by 2010 and two times more indirect.

The major market driving forces.

Climate change and economic damage depending on the country between 1 and 5 percent of the gross domestic product. The governmental policy and social awareness. In many countries, environmental protection and energy security are the key political concerns which favour the use of clean energy. In most countries governments sponsor programs for using hydropower, wind power and biomass as well as set regulations & standards for emission so that biofuel, solar energy, hydrogen based energy and other environmental friendly energy are adopted.

Second is the pricing factor. Whereas the oil and gas price is rising in the long term and extremely volatile, the price for renewable energy is stably going downward. The material benefits will naturally attract more and more industrial and residential consumers.