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.

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