Sunday, March 23, 2008

Efficient Solar Cells?

"ScienceDaily (Mar. 20, 2008) — A cheap alternative to silicon solar cells can be found in dye-sensitised solar cells. This type of cell imitates the natural conversion of sunlight into energy by, for instance, plants and light-sensitive bacteria. Annemarie Huijser has succeeded in substantially improving a process in this type of solar cell, which is similar to Grätzel cells."

In the article, they compared the dye molecules to legos. The dye absorbes the energy form the sun light and converts that energy into excitons. The excitons need a path which is as free as possible to increase efficiency of the cell.

Combining the efficiency of plants into solar cells is the innovative and new type of technology that I think needs to be develop more today. This new technology is just different and cool. I hope that high prices do not outweigh the application of this solar cell. Although, the researcher in this article thinks that these panels could be sold commercially.

1 comment:

Nick Flores said...

I found your article very interesting, especially since I have been researching the different types of solar cells for our team project. To start, I always welcome new technology, and any improvement or step toward fossil fuel independence is great.

However, dye sensitive solar cells have thus far proven to be one of the most inefficient forms of solar cells to date. It is true, though, that this technology is very new, and who knows, a major breakthrough could be very close.

But if the prices for this technology continues to remain out of reach, so will the technology. Efficiencies for these solar cells remain at the bottom of the barrel for any form of solar technology, so the hill could be a steep climb for dye sensitive solar cells. Of course, I'm not counting them out of the picture, I'm just wary of pouring money and time into a technology that could already prove to be obsolete.