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Solar Cells dye-sensitized solar cells

Published on November 5th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

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Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Reach Highest Efficiency Ever

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November 5th, 2008 by
 
dye-sensitized solar cells

Chinese and Swiss researchers announced earlier this week that they have reached the highest efficiency yet for dye-sensitized solar cells (Grätzel cells). The photovoltaic cells are cheaper than silicon-based solar cells, but until this week’s discovery their drawbacks have outweighed their benefits.

In the past, Grätzel cells have been inefficient at converting light into electricity, and their performance dropped after only short exposure to sunlight.

The research team, which included dye-sensitized solar cell inventor Michael Grätzel, used solar cells made with ruthenium-based dye to increase their light-harvesting ability. The new technique yielded efficiency levels as high as 10 percent—a record for this type of solar cell. Additionally, the cells retained over 90 percent of their initial output after 1,000 hours in the sun.

While silicon-based solar cells have typical efficiencies of about 12 percent, they are significantly more expensive to produce. And since the prohibitive cost of silicon solar cells prevents many homes and businesses from committing to solar energy, a cheaper solution should be welcomed.

Photo Credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • Pingback: Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells with Carbon Nanotube Thin Films Cut Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Costs - CleanTechnica

  • Ani

    Ian,

    I’m also working on a paper for my materials class on DSSC. Any resources/journals you can share?

  • Ani

    Ian,

    I’m also working on a paper for my materials class on DSSC. Any resources/journals you can share?

  • http://fsae.unm.edu ian

    Thanks Ariel,

    That’s neat stuff. I’m working on a research paper for my materials science class on ZnO nanoflower based DSSC’s so that’s why i was curious as to what dye was used.

  • http://fsae.unm.edu ian

    Thanks Ariel,

    That’s neat stuff. I’m working on a research paper for my materials science class on ZnO nanoflower based DSSC’s so that’s why i was curious as to what dye was used.

  • Ariel Schwartz

    ian – they were dyed with ruthenium.

  • http://thealternativeenergyinvestor.blogspot.com Ray The Money Man

    Can you only imagine what this type of technology would mean to the skyscraper windows and other large commercial buildings. Cost is everything when it comes to this kind of application.

  • http://thealternativeenergyinvestor.blogspot.com Ray The Money Man

    Can you only imagine what this type of technology would mean to the skyscraper windows and other large commercial buildings. Cost is everything when it comes to this kind of application.

  • http://sites.google.com/a/unm.edu/fsae ian

    So what were they dyed with?

  • http://sites.google.com/a/unm.edu/fsae ian

    So what were they dyed with?

  • http://sites.google.com/a/unm.edu/fsae ian

    So what were they dyed with?

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