Advanced Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC): Flexible Film and Glass
Introduction Solar power is becoming more and more important with the increasing global effort to reduce petroleum consumption and is already vitally important as the planet’s primary source of energy since plants convert it into biomass on a daily basis. There is more solar energy bombarding the earth every hour than all of its people consume in a year, and if a fraction of that power could be effectively and efficiently harnessed, many of our energy problems would be solved. Unfortunately, the majority of conventional solar cells are based on silicon semiconductors, which are expensive. However, there is a new type of solar cell—
dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC)—that is much cheaper, lighter, less toxic, more scalable, and easier to mass-produce. Technology Description Professor Taya at the University of Washington has developed a methodology for the development of novel dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) based on either 1) glass or 2)
flexible film. These technologies have demonstrated power conversion efficiency (PCE)
close to 6%—with specific energy conversion efficiency (SECE) of 66% and 660%, respectively. This technology primarily benefits from enhanced light scattering and reduced component mass. Business Opportunity The ability to cheaply and easily produce more efficient dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC)
with tunable properties, such as mass, presents opportunities in all fields of solar cell manufacture and research. Key applications are those that would greatly benefit from this technology’s reduced weight, such as in aircraft. This is a key development in the production of effective non-petroleum energy resources. Stage of Development A working prototype of this technology has been developed.
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