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Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Promise Cheaper Greener Electricity

The development of a new type of solar PV technology has been going on in the wings. Dye-sensitized solar cells are based on thin film solar technology whereby a thin layer of silicon is used dramatically cutting the production costs. Various companies are developing their own variations on this technology which are now attaining efficiencies of 11 percent.

They are currently still a long way behind the mainstream photovoltaic cells that are commercially available and MCS accredited in the UK which have efficiencies up to 21 percent. The development of dye sensitized solar panels means much lower production costs, Oxford PV predicts production costs that are half that of current thin film technology.

Solar Panels To Get A Lot Less Obtrusive

dye-sensitised solar cellsSo what does this mean for people in the UK? Although there are no commercially available products using this technology that directly replace traditional solar panels they promise to have a visually significant impact one widespread. Dye sensitized material such as glass mean that windows and even walls could be used to generate electricity.

It is the boffins at Oxford's physics department, specifically Dr. Henry J. Snaith that are responsible for the current research. Dr Snaith illustrates the challenge of generating enough power to meet the worlds current energy demands of 15TWp. We currently only generate 0.1 percent of our power globally from solar.

The development of dye-sensitized solar cells also being developed by companies such as Sony who have produced some demonstration products that are powered by this coloured glass. Sony recently demonstrated their Concerto Effect that uses dye-mixing and results in higher power output.


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