The large-scale use of photovoltaic devices for generation of electricity was considered prohibitively expensive, with
generation from available commercial devices costing ten times more than conventional methods. Recently however, a dye
sensitised nanocrystalline solar cell utilising low to medium purity materials and simple construction processes has been
developed. The exceptional stability and low cost of the above cell, in addition to an independently verified total conversion efficiency of greater than 10.2% for a sealed device, establishes this as an important new renewable energy technology. Much of the basic and applied research necessary to achieve this level of performance has been undertaken as part of a collaborative
programme funded by the Commission under Joule II (JOU2-CT93- 0356). In the present programme an expanded consortium will work closely with a number of leading European industrial concerns to ensure the rapid commercialisation of this and related spin-off technologies.
The technical approach to be adopted will involve a very wide range of state-of-the-art basic and applied research techniques in the areas of molecular synthesis, materials science,
electrochemistry and photochemistry. In addition, and in
association with leading European industrial concerns, issues related to large-scale cell production, with particular emphasis on sealant technology, will be developed.
Expected Achievements and Exploitation
The principal objectives of the present programme are:
- Improved understanding of the physics and chemistry underlying the operation of dye sensitised nanocrystalline solar cells. - Application of the above findings to achieve increased
efficiency and stability for such cells.
- Development of commercial prototypes in collaboration with industrial concerns.
- Exploitation of spin-off technologies.
The principal milestones are:
- A 12% efficient dye sensitised nanocrystalline solar cell showing a 20 year life-time under accelerated testing
- A 4% efficient prototype solid-state analogue showing a 2 year life-time under accelerated testing conditions.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
3508 CC Utrecht
751 21 Uppsala