Science Daily has a story likely to be of great importance in the marketing of solar cells: Newly designed solar cells can be screen-printed in a wide array of colors and patterns to allow them to be attractively incorporated into building design. The solar cells also can be used on windows, providing shading from glare while generating electricity.
The key component of the new modules is an organic dye which in combination with nanoparticles converts sunlight into electricity. Due to the small size of the nanoparticles, the modules are semi-transparent. This aspect makes them well suited for façade integration. The new solar cells are being developed by members of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, who will be presenting their new technology in Tokyo at Nanotech 2008, the world’s largest trade fair for nanotechnology.
…“We don’t see the dye solar cell as being a rival to the conventional silicon cell,” says Fraunhofer ISE physicist Andreas Hinsch. The module prototypes only achieve an efficiency of four percent, which is not sufficient for rooftop applications in comparison to the performance of crystalline silicon solar cells. On the other hand, dye solar cells have a clear advantage when it comes to façade integration…
Photo of a dyed solar cell, copyright Fraunhofer ISE