Sep
3

New Solar Cell Will Save Money

New Zealand Researchers Create New "Natural" Cell


Solar cells can be very expensive, mainly because of the silicon that is used to make them.  Silicon, itself, is not expensive, but making it available for solar cells can cost a lot.  A group of researchers in New Zealand have discovered a much cheaper way to create solar cells.  They have developed a new range of dyes that imitate nature-like chlorophyll-to be used in dye sensitized solar cells. These cells will cost about 10% of what silicon cells now cost.

These synthetic dyes are made from simple organic compounds that are closely related to those found in nature.  Green is a synthetic chlorophyll made from light-harvesting pigment that plants use for photosynthesis.  Other dyes that are being tested are based on hemoglobin, the compound that gives blood its color.

The researchers say that, unlike the other silicon based solar cells on the market, these cells (a 10cm x 10 cm cells) can generate enough energy to power a small fan in low light conditions, making them more useful in "less than sunny" areas.


 


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