electrol.jpgAn organic type solar energy which will be introduced in consumer products after the Summer is expected to speed up implementation of solar energy in every day products. The photoelectrochemical is applied in dye-sensitized cells and the technology is cheap in its application. Konarka, a Lowell, MS, based company pioneering the technology, plans to use it in clothing, windows and building facades.

Konarka says it is ready to roll out hundreds of consumer products after the Summer. The company will initially market a product range consisting of mainly gadgets, smart cards and lights. The company also has implemented the technology into its inkjet printer products.

The dye-based solar technology’s original inventor is the Swiss academic Michael Gratzel. He says his solution is more robust than regular photovoltaic panels. Gratzel recently published an article in Inderscience’s Angewandte Chemie explaining the latest modifications to his technology.

The dye cells are composed of titanium oxide nanochrystals that absorb light. Subsequently, the dye is immersed in electrolyte. This releases electrons as soon as light is cast on the surface. The electrons create positive charges as a result of lost electrons. The titanium dioxide transfers this electricity to an electrical circuit.

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The solution has reached an energy efficiency of 7.2 percent, against a performance of 16 – 20 percent of regular solar panels. That is a lot lower, but the alternative advantages of dye solar cells should not be ignored; they’re a lot more flexible because they convert low light and the electricity generated can be applied to specific wavelengths.

bio: Angelique van Engelen writes AmplifiedGreen, a blog about micro green issues, macro perspectives.

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