NCSU scientists introduce solar dye

Researchers from North Carolina State University    have developed a dye they say can improve solar energy technology.

Head researcher Ahmed El-Shafei says the dye, or “sensitizer,” improves dye-sensitized solar cells, which are placed on other plates, typically glass such as the windows of a house. The product has been named NCSU-10.

The dye has 14 percent more power density, says El-Shafei. “In other words, NCSU-10 allows us to harvest more energy from the same amount of light,” he said in a news release.

Paul Brucke, an engineer with Strata Solar, a solar energy systems company in Chapel Hill, says such solar cells are not a major player in the market yet. For one, they are more expensive than traditional panels, he says, and are used “almost like a novelty.”

If, however, the efficiency could be increased, as this new research indicates, it could be another step toward making dye-sensitized solar cells more prevalent in the solar market place.

 

Originally published Monday, Dec. 12th, 2011 by Jason deBruyn,. Triangle Business Journal