Machine Design

Still Going Green: A New Energy Resource Produced for Commercial Use

Energy is the foundation for economic growth. Potential energy shortages and rising oil prices push businesses to produce more efficient and economical energy resources.

Julie Kalista
Online Editor

One of these new resources is next-generation photovoltaic technology based on dye-sensitized solar cells.

G24 Innovations is the manufacturer of this photovoltaic technology and has located a factory for large-scale production of this technology in Cardiff, Wales. The factory will become operational in early 2007 and will be the first in the world to produce dye-senstized solar cells (DSSC) on a commercial scale. It also aims to be the first facility to produce its renewable energy products relying exclusively on solar, wind, geothermal, and other green sources to meet its own energy needs.

DSSC uses a wider range of the light spectrum than conventional solar cells, giving it the ability to generate power from all visible light sources, not just sunlight. The next-generation photovoltaic material produces electricity through a process that is roughly analogous to photosynthesis in plants. DSSC modules are manufactured by printing a thin layer of titanium dioxide onto a layer of film and then, through the use of nantechnology further manipulation the film's atoms and molecules that generate electricity when exposed to light. The final product does not use silicon nor does it involve heave metals. It is flexible, durable, and 1/50 of the weight of traditional glass silicon-based solar cells.

G24i has entered into a licensing agreement with Konarka Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of DSSC technology, and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), a leading Swiss educational and research institute, to produce these thin-filmed photovoltaics.Originally developed by Professor Michael Graetzel and his team at EPFL in 1988, DSSC technology has been significantly enhanced by the skilled scientific team at Konarka and the continuous research at EPFL.

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TAGS: Energy Archive
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