Inspired By Photosynthesis: Dye Solar Cell (DSC) Solar Panels
The application of Dye Solar Cells (DSC's) in many technologies and new products is at least a year away, according to Dyesol, the leading company in the fast-growing DSC sector. DSC technology still has a way to go to catch up with nature. You see, DSC technology is based on the process whereby plants convert light into energy and store it. Plants that use photosynthesis operate 24/7, even when the sun is not shining.
Essentially, it's working those long hours that will prove DSC energy more efficient than silicon-based solar cells. The bio-inspired DSC is more powerful in a wider range of light and temperature conditions and its material flexibility makes it easy to be incorporated into many commonly used materials from steel in the building industry to fabric in the textile industry. DSC will also be far less expensive than silicon-based solar cells and will not leave the carbon footprint that current solar plants are making. In short, the application of DSC technology to existing and new materials is going to be revolutionary, changing the way we interact with many of our environments.
Dyesol, an Australian company, with an international board of directors and customer base, is creating the DSC's which will generate heat when incorporated into glass, steel, paint, nano fabrics and many other textures. DSC's are extremely flexible. Layers of dye are formed and then laid on layers of material from steel to fabric. The dyes can be colored or transparent.
Dyesol is now working with the Welsh Assembly Government on a project designed to see if roofing steel can generate electricity. Additionally, the University of Rome, the Italian companies ERG Renew and Permasteelisa, and the Australian Department of Defense have contracts with Dyesol for various applications of DSC technology.
DSC's, inspired by photosynthesis, will soon be coming to a roof or window or winter shirt near you. Probably not soon enough.