Photo: Forest & Kim StarrThe 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.
Photo: DyesolDyesol, 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's, inspired by photosynthesis, will soon be coming to a roof or window
or winter shirt near you. Probably not soon enough.
Sources: AskNature.org, Dyesol. SmartCompany.com Plant Photo: Forest & Kim Starr