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Steel Forges Foundation For Cheaper Solar Power

Date:
March 4, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Steel forged railroads, skyscrapers and the automobile industry. Now it may help solar energy become cheaper and more widely available. Scientists now report an advance in replacing the single most expensive component of a cutting-edge family of solar cells with less costly material. These so-called "nanostructured dye solar cells (DSCs)" are a relatively new family of photovoltaic devices. Their simple manufacturing methods are hoped to lead to lower production costs compared to conventional solar cells. Traditionally, DSCs are deposited on conductively coated glass sheets which accounts for more than 30 percent of the material costs.

Steel forged railroads, skyscrapers and the automobile industry. Now it may help solar energy become cheaper and more widely available. In a new study Finnish scientists report an advance in replacing the single most expensive component of a cutting-edge family of solar cells with less costly material.

These so-called "nanostructured dye solar cells (DSCs)" are a relatively new family of photovoltaic devices. Their simple manufacturing methods are hoped to lead to lower production costs compared to conventional solar cells. Traditionally, DSCs are deposited on conductively coated glass sheets which accounts for more than 30 percent of the material costs.

Preparing DSCs on flexible stainless steel sheets is one way to reduce the costs and also to enhance mass production, according to Kati Miettunen and colleagues at the Helsinki University of Technology. Uncertainties existed, however, over the performance and stability of stainless steel photovoltaics.

In the new study, researchers describe construction of DSCs with stainless steel components and tests of the devices' performance. "It was shown that relatively high efficiencies can be obtained with DSC deposited on stainless steel substrate," the study said. Subsequent work will investigate the durability of the stainless steel components and make further improvements in these promising solar devices.

The article "Initial Performance of Dye Solar Cells on Stainless Steel Substrates" is scheduled for the March 20 issue of ACS' weekly Journal of Physical Chemistry C.


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The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Steel Forges Foundation For Cheaper Solar Power." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303163341.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, March 4). Steel Forges Foundation For Cheaper Solar Power. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303163341.htm
American Chemical Society. "Steel Forges Foundation For Cheaper Solar Power." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303163341.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

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