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Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

If you operate a solar panel at home, chances are it runs on silicon solar cells. It’s always good to get the latest news on solar energy, though, because the technology continues to advance and improve. Dye-sensitized solar cells are a testimony to this fact, but these solar cells are still in their productizing cycle and are not quite ready for practical use in your home.

This won’t always be the case, though. Dye-sensitized solar cells are extremely promising for their low-cost and simple apparatus that will be easy and affordable to manufacture. At the moment, their efficiency levels are still below that of thin-film and foil-based solar cells. Dye-sensitized solar cells are being geared for potential commerical operation by the year 2020.

So how does a dye-sensitized solar cell work? Like all solar-powered devices, everything begins with sunlight. Sunlight enters a dye-sensitized solar cell through the transparent dye top, or anode, the part of the device used to conduct an electrical charge. When the dye absorbs photons, it releases electrons into the conduction band of the cell. It then produces a recombination reaction to replace the electron and prevent the device from short-circuiting. In a traditional solar cell, the silicon semiconductor acts to absorb photons, separate the electrons, and produce a current. Dye-sensitized solar cells operate differently in that the dye works to absorb energy and to provide the current. The semiconductor, formed in a conduction band between the anode and an electrolyte, separates the charge.

A little out of your league? You’re not alone. Until the time comes when dye-sensitized solar cells are available to power home appliances, read up on how to plan the best solar home energy system currently available. If you’re reading this article, you’re already on the right track.

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