Solar cells to dye for

Close up of the Sun__   Modern Glass Buidling_

Solar panels are becoming more common place around us as renewable energy is promoted by the government to reach it’s ‘green’ targets. Photovoltaic (PV) silicon solar panels are the commonest, but a new technology being developed at Cambridge University could be applied to glass creating ‘smart windows’. Solar panel farming and panels set on roof tops of buildings could become a thing of the past.

Researchers are perfecting the method of artificial photosynthesis using a special chemical dye. The dye absorbs sunlight, with enough energy to inject one of it’s electrons into titanium dioxide nano particles to which the dye is attached. The process stimulates an electrical circuit, which cycles hundreds of times a second, creating a dye-sensitised solar cell, like a mini chemical engine.

The new solar cells incorporated in the new ‘smart windows’ glass would be barely visible to the naked eye. This new glass could power whole buildings, eventually creating ‘smart cities’.

Brings to mind science fiction films – especially as autonomous (remotely driven) cars are nearing reality too !

Best regards, Mike

Quotation corner:

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”.                  – Albert Einstein
“Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in”. – Mark Twain

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About Mike Osborn CEng

A Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers living in the UK with a passion for engineering design, technology and innovation, peppered with a little humour. Presently running a small engineering design & CAD drawing solutions business, serving mainly London and home counties. www.osborndesign.co.uk
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