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Barbera E.,University of Padua | Sforza E.,University of Padua | Guidobaldi A.,DYEPOWER | Di Carlo A.,DYEPOWER | And 2 more authors.
Renewable Energy | Year: 2017

Outdoor industrial-scale microalgae cultivation is limited by several factors, among which a low efficiency of overall light energy conversion plays a key role, mainly due to photosaturation and photoinhibition under high irradiations. This work aims at improving the overall photoconversion efficiency in a microalgal production photobioreactor (PBRs), by exploiting an advanced photovoltaic (PV) technology. A semi-transparent dye sensitized solar cells module (DSC) is placed on the irradiated surface, thus absorbing part of the incident light to produce electricity, while transmitted photons are used by algal cells for photosynthesis. Experiments are carried out in a continuous laboratory scale flat-panel PBR, at different constant light intensities and under a day-night irradiation regime, to ascertain the performances of this combined PV-PBR system in terms of biomass productivity and overall photoconversion efficiency, compared to traditional transparent PBRs. The results obtained show that the configuration proposed, combining biomass production with innovative photovoltaics technology, could be a valuable way to improve light energy utilization and efficiency in microalgal production. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Giordano F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Guidobaldi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Petrolati E.,DYEPOWER | Vesce L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 4 more authors.
Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications | Year: 2013

We have designed and fabricated dye solar cell (DSC) modules with optimized geometries and processes. Integrated interconnections were made following the "Z" architecture for series connections. Several modules were prepared varying the materials, multilayer combination of the TiO2 active layers, and the fabrication processes. With the best combination of TiO 2 multilayers, titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) treatment, a back reflector/diffusor, and optimized layout of cells via simulations, we fabricated a DSC module with a conversion efficiency of 6.9% on 43 cm 2 aperture area and 9.4% on active area. This result confirms that an effective scale-up of high performance Z-series-connected DSC modules can be achieved comparable with other thin film technology. Note that the materials used to produce the devices of this work are all commercially available: an important result for a technology that is being developed for industrial application. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. We have designed and fabricated dye solar cell (DSC) Z-type modules with optimized geometries and materials. Through optimization of the layout of the modules using PSPICE simulations, the multilayer combination and treatments of the TiO2 active layers, and the fabrication processes, a conversion efficiency of 6.9% on the 43-cm2 aperture area and 9.4% on the active area was achieved. This result confirms that an effective scale-up of opaque high-performance Z-series-connected DSC modules, all realized with commercially available materials, can be accomplished. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Park J.,University of Turin | Barolo C.,University of Turin | Sauvage F.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Sauvage F.,CNRS Laboratory of Chemistry and Reactivity of Solids | And 8 more authors.
Chemical Communications | Year: 2012

A symmetric squaraine and its related non-symmetric structure are shown to have comparable efficiencies in DSCs, but with undoubtedly advantages in the low cost and easiness of synthesis for the symmetrical structure. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012.

Mastroianni S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Lanuti A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Penna S.,Dyepower | Reale A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 3 more authors.
ChemPhysChem | Year: 2012

A long-term life test (3200 h) on large-area dye-sensitized cells is performed both under outdoor conditions, in the sunny Mediterranean climate in Rome (Italy), and under continuous light soaking (1 Sun, 85 °C). Different degradation rates are investigated for the outdoor samples with horizontally and vertically oriented cells (azimuth South, tilt angle 25°). Thirty identical photocells (active area=3.6 cm 2, conversion efficiencies=(4. 8±0.2) %) are aged using a robust master-plate configuration. After the first 1000 h of testing in open-circuit conditions, some of the test samples are set near the maximum power point (MPP) and the life test continued further until 3200 h. A detailed analysis of the physical parameters obtained by electrochemical impedance is given together with electrolyte transmittance variation with time as a function of the ageing conditions. Faster degradation in devices working at the MPP is observed, due mainly to a progressive decrease of the triiodide concentration in the electrolyte and a likely alteration at the titania/electrolyte interface. Outdoor devices working with vertically oriented cells show clearly that the orientation of long-striped cells can affect the lifetime. The aged cells suffer an increase of recombination rate, change in the chemical capacitance, and positive shift of the titania conduction band level. A strong correlation between the increase of the electrolyte diffusion resistance and degradation phenomena is found. © 2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

The present invention concerns a vertical electrical connection of photoelectrochemical cells, arranged side-by-side between two opposing substrates, at least one of which is transparent or semi-transparent, and covered, on the side facing towards the other substrate, by an electrically conductive coating divided into a plurality of side-by-side regions electrically isolated by means of a corresponding number of interruptions, said vertical electrical connection being arranged between an electrically isolated region of the electrically conductive coating of a substrate, in electric contact with a photoelectrochemical cell, and the electrically isolated region of the electrically conductive coating of the opposing substrate, in contact with an adjacent photoelectrochemical cell, characterized in that it is made of three overlapping portions, that is two portions, respectively coupled with the conductive coating of each of the two opposing substrates delimiting said photoelectrochemical cells.

The present invention concerns a process for the synthesis of both precursor complexes and dye sensitizers for titanium dioxide based on ruthenium polypyridine complexes comprising microwave irradiation, under high pressure and in aqueous environment system

A process of manufacturing the catalytic layer of the counter-electrodes of dye-sensitized solar cells is described. The process has the following steps: depositing a catalyst precursor paste or precursor solution layer over the counter-electrodes conductive and transparent substrates, by screen printing, doctor blade, spin coating or brush,and irradiating the catalyst precursor paste or precursor solution layer with a continuous wave or pulsed laser beam having a wavelength in the range of infrared, visible, or ultraviolet, thus curing the precursor and forming a catalyst layer over the conductive and transparent counter-electrode substrates.

The present invention regards a module (10) of photoelectrochemical cells, comprising at least a flat shape substrate (11), with two opposing surfaces and a lateral edge, joining said opposing surfaces along the respective perimeters, on one of said surfaces of said substrate (11) being placed in succession a conductive coating (15) and one or more photoelectrochemical cells (13), said module (1) comprising moreover a first electrode (14) of the whole module and a second electrode (17) of the whole module, wherein said substrate (11) has in correspondence of at least a portion of said lateral edge, means (14, 17, 24, 25, 29) for electrical connection and mechanical coupling with a side by side placed module (10) of the same type. The invention further refers to an electrical and mechanical interconnection system of photoelectrochemical cell modules (10) as previously defined.

The present invention concerns a process for the synthesis of precursor complexes and titanium dioxide sensitizing dyes based on ruthenium polypyridine complexes comprising the microwave irradiation under high pressure and in aqueous environment system of precursor complexes and sensitizers based on carboxylic functionalized ruthenium polypyridine complexes

A DSSC photovoltaic device comprising at least one photoelectrochemical cell interposed between a first substrate and a second substrate. Each substrate having a relevant first face and a relevant second face, opposed to the first face. The first face of the first substrate is faced toward the first face of the second substrate. The device also comprises an integrated bypass means on the substrates comprising a bypass diode for an photoelectrochemical cell. The bypass diode is provided on one edge of the photovoltaic device, wherein the edge is defined by at least a portion of both substrates and by an encapsulating material interposed between the two portions. Two conductive tracks connecting the anode and cathode of the bypass diode to the negative and positive electrode of the cell, respectively, and a UV filtering means to at least partially filter UV radiation, applied on at least a face of said substrates are also provided.

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