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Ahmad I.,Trinity College Dublin | McCarthy J.E.,Trinity College Dublin | Bari M.,SolarPrint | Gun'ko Y.K.,Trinity College Dublin | Gun'ko Y.K.,St Petersburg National Research University Of Information Technologies
Solar Energy | Year: 2014

In this paper, we report a new cost effective platinum-free counter electrodes (CEs) for dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The CEs were produced using Graphene Nanoplatelets (GNPs) or multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) or various weight % of hybrid GNPs and MWCNTs mixtures. These materials have been dispersed using PEDOT: PSS polymer and then deposited on fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) glass as well as on a non-conducting glass substrate by a drop casting method. The testing of these electrodes in DSSCs have demonstrated a power conversion efficiency of up to 4.10% to compare with the power conversion efficiency of 3.90% for the DSSC with a standard Pt based CE. New CEs were also made where both Pt and FTO were completely replaced by the hybrid PEDOT: PSS-GNPs-MWCNT nanomaterials. The DSSC with these new platinum- and FTO-free CEs have demonstrated an efficiency of up to 2.48%. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Brennan L.J.,Trinity College Dublin | Byrne M.T.,Trinity College Dublin | Bari M.,SolarPrint | Gun'ko Y.K.,Trinity College Dublin
Advanced Energy Materials | Year: 2011

There is an urgent need for alternative energy resources due to the rapid rise in the price of fossil fuels and the great danger of the increasing greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide emission. Sunlight provides by far the largest of all carbon-neutral energy sources. Therefore, the current solar- or photovoltaic-cell-based technologies, which can utilize solar energy, are of extreme importance. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are of particular interest because they can offer a number of advantages when compared to existing photovoltaic technologies. In this review, recent advances in carbonrelated nanomaterials and their application as materials for DSSCs are discussed. Carbon nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene display remarkable electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties that enable several exciting applications in DSSCs. The progress on the utilisation of carbon nanotubes, graphene, and their nanocomposites is reviewed as highly prospective materials to replace transparent conductive oxide (TCO) layers and counter electrodes in DSSCs. Moreover, carbon nanomaterials enable improvement of the performance of absorbing layers in working photoanodes by enhancing the light absorption and electron transport across the semiconducting nanostructured film. The application of carbon nanotubes, graphite particles, and graphene as additives towards the improved efficiency of the electrolyte in these solar cells is also discussed. Finally, a brief outlook is provided on the future development of carbon nanomaterial composites as prospective materials for DSSCs, particularly as components for printable solar cells, which are expected to play an important role in the future solarcell market. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: GC-SST.2010.7-2. | Award Amount: 4.71M | Year: 2010

The electrical loads of present automobiles are related to multimedia, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), body electronics (power windows and heated backlight) and lighting (exterior and interior) and their consumption is above 3 kW. A conventional vehicle with internal combustion engine uses part of the mechanical power (about 5 kW) to drive the mentioned on-board equipments through the alternator considering its efficiency of approximately 60%; regarding cabin heating, engine waste heat assures the cabin thermal comfort that requires 5-10 kW, while a mechanically driven vapour compression cycle guarantees the cabin cooling in summer, absorbing up to 3 kW electric and generating up to 5 kW of cooling power. On a FEV electrical auxiliaries are supplied by the batteries pack resulting in increased mass installed to guarantee reasonable covered ranges from 50 to 100 km; the power consumption of any kind of auxiliary contributes to reduce this range and to decrease the battery lifetime; moreover the amount of heat available for cabin heating is very small (less than 5 kW) and the energy available to supply an air conditioning system is far low than normally required by a conventional one. The concept addressed by SMARTOP is to develop an autonomous smart roof integrating solar cells (PV), energy storage systems and auxiliaries as thermoelectric (TE) climatic control, electrochromic (EC) glazing, courtesy LEDs lighting and actuators able to increase comfort and fuel economy for both fully electrical (FEV) and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. SMARTOP addresses the needs of vehicle electrification integrating on board power hungry devices and matching the comfort and safety customer expectations.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2012

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are a promising new generation of photovoltaic which have relatively high performance compared to silicon-based solar cells in many non-ideal light environments such as dim, diffuse and indoor light. They are on the verge of wide-scale commercialization but still face challenging issues to solve on long-term stability, materials cost and ability to recycle. Many of these issues are rooted in the liquid phase of the cell, the dye / electrolyte pairing. In particular, the reliance on the rare earth Ruthenium as the active constituent of the dye has strong implications on the raw material cost and could potentially be difficult to source in the long term. The ADIOS-Ru project aims to develop a suite of materials for highly stable, low cost DSSC with immediate commercialisation potential. Organic dyes have reached an advanced stage in laboratory development and the RTD partners will undergo selection, modification, analysis and stability improvement tasks in order to provide the SME partners with a low cost alternative to the universally used Ruthenium dye. An ionic liquid electrolyte with tailored properties to support the dye performance will be selected and developed. The SME partners will aid in materials validation, accelerated stability testing amd lab to industrial scaling of production, and design and validate a DSSC device tuned specifically for the dye/electrolyte combination. The RTD performers in the consortium are leading European institutes in the field of DSSC, with numerous publications and patents relating to the development of the technology. The SMEs are the furthest advanced value chain members in the DSSC market, and therefore have the industrial capability to quickly exploit the results of this project. The SMEs have complementary, non-conflicting roles in the supply of materials for DSSC and the production of the final devices, and will work in cooperation to build European leadership in the DSSC market.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.4-1 | Award Amount: 13.40M | Year: 2013

In this proposed integrating project we will develop innovative in-line high throughput manufacturing technologies which are all based on atmospheric pressure (AP) vapour phase surface and on AP plasma processing technologies. Both approaches have significant potential for the precise synthesis of nano-structures with tailored properties, but their effective simultaneous combination is particularly promising. We propose to merge the unique potential of atmospheric pressure atomic layer deposition (AP-ALD), with nucleation and growth chemical vapour deposition (AP-CVD) with atmospheric pressure based plasma technologies e.g. for surface nano-structuring by growth control or chemical etching and, sub-nanoscale nucleation (seed) layers. The potential for cost advantages of such an approach, combined with the targeted innovation, make the technology capable of step changes in nano-manufacturing. Compatible with high volume and flexible multi-functionalisation, scale-up to pilot-lines will be a major objective. Pilot lines will establish equipment platforms which will be targeted for identified, and substantial potential applications, in three strategically significant industrial areas: (i) energy storage by high capacity batteries and hybridcapacitors with enhanced energy density, (ii) solar energy production and, (iii) energy efficient (lightweight) airplanes. A further aim is to develop process control concepts based on in-situ monitoring methods allowing direct correlation of synthesis parameters with nanomaterial structure and composition. Demonstration of the developed on-line monitoring tools in pilot lines is targeted. The integrating project targets a strategic contribution to establishing a European high value added nano-manufacturing industry. New, cost efficient production methods will improve quality of products in high market value segments in industries such as renewable energy production, energy storage, aeronautics, and space. DoW adaptations being made responding on requests from Phase-2 Evaluation Report In Phase-2 of the evaluation process, a number of points were noted by the evaluators where the project had insufficient information or could benefit from upgrading or justification. Our response and actions against each point raised has been summarized and send to the project officer, Dr. Rene Martins, in a separate document.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2010.10.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.59M | Year: 2010

The proposed project comes with a visionary approach, aiming at development of highly efficient molecular-wire charge transfer platform to be used in a novel generation thin film dye-sensitized solar cells fabricated via organic chemistry routes. The proposed technology combines the assembled dye monolayers, linked with organic molecular wires to semiconducting thin film deposited on optically transparent substrates. Current organic photovoltaic (OPV) cell designs made a significant step towards low cost solar cells technology, however in order to be competitive with Si and CIGs technologies, OPVs have to demonstrate long term stability and power conversion efficiencies above 10% The highest reported power conversion efficiency for OPV device based on bulk heterojunction device with PCBM and low band gap conjugated polymers is today 6.4% but this system seems reaching its limit. Offsets in the energetics of these systems lead to large internal energy losses. The dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) reach the efficiency above 11% but the problems with the stability of the electrolyte are the current bottleneck. The MOLESOL comes with a novel concept of hybrid device combining the advantages of both concepts (i.e. dye coupled with organic molecular wire to a conductive electrode). This concept will lead to stable cells with enhanced conversion efficiency based on: Reduction of critical length for the charge collection generated in the dye monolayer by the inorganic bottom electrode, using short molecular wires compatible with exciton diffusion length. Replacing current inorganic ITO/FTO (n-type) layer by novel transparent wide band p-type semiconductor with a possibility of engineering the surface workfunction and leading to perfect matching between HOMO of the dye layer and the valence band of semiconductors, allowing larger Voc.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.3-3 | Award Amount: 8.92M | Year: 2014

Rapidly developing markets such as green construction, energy harvesting and storage, advanced materials for aerospace, electronics, medical implants and environmental remediation are potential key application targets for nanomaterials. There, nanotechnology has the potential to make qualitative improvements or indeed even to enable the technology. Impacts range from increased efficiency of energy harvesting or storage batteries, to radical improvements in mechanical properties for construction materials. In addition, concerns of these markets such as scarcity of materials, cost, security of supply, and negative environmental impact of older products could also be addressed by new nano-enabled materials (e.g. lighter aircraft use less fuel). FutureNanoNeeds will develop a novel framework to enable naming, classification, hazard and environmental impact assessment of the next generation nanomaterials prior to their widespread industrial use. It will uniquely achieve this by integrating concepts and approaches from several well established contiguous domains, such as phylontology and crystallography to develop a robust, versatile and adaptable naming approach, coupled with a full assessment of all known biological protective responses as the basis for a decision tree for screening potential impacts of nanomaterials at all stages of their lifecycle. Together, these tools will form the basis of a value chain regulatory process which allows a each nanomaterial to be assessed for different applications on the basis of available data and the specific exposure and life cycle concerns for that application. Exemplar materials from emerging nano-industry sectors, such as energy, construction and agriculture will be evaluated via this process as demonstrators. The FutureNanoNeeds consortium is uniquely placed to achieve this, on the basis of expertise, positioning, open mindedness and a belief that new approaches are required.

News Article | September 27, 2016
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

Organic solar-cell builder Heliatek just raised $90 million in equity, debt and subsidies in a funding round reminiscent of the enormous solar hardware VC investments made in the last decade. Can an entirely new organic solar-cell (OSC) material be successfully commercialized in an unforgiving solar market dominated by cheap crystalline silicon and First Solar? Heliatek of Dresden, Germany thinks so -- and so do its investors. Heliatek's funding raise was led by innogy, a European energy firm. New investors include Engie, BNP Paribas and CEE Group along with existing investors AQTON, BASF, eCAPITAL, HTGF, TUDAG and Wellington Partners. (AQTON SE is a strategic investment firm owned by Stefan Quandt, a billionaire investor with an unusual past.) The European Investment Bank added a $22 million loan to Heliatek. That means Heliatek has raised more than $140 million since its founding in 2006 as a spinoff of the Universities of Dresden and Ulm. The startup claims a world-record 13.2 percent cell efficiency, although that figure is from a multi-junction cell with three absorber layers. NREL's record-keepers have Heliatek at about 10 percent for a single-layer device. Heliatek is focusing on using its OSC technology in windows, facades, building and construction materials, and automotive equipment. GTM spoke with Heliatek CEO Thibaud Le Seguillon last week. He emphasized that his company is not a solar module company, but rather a roll-to-roll solar film company selling to large steel, glass, aluminum, concrete and automotive companies that will incorporate the film into their products and sales channels. He called the Heliatek product "a shortcut to innovation" for these OEMs. CEO Le Seguillon discounted the importance of efficiency when the power production of OSCs in low light and at high temperature is considered. Nevertheless, here's what vendors in the domain of higher-efficiency technologies are capable of producing. The CEO said that Heliatek's current fab is producing cells with an efficiency of 8.2 percent; the next fab will be at 10 percent, and "one year later, we'll be at 12 percent." Heliatek is focused on the promised-land market of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). This includes windows and facades, as well as concrete and other building materials. As we've reported, BIPV is a difficult market to break into. Commercializing an integrated solar roofing product or facade is not just an engineering problem. It means driving a completely new type of product through the very conservative roofing and building channel -- and that's a daunting marketing challenge. Traditional solar modules on racks may be less than aesthetically perfect, but they have a distribution channel and a solid track record of technical expertise. Recent announcements from Tesla, Solaria, SolPad and MiaSolé seem to point to a small resurgence in innovation in the BIPV space. SolPad integrates storage into its slick solar module package. Hanergy-owned MiaSolé launched its new “flexible, thin, ultra-light, high-efficiency, shatterproof modules.” Solaria entered into an agreement with NSG Group, owner of the Pilkington glass brand, to build semi-transparent BIPV. And sometime next month, Tesla will be revealing its new rooftop BIPV product. Organic solar cells are sometimes referred to as third-generation solar technology, coming after crystalline silicon and thin-film solar. OSCs can be divided into two categories: polymer-based (large molecules) and oligomer-based (small molecules). OSCs are lightweight, nontoxic, and semi-transparent. They hold the promise of low-cost manufacturing, but their efficiencies tend to be very low -- until now, at least -- and their long-term reliability has been called into question. Heliatek uses vacuum deposition of very homogenous layers of small-molecule oligomers at low temperatures. The process doesn't use solvents (as printing-based processes do), and that serves to separate the firm from competitors, according to Heliatek's CEO. In a previous interview, Le Seguillon suggested that the firm's technology can be thought of as an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) in reverse. Heliatek itself is developing the organic materials it uses, and the firm claims to use just 1 gram of organic material per square meter in its roll-to-roll process. Currently, global deployment of OSCs is negligible. Global production capacity amounts to just a few megawatts. Years ago, OSC aspirant Konarka raised a great deal of money and went bankrupt without ever making it to commercial production. OSC aspirants Dyesol and Oxford Photovoltaics have more recently focused on perovskite materials. Other organic and dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) developers include Solarmer, Plextronics (bankrupt and sold to Solvay), Infinity PV, EPFL, Mitsubishi, Peccell, and G24i. Eight19 Limited raised $7 million from the Carbon Trust and Rhodia to develop plastic organic solar cells. Ireland's SolarPrint spent millions of dollars of investor money on a DSSC process before going bankrupt in 2014. Intel has also done some research into OSCs. But the difficult task of commercializing economical and reliable organic solar cells remains. Heliatek seems to have gotten closer to that goal than any other firm to date. Heliatek's CEO claimed that the company's product will last 20 years, as the firm continues to perform accelerated aging testing. Its plans are to enter mass production in 2018.

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Perovskite Photovoltaics 2016-2026: Technologies, Markets, Players" report to their offering. The report will also benchmark other photovoltaic technologies including crystalline silicon, GaAs, amorphous silicon, CdTe, CIGS, CZTS, DSSC, OPV and quantum dot PV. Cost analysis is provided for future perovskite solar cells. A 10-year market forecast is given based on different application segments. Possible fabrication methods and material choices are discussed as well. With so many improvements, perovskite solar cell technology is still in the early stages of commercialization compared with other mature solar technologies as there are a number of concerns remaining such as stability, toxicity of lead in the most popular perovskite materials, scaling-up, etc. Crystalline silicon PV modules have fallen from $76.67/W in 1977 to $0.4-0.5/W with fair efficiency in early 2015. As one of the top ten science breakthroughs of 2013, perovskite solar cells have shown potential both in the rapid efficiency improvement (from 2.2% in 2006 to the latest record 20.1% in 2014) and in cheap material and manufacturing costs. Perovskite solar cells have attracted tremendous attention from the likes of DSSC and OPVs with greater potential. Many companies and research institutes that focused on DSSCs and OPVs now transfer attention to perovskites with few research institutes remaining exclusively committed to OPVs and DSSCs. Perovskite solar cells are a breath of fresh air into the emerging photovoltaic technology landscape. They have amazed with an incredibly fast efficiency improvement, going from just 2% in 2006 to over 20.1% in 2015. These questions will be answered in this report: - Will perovskite solar cells be able to compete with silicon solar cells which dominate the PV market now? - What is the status of the technology? - What are the potential markets? - Who is working on it?  The market forecast is provided based on the following applications: - Smart glass - BIPV - Outdoor furniture - Perovskites in tandem solar cells - Utility - Portable devices - Third world/developing countries for off-grid applications - Automotive - Others Key Topics Covered: 1. Overview 2. Technology Benchmarking Of Different Pv Technologies 3. Cost Analysis 4. Commercial Opportunities And Market Forecast 5. Background Of Perovskite Solar Cells 6. Architecture And Fabrication 7. Material Options 8. Player Profiles 9. Companies Currently Working On Perovskites 10. Companies Working On Other Emerging Pvs 11. Abbreviations Companies Mentioned - Alta Devices - Armor - Belectric - CSIRO - CrayoNano AS - Crystalsol GmbH - DisaSolar - Dyesol - Eight19 Ltd - Exeger - Flexink - Fraunhofer ISE - FrontMaterials - G24 Power Ltd - Heliatek GmbH - NanoGram Corp - National Research Council Canada - New Energy Technologies Inc - Oxford Photovoltaics - Polyera Corporation - Raynergy Tek Incorporation - Saule Technologies - SolarPrint Ltd - Solaronix - Sumitomo Chemical and CDT - Ubiquitous Energy Inc - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland - Xiamen Weihua Solar Co.,Ltd. For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/3lstml/perovskite Research and Markets Laura Wood, Senior Manager press@researchandmarkets.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call +1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call +1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900 U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907 Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716

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