03.04.03 Solar architecture and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV)
Solar architecture and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV)
The newly established Swiss company, has acquired a DSC licence of a new type of photovoltaic cell, based on advances made by Professor Grätzel of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).
The technology of dye synthesized solar cells is often referred to as artificial photosynthesis, analogous to chlorophyll in leafs, where a sensitized dye absorbs light and generates excited electrons. These electrons are injected into and transported via the conduction band of a high surface area semiconductor. These cells are thin film devices that use a nanocrystalline carrier layer made of titanium dioxide (TiO2) whose surface is chemically bonded with a monolayer of light-absorbing dye molecules. A small amount of gel electrolyte is used for the transport of the carriers.
The energy production costs of these cells will be significantly below grid parity and competitive to all cells produced today, once mass produced. As the impact of the angle of incidence is low the whole surface (south, north, west, east and roof) of the building envelope can be dedicated to power generation. This technology represents a change of paradigm in the aim to build energy self-sufficient buildings. Panels take the functions of façade, windows, power generators and decorations in one go.
Unprecedented design possibilities for architectural design with colours, designs over total building envelope.