14Rainbow dye research promises to deliver cheaper solar power
Solar cell technology developed by Massey University will enable New Zealanders to generate electricity from sunlight at a 10th of the cost of current silicon-based photo-electric solar cells.
The dies can be incorporated into tinted windows to generate electricity. They may eventually be incorporated into roofing materials or wall panels.
Dr Wayne Campbell and researchers in the University's Nanomaterials Research Centre have developed a range of coloured dyes for use in dye-sensitised solar
Unlike the silicon-based solar cells currently on the market, the 10x10cm green demonstration cells generate enough electricity to run a small fan in low-light conditions – making them ideal for cloudy weather.
He says the green solar cells are more environmentally friendly than silicon-based cells as they are made from titanium dioxide – a plentiful, renewable and non-toxic white mineral obtained from New Zealand's black sand.
The ultimate aim is to convert as much sunlight to electricity as possible.. The energy that reaches earth from sunlight in one hour is more than that used by all human activities in one year.
Details: www.tec.govt.nz/templates/standard.aspx?id=1903 (Item supplied by Geoff Church)
Democrats for social credit support research into and use of alternative energy resources
– from the Guardian Political Review,
Issue 55, 2008