The high cost of production per megawatt and the limited efficiency of solar energy are restricting the growth of the sector as compared to conventional sources such as thermal and hydel energy, according to a recent study.
However, some good news is there on the technology front as the Indo-Japanese research initiative has reported a growth in the conversion efficiency of dye sensitised solar cells (DSSC) to 11.4 per cent. a new material, a co-adsorbent, has been developed to achieve this.
This is the highest certified efficiency till date surpassing the record set five years ago. The research was carried out at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad in collaboration with Japanese researchers. The results have been reported in the journal Energy & Environmental Science of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Easy to fabricate and developed using low-cost materials DSSC is emerging as an alternative to the first generation of silicon solar cells, the expensive lot. The IICT has plans to develop the new co-adsorbents with structural modifications to further increase its efficiency to match silicon-based solar cells and make them competitive, the Hindu Business Line reported.
Malapaka Chandrasekharam, a senior scientist at the IICT, was quoted saying, “DSSC technology with its low fabrication costs will become a significant player in large-scale solar energy conversion in future. The major advantages these cells have is that they are cheap, flexible and can be operated even under diffused light as compared to silicon-based cells.”