INDIGENOUS DEVELOPMENT OF DYE-SENSITIZED SOLAR CELLS AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATION UNDER TEXAS ENVIRONMENT
Renewable energy is a reliable solution for energy challenges that face the planet nowadays. Its resources are available, environmentally friendly, and renewable. The challenge is how to manage them by converting from a type to another. For Texas environment, sunlight is available most days of the year reaching more than 6 kWh/m2/day. Hence, Texas has an untapped potential for solar energy conversion. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are a new type of solar cells that have attractive features but also needs some improvement and tests under Texas environment. The primary goal of this project is to design, fabricate, test, and improve the efficiency of DSSC that will be working under Texas environment. As DSSC is one of the recent technologies in PV cells field, the project goes through its history, components, and working principle. Moreover, carbon-based monolithic perovskite solar cell (mPSC) which is inspired from DSSC or can be considered as a solid state of DSSC is also fabricated and tested. A proposed design is applied in the fabrication of these two types of solar cells. For DSSC, a small test cell of 36 mm2 active area is fabricated using TiO2 paste with a 20mmx20mm photoelectrode made from silicon glass coated with fluorine tin oxide (FTO). All design and fabrication phases are guided by pre-set design and technical constraints such as cost, manufacturability and processing, and safety. Ruthenizer N719 dye which has good absorbance efficiency among the spectrum is used as a sensitizer. Platinum is used in coating the counter electrode which is stuck to the photo-electrode with 6 μm thickness
Syrelene polymer. A liquid electrolyte (Iodolyte HI-30) is injected between the photo- electrode and the counter-electrode to generate neutrality to the oxidized dye that guarantees the continuous of the cell’s generated power. On the other hand, for the mPSC, a small test cell of 150mm2 active area is fabricated using methylammonium lead Iodide (MAPbI3) as a perovskite which is injected to the cell. The cell consists of three layers which are Titania, zirconia, and carbon. The cell
is then encapsulated with Syrelene polymer and ready to be tested. The cells are then tested and characterized using standard equipment such as solar simulator, Keithly Source Measurement Unit, and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Analysing the data, for DSSC, 0.67 V, 0.51 mA, 0.5%, and 0.51 are obtained for cell’s open-circuit voltage (Voc), short-circuit current (Isc), efficiency, and fill factor (FF), respectively. While for mPSC, 0.93 V, 9.24 mA, 3.11%, and 0.54 are obtained for cell’s open-circuit voltage (Voc), short-circuit current (Isc), efficiency, and fill factor (FF), respectively This design will go through phases of improvement and optimization to enhance the cell’s performance under harsh environment.