Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), also known as Gratzel cells, are new inventions in thin-film solar cells. These solar cells have numerous advantages over their counterparts and are therefore commonly used in low-density applications and portable gadgets. Here are some of the advantages of DSSCs.
Good Price/Performance Ratio
Dye-sensitized solar cells have a good depth in their nanostructure and hence absorb well the photons in the sunlight. Furthermore the dyes used in the cells are efficient in converting the absorbed photons into electrons. The overall peak power-production efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells is about 11 percent, so they are best suited to low-density applications. Though the efficiency of DSSCs is less than many of the best thin-film cells, the price-to-performance ratio obtained through these solar cells is superior to others.
The dye-sensitized solar cells are made of low-cost materials and are cheaper to manufacture. These solar cells do not require any apparatus and can be printed on any flexible surface. Due to the reduced manufacturing costs, DSSCs are less expensive when compared to other semiconductor cells.
Ability to Work at Wider Angles and in Low Light
The dye used in dye-sensitized solar cells can absorb diffused sunlight and fluorescent light. DSSCs also work in cloudy weather and low-light conditions without much impact on efficiency, while the other traditional cells would fail at illumination below a certain range. DSSCs have a very low cutoff. This makes them suitable for running small devices indoors. These solar cells also work at wider angles, a fact which makes the cells absorb most of the available sunlight.
Unlike other thin-film cells, dye-sensitized solar cells do not degrade in sunlight over time. This characteristic makes the cells last long. They will not require frequent replacements.
DSSCs are mechanically robust. They are made of lightweight materials and require no special protection from rains or trees or any other harsh objects. This makes them easy to use and maintain.
Ability to Operate at Lower Internal Temperatures
As the temperature rises, some electrons in semiconductors are pushed to conduction band mechanically. Hence the silicon cells require protection by covering in a glass box. Such cells get heated easily and hence the efficiency is greatly reduced due to internal temperature. This situation is eliminated in the DSSCs. Because dye-sensitized solar cells are made of only a thin layer of plastic, heat radiates away easily to reduce the internal temperature. This lowering of temperature, in turn, helps in increasing the efficiency of the solar cells.