An Indo-Japanese research initiative has achieved an the conversion efficiency level of 11.4 per cent in electricity generation using solar cells, the highest so far.
They achieved this by using dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSC). They have also developed a new material (a co-adsorbent) to achieve the highest certified efficiency.
The work involving Japanese researchers has been carried out at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad. It was reported in the journal Energy & Environmental Science of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
DSSCs, which are easy to fabricate, utilise low-cost materials and is emerging as an alternative to the first generation of silicon solar cells, which are expensive.
The IICT plans to develop new co-adsorbents with structural modifications to further increase the efficiency to that of silicon-based solar cells and make them competitive.
The cost of production of a megawatt of solar energy depends on the efficiency of conversion of sunlight into energy and this is limiting the growth of solar energy as compared to conventional sources such as thermal and hydel energy.
DSSC technology with its low fabrication costs is expected to play a significant role in future large-scale solar energy conversion.
Also, compared to silicon-based cells, these cells are cheap, flexible and can be operated even under diffused light.
The IICT-Japanese research is focused on developing new materials for DSSC technology with higher efficiency and durablility.