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Komal Magsi, Emilia Macdonald, and Advisor Professor Leon Shterengas
Due to the disordered nature of the material some atoms have a dangling bond. These dangling bonds are defects in the continuous random network, which cause anomalous electrical behavior. Dye Sensitized Solar Cells: The inventors of DSSC are Michael Grätzel and Brian O'Regan at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 1991. The basic structure of DSSC is photosensitive layer of ultrathin, nano-sized semiconductor crystals over a thin layer of titanium dioxide. Photons hit photosensitive layer and allow electrons to flow. Electrons form on the Ti02 layer create a current. Liquid Electrolyte was needed to carry electrons from one layer to next. Dye is made of amorphous organic material. Dye is coated onto the Ti02. Dye absorbs light and attracts excited electrons which generate charge. Energy conversion efficiency: This is the ratio between the useful output of an energy conversion machine and the input, in energy terms. The useful output may be electric power, mechanical work, or heat. Energy conversion efficiency is not defined uniquely, but instead depends on the usefulness of the output. Power: The watt (symbol: W) is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units (SI). It measures rate of energy conversion. One watt is equivalent to 1 joule (J) of energy per second. II. SYSTEM DESIGN A. Design Constraints Solar Cell Performance: A solar cell is a pn junction device with no voltage directly applied across the junction. The solar cell will convert photon power into electrical power and deliver this power to a load. These devices have long been used for the power supply of satellites and space vehicles, and also as the power supply to some calculators.
Abstract— Our senior design project deal with two types of
solar cell technologies: industry standard Si-based and the emerging one based on novel dye sensitized materials. Dye sensitized solar cells will be fabricated in a laboratory setting. FTIR and Raman microscopy will be used to study the surface make-up of the novel solar cells. A thin film flexible photovoltaic cell will be characterized. The efficiency of the dye sensitized solar cells will be compared to that of thin film Si-based solar cells. We will design the experiments and perform measurements using LabView controlled data acquisition. The prospects to improve the efficiency of the novel solar cell technology will be discussed.
Index Terms - Amorphous semiconductors, Dyes, Lasers, Photovoltaic cells
n our project we will be testing the different efficiencies of the new technology of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) and the more common amorphous silicon solar cell. A brief description of the technology of the solar cells we will be testing and important concepts to the project is included below. Si-Based Solar (amorphous silicon): Amorphous is characterized by an indefinite shape with noncrystal material. Due to irregular atomic arrangements, reciprocal action between photons and silicon atoms occurs more frequently in amorphous silicon. Irregular atomic arrangement allows more light to be absorbed. Ultra thin amorphous silicon film is used. Unbreakable structure allows for rough weather durability. Roll to roll manufacturing processing. Silicon is a four-fold conditioned atom that is normally tetrahedrally bonded to our four neighboring silicon atoms. In crystalline silicon this tetrahedral structure is continued over a large range, forming a well-formed lattice (crystal). In amorphous silicon this long range order is not present and the atoms form a continuous random network. Not all the atoms within amorphous silicon are four-fold coordinated.
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The net current is zero and the voltage produced is the opencircuit voltage. The peak of the solar spectrum is where the most solar energy is produced so it is a perfect wavelength for the solar cells to operate at. The short-circuit condition occurs when R=0 so that V=0. and Voc = Vt ln (1 + ) (2.2 shows the solar spectrum where it is easy to see that the wavelength of 400nm to 500nm fall around the peak. the magnitude of the electric field in the space charge region decreases. Figure 2. The forward-bias voltage produces a forward bias current IF as indicated in the figure. A photon with energy greater than Eg will contribute to the solar cell output power. The current in this case is referred to as the short-circuit current or: I = Isc = IL The second limiting case is the open circuit condition and occurs when R Æ . The conventional pn junction solar cell has a single semiconductor bandgap energy.2) Figure 2.0) response of both solar cells peaks around the same wave length of 400 to 500nm.7 and . When testing for the efficiency of both solar cells it is important that the wavelength of the light shined on both cells hit them around the peak of their absorption. a photon with energy less than Eg will have no effect on the electrical output power of the solar cell. (a) As the diode becomes forward biased. but the fraction of photon energy that is greater than Eg will eventually only be dissipated as heat. Both the spectral Figure 2. The net pn junction current.1 shows the spectral response of both silicon and DSSC.8. which forward biases the pn junction. in the reverse-bias direction is: I = IL – IF = IL – IS [exp -1] (2.1: (a) The Spectral response of silicon (b) The Spectral Response of DSSC Now it is important to look at the solar spectrum to see if the peak absorption wavelength of the cells is in the wavelength of visible light. For the maximum power output we write: = x 100% = x 100% (2. The photocurrent is always in the reverse-bias direction. There are two limiting cases of interest. When the cell is exposed to the solar spectrum.2: The Solar Spectrum . The photocurrent is just balanced by the forward-biased junction current so we have: I = 0 = IL – Is [exp -1]. Typically the fill factor is . Figure 2. The maximum possible current and the maximum possible voltage in the solar cell are Isc and Voc respectively.2 The photocurrent IL produces a voltage drop across the resistive load. Technical: One of the technical constraints of the project is the spectral response of silicon and DSSCs. but does not go to zero or change direction.1) (b) Conversion Efficiency of Solar Concentration: The conversion efficiency of a solar cell is defined as the ratio of output electrical power to incident optical power. The ratio ImVm/IscVoc is called the fill factor and is a measure of the realizable power from a solar cell.
Based upon the design constraints. The spectrometer shown in figure 2. Proving that cost for this project will be minimal.3: 405 nm. HD-DVD Blue-Ray.4 (a) Spectrometer (b) Inside of a spectrometer (a) Figure 2. inexpensive equipment. (b) Figure 2. Blue.99.99 and the right ones starting price was $14. The rest of the equipment although very expensive will be provided by Professor Leon Shterengas in the lab.3 Financial: There are no financial constraints due to the fact that the project will be very inexpensive.3 shows two laser diodes found on ebay. Laser diodes B. We have included a number of pictures of our lab equipment below for further understanding. there were many designs available. Figure 2.com. Design Considered: For our project.5 (a) Laser hat (b) Solar cells in parallel and series . The only purchase that will be needed is a laser diode to shine light on the solar cells and the amorphous silicon cells. and environmental feasibility we chose to implement the design described later in the report. The amorphous silicon cells are also readily available and inexpensive.4 will be used to measure the spectral response of the solar cells (b) (a) Figure 2. the left ones starting price was $9.
The second (b) .9 Examples of LabView which will be used to control data in our lab to our discretion.8 and 2. The multimeter can be controlled by the computer using LABview through the connector shown in figure 2.6 will be used to measure voltage and current for analysis.5 (b) is an example of solar cells used for testing. The first apparatus will have a silicon based solar cell under a laser diode controlled by lab view parameters. The multimeter shown in figure 2.7 (a) Connector (b) Laser Diode Controller (b) Figure 2. Figure 2.7 (b) is a laser diode controller which we will use to control the laser diode (a) Figure 2.5 (a) will be used to hold the laser diode as well as control the lasers voltage and temperature.4 The laser hat shown in figure 2.9 Figure 2. Final Design The final design will consist of 2 apparatus’s. (a) Figure 2. We decided to use blue laser diodes to shine light onto the solar cells due to the fact that they are reasonably price and easy to control C.6 (a).6 (a) Multimeter (b) Back of multimeter 488 GPIB bus Figure 2.8 Figure 2.
12 and select the voltage to be displayed in the main display and the current in the second display if the DMM. The first method is by using an oscilloscope to get a solid curve. Figure 2.5 apparatus will have a dye sensitized solar cell under a laser diode controlled by lab view as well. Display both of the voltages on the oscilloscope reverse the voltage signal from the resistor (Y) to obtain set the oscilloscope to the X-Y regime and the I-V characteristic curve should be displayed for the solar cell. The second method of obtaining the I-V curve is by performing point-to-point measurements.4) A transformer is used to provide DC isolation of the circuit ground from the signal generator ground. DC isolation is important because we need to simultaneously display the voltage of the solar cell and the voltage of R1 on the oscilloscope.11 Circuit used to measure I-V curve using point-topoint measurements Figure 2. the frequency of the sin wave should be 1kHz and the voltage across the secondary winding of the transformer should be in the range of 5V to 10V. Equation 2.10 is connected to the Y-input of the oscilloscope (obtaining the resistors voltage signal). The resistor R1 not only serves as a means of limiting the current but can also be used to monitor current because the voltage across the resistor corresponds to the current across the solar cell.4 shows how the voltage across the resistor corresponds to the current across the solar cell in mA.10 Circuit used to measure I-V curve on oscilloscope The dye sensitized solar cell will be made in a lab. Then measure the current at different voltages of the solar cell. For the DMM to do that it must be connected to the circuit as shown in the figure 2. an example shown in figure 2. we have chosen a laser diode that falls within the range of 400-500nm. The DSSC will be made in a lab that we have access to on campus so this does not pose any great issues. Characterization: . Due to the spectral response of the dye and amorphous silicon. First we will build the circuit show in figure 2. (2. Due the fact that the solar cell and the resistor R1 are in series the current across both of them is equal. First we will build the circuit show in figure 2. The top connection in figure 2. A “floating” signal source is created by grounding the AC signal source and the transformer.10 and the ground between them. Once we have completed these graphs we will use them compare the efficiency of silicon solar cells and the DSSC. This “floating” signal source allows us to place a ground were the solar cell the resistor meet. Building the dye sensitized solar cell and silicon based solar cell: Figure 2. LAB VIEW will be used when necessary and applicable.10. We will most likely be using a laser diode with the parameters of 405nm (Figure 2. For each cell a graph can be made containing both the curve from the oscilloscope and in the point-to-point measurements. Next we will set up the DMM to simultaneously perform two measurements (voltage and current of the diode). R1 should be 1KΩ. In order to measure the efficiency of the solar cells we will be looking at the I-V curves. The amorphous silicon cell is readily available to us in Professor Leon’s lab.3).12 How to connect the above circuit to a DMM Both of the methods for measuring the I-V curve will be used for the silicon solar cells and the DDSC as well as different amounts of power provided by the laser diodes. The voltages of the solar cell and the resistor are then measured from the points shown on figure 2. We will measure the IV curve using two different methods.13 of both cells under a blue laser diode.11 Voltage and current measurements will be performed with the FLUKE 45 DMM.10 is connected to the X-input of the oscilloscope (obtaining the solar cell’s voltage signal) and the bottom connection in figure 2. The silicon based solar cell will be made available to us without any design from our part.
These methods of producing energy have several negative attributes worth Figure 2. From the slope of the linear dependence of I on V in this voltage range find the diode series resistance. there is much more that goes into them. the Solar Riser made the first flight in a solar powered. By 1995. to keep the interior cool. and the sun21 catamaran made the first solar powered crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in the winter of 2006–2007. Figure 2. green energy. In 1975. Determine the diode non-ideality factor from the slope of the I-V characteristic in semi-log scale.14 The final design was chosen based on the constraints of the silicon and dye sensitized solar cells constraints. fully controlled. plot the simulated diode I-V characteristics in linear scale. The study of minute particles for the transfer electrons is exactly what TiO2 is in the dye sensitized solar cells. home improvement. Though our project focuses mainly on the technical aspect of these cells. This was quickly followed by the Solar Challenger which crossed the English Channel in July 1981. and month-long flights are envisioned by 2010. nanotechnology. B. How will measurements be made? Primarily. The Zephyr. I versus V. We are currently in the beginning stages of our testing. Identify the voltage range in which this dependence is linear.13 An expected IV curve In 1974. culminating in the Helios which set the altitude record for a non-rocketpropelled aircraft at 29.e. . and much more.3 are 405nm which fits into that constraint. the unmanned AstroFlight Sunrise plane made the first solar flight. developed by BAE Systems. MULTIDISCIPLINARY ISSUES Solar cells can easily be applied to a non-EE area.524 meters (96. DISCUSSION A. Identify the voltage range in which the dependence of ln(I) on V is linear.860 ft) in 2001. Kenichi Horie made the first solar powered crossing of the Pacific Ocean. We have begun by shining light onto amorphous silicon solar cells and testing the output power of the solar cells. Developments then turned back to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with the Pathfinder (1997) and subsequent designs. making a 54-hour flight in 2007.e. As explain earlier in the paper the laser diode used to shine light on the solar cells must be in the wavelength of the peak of the solar spectrum of both solar cells. ln(I) versus V. Some vehicles use solar panels for auxiliary power. In 1980. man carrying flying machine. Secondly. the first practical solar boat was constructed in England. PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES Nuclear and coal power plants used today have an associated health risk for those who live near them. such as for air conditioning. The actual material of these cells is an extremely important consideration. The laser diodes shown in figure 2. We have found that blue lasers maybe not be the right light to shine onto our solar cells and are currently testing other sources of light. There are plans to circumnavigate the globe in 2010. marketing. commercialization. The peak for both solar cells is around 400nm -500nm. In 1996. the Gossamer Penguin made the first piloted flights powered solely by photovoltaics. Material science in many universities nation-wide and abroad are opening up special programs to further study organic materials and dyes that may increase the efficiency of these cells. In 1990 Eric Raymond in 21 hops flew from California to North Carolina using solar power. i. IV. thus reducing fuel consumption. reaching an altitude of 40 feet (12 m). vehicles.6 III. On 29 April 1979. This technology is applicable in materials science. passenger boats incorporating PV panels began appearing and are now used extensively. plot the same simulated diode I-V it in semi-log scale. i. Nanotechnology is also another applicable field for solar cell technology. is the latest in a line of record-breaking solar aircraft. SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION AND TESTING IV Measurements: There are a few ways the IV curve will be measured for this experiment.
support and patience through this endeavor. hydropower has severely threatened the lives of salmon in the Pacific Northwest--species have become regionally extinct in many parts. solar cells can perhaps help if a way is found to make them less expensive. Outputs from coal plants cause toxic chemicals to accumulate in the bodies of plants and animals. Available: http://wintowtinting. Additional thanks to the advice received by a panel of mentors provided by Professor Wendy Tang. NY.disorderedmatter. December 2009. planning to graduate May 2010. She hopes to further her studies in the engineering and materials science field with a specialization in sustainability and renewable energy. N. Solar energy is better to our environment than any known traditional forms of energy especially against fossil fuel and coal. but the long-term effects of acid rain and global climate change hurt ecosystems that we depend on for our survival. For example.eu. Komal received first place at the Advanced Energy Conference in November of 2009 where she presented research she had done on Efficiency Increase for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells. for his continuous help. S. April).org/ S. She has worked under the Dean of Materials Science.7 noting. D.com. Available: http://www. Lab 2. Opto-electronic analysis of silicon solar cells by LBIC investigations and current–voltage characterization. In her free time she serves as editor-in-chief of the Stony Brook MSA Minaret for which she has received a Student Media Services Award in 2009. The efficiency of the dye sensitized solar cells will be compared to that of thin film Si-based solar cells. calculators and other appliances. Our current energy use is unethical because it harms life around the globe. Russell D. Measurement of DC Voltages and Currents. Donald A. Her current research includes the comparison of Ph and Ramaan based spectral management for Si cell application. N. Dye sensitized solar cells will be fabricated in a laboratory setting. Providing a less expensive method of collecting solar energy will positively impact society and the environment because it will aid to decrease its dependence on fossil fuels. McGrawHill 2006. 2002. Macdonald was born in Toronto. Inc. A thin film flexible photovoltaic cell will be characterized. REFERENCES          Basics of Laser Diodes. March 5th. It has many uses such as for electricity production or for heating of water through using photovoltaic. 2009. mining and nuclear waste are both hazardous to people in terms of direct physical harm as well as the direct physical harm of the environment in which these facilities exist. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors would like to sincerely thank their advisor. Magsi is currently studying Electrical Engineering with a minor in Materials Science at Stony Brook University. (2004. Not only are the people who are near the plants negatively affected. In parts of the world that are deprived of any means to electricity.au/ Sunscreen Window Tinting & Graphics M. Tektronix. ESE 211 Electronics Lab A. Ontario. FTIR and Raman microscopy will be used to study the surface make-up of the novel solar cells.. E. An Introduction To Semiconductor Devices. V. Solar energy can be used to power heated swimming pools. .M. Semiconductor Diodes. Pages 4445-4448. 2008. the demand of solar energy is increasing.opticsinfobase. Previous research she has done includes the study of dye sensitized solar cells and the comparison of different dyes such as chlorophyll and anthocyanine. Department of Electrical Engineering. IMPACT ON SOCIETY Given the current energy crisis our study of DSSC will only impact society and environment in a positive way. 2009. two necessary ingredients for a comfortable life are being denied to humans in hundreds of cities abroad. She is being advised under the honorable Professor Charles Fortmann who received his PhD in solar technology from Stanford University. She is also being trained to study X-Ray topography with regards to stress strain defects with Professor Dudley’s group. Photoregulation of Anthocyanin Synthesis. Published 2008 Available: http// blog. ESE 211 Electronics Lab A. Leon. America. Leon. Lab 8. Habitat destruction causes extinction and displacement of species. Plant Physiol. Specifically. it can be used to power cars or attic fans. New York. Canada. Optics & Photonics News [Online]. Solar power provides a natural way to sustain life in all parts of the world without causing harm to any species. Physics B: Condensed Matter. NY. Due to high prices of the electric bill using conventional sources. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Our senior design project deal with two types of solar cell technologies: industry standard Si-based and the emerging one based on novel dye sensitized materials. The prospects to improve the efficiency of the novel solar cell technology will be discussed. D. C. 75(2): 447–453. We will design the experiments and perform measurements using LabView controlled data acquisition. Alberto. Notes on Disordered Matter. Thantsha. Carsten. Leon Shterengas. Professor Gary Halada during the summer of 2009. 1984 June. State University of New York at Stony Brook. The Diode Laser. The worldwide demand for solar energy is greater than its supply. Department of Electrical Engineering. ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ K. State University of New York at Stony Brook. Refrigeration and cooling. She is currently studying for her bachelors degree in electrical engineering major at SUNY Stonybrook.
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