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Environmental aspects of electricity generation from a nanocrystalline dye-sensitized solar cell system
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Physical Chemistry.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Physical Chemistry.
2001 (English)In: Renewable Energy, Vol. 23, 27-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A Life Cycle Assessment, LCA, of a nanocrystalline dye sensitized solar cell (ncDSC) system has been performed, according to the ISO14040 standard. In brief, LCA is a tool to analyse the total environmental impact of a product or system from cradle to grave. Six different weighing methods were used to rank and select the significant environmental aspects to study further. The most significant environmental aspects according to the weighing methods are emission of sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide emission was selected as the environmental indicator depending on the growing attention on the global warming effect. In an environmental comparison of electricity generation from a ncDSC system and a natural gas/combined cycle power plant, the gas power plant would result in 450 g CO2/kWh and the ncDSC system in between 19–47 g CO2/kWh. The latter can be compared with 42 g CO2/kWh, according to van Brummelen et al. “Life Cycle Assessment of Roof Integrated Solar Cell Systems, (Report: Department of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, 1994)” for another thin film solar cell system made of amorphous silicon. The most significant activity/component contributing to environmental impact over the life cycle of the ncDSC system is the process energy for producing the solar cell module. Secondly comes the components; glass substrate, frame and junction box. The main improvement from an environmental point of view of the current technology would be an increase in the conversion efficiency from solar radiation to electricity generation and still use low energy demanding production technologies. Also the amount of material in the solar cell system should be minimised and designed to maximise recycling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 23, 27-39 p.
Keyword [en]
Nanocrystalline dye sensitized solar cell; Thin film solar cell; Electricity; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); Environmental aspects
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-91019DOI: doi:10.1016/S0960-1481(00)00111-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-91019DiVA: diva2:163587
Available from: 2003-11-07 Created: 2003-11-07 Last updated: 2011-04-19
In thesis
1. Interactions in Dye-sensitized Solar Cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interactions in Dye-sensitized Solar Cells
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The interactions between the molecular constituents in dye-sensitized solar cells were studied with UV-VIS and IR spectroscopy, Raman scattering, conductivity and electron accumulation measurements.

From stability studies of the dye, bis(tetrabutylammonium)cis-bis(thiocyanato) bis(2,2’-bipyridine-4-carboxylic acid, 4’-carboxylate) ruthenium(II), in the complete solar cell, the thiocyanate ion ligand was found to be lost from the dye. A method was developed to study mechanisms in a sealed dye-sensitized solar cell using resonance Raman scattering (RRS). RRS studies of a complete dye-sensitized solar cell including iodine and lithium iodide in the electrolyte indicate that triiodide exchange the SCN- ligand of the dye. It was proposed that an ion pair Li+…I3- formation occurred, which, by a reduced electrostatic repulsion between I3- and SCN- facilitated the exchange of these anions at Ru(II) of the dye. The additive 1-methylbenzimidazole suppressed the SCN-/I3- ligand exchange by forming a complex with Li+.

In order to study charge transport in nanostructured TiO2 films permeated with electrolyte, a technique was developed for determining activation energies of conduction, electron accumulation and effective mobility. Two regions were distinguished from the relation between conductivity and electron concentration. In the first region (~1-20 electrons per TiO2 particle), which resembles best the region where the nanostructured dye-sensitized solar cell operates, the results can be fitted to some extent with a trapping/detrapping or a hopping model for charge transport, but not with a conduction band model. For the second region (> 20 electrons per TiO2 particle), charge transport by electrons in the conduction band seems to be the most applicable model.

Through this work many effects from the interplay between the solar cell components were observed. These observations emphasize the importance of well-balanced interactions in dye-sensitized solar cells.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2003. 59 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 901
Physical chemistry, solar cells, photovoltaics, dye-sensitized, mesoporous, nanostructured, Raman scattering, Fysikalisk kemi
National Category
Physical Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3752 (URN)91-554-5786-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-11-28, B42, B4, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2003-11-07 Created: 2003-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Lindquist, Sten-EricHagfeldt, Anders
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