Toward a prototype of low cost dye solar cells

  • Angel Vargas León Estudios Hidronómicos S.A.
  • Alejandro Marzuca Venegas Estudios Hidronómicos S.A.
Palabras clave: Dye solar cells, energy autonomy, science education, empowerment


The emerging technology of dye solar cells is analyzed from different points of view in comparison withsilicon solar cells. The high efficiency (20%) and long durability (20 years) of silicon cells are very attractive qualities,however their high price for house electricity, make them unreachable by common people; their manufactureis energy consuming, contaminating and request high technology procedures. An alternative autonomous way isinvestigated, focused on testing materials and procedures for making dye solar cells at low cost, low environmentalimpact and reasonable efficiency and durability. Moreover, the empowerment of this technology by people wasanalyzed. The results are: dye solar cells 5cm2 with photo voltage production of 0,7V and photocurrent 0,2 mA,employing crystal violet as a dye. Manufacture was with low price materials, low environmental impact and learningof basic scientific background and procedures by a team of high school students. Durability requires a longer observationtime and efficiency is still too low (0,05 %) in comparison with expectations of 1%, due to low production ofphotocurrent. Different ways to improve efficiency are proposed.


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