Dye-sensitized solar cells for the built environment in the GCC region

  • Ali Asghar

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Solar energy is the most abundant form of renewable energy presently available in the UAE and in the world in general. Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are one way of efficiently and economically harvesting this solar energy and meeting energy demands of the future. The thesis begins with an introduction of BIPV and its importance over PV field power plants. Also, an overview of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is presented. DSSCs are a novel and low-cost solar cell technology which has several benefits over conventional PVs for use in BIPV. The performance of different PV technologies in the built environment is assessed through modeling studies. It is discovered that different PV technologies perform differently when the operating conditions of the cells change. Thin film solar cells produce a higher energy yield compared to crystalline silicon solar cells in locations close to the equator. Moreover, the importance of rooftop PV installations in the GCC region has been emphasized. The second part of the thesis deals with the testing of DSSC modules and assessing their performance over time under real outdoor conditions of Abu Dhabi. The performance was compared with that of polycrystalline Silicon (pc-Si) solar cells. The performance of DSSCs tested in Abu Dhabi was found to produce a higher energy yield compared to that of pc-Si. Contrary to pc-Si modules, the efficiency of DSSCs increased with increasing temperature and decreasing irradiance levels. Since the average daily temperatures in Abu Dhabi are quite high, DSSCs seem like a very attractive option to harvest maximum solar energy. However, due to the degradation of operating parameters such as the open circuit voltage (VOC), short circuit current (ISC) and the fill factor (FF) these cells over time, they cannot be installed on a commercial scale yet. It was found that the dye and the electrolyte solvent used to construct the solar cells determined the degradation mechanisms of these cells over time.  
Date of Award2011
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMahieddine Emziane (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Solar Cells-Persian Gulf States
  • Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

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