Tata Steel and Dyesol are continuing with their progress on the production of what they hope will be the world’s largest dye solar cells modules (DSC). The team has been constructing a DSC 20m2 roof array that will be tested at the Sustainable Building Envelope Centre (SBEC) test facility in Shotton, Wales.
DSC modules involve light striking titania (pigment found in white paint) and ruthenium dye causing a process not unlike natural photosynthesis in plants.
Tata and Dyesol claim the difference between their technology and traditional solar products from countries like China, that have come closest to achieving grid parity, is because DSC modules can produces electricity even in low light conditions and can be directly incorporated into buildings by replacing conventional glass panels or metal sheets rather than taking up roof or extra land area.
The major drive now is to bring forward by more than one year the Technology Road Map delivery of high performance, matched by lower cost materials that will enable grid parity to be achieved with DSC arrays integrated into steel roofing. In parallel, the team has more than doubled the power output while eliminating costly silver conductors.
This would make the Tata/Dyesol products independent of the need for FiTs.
The £11m project, which received a £5 million technology grant from the Welsh Assembly in Wales, was completed in June 2011.