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Rehydrating dye sensitized solar cells

Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Mathematics, ITES, Bielefeld, Germany

Topical Section: Solar Energy

Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are silicon free, simply producible solar cells. Longevity, however, is a longstanding problem for DSSCs. Due to liquid electrolytes being commonly used, evaporation of the electrolyte causes a dramatic drop in electric output as cells continue to be used unmaintained. Stopping evaporation has been tried in different ways in the past, albeit with differing degrees of success. In a recent project, a different route was chosen, exploring ways of revitalizing DSSCs after varying periods of usage. For this, we focused on rehydration of the cells using distilled water as well as the electrolyte contained in the cells. The results show a significant influence of these rehydration procedures on the solar cell efficiency. In possible applications of DSSCs in tents etc., morning dew may thus be used for rehydration of solar cells. Refillable DSSCs can also be used in tropical climates or specific types of farms and greenhouses where high humidity serves the purpose of rehydrating DSSCs.
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