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Title: Development of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells: a life cycle perspective for the environmental and market potential assessment of a renewable technology
Authors: Parisi, Maria Laura 
Maranghi, Simone
Sinicropi, Adalgisa 
Basosi, Riccardo 
Issue Date: 2013
Project: None 
Thanks to the research and development for achieving a larger distribution, many photovoltaic technologies are available in the market presently. Those accepted as "conventional" are well along in the process of commercialization while those classified as "new generation" photovoltaics are at an early stage of industrialization as of yet. To the latter category belong the non-conventional technology of dye sensitized solar cells. Since their first assembling at the beginning of the 1990s, these devices have attracted much interest and have been extensively investigated, because of their ease for assembling of readily available materials and the employment of well-established processes. So far, many configurations have been developed, tested and reported in literature. Each of them is based on the improvement and/or replacement of one or more components of a single solar cell: the substrate, the semiconductor, the dye, the electrolyte and the counter electrode. The efficiency of dye sensitized solar cells at lab scale is now comparable with amorphous silicon photovoltaics technology, but with much more potential than silicon for performance improvements and for becoming a cost-effective means for electricity production. In spite of these favourable aspects, dye sensitized solar cell prototypes for large scale production are not yet sufficiently efficient to be industrially competitive. In this study, we present an environmental sustainability overview of the principal dye sensitized solar cell configurations proposed to select the proper set of materials suitable for improving their performances. This is done on the basis of data published in literature, pre-industrialization tests by several companies and lab data obtained through the Fotosensorg Project. The analysis will be integrated with considerations on the potential for a larger distribution and competition of dye sensitized solar cells with presently available solar electric technologies on the photovoltaic market.
ISSN: 0392-8764
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