Certain solar cell technologies, despite insignificant conversion efficiency, are able to establish a niche market from their respective advantages. The organic dye-sensitized solar cells developed by Italian scientists contain a mere conversion efficiency of 3.88%, though the semi-transparent solar modules can be applied inside greenhouses for power generation and vegetation.
Both solar panels and crops require insolation, and installations of solar panels on farmland for agrivoltaic development would need to prove that solar modules do not impede agricultural development and crop production, in order to avoid scams. Taiwan is also currently regulating that the development of agricultural solar must maintain 70% of crop production.
Dye-sensitized solar cell is a new solar technology that has a low cost and is easy to produce, which captures diffused light and adjusts module colors, making it an applicable solution for agricultural solar.
The research team at the Tor Vergata University of Rome has thus commenced the relevant study. Luigi Vesce, author of the study, pointed out that they weighed the power generation volume and the crop production from aquaponics greenhouses using the solar modules, and covered the 2m² greenhouse with 40 solar panels.
The solar panel has a 3.88% conversion efficiency and a 35% transparency, with an effective area of 221cm² and a lighting area of 312.9cm². The team pointed out that the module still managed to remain stable for 1,000 hours under an environment of 60℃ and 80℃.
Among these, the photoelectrode TiO2 of the solar panel comes from GreatCell, and measures at 5µm in thickness, with merely 20nm in granular dimension, making it applicable on semi-transparent solar panels.
The test of the study pointed out that solar panels initially attained an average efficiency of merely 2.5%, with a respective average voltage and current of 8.9V and 152mA, and an output power of 2-3W, though the conversion efficiency would rise to 30% after a few days. The team pointed out that the best level of efficiency for dye-sensitized solar cells is often obtained several days after creation.
As pointed out by the team, these solar modules can effectively provide greenhouse temperature and biosensor electricity, but additional studies are required.
(Cover photo source: pixabay)