As the conventional solar technologies may not be a suitable choice for indoor environments in near future owing to the high costs involved, researchers from a Central lab, based in Kerala, have developed an indigenous semi-automatic fabrication unit for manufacturing dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) based modules.
DSCs contain synthetic dyes and harvests light by mimicking photsysthesis and are an efficient third generation indoor light harvesting technology, said researchers from the National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) which has developed the equipment. NIIST is one of the labs of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research under the Union Science and
By developing indoor light harvesting photovoltaic cells, self-powered sensors can be realised and the battery life can be extended, pointed out an official from the Ministry.
Their advantage lies in their ability to generate power from low levels of exposure to light including indoor lights like CFl, LED etc. Installed at CSIR-NIIST lab, the equipment has been selected on the Prime Minister Office’s high priority implementation category, he said.
The indigenous unit has been developed with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry.
The entire equipment which was developed by the CSIR-NIIST partnering with Elixir Technologies, Bangalore has helped reduce cost of fabrication equipments to more than 60 per cent leading to true import substitution, said the researchers.
They said the fabrication process, molecules and materials were optimised keeping in mind end user requirements and applications thereby developing international competency in this photovoltaic sector.
The cell can be used in powering internet of things (IoT) smart devices, smart meters, water and energy management, smart parking, self-powered sensors, portable devices like those integrated in phones, tablets, mobile charging stations, backpack, in clothes and also solar power windows or aesthetically beautiful power producing glass windows.
According to experts, by 2020, there will be around 50 billion connected smart devices in the IoT domain which will be powered by batteries.
Appreciating the development, a scientist from the DST said India needs to develop expertise in manufacturing production equipment for photovoltaic technologies. “The country had been depending on technologies elsewhere and was importing them at a high cost. The NIIST fabrication unit has addressed this gap to a great extent and at a much lower cost,” he added.