Matching Items (4)

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A comparative study of quasi-solid nanoclay gel electrolyte and liquid electrolyte dye sensitized solar cells

Description

Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are currently being explored as a cheaper alternative to the more common silicon (Si) solar cell technology. In addition to the cost advantages, DSSCs show

Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are currently being explored as a cheaper alternative to the more common silicon (Si) solar cell technology. In addition to the cost advantages, DSSCs show good performance in low light conditions and are not sensitive to varying angles of incident light like traditional Si cells. One of the major challenges facing DSSCs is loss of the liquid electrolyte, through evaporation or leakage, which lowers stability and leads to increased degradation. Current research with solid-state and quasi-solid DSSCs has shown success regarding a reduction of electrolyte loss, but at a cost of lower conversion efficiency output. The research work presented in this paper focuses on the effects of using nanoclay material as a gelator in the electrolyte of the DSSC. The data showed that the quasi-solid cells are more stable than their liquid electrolyte counterparts, and achieved equal or better I-V characteristics. The quasi-solid cells were fabricated with a gel electrolyte that was prepared by adding 7 wt% of Nanoclay, Nanomer® (1.31PS, montmorillonite clay surface modified with 15-35% octadecylamine and 0.5-5 wt% aminopropyltriethoxysilane, Aldrich) to the iodide/triiodide liquid electrolyte, (Iodolyte AN-50, Solaronix). Various gel concentrations were tested in order to find the optimal ratio of nanoclay to liquid. The gel electrolyte made with 7 wt% nanoclay was more viscous, but still thin enough to allow injection with a standard syringe. Batches of cells were fabricated with both liquid and gel electrolyte and were evaluated at STC conditions (25°C, 100 mW/cm2) over time. The gel cells achieved efficiencies as high as 9.18% compared to 9.65% achieved by the liquid cells. After 10 days, the liquid cell decreased to 1.75%, less than 20% of its maximum efficiency. By contrast, the gel cell's efficiency increased for two weeks, and did not decrease to 20% of maximum efficiency until 45 days. After several measurements, the liquid cells showed visible signs of leakage through the sealant, whereas the gel cells did not. This resistance to leakage likely contributed to the improved performance of the quasi-solid cells over time, and is a significant advantage over liquid electrolyte DSSCs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Meta-stability of crystalline thin-film photovoltaic devices

Description

Given the growing market in solar energy, specifically by the thin-film technologies, it is imperative that adequate and accurate standards be developed for these newer photovoltaic devices. Cadmium Telluride, CdTe,

Given the growing market in solar energy, specifically by the thin-film technologies, it is imperative that adequate and accurate standards be developed for these newer photovoltaic devices. Cadmium Telluride, CdTe, one of the major players in the thin-film PV industry is currently rated and certified using standards that have been developed under the context of older technologies. The behavior of CdTe has been shown to be unique enough to suggesting that standards be revised. In this research, methods built on previous industry and independent studies are used to identify these unique behaviors. As well new methods are developed to further characterize CdTe modules in the context of current standards. Clear transient and meta-stable behavior is identified across modules from four different commercial manufacturers. Conclusions drawn from this study show illumination and temperature hysteresis effects on module ratings. Furthermore, suggestions for further study are given that could be used to define parameters for any reexamination of module standards.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010

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Surface characterization of an organized titanium dioxide Layer

Description

Soft lithographic printing techniques can be used to control the surface morphology of titanium dioxide layers on length scales of several hundred nanometers. Controlling surface morphology and volumetric organization of

Soft lithographic printing techniques can be used to control the surface morphology of titanium dioxide layers on length scales of several hundred nanometers. Controlling surface morphology and volumetric organization of titanium dioxide electrodes can potentially be used in dye-sensitized solar cell devices. This thesis explores how layer-by-layer replication can lead to well defined, dimensionally controlled volumes and details how these control mechanisms influence surface characteristics of the semiconducting oxide.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Comparison of Pt/MWCNTs nanocatalysts synthesis processes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Description

Due to the growing concerns on the depletion of petroleum based energy resources and climate change; fuel cell technologies have received much attention in recent years. Proton exchange membrane fuel

Due to the growing concerns on the depletion of petroleum based energy resources and climate change; fuel cell technologies have received much attention in recent years. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFCs) features high energy conversion efficiency and nearly zero greenhouse gas emissions, because of its combination of the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) at anode side and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at cathode side. Synthesis of Pt nanoparticles supported on multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) possess a highly durable electrochemical surface area (ESA) and show good power output on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance. Platinum on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) support were synthesized by two different processes to transfer PtCl62- from aqueous to organic phase. While the first method of Pt/MWCNTs synthesis involved dodecane thiol (DDT) and octadecane thiol (ODT) as anchoring agent, the second method used ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) as the dispersion/anchoring agent. The particle size and distribution of platinum were examined by high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The TEM images showed homogenous distribution and uniform particle size of platinum deposited on the surface of MWCNTs. The single cell fuel cell performance of the Pt/MWCNTs synthesized thiols and ALS based electrode containing 0.2 (anode) and 0.4 mg (cathode) Pt.cm-2 were evaluated using Nafion-212 electrolyte with H2 and O2 gases at 80 oC and ambient pressure. The catalyst synthesis with ALS is relatively simple compared to that with thiols and also showed higher performance (power density reaches about 1070 mW.cm-2). The Electrodes with Pt/MWCNTs nanocatalysts synthesized using ALS were characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV) for durability evaluation using humidified H2 and N2 gases at room temperature (21 oC) along with commercial Pt/C for comparison. The ESA measured by cyclic voltammetry between 0.15 and 1.2 V showed significant less degradation after 1000 cycles for ALS based Pt/MWCNTs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011