Scientists Create Efficient and Low-Cost Solar Cells Using Jamun
Naturally occurring pigment found in jamun as an inexpensive photosensitizer for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) or Gratzel cells have been used to create more efficient solar cells. Scientists at IIT Roorkee have used jamun fruit to create inexpensive and more efficient solar cells. Gratzel cells are thin-film solar cells composed of a porous layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) coated photoanode, a layer of dye molecules that absorbs sunlight, an electrolyte for regenerating the dye, and a cathode. These components form a sandwich-like structure with the dye History was created as the record low tariffs achieved in the auction concluded in May 2017 for Bhadla Phase-IV Solar Park, Rajasthan has been broken, with an even lower tariff of `2.44 per unit discovered in the auction carried out by the Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) for 500 MW capacity in Bhadla Phase-III Solar Park, Rajasthan. The park is being set up by M/s Saurya Urja Company of Rajasthan Limited, a joint venture between the Government of Rajasthan and M/s IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited. This tariff is fixed for 25 years with no escalation and the bidders have sought no VGF from the government. The winners are M/s ACME Solar Holdings Pvt. Ltd. (200 MW) at a molecule or photosensitizer playing a pivotal role through its ability to absorb visible light.
“The dark colour of jamun and abundance of jamun trees in IIT campus clicked the idea that it might be useful as a dye in the typical DSSCs,” lead researcher Soumitra Satapathi, Assistant Professor at IIT Roorkee, said. Researchers extracted dyes from jamun using ethanol. They also used fresh plums and black currant, along with mixed berry juices, which contain pigments that give the characteristic colour to jamun. The mixture was then centrifuged and decanted. The extracted coloured pigment called anthocyanin was used as a sensitizer. “In principle, we have a large social need for renewable energy, especially solar energy. For quite some time, our lab is actively engaged in low-cost high-efficiency solar cells production,” said Satapathi. The research was published in the Journal of Photovoltaics.