New “Tinker Toy” Test Could Send Solar Energy Costs Into Free-Fall 0

Use of MOF in a dye sensitized solar cell (courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories).
Use of MOF in a dye sensitized solar cell (courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories).

Solar energy costs are already dropping faster than you can say “solar energy costs are dropping,” and along comes a new development that could accelerate the trend even more. The project, out of Sandia National Laboratories in partnership with the University of Colorado-Boulder, aims at working around the efficiency limitations of dye-sensitized solar cells.

The idea is to combine the dye-based technology with another material that researchers compare to that icon of childhood play, the Tinker Toy. Dye-sensitized solar cells lend themselves to a low cost manufacturing process, so breaking through the efficiency wall lets you have your solar cake and eat it, too.

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