Kiwis Know Solar Power

Some New Zealand researchers have created a dye for solar power generation that mimics photosynthesis in plants. The dye is cheaper to use than standard photovoltaic solar panels.

Cam says:

Dr Wayne Campbell and researchers from the Nanomaterials Research Centre at Massey University in New Zealand have developed a range of coloured dyes for use in dye-sensitized solar cells. Synthetic dyes solar cells that can be used to generate electricity at one tenth of the cost of current silicon-based solar panels.

The synthetic dyes are made from simple organic compounds closely related to those found in nature. The green dye Dr Campbell is synthetic chlorophyll derived from the light-harvesting pigment plants use for photosynthesis. Other dyes being tested in the cells are based on hemoglobin, the compound that give blood its color and blue derived from blueberries. Apparently, dark-colored berries outperform most other plant species when it comes to spectral absorption of sunlight.

From the linked article:

Solar cell technology developed by the University’s Nanomaterials Research Centre will enable New Zealanders to generate electricity from sunlight at a 10th of the cost of current silicon-based photo-electric solar cells.

Dr Campbell says that unlike the silicon-based solar cells currently on the market, the 10x10cm green demonstration cells generate enough electricity to run a small fan in low-light conditions – making them ideal for cloudy climates. The dyes can also be incorporated into tinted windows that trap to generate electricity.

One thought on “Kiwis Know Solar Power

  1. Not sure which of you guys came up with this information, but I scooped it yesterday and reposted it my blog as well. If Solar Cells come down in price to 1/10th or even just 1/5th of the current market price while still delivering the same power production levels (or maybe better given the nature of this research) we could be looking at a major break through for distributive power production. Combined with wind power and VBR Flow Batteries we have the technology that will change the world (I do not make that claim lightly).

    Anyways, I notice the picture you have with article, also saw it at another blog as well, but they claimed they scooped it from you. My question is this, is this a sample of these new organic dye solar cells? If it is where did you get if from? I am looking at trying to get some of the power profile data on this new tech and any other other data I can get to compare it to current tech. I’m hoping to produce a “Home Owners” power profile and power production profile paper to help people understand these methods and where,how and how much ($$$) these systems would cost. Showing pay back periods and GHG reductions.

    So any extra info you might have on these new cells would be welcome. You can, if you you don’t mind, fire off an email to me at or leave a comment here or at my blog.

    PS, Thanks for pointing out this new research, it made my day yesterday.


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