Date of Submission
Physics; Environmental Studies
Project Advisor 1
As we try to stop anthropogenic climate change, we need to find energy sources that don’t involve burning fossil fuels. The Earth is constantly being hit with energy in the form of sunlight, we just need to figure out how to use it, thankfully plants have already gotten very good at photosynthesis. Solar energy is being improved at an exciting rate but has some material downsides when it comes to raw material mining. Dye sensitized solar cells, though having a lower efficiency than traditional photovoltaics open up opportunities for improving solar energy in many other aspects, such as reducing material ecological impacts, reducing production cost, increasing recyclability, mitigating weather related losses in power by better utilizing diffuse light, reducing land space needed through vertical arrangements, and by potentially being beautiful works of art. In this study I consider the geometric aspects of placing solar cells and deliberate tree foliage. I studied the absorption spectra of the pigment from blueberries and compared it to the emission spectra of the sun to see if it is an appropriate dye to use for dye sensitized solar cells. I also created dye sensitized solar cells from scratch and summarize the process and challenges faced, as well as calculated their efficiency at turning light into electrical power.
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Ross, Quincy, "Using Berries to turn Sunlight into Electricity: Taking advice from Mother Nature because she has already mastered the art of using solar energy" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 146.
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