tio2, is there any alternatives.

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by soullust, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    OK i know tio2 is excellent in solar cells, but is there any other oxides you can use as a substitute to died titanium oxide, i mean zinc has similar characteristics but will it work in a solar cell application, Ty guys for any answers, oh and copper oxide and silicon, are old news no need mentioning them.
     
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  3. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    damn it, it is looking like i am going to have to buy a ton of that shit if i buy local...ughhhhh...

    litteraly 1 ton.
     
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  5. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    What's this? An interesting topic in the chemistry forum? Who would have thought.

    Zinc oxide can indeed work, and probably many other semiconductor metal oxides. But since the electronic properties of zinc oxide are different from titanium oxide, the same dyes and charge-transporting redox couples (I assume you're planning to use an iodine redox couple in your cell) might not work.

    You should be able to order small amounts of TiO2 online relatively cheaply. Or you can get it from those cheap little white powered doughnuts, if you're really into do-it-yourself chemical scavenging. What are you planning to use for dye?
     
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  7. Enmos Staff Member

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    That's going to cost you about $23,000...

    http://www.sciencestuff.com/prod/Chem-Rgnts/C2878

    You can buy 50lb (22.7 kg) bags here, but they don't mention the price.
     
  8. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    Cool, i will try some of my experiments using zinc, i have easy access to that.

    Ty

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    As for the dye, i am planning on experimenting with different plants, and calculating the end results, i did a bit recently with a few different types of plant chlorophyll, so far spinach cells seemed to produce the better results, but it was on a semi small scale of which i did use Tio2 from, powdered dough nuts

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    It got my curiosity going and if i can get a decent efficiency out of my experiments, I may try to produce the panels for cheap and try to push for a government subsidize up here in Nova Scotia, to get them out to the Public.


    as for the catalyst, yeah I was planing on using an iodine solution, but for the mean time if I must use zinc oxide till I find a made in Canada or made in America supply, of tio2 I will come up with some solution.


    And cool Ty enmos, i will check the site out here, if the product is from North America, I will Probably get that, it should be plenty for the experiments I am wanting to try.

    I had some promising results using solar cells attached to a parabolic reflector. I will link my results of these experiments as I get it. I in no way want to hide my discoveries, I want this knowledge out there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  9. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    It seems that fabrication technique is everything with these types of dye cells. It's easy to make semi-effective cells using sloppy procedures, but you have to be really, really fanatical about your fab techniques to get commercially competitive cells. Keep everything extra super dry, layer the metal oxide onto the conductive substrate just right, make sure the liquid electrolyte is perfectly sealed, etc.
     
  10. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    yeah that is going to be the second phase of my experiments, i do have a plan on using an old printing press available to me, with a few modifications, i think i can produce dye solar cells fairly fast and effective, of this type. and of course some hand made work as well.
     
  11. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Well, good luck. I have made these types of solar cells before, and even being as careful and scrupulous about fabrication technique as I possibly could be, my cells still didn't turn out all that great. Of course I was also making my own dyes rather than buying them, which might have been part of the problem - the best dyes are pretty hard to purify. Anyway, I hope you have better luck than I did. Most of my cells ended up only being around 7-8% efficient, vs. 11% for the cells made by pros. You mentioned that you have already done some experiments. What sort of efficiencies have you achieved, if you don't mind me asking?

    Also, if you're really interested in commercial applications, I don't think plant extract dyes will be sufficient. You will probably need to purchase or make a good ruthenium pyridine based dye. And just a word of warning, most people don't consider dye cells with liquid iodine solutions to be commercially feasible because they are so hard to keep properly sealed. Over time the iodine solution tends to slowly leak out and/or let outside contaminants into the cells, which lowers their efficiency over time. It's hard to make a cheap cell that's sealed well enough to keep the cell working reliably for more than a year or so. Most of the work now is being done one solid-state dye cells with polymer electrolytes. They're more expensive, but they last a lot longer and as a bonus can be made flexible.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  12. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    I had similar Results with efficiency, but i did hit an extra couple of point percentage with mirrors, should be easy for you to try, if you still have a few of your old cells around . (i did use a small heat sink on the back of the cells though, you can burn toast when it is -40 out side with mirrors.

    I will invest some more money into perfection and efficiency, i just want to do some more controlled experiments b4, i will invest 100 or 200 k into machines, and a possible small plant. (which I hope will be powered completely by my Products)
     
  13. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Ummm, the efficiency can't be changed by mirrors. The efficiency is the total light power striking the cell divided by the total electrical power produced by the cell. Increasing the light power striking the cell wouldn't change the efficiency.

    Also, no offense, but it's difficult to believe you were able to achieve such high efficiencies using plant extract dyes. What kind of light source were you using to measure the efficiency?
    You might want to consider purchasing some TiO2 paste from Solaronix, or a similar company that makes TiO2 pastes for dye cells. It's very expensive, but processing TiO2 powder into a proper paste yourself is a huuuuuuuuge pain. I've done it, and I'm sure you can too if you don't mind a lot of really tedious and time-consuming work with various terpines etc, but I would really recommend just buying the pre-made paste.
     
  14. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    yes i agree, but i did increase the amount of energy produce, compared to the amount of space needed, Fairly cheap, maybe a buck or two for the mirror.


    Also, no offense, but it's difficult to believe you were able to achieve such high efficiencies using plant extract dyes. What kind of light source were you using to measure the efficiency?
    um do you mean the radiation or the source? which was direct sunlight.

    See thats what i want to avoid, i want to get away from as many middle people as possible, so i can keep the prices as cheap as possible, but yes for the experiments the paste may be good, but if i was to invest in commercial, i would rather have my own technique, save me money so i can save people money. I am still very much learning, the technology, and if i am going to ever produce panels commercially i plan on building everything to do it from the ground up, And I just found out today that there actually is a tio2 mine here in my Provence, i have a meeting with them next week, Plus i all ready run several commercial hot houses, so A steady supply of plant Cells is not a problem, I will just expand the hot houses if need be.

    and sometimes tedious work pays off for me to get my own recipe for a good tio2 paste, esp when you're as serious about it as me. but it would be good to use all ready pre made paste/pastes to compare results with.
     
  15. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    6,221
    Okay. So again, if you don't mind me asking, what sort of efficiencies did you achieve? Did you measure the efficiency?
    Oh, there are plenty of recipes for making good TiO2 paste. They're just all very time-consuming and tedious. I think you will find that the amount of time and materials needed to make the paste will more or less cancel out any cost savings. Lots of tedious, time-consuming work = lost money. If you dream of inventing your own method of making paste that's fast and easy, then I wish you luck, but you're competing with a small army of professional research facilities staffed by PhD scientists and grad students who have been trying for years. It's not the sort of problem you're likely to solve.
     
  16. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    1,380
    well Like i said, i did limited tests, but i did get the the best percent in the ball game of 7 to 8 percent using a mixture of dies from stinging nettle and spinach, But when i used the same panels with mirrors, i got a 1-2 volt increase. Hence promising results for very cheaply constructed cells, with no major attention to detail

    Lot's of things were solved out side of big labs, and universities? If you say you can't then you can't, but if you say you can you have a chance.

    And i am willing to invest, 50k to 100k to wards research, should be plenty of supplies, My only Policy is everything I use has to completely come out of North America, And I have, well My family has a few PhD employees working for us. But Id rather not bother them during work, with this just yet, my Brothers would flip shit there paid too damn much, Id like to fire them, Personally because there so greedy but what ever. with out them we could face legal issues.

    But any how, what got you into experimenting, and why? any reason or just curiosity ?
     
  17. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Ummm, it doesn't make sense that the voltage would go up with more light. More light should cause the current to increase while the voltage stays the same.
    I was doing solar cell research at a university while working on my phd.
     
  18. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    1,380
    Or yeah sorry i meant amps, i had the cells set up in series to push 18 volts, to a 12 volt deep cycle battery, to a home made oscillator, transformer coil pack.

    but yeah sorry that was a mistake. on my part.

    so if some one was to use zinc, what would you recommend?

    I mean as a catalyst, I am obviously talking to the right man. with a Phd.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  19. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    I am not sure what you mean? Are you talking about the dye, or the electrolyte that transports the positive charge away from the metal oxide layer and to the counter-electrode?
     
  20. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    The electrolyte.
     
  21. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know, we only ever did things with TiO2, not zinc. You would have to check the relevant journals...
     
  22. soullust Registered Senior Member

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    yeah will do, ty any way.
     

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