Disruptive solar technology worth a visit

Prime Minister Julia Gillard toured the commercial headquarters and associated laboratory and engineering facilities of a “disruptive” solar energy technology in October.

Ms Gillard visited Dyesol in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, to learn more about dye solar cell (DSC) solar energy technology.

The Prime Minister met with director and joint founder Sylvia Tulloch and was greeted by Dyesol scientists, engineers and support staff to learn more about the solar cells.

DSC is a third-generation solar technology driving changes in the application of solar energy, particularly in building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

The cells employ nanotechnology to create electricity directly from light by mimicking the process of photosynthesis.

“By replacing conventional building facades or steel roofing sheets, with building materials that have Dyesol’s dye solar cell technology imbedded into their very fabric, without the need to fit conventional solar panels at additional cost, we see exciting opportunities for cost-savings and large-scale integration,” Mrs Tulloch said.

“Compared to conventional silicon-based photovoltaic technology, Dyesol’s technology has several advantages including lower cost and energy required for manufacture, plus it produces electricity in a range of light conditions from dawn to dusk and even under artificial light. It will produce energy at any angle or even in shade and can be directly incorporated into any part of a building, wall, floor or roof,” Mrs Tulloch explained.

The company is commercialising the technology worldwide by partnering with industrial companies such as Tata, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of steel-roofing materials, and Pilkington North America, in addition to key companies in the material supply chain crucial to the roll-out of this technology.