Dr. Joe Reczek
“Developing Liquid Crystal Solar Cells to Promote Clean, Efficient and Affordable Energy”
Category: General Conservation
The most abundant source of clean energy currently available is the sun, which provides more energy to the earth’s surface in one hour than the world uses in an entire year. Current solar energy technology, however, is either too expensive or too inefficient to be of practical use. This is particularly true for developing nations. Creative new approaches to affordable solar energy must be investigated to balance technological growth with the environment.
Dr. Reczek suggests that to succeed at balancing energy consumption with environmental conservation through solar energy, we must first balance efficiency with the cost of solar energy. To address this issue, he will use this study to test the effectiveness of starting with an inexpensive but inefficient solar cell design, Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC), and then altering the design and materials using the novel Donor-Acceptor Columnar Liquid Crystal (DACLC) materials to improve efficiency and product life, while maintaining low cost. In addition, DACLCs have potential to make solar devices that are thinner, have less liquid electrolyte, and no toxic metals. He will test how the new solar cells hold up over time and under harsh conditions. This research can help bring power and an improved quality of life in remote and underdeveloped regions while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, leading to a cleaner and more sustainable world.
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