Article: FABRICATION OF DYE-SENSITIZED SOLAR CELL USING SPINACH VEGETABLE EXTRACT AS SENSITIZING DYE
Article Category: Chemical Engineering
Author: AWOBOKUN David Imoleayo,Mohammed Umar Garba
Abstract: Dye-sensitized solar cell using spinach vegetable extract as sensitizing dye was fabricated in this study as an alternative source of renewable energy generation (electricity). Soxhlet apparatus was used for the extraction of the dye pigments from the spinach vegetable with ethanol as the extracting agent. The result from the Fourier Transform Infrared spectra indicates the presence of chlorophyll in the spinach vegetable dye pigments and the result from the UV-Visible absorption spectra with seven peaks between 400nm and 700nm wavelengths also indicates that the spinach vegetable dye pigments is capable of absorbing light. Titanium dioxide was used as the wide bandgap semiconducting layer and was deposited on the surface of transparent conducting oxide (Fluorine-doped Tin Oxide substrate) using doctor blade method and then sintered with a hotplate at 4500C for 30 minutes The carbon electrode was obtained by depositing the carbon soot from candle flame on the conductive side of the second Fluorine-doped Tin Oxide glass, the Dye-sensitized solar cell was assembled by clamping the two electrodes together using two binder clips and iodine redox electrolyte solution was added drops on one edge of the electrode sandwich. The fabricated Dye-sensitized solar cell was tested for its photovoltaic characteristics at intervals of one hour from 11 am immediately after fabrication to 4 pm on the same day with illumination from sunlight. The results show that the fabricated dye-sensitized solar cell is a good renewable source of generating energy (electricity) with the highest power conversion efficiency of 4% at 11 am and lowest power conversion efficiency of 1.74% at 3 pm, the highest fill factor of 0.68 was obtained at 3 pm, also the highest short circuit current density of 2.19(mA) was obtained at 11 am immediately after fabrication and highest open circuit voltage of 4.15(mV) at 4pm when the short circuit current density was 0(mA) due to the leakage of redox species in the electrolyte as a result of the drying effects from sunlight.
Keyword: Dye Sensitized Solar Cell, Natural Dyes, Spinach Vegetable, Low Cost Solar Cell, Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles.