A dye sensitized cell, also known as dye sensitized solar cell, is a low-cost solar cell belonging to the group of thin film solar cells. A dye sensitized cell is based on a semiconductor formed between a photo-sensitized anode and an electrolyte, a photoelectrochemical system. Dye sensitized cells are usually used for converting sunlight into electrical energy across a wide intensity range by using a dye, which is absorbed in titanium oxide semiconductor. Dye sensitized cells are becoming increasingly popular as a renewable and cost-effective alternative to conventional solar cells.
A dye sensitized cell has several attractive features such as semi-flexibility and semi-transparency, which offers a variety of uses, it is simple to make using conventional roll-printing techniques and majority of materials used are low cost . In the current scenario, dye sensitized cells are the most efficient third generation solar technology available. Dye sensitized cells can be a suitable option as a replacement for existing technologies in low density applications such as rooftop solar collectors, where the mechanical robustness and light weight of the glass result in a less collectors and act as an advantage for dye sensitized cell .
However, the use of liquid electrolyte in dye sensitized cell design is a major drawback, as it has temperature stability problems. In the last 5-10 years, solid-state dye sensitized solar cells have been developed. In this case the liquid electrolyte is replaced by one of the several solid hole-conducting materials. During this period, the efficiency of solid state dye sensitized solar cell has increased from 4% to 15%.
Based on application, the global dye sensitized cell market is segmented into six categories: building-integrated photovoltaics, indoor application, retail application, emergency power and military application, automotive, and others. Building-integrated photovoltaics are further sub-segmented into BIPV glass and solar roofs. Indoor application is further sub-segmented into three categories: solar chargers, wireless keyboards, and others. Retail application is further sub-segmented into three categories: indoor and outdoor advertising, point-of-purchase displays, and others.
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In terms of geography, North America dominates the global dye sensitized cell market followed by Europe. The U.S. represents the largest market for dye sensitized cell followed by Canada in North America. In Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. hold major share of the dye sensitized cell market. However, Asia-Pacific is expected to witness high growth rates in the next five years in the global dye sensitized market.
Increasing number of retail store, high growth rate of the automotive industry and increasing disposable income are some of the major driving factors of the dye sensitized cell market. Increasing disposable income allows customers to spend more on products like wireless keyboards, which indirectly increase the demand for dye sensitized cell. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, annual per capita disposable income of urban households in China increased from USD 2,271.0 in 2008 to USD 3408.5 in 2012. The overall annual disposable income in India median household income increased from USD 1,366.2 billion in 2010 to USD 1,587.6 billion in 2013.
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Some of the major companies operating in the dye sensitized cell market are Dyesol, Ltd., Exeger Sweden AB, 3GSolar Photovoltaics, Ltd., Fujikura, Ltd., Oxford Photovoltaics, Ltd., Solarprint, Ltd., Sony Corporation, Sharp Corporation, Samsung, and Solaronix SA.