All DSC Everything

4 Nov

This evening, I attended a presentation by the German-Swiss co-inventor and sometimes-namesake of the Dye-sensitized solar cells, which combine crystals of titanium dioxide (the most coment pigment in the world) and one of a number of dyes, absorb sunlight much in the same way chlorophyll does. While these cells are somewhat less efficient than silicon-based solar cells, they are difficult to damage, and should eventually be cheap enough to produce to compete with fossil fuels on a purely market basis.

Beyond that, they are translucent, extremely thin and flexible, and can therefore be integrated into nearly any surface or window. As the dyes can be of different colours and arranged in nearly any pattern, they can be used for aesthetic construction and electrical production simultaneously.

It seems to me the dye-sensitive cell, in the way it conforms to its human and environmental context, embodies everything that static architecture of the future should be, hopefully allowing an architecture that can increasingly provide its own infrastructure.

On top of all that, the first factory producing them on a commercial scale is located in Cardiff, Wales.


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