Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

Document Type



A complete electrical model of the dye-sensitized solar cell has been presented. This model relates the material parameters of the cell to the cell’s performance. The full model is reduced to an Idealized form and simulated to find an idealistic power curve or current (I) – voltage (V) curve. The operating parameters of reflectivity, temperature, reverse saturation current and ideality factor are investigated. A sensitivity analysis is completed to determine what parameters have a dominating influence on the overall cell performance. It was found, for the ideal case of the dye sensitized solar cell, that the factors of absorptivity, temperature, reverse saturation current, and ideality significantly influence the efficiency limits. Increasing the operating temperature and/or the ideality factor of the cell results in an increase in efficiency. Also the study shows an increase in efficiency resulting from a decrease in reverse saturation current and/or reflectivity. Comparison of the results was carried out with a previous study and it was found that an idealized dye sensitized cell has 9% more efficiency than an idealized p-n junction solid state device. The incorporation of nanotubes was studied in order to improve diffusion of free electrons within the active layer. The results are compared to the ideal study of the dye sensitized solar cell. Finally, an incorporation of a thin film anti-reflective coating was then investigated to show how reflectivity from the cell can be reduced. The results for this study are discussed and suggestions for improvement are provided.



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Committee Chair

Charalampopoulos, Tryfon