Advantages of organic solar cells are; low cost production, versatility, adaptability, mechanical flexibility, resilience, high innovation-potential, ease of integration, transparency and high photon transmission.
This article discusses the advantages of organic solar cells, as follows;
1). Low Cost Production (as one of the Advantages of Organic Solar Cells)
Organic solar cells are relatively cheap to produce. There are various reasons which may be used in an attempt to explain this.
The underlying factor behind solar cell cost is raw material. For organic solar cells, the photovoltaic unit is made from biomass-based organic compounds.
Organic polymers and organic dyes are both major raw materials for OSCs . Although these materials may be synthesized, their basic building blocks are organic materials, meaning that they are renewable.
Renewable raw materials are generally easier and cheaper to extract, than their non-renewable counterparts. Also, organic solar cell materials are relatively easy and cheap to fabricate, when being used to manufacture solar energy products like solar panels and solar shingles.
The ‘easy’ and renewable attributes of the OSC manufacturing process, implies that energy conservation can be achieved while producing OSC systems. This further implies cost saving.
2). Versatility and Adaptability
Organic solar cells have the advantage of being adaptable to a broad range of needs and conditions.
This is due both to their physical resilience and their chemical variability.
The versatility of OSCs enables them to be integrated seamlessly into buildings and fabrics, by adapting to various installation conditions .
It also implies that organic solar panels can be integrated with other power plants, as well as with sustainable and renewable energy technologies like wind farms, geothermal facilities, wave power converters, hydroelectric systems, cogeneration and energy management systems.
The biomass-based characteristic of organic solar cells allows them to have a varied chemical composition, which can be modified to suit specific energy demands.
Studies have suggested that the energy efficiency of OSCs can be increased significantly by modifying the chemical composition and morphology of photovoltaic units . Efficiencies of over 14% have been recorded using this approach .
The versatility and adaptability of organic solar cells also means that they are susceptible to significant future improvements, and can be optimized to fill existing gaps in the performance and delivery of solar technology.
3). Mechanical Flexibility and Resilience (as one of the Advantages of Organic Solar Cells)
The mechanical flexibility of organic solar cells is a peculiar advantage that differentiates them from traditional silicon solar cells.
This characteristic usually occurs alongside others like ultrathin morphology (less than 10 microns in width) and light weight.
Flexibility has numerous benefits with regards to organic solar cell applications, as well as installation and manufacture.
It is a major contributor to the versatility of OSCs, and their ease of integration with other systems.
Studies have shown that the flexibility of organic solar cells enables them to be integrated, and to function effectively with mobile bodies , meaning that they can be used in the automobile sector, to support the goal of sustainable transport alongside electric cars and hybrid vehicles.
Other benefits of OSC flexibility include wearable technology. In wearables, flexible organic solar cell efficiency has reached values of up to 10.3% . Similar performance has been recorded in biomedical applications, while building-integrated cells have achieved efficiencies above 15%.
Flexibility implies that organic solar cells are resilient to tensile stress and have low risk of damage under such conditions.
4). High Innovation Potential
Organic solar cells represent a relatively immature niche of renewable energy technology.
Research and development efforts have been concentrated on improving the chemical composition, architecture, and performance of organic solar cells. Others have focused on increasing energy conservation and reducing losses.
These efforts as well as the occasional successes all indicate that organic solar cell technology has a high innovative potential and is likely to experience significant improvement in coming years.
5). Environmental Sustainability (as one of the Advantages of Organic Solar Cells)
In addition to being cost-effective, organic solar panels are also good for the environment.
Environmental sustainability of OSCs can be attributed to their organic composition. This characteristic makes them susceptible to biodegradation, which is a natural process of resource conservation and recycling in the ecosystem.
Sustainable fabrication methods have also been developed for organic solar cells, which have minimal effects on the environment.
As a result, OSC deployment is a suitable option where soil conservation, water conservation and air quality control are all considered. Due to its non-toxicity, it is also suitable as an alternative energy source in sustainable farming schemes.
Eco-friendly organic solar cells also have good performance, as studies have recorded efficiencies of more than 17% for OSCs produced using environment-friendly materials and methods .
6). Ease of Integration
The relative ease with which organic solar cells can be integrated into buildings, vehicles and wearables is an advantage for various reasons.
These include versatility, low footprint, simplicity of configuration, and space conservation.
Integrating OSCs into buildings and textile among others, reduces the amount of space occupied by these cells, as well as the complexity of the installation setup, and the vulnerability to damage.
7). Transparency and High Photon Transmission (as one of the Advantages of Organic Solar Cells)
Organic solar cells come in transparent and semi-transparent forms.
This allows photons to reach the photovoltaic layer between the electrode layers, in order to enable the cell generate electricity.
Transparent organic solar cells currently have an efficiency of around 10%, although effort is being made to increase their performance . The transparency of OSCs help in building integration, especially for transparent surfaces like windows.
Advantages of organic solar cells are;
1. Low Cost Production
2. Versatility and Adaptability
3. Mechanical Flexibility and Resilience
4. High Innovation Potential
5. Environmental Sustainability
6. Ease of Integration
7. Transparency and High Photon Transmission
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