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DysCrete

EXPERIMENTAL ENERGY PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Menu  DysCrete EXPERIMENTAL ENERGY PRODUCTION SYSTEMS DYSCRETE – SO ​ LAR POW ​ ER FROM

DYSCRETE – SOLAR POWER FROM CONCRETE

DysCrete is an innovative approach to the generation of energy, based on the same un- derlying principles as dye-sensitized solar cells (DYSC), from which it gains its name. Like other cells based on DYSC technology, DysCrete uses organic dyes to absorb light and produce electricity through electrochemical reactions. Analysis of this still novel process reveals a high degree of compatibility between DYSC technology and the chem- istry and physics of concrete, including its material logic and production methods. DYSC cells are modeled on nature. Much like chlorophyll-bearing plants, they absorb light not with semiconductor materials, but with organic dyes held in suspension. In this sense, the technology is an adaptation of the photosynthetic process.

THE DYSCRETE CONCEPT

The DysCrete project began with the idea of a concrete block that would generate elec- tricity when fruit juice was poured over it. Initial attempts proved that cement could serve as the basis for a targeted synthesis of photoreactive particles and building mate- rials. Promising new technologies and alternative processes such as the DYSC cell call for further development through direct application. The DYSC cell is one of the most ef- ficient new solar-cell technologies, but most researchers have focused on the consider- able potential of glass-based translucent modules. Until now, the possibility of combin- ing DYSC cells with construction materials such as concrete has been overlooked. The main challenge is to optimize the cell’s long-term stability. DysCrete uses a spray-coat- ing method that can be performed in situ. The conventional encapsulation process, in which the failure of a single component renders the entire cell useless, is replaced by a layer grouping system with a renewable sandwich structure that offers exceptional ver- satility in cell construction.

HOW THE PRO ​ CESS WORKS Tech ​ ni ​ cal ​ ly, the DysCrete

HOW THE PROCESS WORKS

Technically, the DysCrete cell is based on a simple structure of functional layers. These combine to form a redox reaction coating that generates energy through an electro- chemical process when exposed to light. This coating can be created on concrete sur- faces by systematically modifying their physical and chemical structure while applying and integrating specific substances. The electricity-generating material is refined through a process of synthesis and layering, a combination of sintering and spray depo-

sition that can easily be integrated into the production of prefabricated elements. By adjusting the dye and electrolyte components, the layer system can be tuned to specific wavebands of light, including the very edges of the visible spectrum. One major advan- tage of dye-sensitized concrete is its relatively low production cost, giving the system great potential as a low-cost energy source.

ENERGY-GENERATING CONCRETE

DysCrete combines the advantages of technological photosynthesis and concrete. The basis of the system is concrete, with its many positive qualities as a structural product (fire resistance, high strength and durability, variety of construction methods). The ener- gy-generating function is produced with freely available components, with no additional toxic emissions. The innovative system of materials is renewable, largely recyclable and environmentally friendly. Because it can make use of the energy in diffuse light, its structural applications are virtually unlimited compared to conventional photovoltaic systems, opening up a world of possibilities in the field of structurally integrated photo- voltaics. DysCrete is ideally suited for manufacturing prefabricated concrete elements for building construction, for new types of building facades, and for indoor and outdoor wall and floor systems.

in ​ door and out ​ door wall and floor sys ​ tems. DURATION 08/01/13–09/01/2015 WEBSITE
in ​ door and out ​ door wall and floor sys ​ tems. DURATION 08/01/13–09/01/2015 WEBSITE

DURATION

08/01/13–09/01/2015

WEBSITE

RESEARCH & PROJECT FUNDING

Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

COOPERATION PARTNERS

FG Werkstoffe des Bauwesens und der Bauchemie, Prof. Middendorf