The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) is working on improving production technologies related to dye-sensitized solar cells, hoping to mass produce the low-cost compotent in three to five years, sources at the Hsinchu-based institution said yesterday.
ITRI officials said that although its prototype cells have an energy conversion rate of 6 percent, lower than the optimal 10 percent rate achieved in the laboratory, the efficiency is still good enough for commercial purposes.
ITRI’s prototype dye-sensitized solar cells are being presented to the public at the three-day Taiwan Nano 2008 Exhibition in Taipei.
The sixth Taiwan Nano Exhibition, the second biggest of its kind in Asia, focuses on the latest nano applications in household items, including nano ceramics, nano light-emitting diodes and nanocatalysis.
The first dye-sensitized solar cell was developed in 1991 by two Swiss-based scientists, Michael Graetzel and Brian O’Regan at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.
The cells use titanium dioxide-laced dye material to capture photons. The energy in the particles can then be converted to electrical energy.
Although dye-sensitized solar cells are far less efficient in capturing energy than conventional silicon crystal solar cells, which have conversion rates of 30 percent or more, they still have market potential because of their inexpensive production costs — roughly 80 percent to 90 percent lower than the silicon crystal version.
Dye-sensitized solar cells have yet to be marketed commercially, but ITRI researchers said gains have been made in the development process and two patents related to the process have been obtained in Taiwan, giving the institute confidence that the solar cell can be commercialized by 2011.
“These solar cells, which combine nanocrystal technology and nano thin films, are efficient in converting sunlight into electrical energy,” Tung Yung-liang, an ITRI senior researcher, said on Wednesday.
Within three to five years, the cells could be incorporated into marketable products, Tung said.
Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts. Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialized machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive. “As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators,” GE Healthcare chief executive officer Kieran Murphy said. The group has hired more workers and is making ventilators around the clock. Swedish group Getinge AB is also ramping up output
Facing the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) has proactively taken precautionary measures. “The health and safety of our colleagues and their families, as well as our clients and the communities we serve, are of the utmost importance. We continue to take proactive measures to preserve their well-being while we maintain our ability to serve our clients,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said in a statement yesterday. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place, and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm. We are monitoring the situation closely, adjusting our operations accordingly,
UPGRADE AND TRANSFORM: Although the cross-strait trade deal might remain, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said businesses should prepare for any disruptions Taiwan might face a decline in foreign trade with China if the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) ends this year, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday. The agreement, which was signed and put into effect in 2010 to reduce trade barriers across the Taiwan Strait, is expected to end this year, despite not having an exact termination date. “We have not received notification [from China] that it wishes to terminate ECFA,” Shen told reporters prior to attending a meeting at the Legislative Yuan. “Even if we are notified, the agreement would only cease after six months.” While acknowledging the
GoShare, an electric scooter sharing service provider with Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), plans to expand to Tainan next quarter in a strategic alliance with Aeon Motor Co (宏佳騰). The company currently offers its services in Taipei and Taoyuan. “Tainan is very popular among tourists. The city receives an average of 22.94 million tourists every year,” GoShare head Henry Chiang (姜家煒) told a news conference yesterday in Taipei, citing Tourism Bureau statistics. “Besides, the city has a long history of riding scooters,” he said. Each household owns an average of 2.5 scooters, he added. “Expanding presence” is one of four strategies GoShare is adopting for this