FORA Environment

Season 2010 Episode 0421

Beyond Sunny Memories

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Beyond Sunny Memories
AIRED:
Finding economic ways to capture and convert energy from our largest renewable energy source, the sun, is becoming more urgent as the world-s supply of fossil fuels vanishes. Now, the development of a new generation of solar cells might lead the way toward a better future.Graetzel cells, named for Professor Michael Graetzel of the Ecole Polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, are dye-sensitized solar cells that are thin, flexible, and come in many shapes and colors, allowing them to answer different functional needs. Inspired by plant photosynthesis, they use dyes to transform sunlight into electricity.Lausanne's EPFL+ECAL Lab initiated a design workshop around Graetzel cells that resulted in the traveling exhibition, Sunny Memories, shown in cooperation with swissnex in San Francisco at the California College of the Arts' Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, from April 16 to 24, 2010.In parallel to the exhibit, swissnex San Francisco presents an in-depth discussion of the technology behind the project. Kevin Sivula of EPFL's Laboratory of Phototonics and Interfaces (led by Michael Graetzel), explains how dye-sensitized solar cells work and describes potential applications. Two of the leading manufacturers of the technology, Dyesol Inc. and G24 Innovations, present their market-oriented take on the groundbreaking innovation. And EPFL+ECAL Lab's Nicolas Henchoz discusses the path from technology to design taken in the Sunny Memories project.moreless
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