Design and characterization of a durable and highly efficient energy-harvesting electrochromic window
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With the growing global energy demands, electrochromic window (ECW) technology has attracted great attention for its ability to reversibly change the transmittance of incoming light through applied moderate potential. While ECW has a great potential to conserve energy from lighting and air conditioning in buildings, ECW still consumes energy; ECW should be self-powered for further energy conservation. In this study, a new design of energy-harvesting electrochromic window (EH-ECW) based on fusion of two technologies, organic electrochromic window and dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is presented. Unlike other self-powered smart windows such as photoelectrochromic device that only contains two states (i.e. closed circuit colored state and open circuit bleaching state), EH-ECW allows active tuning of transmittance through varying applied potential and function as a photovoltaic cell based on DSSC. The resulting device demonstrates fast switching rate of 1 second in both bleaching and coloring process through the use of electrochromic polymer as a counter electrode layer. In order to increase the transmittance of the device, cobalt redox couple and light colored yet efficient organic dye are employed. The organic dye utilized contains polymeric structure, which contributes to high cyclic stability. The device exhibits power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 4.5 % under AM 1.5 irradiation (100 mW/cm2), change in transmittance (delta T = Tmax - Tmin) of 34 % upon applied potential, and shows only 3 % degradation in PCE after 5000 cycles.
- Mechanical engineering