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Every day, the Sun gives us so much energy that we can power the entire earth. This energy is renewable, CO2 free and comes at low operating costs. While humans are going around, polluting the whole planet, only solar power is the key to a clean future.

Thanks to researchers at IIT Hyderabad, solar panels won’t be expensive any longer, for they have a cheaper process. Their aim is to manufacture solar cells that are both budget-friendly and more environmentally-friendly, mentioned a PTI report.

kumkum dye solar panels

Representational image | source: Pixabay

Termed as Dye-Sensitised Solar Cells (DSSC), apart from other materials, the researchers have used Kumkum dye to manufacture this new product.

According to the report, the institute has also mentioned that their team has used the New Fuschsin (NF) dye along with an aqueous electrolyte and platinum-free counter electrodes.

Generic solar cells are expensive because they are made with silicon, which is quite expensive to process. The worst part is these cells need high temperatures, which increases the carbon footprint on the earth.

Further, professor Sai Santosh Kumar Raavi, who led the project at the institute, told PTI that there were obstacles in the research because the materials they were using were less robust than silicon. But, with their success, it is prominent that Kumkum is easy to source, and costs less than Rs. 1,000 a kilo.

Another noteworthy and similar innovation is done by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai. They developed a new material called ‘black gold’. But how did they do this? The researchers have modified the amount of space between each gold nano-particle.

The result was a solar cell that was more efficient than current-day panels and was also infused with greater power and this sort of innovation is also sustainable, cheaper to produce and will be easier on the environment, that the coal-based energy that we are using.