Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Civil/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering
Room: Virginia B
Sean Jackson - Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Co-Author(s): Marcus Lockwood, Florida State University, FL; Dr. Phong Tran, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, FL
Energy production by renewable resources is a rapidly increasing market as groups attempt to meet current energy production requirements while reducing the impact of fossil fuel-based pollution. Solar panels comprised of 2D cells have to overcome the problem of sharp incident angles which reduce the overall efficiency of panels anchored in stationary locations and amplified in versatile ones. The challenge of incident angle optimization can be overcome through use of wire-shaped dye-sensitized solar cells (WS DSSCs) that make use of a wire-shaped electrode that is coated in a photoactive dye and conductive electrolyte, decreasing the dependence on an optimal sunlight incident angle.
Current WS DSSCs utilize liquid electrolytes to facilitate high electrolyte-dye-electrode interaction that bring forth several complications including electrolyte volatility, degradation, and performance deterioration over time. These issues can be addressed by using solid or gel-based electrolytes that exhibit higher overall stability, lower solvent evaporation, and shape retention capabilities through addition of polymer additives such as Poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP) and Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO).
Encapsulation of the WS DSSC with an electrolyte is required for ionic transport. We aim to use a core shell nozzle design to allow controlled extrusion of an optimized polymer/electrolyte blend around the electrode, automating the application of a more stable electrolyte around a WS DSSC.
Preliminary results show that after synthesis of PVDF-HFP and PEO polymer blends of varying concentration, these polymers were used to augment liquid electrolytes to increase the resulting blend’s viscosity. The fluid dynamics electrolyte/polymer blends were quantified through rheological flow curves, allowing for the iterative prediction of printability of consecutive electrolyte/polymer blends that were synthesized using varying wt/wt% percentages of polymer when printed under varying extrusion conditions. When extruded with a nozzle diameter of 200 uM, print height of 0.2mm, and a printing pressure of 100 PSI, currently produced optimal prints exhibit height to width filament ratios of 0.73, 0.77, and 0.79 when printing at 1.5, 1.0, and 0.5 cm/s, respectively, demonstrating our ability to effectively print polymer/electrolyte blends in a controlled manner.
Future research involves impedance testing of optimized polymer/electrolyte blends in efforts to analyze the impact of increased electrolyte viscosity on resultant ionic transfer efficiency. We aim to extrude optimized polymer/electrolyte blends through a core shell nozzle module, allowing for the extrusion of an optimized electrolyte around a conductive electrode, partially automating WS-DSSC fabrication.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Funder Acknowledgement(s): I would like to acknowledge NSF, CREST, and AFRL for supporting this research. I would also like to acknowledge the Ramakrishnan lab at the National High Field Magnetic Laboratory.
Faculty Advisor: Tarik Dickens, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: All current parts of this research have been completed by myself, Sean Jackson. This includes Polymer synthesis ; Polymer rheological testing; Polymer extrusion ; Electrolyte synthesis ;Electrolyte/polymer blend synthesis ; Electrolyte/polymer blend rheology ; lectrolyte/polymer blend extrusion ; 3D printed filament analysis