Assessment of Calotropis natural dye extracts on the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells
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This work presents the construction and testing of solar cells sensitized with natural dyes extracted from plants indigenous to the desert. Calotropis plants are self - sufficient as they grow in very harsh environments, and yet are not consumed by humans or livestock due to their irritating agents to the skin and eyes. The energy generators of these plants are the leaves, which are crushed and processed to produce the dye solution. Also, the Calotropis leaves are covered in a white powder that is thought to aid in mitigating the heat by scattering incident radiation. This powder material is examined and added to the dye as it proved advantageous for the o verall cell efficiency, which reached 0.214% compared with 0.108% for cells with no powder. The produced cells are also compared with ones sensitized by spinach, another common natural sensitizer for dye - sensitized solar cells, and the performance proved t o be significantly better. The fact that Calotropis is a non - food plant is an added advantage to utilizing it as a dye source, along with its intrinsic heat resistance that allows it to survive the harsh desert conditions all year round.