Greatcell Solar Limited (GSL) was listed on ASX as Dyesol Limited (DYE) in July 2005 and is headquartered in Queanbeyan, NSW, in Australia. The Company was founded to develop, scale-up and commercialise the rapidly emerging 3rd generation solar photovoltaic (PV) technology known as Dye Solar Cells (DSC), a technology invented by Grätzel and O’Regan at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in the early 1990s. Greatcell Solar is an original licensee of the EPFL core technology in perpetuity and also has an extensive patent portfolio of its own which extends across materials, processes and PV design.
DSC PV technology has lower embodied energy, is cheaper to produce and is more versatile than 1st and 2nd generation PV technology. It is particularly suited to building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), often considered to be the end-point or ‘holy grail’ for PV development. DSC technology encountered technical challenges, though, as scientific investigation and development uncovered further potential for the 3rd generation of PV technology. Some of the materials it used were relatively expensive and the use of a liquid electrolyte raised issues as to its long-term durability. The Sun can be very destructive and long-term durability is a key attribute in successful commercialisation of PV panels.