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RECOGNISING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN ENERGY

The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

Laureate of the Global Energy Prize - 2017 conquers new scientific peaks

The scientist power engineer, whose merits were recently awarded with the prestigious Global Energy Prize - Michael Graetzel yesterday got another deserved award - Ahmed Zewail Prize in the field of molecular science in 2017. The awards ceremony took place in Cancun, Mexico, at a special symposium within the framework of the conference - FEMTO13, which is devoted to topical issues of modern chemistry.

The Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences is awarded every two years to a scientist who has “made significant and creative contributions, particularly those of a fundamental nature, to any of the disciplines of molecular sciences.” This involves theoretical and/or experimental aspects of studies in all phases of matter and biological systems.

Michael Graetzel is a world-famous scientist, Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, working in the field of photochemistry and material engineering. The scientist got the Ahmed Zewail Prize for one of his breakthrough discoveries in the field of molecular photovoltaics – Graetzel cells. The photocells developed by him use a principle similar to organic photosynthesis: the absorption of light quanta by molecules of an organic dye and the flow of oxidation-reduction reactions when it irradiates with sunlight.

"Photosynthesis is the most important chemical reaction in the world, without which life on the planet would be impossible. Our technology allows us to use this process to generate electricity. On its basis, a whole range of products can be produced: from building materials to innovative portable energy sources. This opens up new markets for the use of renewable energy sources, "says Michael Graetzel.

One of the main advantages of Michael Graetzel's development is the efficiency of energy storage regardless of the angle of the sun's fall. Such panels can be powered even from refracted or reflected light. Under bright sunlight, the elements of Graetzel work with an efficiency of 15%, and in diffused light (in cloudy weather or indoors), this figure reaches 28.9%. Thus, they are capable of operating at different frequency ranges of the luminous flux, up to infrared.

As part of the award ceremony, Michael Graetzel and a few colleagues from his scientific group also delivered a lecture on the features of the creation and operation of photovoltaics, as well as the technology that is called "perovskites" and its direct correlation with the Graetzel cells.

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