Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a relatively inexpensive and simple way to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through a new electrodeposition method. The method produces highly efficient solar cells that can gather solar energy for use as fuel.
The research, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, could lead to a sizable increase in the amount of hydrogen available for fuel usage.
The Missouri S&T researchers describe their full method in a paper published today (Monday, Sept. 14, 2015) on the website of the journal Nature Materials.
“The work helps to solve the problem that solar energy is intermittent,” says Dr. Jay A. Switzer, the Donald L. Castleman/Foundation for Chemical Research Professor of Discovery at Missouri S&T. “Obviously, we cannot have the sun produce energy on one spot the entire day, but our process converts the energy into a form that is more easily stored.”
Switzer and his team use silicon wafers to absorb solar energy. The silicon is submerged in water, with the front surface exposed to a solar energy simulator and the back surface covered in electrodes to conduct the energy. The silicon has cobalt nano-islands formed onto it using a process called electrodeposition.
Unlike current research standards that cover the surface of the silicon entirely in a catalyst layer, Switzer has small clusters of cobalt catalysts dotted on the silicon’s surface. This process was found to be just as protective and produced much higher voltages.
The generated voltage from the solar rays splits liquid water into hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen evolves at the cobalt-coated silicon electrode, and hydrogen evolves at the platinum counter electrode.
“Initially, we had set out to produce a uniform layer of metal that both catalyzed and protected the silicon, but found that this method actually produces a higher voltage and did not need an additional step that typically has to be applied to the silicon,” says Switzer. “These nano-islands of cobalt produce a much more efficient cell.”
Besides solar arrays and energy cells, Switzer sees potential usage of the results in large-scale hydrogen collection and even a fully carbon-neutral travel solution.
“If we use this process in hydrogen-fueled vehicles, the hydrogen would be used as fuel and the only thing dripping out of the tailpipe of the car would be water,” says Switzer.
The Latest on: Solar Energy Storage
via Google News
The Latest on: Solar Energy Storage
- Public, private actors in Delhi trial blockchain-based solar energy tradingon March 3, 2021 at 2:02 am
Delhi consumers will participate in a trial blockchain-powered P2P solar energy marketplace using PowerLedger's technology.
- Tata Power DDL rolls out live peer-to-peer solar energy trading projecton March 3, 2021 at 1:56 am
Tata Power Delhi Distribution and Australian tech firm Power Ledger on Wednesday announced the launch of the first live peer-to-peer solar energy trading project in Delhi. Tata Power DDL and Power ...
- SPI Energy’s Solar Juice Signs Contract with Australia’s Aboriginal Housing Office to Supply up to 2600 Properties with Solar PV Systemson March 3, 2021 at 1:46 am
SANTA CLARA, CA / ACCESSWIRE / March 3, 2021 / SPI Energy Co. ("SPI Energy" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:SPI), a global renewable energy company and provider of solar storage and electric vehicle (EV) ...
- Battery Energy Storage Systems for Smart Grid Market Report 2022-2031: Focus on Energy Management and Backup Poweron March 3, 2021 at 12:44 am
A recent systematic review report on “ Battery Energy Storage Systems for Smart Grid Market is Gaining Momentum; Empowering Future Innovation in Industry 2031 | Changing the Face of Energy Industry”, ...
- Solis: Storage of solar energy in the event of blackoutson March 2, 2021 at 9:09 pm
Ginlong Solis has announced that it will promote the adoption of hybrid systems in Europe to enable solar energy storage. The solution guarantees an uninterrupted supply of electricity to homes and ...
- Global Residential Solar Energy Storage Market 2020 Top Industry Players, Regional Study, Growth Drivers, Challenges and Opportunities by 2025on March 2, 2021 at 2:06 pm
MarketsandResearch.biz proclaims the addition of a new report titled Global Residential Solar Energy Storage Market Growth 2020-2025 offers broad insights extracted by thoroughly analyzing historical ...
- WEC Energy invests $302M in wind farm that will serve Facebookon March 2, 2021 at 12:29 pm
We Energies’ parent company agreed to invest $302 million to acquire 90% ownership in a wind farm to be built in Kansas to generate renewable energy for Facebook.
- New Battery Tech Could Make Solar Energy Storage Even Cheaperon March 1, 2021 at 10:00 am
US-based engineers have joined forces to develop high-voltage reference batteries for behind-the-meter energy storage applications, based on a bipolar technology that uses silicon wafers in traditiona ...
- This Company Helps Roughnecks Find Renewable Energy Jobson March 1, 2021 at 9:44 am
Like Burt, Workrise used to be in the oil and gas business, but it’s recently been moving more and more workers into renewable energy. Last year, almost 120,000 fossil fuel jobs were eliminated, ...
- EDF Renewables North America Signs Virtual Power Purchase Agreement with Enterprise Products for Solar Energyon March 1, 2021 at 9:12 am
EDF Renewables North America today announced a power purchase agreement for the second tranche of the Space City Solar Project with an affiliate of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) for ...
via Bing News