Hydrogen energyProject Efficient Solar Hydrogen Generation
This mid-term report describes progress in the development of a practical system to directly convert solar energy to hydrogen. Successes include the demonstration of over 16% solar-to-hydrogen efficiency using Peroskovite-Silicon tandem cells and low cost catalysts.
The aim of this project is to design, fabricate and integrate low-cost semiconductors and catalysts for direct solar-to-hydrogen production systems. Achieving a high solar-to-hydrogen (STH) conversion efficiency based on durable low-cost materials is crucial to promote commercial adoption of solar hydrogen systems. However, the STH efficiencies demonstrated till now with low-cost materials remained relatively low with poor operational stability.
When two semiconductors with complementary light absorption abilities (i.e., one absorbing the blue part and the other absorbing the red part of the solar spectrum) are configured in tandem, they could exploit a larger fraction of the solar spectrum, providing high STH efficiencies necessary for practical implementation. Perovskite and Si are low-cost semiconductors suitable to construct a tandem cell for carrying out direct solar hydrogen production at high efficiencies when integrated with Ni-based catalysts.
The project focusses on the design and development of robust integrated solar-driven water splitting systems with >18% STH conversion efficiency at ambient conditions using all low-cost materials (perovskite/Si tandem cell and Ni-based catalysts), advancing the commercial prospects of low-cost solar hydrogen production.