The Efficient Solar Hydrogen Generation project investigates the fabrication and integration of low-cost semiconductors and earth abundant catalysts to address one of the most significant challenges for hydrogen production: the development of efficient, stable and cheap solar water splitting systems.
How the project works
The Efficient Solar Hydrogen Generation project led by the ANU will investigate how silicon and perovskite cells will be integrated into a tandem configuration to enable stand alone solar hydrogen production. Catalysts made from transition metal composites with controlled chemical composition, crystallinity and morphology will be developed and integrated with either silicon photoelectrodes or three-dimensionally interconnected porous Ni foams to boost the electrocatalytic interactions for enhanced water-splitting performance.
Area of innovation
The novel configurations developed in this project will use low cost materials to achieve much higher efficiency through 1) tandem design and novel interconnection strategies that maximise the rate of catalysis, 2) an engineered surface to minimise the substantial voltage loss at the semiconductor surface that usually occurs with photo electrochemical cells, and 3) earth abundant composite catalysts deposited onto 3D hierarchically structured substrates allowing much higher rates of catalytic reaction.
The Efficient Solar Hydrogen Generation project will facilitate the development of practical, highly efficient, stand-alone solar water splitting system for hydrogen production using low-cost semiconductors and non-noble metal-based catalysts. The project contributes to the development of a potential renewable energy export supply chain through the research and development on the production of gaseous hydrogen using solar energy.
Researchers are developing new ways to export Australia’s renewable energy in the form of hydrogen.
Hydrogen offers a way to produce a renewable, emissions-free fuel using the power of the sun and wind.
In recent weeks, the buzz around the potential for hydrogen to unlock opportunities to export renewable energy to the world has gone from a light murmur to a loud hum.