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
- Solar Power Market in India 2019-2023 | Evolving Opportunities with ABB and Adani Enterprises | Technavioon November 14, 2019 at 11:21 am
Dual-Axis Solar Tracker Market – Global Dual-Axis Solar Tracker Market by application (utility and non-utility) and geography (the Americas, APAC, and EMEA). Solar Energy Storage Market – Global Solar ...
- California sees solar+storage domination by 2030 with 11 GW / 44 GWh of batterieson November 14, 2019 at 6:31 am
As California goes, so goes…the world? Earth’s 5th largest economy has put forth its 2019-2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) – Proposed Reference System Plan (173 page pdf), and it suggests that ...
- Power Ledger Completes Peer-to-Peer Solar Energy Trading Trial in Indiaon November 14, 2019 at 5:49 am
Earlier in November, the company partnered with a local energy retailer to roll out its technology in South Australia, allowing Australians to pool their excess solar and battery storage to a Virtual ...
- Solar Stock Earnings Shineon November 14, 2019 at 5:42 am
This growth is beginning to scale." Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ: RUN) the nation's leading residential solar, storage and energy services company issued its third quarter 2019 earnings report after the market ...
- Ørsted Kicks Off 460 MW Solar-Plus-Storage Developmenton November 14, 2019 at 5:38 am
Ørsted says it has commenced construction on the company’s first utility-scale solar-plus-battery-storage project, the 460 MW AC Permian Energy Center. The facility is located in Andrews County, Texas ...
- Ørsted to build landmark solar and storage projecton November 13, 2019 at 6:48 pm
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Nov. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ørsted announced today that following final investment decision from its Board of Directors it has commenced construction on the company's first ...
- Climate Central Solutions Brief: Battery Energy Storageon November 13, 2019 at 7:47 am
This is how batteries are recharged. Lithium-ion batteries represent only one type of energy storage. Several other types of batteries can be developed for different applications. The vast majority of ...
- Thermal Energy Storage Market Expected to Reach $8,862 Million By 2023 at a CAGR of 10.9%on November 13, 2019 at 12:44 am
which store cold winter air for air conditioning during summer and stock solar energy for space heating during winter. It is widely used in numerous applications to maintain the supply and demand of ...
- Vivint Solar Announces Launch of Solar + Storage Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in Californiaon November 12, 2019 at 4:06 pm
"As we look to offer more viable options, we see a clear need, especially in markets like California, to provide a number of solutions for solar energy and storage. This includes the new option of a ...
- UPDATE: NeoVolta Becomes First Lithium Iron Phosphate Energy Storage System Approved by California Energy Commissionon November 12, 2019 at 4:00 am
as a certified energy storage system. These systems store energy produced by solar panels and store it for later use. To achieve the certification, the NV14 residential energy storage system had to ...
via Bing News