Integrated photovoltaic-electrolysis devices
Part of our research is dedicated to the direct conversion of solar energy into carbon-free fuels. In particular, we look at how to extract hydrogen from water through a supply of renewable electricity in PV-electrolyzers. Our research spans from the more fundamental understanding of the reactions at play, to the construction of functional prototypes that combine light harvesting and fuel extraction into real-world devices. Our primary interest is in the development of bifunctional heterogeneous transition metal-based electrocatalysts for the HER and OER. We handle synthesis, material characterization and electrochemical testing, to which we couple operando spectroscopic techniques, such as Raman spectroscopy, for a more comprehensive picture of the materials in the environments we design them for.
A scalable thermally integrated CuInGaSe (CIGS) photovoltaic-alkaline electrolyser
Within the PECSYS Project, we, Uppsala University and Solibro Research AB, developed a thermally integrated photovoltaic (PV)-electrolysis device made up of a CuInGaSe (CIGS) photovoltaic module and a FeNiOH (cathode)-FeNiOH (anode)-based alkaline electrolyser. Lab-scale devices (2-5 cm2) reach 10-13% solar-to-hydrogen (STH) conversion efficiencies while up-scaled devices (active area 80-100 cm²) reach 9-12% STH efficiencies for devices with 2×3-cell CIGS modules and thermally integrated non-precious catalysts.
Keywords: CIGS photovoltaic cell, FeNiOH electrocatalyst, water splitting, alkaline electrolysis; thermally integrated device; scalable approach
Bayrak Pehlivan, İ., Malm, U., Neretnieks, P., Glüsen, A., Müller, M., Welter, K., Haas, S., Calnan, S., Canino, A., Milazzo, R. G., Privitera, S. M. S., Lombardo, S., Stolt, L., Edoff, M., and Edvinsson, T. (2020). The climatic response of thermally integrated photovoltaic–electrolysis water splitting using Si and CIGS combined with acidic and alkaline electrolysis. Sustain. Energ. Fuels 4, 6011-6022.
Bayrak Pehlivan, İ., Edoff, M., Stolt, L., & Edvinsson, T. (2019). Optimum Band Gap Energy of ((Ag), Cu)(InGa)Se2 Materials for Combination with NiMo–NiO Catalysts for Thermally Integrated Solar-Driven Water Splitting Applications. Energies 12(21), 4064.
Qiu, Z., Tai, C. W., Niklasson, G. A., & Edvinsson, T. (2019). Direct observation of active catalyst surface phases and the effect of dynamic self-optimization in NiFe-layered double hydroxides for alkaline water splitting. Energy & Environmental Science, 12(2) 572-581.
Jacobsson, T. J., Fjällström, V., Edoff, M., & Edvinsson, T. (2014). Sustainable solar hydrogen production: from photoelectrochemical cells to PV-electrolyzers and back again. Energy & Environmental Science, 7(7), 2056-2070.