Photoelectrochemical Demonstrator Device for Solar Hydrogen Generation

Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Hydrogen production & Distribution

To address the challenges of solar energy capture and storage in the form of a chemical fuel, we will develop a hybrid photoelectrochemical-photovoltaic (PEC-PV) tandem device for light-driven water splitting. This concept is based on a visible light-absorbing metal oxide photoelectrode, which is immersed in water and placed in front of a smaller-bandgap thin film PV cell. This tandem approach ensures optimal use of the solar spectrum, while the chemically stable metal oxide protects the underlying PV cell from photocorrosion. Recent breakthroughs have brought metal oxide photoelectrodes close to the efficiency levels required for practical applications. We will use our extensive combined expertise on nanostructuring, photon management, and interface engineering to design innovative ways to solve the remaining bottlenecks, and achieve a solar-to-H2 (STH) energy conversion efficiency of 10% for a small area device, with less than 10% performance decrease over 1000 h. In parallel, our academic and industrial partners will collaborate to develop large-area deposition technologies for scale-up to ≥50 cm2. This will be combined with the large-area PV technology already available within the consortium, and used in innovative cell designs that address critical scale-up issues, such as mass transport limitations and resistive losses. The finished design will be used to construct a water splitting module consisting of 4 identical devices that demonstrates the scalability of the technology. This prototype will be tested in the field, and show a STH efficiency of 8% with the same stability as the small area device. In parallel, our partners from industry and research institutions will work together on an extensive techno-economic and life-cycle analysis based on actual performance characteristics. This will give a reliable evaluation of the application potential of photoelectrochemical hydrogen production, and further strengthen Europe’s leading position in this growing field.

Project reference: 
SP1-JTI-FCH.2013.2.5: Validation of photoelectrochemical hydrogen production processes
Project type: 
Research and technological development
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
End date: 
Friday, March 31, 2017
36 months
Project cost: 
€ 3,394,010.00
Project funding: 
€ 1,830,644.00


Prof. Roel Van De Krol
Other participating organisations: 
Min-Kyu Son , Ludmilla Steier , Marcel Schreier , Matthew T. Mayer , Jingshan Luo , Michael Grätzel; A copper nickel mixed oxide hole selective layer for Au-free transparent cuprous oxide photocathodes
Carlos G. Morales-Guio , Matthew T. Mayer , Aswani Yella , S. David Tilley , Michael Grätzel , Xile Hu; An Optically Transparent Iron Nickel Oxide Catalyst for Solar Water Splitting
Simon Kirner , Peter Bogdanoff , Bernd Stannowski , Roel van de Krol , Bernd Rech , Rutger Schlatmann; Architectures for scalable integrated photo driven catalytic devices-A concept study
Avner Rothschild , Hen Dotan; Beating the Efficiency of Photovoltaics-Powered Electrolysis with Tandem Cell Photoelectrolysis
Jingshan Luo , David A. Vermaas , Dongqin Bi , Anders Hagfeldt , Wilson A. Smith , Michael Grätzel; Bipolar Membrane-Assisted Solar Water Splitting in Optimal pH
Jingshan Luo , Ludmilla Steier , Min-Kyu Son , Marcel Schreier , Matthew T. Mayer , Michael Grätzel; Cu 2 O Nanowire Photocathodes for Efficient and Durable Solar Water Splitting
Paula Dias , António Vilanova , Tânia Lopes , Luísa Andrade , Adélio Mendes; Extremely stable bare hematite photoanode for solar water splitting
Jin Hyun Kim , Ji-Wook Jang , Yim Hyun Jo , Fatwa F. Abdi , Young Hye Lee , Roel van de Krol , Jae Sung Lee; Hetero-type dual photoanodes for unbiased solar water splitting with extended light harvesting
Gideon Segev , Hen Dotan , Kirtiman Deo Malviya , Asaf Kay , Matthew T. Mayer , Michael Grätzel , Avner Rothschild; High Solar Flux Concentration Water Splitting with Hematite (α-Fe 2 O 3 ) Photoanodes
Ludmilla Steier , Jingshan Luo , Marcel Schreier , Matthew T. Mayer , Timo Sajavaara , Michael Grätzel; Low-Temperature Atomic Layer Deposition of Crystalline and Photoactive Ultrathin Hematite Films for Solar Water Splitting
Hen Dotan , Nripan Mathews , Takashi Hisatomi , Michael Grätzel , Avner Rothschild; On the Solar to Hydrogen Conversion Efficiency of Photoelectrodes for Water Splitting
J. Azevedo , L. Steier , P. Dias , M. Stefik , C. T. Sousa , J. P. Araújo , A. Mendes , M. Graetzel , S. D. Tilley; On the stability enhancement of cuprous oxide water splitting photocathodes by low temperature steam annealing
Carolin Zachäus , Fatwa F. Abdi , Laurence M. Peter , Roel van de Krol; Photocurrent of BiVO 4 is limited by surface recombination, not surface catalysis
Avigail Landman , Hen Dotan , Gennady E. Shter , Michael Wullenkord , Anis Houaijia , Artjom Maljusch , Gideon S. Grader , Avner Rothschild; Photoelectrochemical water splitting in separate oxygen and hydrogen cells
Fatwa F. Abdi , Ali Dabirian , Bernard Dam , Roel van de Krol; Plasmonic enhancement of the optical absorption and catalytic efficiency of BiVO4 photoanodes decorated with Ag@SiO2 core–shell nanoparticles
Simon Kirner , Sebastian Neubert , Christof Schultz , Onno Gabriel , Bernd Stannowski , Bernd Rech , Rutger Schlatmann; Quadruple-junction solar cells and modules based on amorphous and microcrystalline silicon with high stable efficiencies
Jingshan Luo , S. David Tilley , Ludmilla Steier , Marcel Schreier , Matthew T. Mayer , Hong Jin Fan , Michael Grätzel; Solution Transformation of Cu 2 O into CuInS 2 for Solar Water Splitting
Jingshan Luo , Zhen Li , Shiro Nishiwaki , Marcel Schreier , Matthew T. Mayer , Peter Cendula , Yong Hui Lee , Kunwu Fu , Anyuan Cao , Mohammad Khaja; Targeting Ideal Dual-Absorber Tandem Water Splitting Using Perovskite Photovoltaics and CuIn x Ga 1- x Se 2 Photocathodes
José D. Costa , Paula Quitério , Arlete Apolinário , Célia T. Sousa , João Azevedo , João Ventura , Luísa Andrade , Adélio Mendes , João P. A; The effect of electrolyte re-utilization in the growth rate and morphology of TiO2 nanotubes
João Azevedo , S. David Tilley , Marcel Schreier , Morgan Stefik , Célia Sousa , João Pedro Araújo , Adélio Mendes , Michael Grätzel , Matthew T; Tin oxide as stable protective layer for composite cuprous oxide water-splitting photocathodes
Paula Dias , Marcel Schreier , S. David Tilley , Jingshan Luo , João Azevedo , Luísa Andrade , Dongqin Bi , Anders Hagfeldt , Adélio Mendes , Micha; Transparent Cuprous Oxide Photocathode Enabling a Stacked Tandem Cell for Unbiased Water Splitting
Simon Kirner , Hoora Sarajan , Anahita Azarpira , Thomas Schedel-Niedrig , Bernd Stannowski , Bernd Rech , Rutger Schlatmann; Wafer Surface Tuning for a-Si:H/μc-Si:H/c-Si Triple Junction Solar Cells for Application in Water Splitting
J. Luo , J.-H. Im , M. T. Mayer , M. Schreier , M. K. Nazeeruddin , N.-G. Park , S. D. Tilley , H. J. Fan , M. Gratzel; Water photolysis at 12.3% efficiency via perovskite photovoltaics and Earth-abundant catalysts