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Integrated solar hydrogen production: Impact of the local climate

  • Hydrogen as a versatile, greenhouse gas-free energy carrier will play an important role in our future economy. Yet sustainable, competitive production and distribution of hydrogen remains a challenge. Highly integrated solar water splitting systems aim to combine solar energy harvesting and electrolysis in a single device, similar to a photovoltaic module.[1] Such a system can produce hydrogen locally without the requirement to be connected to the electricity grid. Unlike large electrolysis that draws power from the grid, the power density of such a device is reduced so far that it does not require active cooling, but its operating temperature will closely follow outdoor conditions. Here, we present our work on high-efficiency integrated solar water splitting devices based on multi-junction solar absorbers. The light-absorbing component is sensitive to the shape of the solar spectrum and generally becomes more efficient at lower temperatures. Catalysis, on the other hand, benefits from higher temperatures. These conflicting trends wih respect to the temperature impact the design of the solar hydrogen production system. We analyse how the local climate affects production efficiency[2] and show in a lab study that adequate system design allows efficient operation at temperatures as low as -20°C.[3] These insights can help to design small-scale distributed solar hydrogen production for both temperate regions, but also more extreme climatic conditions.

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Document Type:Conference Object
Author:Matthias M. May, Erica Schmitt, Johannes Grabenstein, Oliver Höhn, James Barry, Moritz Kölbach, Kira Rehfeld
Parent Title (English):EGU General Assembly 2023
Article Number:14800
Number of pages:1
Publisher:Copernicus GmbH
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2023/02/26
Copyright:© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Departments, institutes and facilities:Internationales Zentrum für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (IZNE)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 551 Geologie, Hydrologie, Meteorologie
Entry in this database:2023/03/24
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International