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Bifunctional solar electrocatalytic water splitting using CIGS solar modules and WO3-based electrolyzers.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics. Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.
Solibro Research AB, Uppsala.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics.
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2019 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Using energy from the sun to produce a fuel and finally obtaining only water as an exhaust is a promising future technology for renewable energy and environmental sustainability. Solar driven water splitting is a method to produce hydrogen from solar energy. Coupling a solar cell with an electrolyzer is the approach with highest technological readiness. CuInxGa1-xSe2 (CIGS) is here a promising solar cell material for water splitting because it is possible to tune the band gap between 1.0 and 1.7 eV by changing the ratio between Ga and In, thus enabling maximum power point matching with an electrolyzer. Tungsten oxide is known as a photocatalytic material and mainly used for the oxygen evolution reaction in a water splitting process. However, WO3 films also show electrochromic activity together with hydrogen evolution. This result is interesting because it shows that WO3 films can be used as bifunctional materials for both hydrogen and oxygen evolution in water splitting, and provide additional functionalities to the system. In this study, WO3 films coated at different sputtering conditions on Ni foam and indium tin oxide substrates were investigated in the potential range of the hydrogen evolution reaction. The best overpotential of 164 mV vs. RHE at 10 mA/cm2 was obtained for WO3 films on Ni foam in 0.5 M H2SO4. The lowest potential needed for 10 mA/cm2 was measured 1.768 V for the electrolyzers consisting WO3 films on Ni foam as the cathode and non-coated Ni foam as the anode. Optimum solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiency of the CIGS solar cell modules and the electrolyzers was examined for different band gaps of the CIGS modules and sputtering conditions of WO3 films. Operation points of the combined system were calculated from the intersection of the voltage-current density curves for the CIGS modules and the electrolyzers. The results showed that the detailed sputtering conditions were not very critical to obtain high STH efficiency, indicating that the system could be robust and easily manufactured. The best-matched band gap of the CIGS was 1.19 eV and the highest STH efficiency of the CIGS driven WO3-based electrolyzers was 12.98 %.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. article id R P3.28
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Solid State Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-395209OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-395209DiVA, id: diva2:1361159
Conference
E-MRS Spring Meeting 2019. IUMRS-ICAM International Conference on Advanced Materials, Nice, France, May 27-31, 2019.
Available from: 2019-10-15 Created: 2019-10-15 Last updated: 2019-10-15

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