none

NEW SOLAR FUEL SOLAR CELLS SPLITS WATER AND CREATES ELECTRICAL CHARGE

03-08-2015
by 
in 

 

Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology in Netherlands and FOM Foundation have developed a new prototype “solar fuel cell”, using gallium phosphide nano-wires, which turns sunlight into electrical charge and splits water to create hydrogen,

 

The electricity produced by normal solar cells has already been utilised to split the water and produce hydrogen, and while efficient, it is also very expensive.

 

Thus, researchers have claim that the use of the nano-wires increases the efficiency of gallium phosphide cells, while utilising less precious metal, lowing cost and material usage.

 

However, although the new configuration might be ten times more efficient, it only pulls efficiency by 2.9%.

 

“For the nanowires we needed ten thousand [times] less precious material than in cells with a flat surface. That makes these kinds of cells potentially a great deal cheaper,” explained Erik Bakkers, an author of the report published in Nature Communications.

 

“In short, for a solar fuels future we cannot ignore gallium phosphide any longer.” He continued.

 

With the regular technology attracting such a cost, researchers have turned to looking at semiconductors, such as gallium phosphide that splits water and creates an electrical charge at the same time.

 

Although, it is not without its faults, the metal is poor at absorbing light and so researchers, from Eindhoven University have decided to use the metal as a grid utilising nano-wires that is attributed the immediate increase in efficiency.

 

However, there is still a lot of room for improvement as Bakkers says

 

“For the nanowires we needed ten thousand less precious GaP material than in cells with a flat surface. That makes these kinds of cells potentially a great deal cheaper,"

 

"In addition, GaP is also able to extract oxygen from the water -- so you then actually have a fuel cell in which you can temporarily store your solar energy. In short, for a solar fuels future we cannot ignore gallium phosphide any longer." He says.

 

Although with the potential of this new cell competing with the current model, there is also major work to be done. 

Related news & editorials

  1. 20.09.2018
    20.09.2018
    by      In
    Control Logic has set its sights on expansion, with a new leadership team incorporating key roles in products and marketing, sales and development, and operations and services. The move aims to increase the company’s skill set and focus to drive innovation and expand the company’s expertise and... Read More
  2. 19.09.2018
    19.09.2018
    by      In
    The Australian Made Campaign is providing some valuable support for the nation’s furniture manufacturers with its latest initiative, which urges local buyers to ‘take comfort in their purchase’ and choose genuine Aussie furniture, bedding and furnishings this spring.
    According to Australian Made... Read More
  3. 12.09.2018
    12.09.2018
    by      In
    Siemens has unveiled its new manufacturing facility in Yatala (Queensland), which has been set up to support the growing global demand for the locally developed Fusesaver medium-voltage circuit breaker.
    The new factory is part of an ongoing $25 million investment in manufacturing and research of... Read More
  4. 11.09.2018
    11.09.2018
    by      In
    APS Industrial has relocated its Melbourne base into an all-new 4500m2 head office and national distribution centre in Rowville. The new facility includes an interactive product showcase room and state of the art conference facility.
    According to APS Industrial MD David Hegarty, “Since our launch... Read More