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. 15.11.2018
    15.11.2018
    by      In
    It’s less than a year since Lapp Australia started trading, but the company has swiftly established itself in the local market, with significant penetration in sectors such as food and beverage, manufacturing, solar, sound and stage production, electrical contracting, machine building and... Read More
  2. 12.11.2018
    12.11.2018
    by      In
    Energy Vault has developed a novel solution to storage for renewable energy plants that involves neither batteries nor water.
    The Energy Vault system is based on the fundamental physics of potential and kinetic energy, and uses a proprietary, cloud-based software platform to operate a newly... Read More
  3. 07.11.2018
    07.11.2018
    by      In
    With a combination of its industry-leading fans and energy-efficient lighting products, Big Ass is improving working conditions in Australia and around the globe.
    Blazing Queensland temperatures and humidity were creating uncomfortable working conditions at XL Service Bodies, an industry-leading... Read More
  4. 07.11.2018
    07.11.2018
    by      In
    ABB has thrown its weight behind the OPC Foundation in its bid to define the worldwide industrial interoperability standard. The new Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture (OPC UA) standard has the potential to enable industrial players to unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0.
    OPC UA... Read More