Swiss team sets record solar-to-hydrogen rate


From pv magazine Global | via the Hydrogen Stream

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) researchers have developed a thermally integrated photoelectrochemical device to generate hydrogen through concentrated solar irradiation. The 7m-diameter parabolic dish concentrates sunlight into a 144 cm^2 reactor where water is pumped, achieving a solar-to-hydrogen device-level efficiency of greater than 20% at an H2 production rate of >2.0 kW. The scientists published their findings from the project, which is first system-level demonstration of solar hydrogen generation, in a recent edition of Nature Energy. Heat and oxygen are recovered and used, and an EPFL start-up, SoHHytec, is commercialising the system to scale up the technology.

Sapienza University of Rome scientists have collaborated with Sorbonne University, CNRS, and SISSA to create a phase diagram of hydrogen and deuterium at high pressures and low temperatures. They discovered that the atomic metallic hydrogen phase forms at 577(4) GPa, and the molecular hydrogen transforms from a metallic phase to another molecular structure (phase VI) at 410(20) GPa. The researchers said in a recent paper in Nature Physics that anharmonic vibrations of nuclei can make the metallic hydrogen phase stable at much larger pressures than previously estimated.

Plug Power has delivered three containerized electrolysers to Hungary-based Ganzair for two projects. One is the Bukkabrany Solar PV Park project, which will generate 850 kg of hydrogen daily to be mixed with the local gas pipeline to heat homes and businesses. The other project, Aquamarine, will test the use of hydrogen for storage purposes. The New York-based company said that this will demonstrate the long-duration energy storage potential of green hydrogen. The 3 1 MW containerized electrolyser systems will be installed later this year. These are Plug’s first electrolyzer systems delivered in the EU and are expected to be the first in operation.

Glenfarne and Samsung Engineering have launched a collaboration agreement to complete feasibility studies for multiple green hydrogen and ammonia projects in Chile, as part of Glenfarne’s recently announced Hydrogen Fuels Initiative. “Green Pegasus, the first project being developed as part of the agreement, will have up to two gigawatts of solar PV installed capacity and is estimated to produce 459 kilotons (kton) of green ammonia and 89 kton of green hydrogen annually. Green Pegasus will primarily focus on export to Asia, particularly South Korea, and Europe, where Glenfarne maintains several business and commercial partners,” said Glenfarne. 

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