Researchers at the Helmz Solar Energy Research Institute in Berlin, Germany, have applied special nanomaterials and recently invented a new process for efficient hydrogen production using solar energy. This nanomaterial can achieve 80% efficiency in converting solar energy into electrical energy.
The new process uses the principle of water electrolysis. In the middle school class, we knew that by inserting two electrodes into the water, the water could be decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen under the action of an electromagnetic field. Hydrogen is an energy source that can be stored. Hydrogen fuel cells can be used in many fields such as automobiles. Electrolyzed water usually consumes a lot of electricity, and it consumes energy while generating hydrogen energy. This kind of energy conversion is not economical, so researchers at the Helmz Solar Fuel Research Institute thought of using solar energy, but the energy conversion efficiency of solar energy is usually low and cannot meet the need of electrolyzed water. For this reason, they developed a nanometer material electrode. . This type of electrode can greatly increase the efficiency of converting solar energy into electrical energy, thereby increasing the hydrogen production capacity of electrolyzed water.
It is not easy to develop and use electrode materials for solar electrolyzed water because the electrolysis of water to make hydrogen is best carried out in an acidic environment. However, such an environment tends to rust the solar cell, and the use of conventional electrodes requires expensive rare metals. Platinum or platinum rhodium compounds. For this reason, the researchers came up with a solution. They used brass to make transparent, light-weight film materials coated with titanium dioxide. The titania film is polycrystalline and contains platinum nanoparticles. This new metal composite material can produce a light pressure of 0.5 volts under sunlight and 38 milliamperes per square centimeter of photovoltaic energy, and can act as a catalyst for hydrogen production and also prevent the electrode from rusting.
Nidlik, the project leader, said that with this new technology, 80% of visible light in sunlight can be converted into photovoltaic energy and used for hydrogen production. At present, there are many tests to be done in this project. To achieve practical results, the electromagnetic field between the composite electrodes must be at least 1.8 volts. Nidlik said, "Our experiments prove that in the future we can use solar energy to produce hydrogen fuel. We have worked with a company to industrialize the hydrogen production project." (Reporter Gu Gang)
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