HERA has an ambition to bring knowledge on the “solar hydrogen” production and storage closer to the users and, via technological optimization, translate it to a product.
Objectives:This goal will be achieved by integrating lab-scale studies with system-oriented experimental examinations, yet unapplied to the materials proposed in HERA. The current setups for the “solar hydrogen” production consume excessive amount of energy to overcome the oxygen kinetic-related overpotential, and cannot provide enough power in a feasible way. The technical solutions also do not include the storage option for the hydrogen produced. And that’s the main HERA goal: to construct a kinetically enhanced photoelectrochemical device that will be able, at the same time, to generate & store the produced hydrogen gas. The optimized design will also allow for the on demand release of the absorbed H2. The photooxidation reaction will be the driving force of the planned architecture. It will involve other than water oxidation processes that are expected to provide enough electrons for the water reduction, hydrogen formation and its subsequent absorption by the cathode. The latter, will be realized by application of metal hydrides as a hydrogen storage medium. The research will to go far beyond single case examples and cover systematic investigations of various chemical compositions, underlying the relationship between the fundamental material properties and functionalities in the studied photoelectrochemical architectures. We expect that HERA achievements will contribute to breakthroughs in the field of design and applications of the environment-friendly and economically viable renewable energy-based technologies.
Background: Solar energy is intermittent in nature, creating an inherent mismatch between photovoltaic energy production and consumption, and in this way, limiting the degree to which we can depend on it. In this regard, solar-driven water-splitting is a viable alternative that has the potential to realize affordable fuels by converting solar energy into hydrogen – a storable energy carrier. And that’s what the “Hydrogen Energy Rechargeable Architectures: Coupling of On-demand Hydrogen Generation and Storage" project – in short HERA – is about.
Owner and project coordinator of the project: Center of New Technologies at the University of Warsaw (eNT UW)
Financing: The project is funded by the EEA and Norway Grants within the POLNOR/Applied Research program. The Department of Technology Systems (ITS) at University of Oslo (UiO) and InPhoCat (the industrial collaborator) are project partners.