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HyperSolar Takes Another Step Toward Solar-Hydrogen Production

I’ve talked about HyperSolar several times before over the past couple of years. And, now it’s time for another update of their sunlight + water = hydrogen technology. Battery electric vehicle advocates believe that the only use for solar power is to charge a battery directly. But, hydrogen advocates think otherwise.

In steps HyperSolar with their direct solar and water to hydrogen solution. Their water splitting device, the H2Generator™ is submersed into water and then activated by sunlight. There are a couple of good and short videos showing the process.

According to the company, “HyperSolar, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and any source of water, today announced that its artificial photosynthesis technology is now capable of producing 1.1 volt open circuit voltage for use in direct solar hydrogen production. This achievement represents a 10% increase over the previous 1.0 volt reached just 3 months ago.

“It is well known that the theoretical voltage for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is 1.23 volts, and approximately 1.5 volts in real-world systems. Achieving 1.5 volts using inexpensive solar cells has eluded the world. For example, silicon solar cells are the most inexpensive and abundant, but their 0.7 volt open circuit voltage is not enough to split water. Commercially available high voltage solar cells are considered to be far too expensive for use in hydrogen production.”

The submersible semiconductor material they use in their water-splitting device is very low cost, portable and can be used in non-clean water. The high voltage solar cell contains a proprietary encapsulation coating as well as cheap and abundant chemical catalysts to achieve the reaction. This technology could solve a huge problem in regard to on-demand hydrogen production in the coming years.

 

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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3 comments

  1. “…, silicon solar cells are the most inexpensive and abundant, but their 0.7 volt open circuit voltage is not enough to split water. ”

    That doesn’t make sense. Everyone who puts batteries in a flashlight knows that if you connect two .7 volt sources in series, the output is 1.4 volts.

  2. That doesn’t make any sense to me either. Sometimes the people who write these things garble the information handed to them by the technical folks. I’m wondering whether something like that is going on here.

    The only thing that makes sense out of this to me is a re-interpretation that translates this as the cost of conventional solar cells together with the inefficiency of conventional hydrolysis makes the cost/benefit commercially non-viable for external solar cells. This one immersed in water and using cheap catalysts may promise to make this commercially viable.

    Note that the article says, “This technology could solve a huge problem in regard to on-demand hydrogen production in the coming years.” That pretty clearly implies it’s not commercially viable yet.

  3. Commercially viable is dependent upon the amount of investment, if the companies that use Hydrogen invest in the technology, than the advancement increases exponentially. The billions saved from not having to build distribution networks should give energy companies a huge incentive to get in the game.

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