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JCAP team reports first complete “artificial leaf”; >10% solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency

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An intrinsically safe solar-hydrogen prototype system (1 cm 2 ) built with the device exhibited a hydrogen production rate of 0.81 Resources.

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ARPA-E awarding $30M to 12 hybrid solar projects; conversion and storage

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Under the FOCUS program, projects will develop advanced solar converters that turn sunlight into electricity for immediate use, while also producing heat that can be stored at low cost for later use as well as innovative storage systems that accept both heat and electricity from variable solar sources. Cogenra Solar, Inc.

On the road to solar fuels and chemicals

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In a new paper in the journal Nature Materials (in an edition focused on materials for sustainable energy), a team from Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has reviewed milestones in the progress of solid-state photoelectrocatalytic technologies toward delivering solar fuels and chemistry. —Montoya et al.

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SOLAR-JET project demonstrates solar-driven thermochemical conversion of CO2 and water to jet fuel

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SOLAR-JET concentrated thermochemical reactor. The solar reactor consists of a cavity-receiver containing a porous monolithic ceria cylinder.

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New $30M ARPA-E program to develop new solar conversion and storage technologies; targeting higher solar penetration in mix

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a) Hybrid solar converter (award Categories 1A and 1B). Novel approaches to high T solar conversion. Source: ARPA-E. Category.

Researchers show mixotrophic fermentation process improves carbon conversion, boosting yields and reducing CO2

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One way to mitigate high feedstock cost is to maximize conversion into the bioproduct of interest. In addition, when enough reductant (i.e.,

2016 33

MIT team proposes process to recycle lead-acid batteries to fabricate solar cells

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As an added advantage, the production of perovskite solar cells is a relatively simple and benign process. “ Batteries Solar Sustainability

Rice team demonstrates plasmonic hot-electron solar water-splitting technology; simpler, cheaper and efficient

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Researchers at Rice have demonstrated an efficient new way to use solar energy for water splitting. b) Energy schematic of the structure.

2015 17

GWU team develops cost-effective solar process to produce lime for cement without CO2 emission

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Conventional thermal decomposition production of lime (left) versus STEP direct solar conversion of calcium carbonate to calcium oxide (right).

2012 34

Swiss team develops effective and low-cost solar water-splitting device; 14.2% solar-to-hydrogen efficiency

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crystalline Silicon (c-Si) solar cells show high solar-to-electricity efficiencies, and have demonstrated stabilities in excess of 25 years.

GWU team uses one-pot process to co-generate H2 and solid carbon from water and CO2; solar fuels

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In short, STEP uses solar thermal energy to increase the system temperature to decrease electrolysis potentials.). Li et al. Click to enlarge.

OSU team develops new aqueous lithium-iodine solar flow battery; 20% energy savings over Li-I batteries

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Simultaneous conversion and storage of solar energy marks a significant advance toward practical solar energy usage. Ah L –1 ).

2015 28

US to pump millions into solar energy

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Described by many as the ultimate transport solution, solar fuels will finally receive a significant financial investment as the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to invest up to $366million to establish three new Energy Innovation Hubs.

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DOE awarding up to $80M for supercritical CO2 pilot plant

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Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Emissions Power GenerationDrawing of sCO 2 plant. Click to enlarge. Higher plant efficiency.

2016 48

JCAP researchers propose artificial photosynthetic system for high-yield production of ethanol

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The annual production rate of > 90 wt% ethanol using such a photosynthesis system operating at 10 mA cm -2 (12% solar-to-fuel (STF) efficiency) can be 15.27 The program’s first phase focused on solar H 2 generation, which was completed in September 2015. Ethanol Solar Solar fuelsmA cm -2. Earlier post.). Earlier post.).

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EPFL/Technion team develops “champion” nanostructures for efficient solar water-splitting to produce hydrogen

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Hydrogen Production Nanotech Solar Hydrogen bubbles as they appear in a photoelectrochemical cell. © LPI / EPFL. Click to enlarge. Resources.

UC Berkeley hybrid semiconductor nanowire-bacteria system for direct solar-powered production of chemicals from CO2 and water

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All pathways begin with acetyl-CoA, which was generated by the activation of solar-derived acetate. Biotech Fuels Solar Solar fuels

2015 12

Compact pilot plant for solar to liquid fuels production

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Partners from Germany and Finland in the SOLETAIR project are building a compact pilot plant for the production of gasoline, diesel and kerosene from solar energy, regenerative hydrogen and carbon dioxide. An electrolysis unit developed by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) produces the required hydrogen by means of solar power.

EPFL team develops low-cost water splitting cell with solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of 12.3%

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By combining a pair of perovskite solar cells and low price electrodes without using rare metals, scientists have obtained a 12.3% Credit: EPFL.

Israeli company reports successful stage 1 testing of solar CO2-to-fuels technology

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The first technology concentrates solar energy to create and transfer heat up to 1200 °C, while coping with cycles related to solar conditions.

New inexpensive catalyst for conversion of CO2 to CO could help with storage of renewable energy

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Storage of solar and other sources of renewable electricity may be enabled by the catalytic production of fuels such as H 2 or reduced carbon-containing compounds via the electro-chemical reduction of H 2 O or CO 2 , respectively. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Fuels Power Generation Tropsch methods. Resources. John L.

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PNNL solar thermochemical reaction system can reduce fuel consumption in natural gas power plants by about 20%; future potential for transportation fuels

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PNNL’s thermochemical conversion device is installed in front of a concentrating solar power dish. Photo: PNNL. Click to enlarge.

2013 20

BMW ActiveE Drivers To Benefit From Cheaper Solar Power

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comes the oft-sneering question when the subject of electric cars is brought up in polite conversation. However, BMW ActiveE drivers will soon be able to reply "from my discounted solar "Yeah, but where does the electricity come from, huh?"

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University of Adelaide team exploring novel configuration for solar hybridized coal-to-liquids process

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Hence, it is desirable to seek alternative concepts with potential to address these challenges for the solar hybridized coal-to-liquids (SCTL) process.

Cambridge team demonstrates light-driven photoreforming of unprocessed biomass to H2 at room temperature

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In the interest of increasing the selectivity and efficiency of this conversion, it is possible to replace the thermal input with sunlight.

2017 12

3-D nanocone solar cell boosts PV conversion efficiency by nearly 80%

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Nanocone-based solar cell consisting of n-type nanocones, p-type matrix, transparent conductive oxide (TCO) and glass substrate. compared to 1.8%

Stanford’s GCEP awards $10.5M for research on renewable energy; solar cells, batteries, renewable fuels and bioenergy

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million for seven research projects designed to advance a broad range of renewable energy technologies, including solar cells, batteries, renewable fuels and bioenergy. The mineral perovskite is a promising, low-cost material for enhancing the efficiency of silicon solar cells. efficiency, low-cost silicon solar cells.

NIST team boosts performance of solar-powered hydrogen generation in stable, lower-cost device

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A photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell is essentially a solar cell that produces hydrogen gas instead of electric current. —Esposito et al.

2013 23

Purdue, EPFL team propose Hydricity concept for integrated co-production of H2 and electricity from solar thermal energy

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Researchers from Purdue University and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland are proposing a new integrated process involving the co-production of hydrogen and electricity from solar thermal energy—a concept they label “hydricity”. Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Hydrogen Storage Power Generation Solar Solar fuel

UI, Argonne develop catalyst for more efficient solar-powered reduction of CO2 to CO for conversion to fuel

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C) Calculated solar-to-fuel efficiency (SFE) of photochemical process. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Catalysts Emissions Solar fuels

Researchers from MIT and Sun Catalytix develop an artificial leaf for solar water splitting to produce hydrogen and oxygen

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The traces are for solar cells of 7.7% solar-to-fuels systems. Hydrogen Production Solarillumination. PV efficiency. Reece et al.

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Light over heat: UV-driven rhodium nanoparticles catalyze conversion of CO2 to methane

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Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Catalysts Fuels Solar fuelsAn open-access paper on the work is published in Nature Communications.

Energy Conversion Devices seeking to sell Ovonic Battery Company; focus on solar

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Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. ECD), a global manufacturer of thin-film flexible solar laminate products and systems for the building-integrated and commercial rooftop markets, has initiated a process to divest its Ovonic Battery Company (OBC) subsidiary. —Jay Knoll, Interim President of ECD. Brief

NREL shows graded catalytic-protective layer boosts longevity of high-efficiency photocathodes for renewable hydrogen

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Their works demonstrates the potential of utilizing a hybridized, heterogeneous surface layer as a cost-effective catalytic and protective interface for solar hydrogen production. Turner’s device held the record for the highest solar-to-hydrogen efficiency, until it was finally eclipsed in 2015. —Gu et al. Resources.

“Project Volt Gas Volt” proposes long-term financing plan to support widespread implementation of power-to-gas systems

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Dr. Hermann Pengg, head of project management e-fuels, Audi, giving a talk on energy conversion and storage using Power-to-Gas at ASPO 2012.

2013 54

Joules solar fuels process can produce up to 15,000 gallons of renewable diesel/acre/year; 5-50X greater conversion efficiency than any biomass-dependent process

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Joule Unlimited’s direct, single-step, continuous process for the production of solar hydrocarbon fuels ( earlier post ) can produce the areal equivalent of up to 15,000 gallons of diesel per acre annually, according to a new open access paper by a Joule team published in the journal Photosynthesis Research. Bio-hydrocarbons Solar

Panasonic develops highly efficient artificial photosynthesis system with gallium nitride semiconductor for conversion of CO2 to formic acid

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The conversion efficiency of solar energy to chemical energy was 0.03-0.04%. Fuels SolarClick to enlarge. Resources.

Berkeley Lab researchers advance hybrid bioinorganic approach to solar-to~chemicals conversion; 50% electrical-to-chemical, 10% solar-to-chemical efficiencies

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The hydrogen is then used by living cells as a source of reducing equivalents for conversion of CO 2 to the value-added chemical product methane.

Honda opens Smart Home US in California; produces more energy than it consumes; direct DC-DC EV charging

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Among the technologies and green building concepts showcased in the Honda Smart Home US are: Solar photovoltaics (PV). Click to enlarge. A 9.5

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Researchers create efficient, simple-to-manufacture photoanode for solar water-splitting

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Catalysts Hydrogen Production Solar fuelsThe results appear in two new studies. The Rice films were created at 350 degrees C in 30 minutes.