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Cell generates hydrogen gas directly from sunlight

Posted: 18 Sep 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar cell? renewable energy? photovoltaic?

Scientists at RoseStreet Labs Energy Inc. (RSLE ) reported a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) that is capable of generating hydrogen gas directly from sunlight. Hydrogen gas is generated spontaneously in a single device without external power and without petroleum products such as natural gas. Hydrogen gas is a key resource for next generation hydrogen-fueled cars, and also a key component in the renewable process of harvesting biofuels and biodiesel for replacement of oil-based gasoline and jet fuels.

RSLE's discovery is coupled with RSLE's Full Spectrum photovoltaic development which is expected to start field trials in late 2010 with +25 percent efficiencies. Full Spectrum technology is primarily based on Nitride Thin Film semiconductors which have excellent robustness to extreme environments including solar radiation, heat and corrosive environments. RSLE's photoelectrochemical cell development is targeting the high performance terrestrial market for renewable energy.

Bob Forcier, CEO of RSLE, stated, "We are excited about this new development in capturing the full spectrum of the sun for not only instantaneous power generation, but also for energy storage via liquefied hydrogen or to assist the emerging biofuel and biodiesel efforts. Although this is a significant milestone in our scientific research in Nitride Thin Film photovoltaics, it also represents the opportunity to commercialize this technology to the next level with RoseStreet's partners."

Wladek Walukiewicz, chief technology officer at RSLE, said, "I am pleased with the great strides we have made in this Nitride Thin Film photoelectrochemical cell technology working with our distributed R&D teams. We are accelerating our efforts in carbon-free Full Spectrum photovoltaics and photoelectrochemical cells for the high performance energy market."

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