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DEVICES AND METHODS FOR INCREASING SOLAR HYDROGEN CONVERSION EFFICIENCY IN PHOTOVOLTAIC ELECTROLYSIS

United States Patent Application

20130175180
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Devices and methods for photovoltaic electrolysis are disclosed. A device comprises a photovoltaic cell element and an electrolysis compartment. The photovoltaic cell element is configured to convert a portion of solar energy into electrical energy and to pass another portion of the solar energy. The electrolysis compartment includes an aqueous electrolyte positioned to receive the other portion of the solar energy and electrodes electrically connected to receive the electrical energy produced by the photovoltaic cell element. A method comprises receiving solar energy with a photovoltaic cell element, converting a portion of the solar energy into electrical energy, passing another portion of the solar energy through the photovoltaic cell element, receiving with an aqueous electrolyte the other portion of the solar energy, transmitting the electrical energy generated by the photovoltaic cell element to a pair of electrodes, and electrolyzing the aqueous electrolyte with the pair of electrodes.
Esposito, Daniel (Gaithersburg, MD), Birkmire, Robert W. (Newark, DE), Chen, Jingguang G. (Hockessin, DE)
UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE (Newark DE)
13/ 821,399
September 30, 2011
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH [0002] This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. DE-FG02-00ER15104 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government may have certain rights in this invention.