Efficiency Evaluation of a Photovoltaic System Simultaneously Generating Solar Electricity and Hydrogen for Energy Storage
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Energy Department, Giefinggasse 2, 1210, Vienna, Austria
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The direct combination of a photovoltaic system with an energy storage component appears desirable since it produces and stores electrical energy simultaneously, enabling it to compensate power generation fluctuations and supply sufficient energy during low- or non-irradiation periods. A novel concept based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) triple-junction solar cells, as for example a-Si:H/a-SiGe:H/a-SiGe:H, and a solar water splitting system integrating a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyser is presented. The thin film layer-by-layer concept allows large-area module fabrication applicable to buildings, and exhibits strong cost-reduction potential as compared to similar concepts. The evaluation shows that it is possible to achieve a sufficient voltage of greater than 1.5 V for effective water splitting with the a-Si based solar cell. Nevertheless, in the case of grid-connection, the actual energy production cost for hydrogen storage by the proposed system is currently too high.
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