A 24.4% solar to hydrogen energy conversion efficiency by combining concentrator photovoltaic modules and electrochemical cells



Akihiro Nakamura, Yasuyuki Ota, Kayo Koike, Yoshihide Hidaka, Kensuke Nishioka, Masakazu Sugiyama, Katsushi Fujii



The highest efficiency of 24.4% for the solar-to-hydrogen (STH) energy conversion was obtained in an outdoor field test by combining concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules with InGaP/GaAs/Ge three-junction cells and polymer-electrolyte electrochemical (EC) cells. The high efficiency was obtained by using the high-efficiency CPV modules (~31% under the present operation conditions) and the direct connection between the CPV modules and the EC cells with an almost optimized number of elements in series. The STH efficiency bottleneck was clarified to be the efficiency of the CPV modules, the over-potential of the EC cells, and matching of the operation point to the maximal-power point of the CPV modules.




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