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Photoelectrochemical cells or PEC's are solar cells and extract electrical energy from light, including visible light. Each cell consists of a semiconducting photoanode and a metal cathode immersed in an electrolyte.
Some photoelectrochemical cells simply produce electrical energy, while others produce hydrogen in a process similar to the electrolysis of water.
In this type of photoelectrochemical cells, electrolysis of water to hydrogen and oxygen gas occurs when the anode is irradiated with electromagnetic radiation. This has been suggested as a way of converting solar energy into a transportable form, namely hydrogen. The photogeneration cells passed the 10 percent economic efficiency barrier.
Lab tests confirmed the efficiency of the process. The main problem is the corrosion of the semiconductors which are in direct contact with water. Research is going on to meet the DOE requirement, a service life of 10000 hours.
- For more details on this topic, see Graetzel cells.
Graetzel cells or dye-sensitized solar cells; these cells use dye-adsorbed highly porous nanocrystalline titanium oxide (nc-TiO2) to produce electrical energy.
- Artificial photosynthesis
- Photochemical reaction
Other third generation solar cells
- Nanocrystal solar cell
- Polymer solar cell
- NREL reports
Categories: Materials science | Energy conversion | Photochemistry | Hydrogen production | Fuel cells | Solar energy