Modeling, experimentation and scaling of solar-driven fuel processing devices

ChE-605 - Highlights in Energy Research seminar series

Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

Do, 26.04.2018, 10:30 - 11:30

Solar radiation is the most abundant energy source available but it is distributed and intermittent, thereby necessitating its storage via conversion to a fuel (e.g. hydrogen or carbohydrates) for practical use. Solar thermo-chemical and photo-electro-chemical approaches (and combinations thereof) provide viable routes for the direct synthesis of solar fuels. Both approaches involve complex interactions between multi-mode heat transfer, multiphase flow, charge transfer, and chemical reaction.
First, I focus on cost competitive photo-electrochemical (PEC) devices. I review the development of our PEC model framework1. I then show how we used this model to design and implement a PEC device with a solar-to-fuel efficiency of 17%. Finally, I discuss ongoing scaling approaches by our lab for the design, implementation, and testing of these devices, in order to bridge the gap between research and practical application.
Second, I discuss our work on high-temperature electrolysis for the production of fuels. I review the techno-economic modeling, as well as receiver-reactor modeling2 followed by experimental demonstration of the approach and an outlook on a more integrated solar-driven thermo-electrochemical hydrogen generation.
I finish by comparing the various solar fuel generation pathways and compare the challenges and future pathways of the different, complementing processing routes.
1. S. Y. Tembhurne and S. Haussener, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 163:H1008-H1018, 2016.
2. M. Lin, J. Reinhold, N. Monnerie, and S. Haussener, Applied Energy, 216: 761-776, 2018.

Weitere Informationen


  • Laboratory of Renewable Energy Science and Engineering EPFL Lausanne
    Sophia HAUSSENER



Exakte und Naturwissenschaften

Art der Veranstaltung: Vortrag/Konferenz

Zielpublikum: Fachleute


EPFL Valais Wallis - Conference Room : Zeuzier

EPFL Valais Wallis
Rue de l'Industrie 17
Case postale 440
1951 Sion
Telefon +41 (0) 21 695 82 00

Geografische Lage: Im Tal


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