US-based HyperSolar has achieved a breakthrough voltage of 1.55V for its solar light-driven hydrogen generation technology, overcoming the minimum voltage required for it to be applied in commercially viable, real-world applications.
The firm had been experimenting on the technology as a method to manufacture ‘multi-junction artificial photosynthetic cells’. It involves splitting water molecules with the use of sunlight to produce renewable hydrogen fuel.
HyperSolar previously faced challenges in overcoming the 1.23V threshold but around a month ago announced its crossing the voltage of 1.4V limit.
The solar cell utilises a low-cost and submersible hydrogen production particle, which does not use any other external systems or resources for the fuel generation.
This breakthrough will enable the company to focus on increasing the production efficiencies of the hydrogen generating particles by ‘bonding the ideal fuel production catalyst to the low-cost high-voltage solar cell,’ it said.
HyperSolar CEO Tim Young said: "We are focused on identifying the next steps for the technology that will make it possible for us to scale-up to make a commercial technology that can produce hydrogen fuel at or near the point of distribution, using only water and sunlight."
Research teams from The University of Iowa and University of California in Santa Barbara have been collaborating with the firm on the solar cell development technology.
The firm applied for a patent for this technology in March this year.
Image: HyperSolar Team at University of Iowa. Photo: courtesy of HyperSolar.