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Thermally-Enhanced Integrated Photovoltaic Electrolyzer

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The invention is a novel method of using sunlight to drive the electrolysis of water towards the production of hydrogen gas. The major novelty of the technology comes in its ability to effectively utilize the high wavelength portion of the solar spectrum. Thin film photovoltaic components allow for this infrared light to heat up the aqueous electrolysis solution by passing through to the interior of the device. The resulting elevated solution temperatures enable much fewer losses in overpotentials thereby in turn facilitating much higher solar to hydrogen conversion efficiencies than those demonstrated by previous PV electrolysis technologies. The invention further usurps previous methods by allowing for all components that are critical to device operation to be integrated into one single unit therein demonstrating the potential of the technology to be manufactured at lower costs.


1) Able to use upper wavelength portion of solar spectrum as well as visible light portion. 2) Greater solar to hydrogen efficiencies than previous methods. 3) High modularity is appropriate for manufacturing and enables easy scalability to large and small applications.

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