Design and Operation of a Solar Electrolysis System

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Weiner, Matthew et al. "Design and Operation of a Solar Electrolysis System." Adelphi, MD: DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, 2022.


This is a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
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A system connecting a commercial photovoltaic panel to a water electrolysis cell is designed as a demonstrator project for converting solar energy into hydrogen as a fuel. The electrical design is specifically tuned to drive a specified voltage to the electrolysis cell through control of buck converters and monitored through directly mounted voltmeters and ammeters. The electrolysis cell is designed in a H-cell configuration to contain the electrolyte. Gas collection bags are mounted on the electrodes to collect hydrogen gas evolved from water electrolysis. The components are constructed and mounted such that outdoor operation could be conducted without environmental damage to critical components. The synthesized electrocatalysts (undoped and iron-doped cobalt phosphide on nickel foam) are characterized with linear sweep voltammetry, cyclic voltammetry, and impedance spectroscopy to evaluate their performance. The electrodes are subsequently mounted within the electrolysis cell with potassium hydroxide electrolyte, and the entire photovoltaic panel/electronics/electrolysis cell system is tested outdoors to evaluate performance under a variety of environmental conditions. System performance is evaluated through calculations of Faradaic efficiency and energy conversion efficiency through the collection of hydrogen gas.