Design Principle and Loss Engineering for Photovoltaic-Electrolysis Cell System

Woo Je Chang, Kyung Hwan Lee, Heonjin Ha, Kyoungsuk Jin, Gunho Kim, Sun Tae Hwang, Heon Min Lee, Seh Won Ahn, Wonki Yoon, Hongmin Seo, Jung Sug Hong, Yoo Kyung Go, Jung Ik Ha, Ki Tae Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of exchange current density, Tafel slope, system resistance, electrode area, light intensity, and solar cell efficiency were systematically decoupled at the converter-assisted photovoltaic-water electrolysis system. This allows key determinants of overall efficiency to be identified. On the basis of this model, 26.5% single-junction GaAs solar cell was combined with a membrane-electrode-assembled electrolysis cell (EC) using the dc/dc converting technology. As a result, we have achieved a solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 20.6% on a prototype scale and demonstrated light intensity tracking optimization to maintain high efficiency. We believe that this study will provide design principles for combining solar cells, ECs, and new catalysts and can be generalized to other solar conversion chemical devices while minimizing their power loss during the conversion of electrical energy into fuel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1018
Number of pages10
JournalACS Omega
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 31
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Global Frontier R&D Program of the Center for Multiscale Energy System funded by the National Research Foundation under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future, Korea (2012M3A6A7054855), and by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) under Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program, Korea (0417-2016-0019).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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