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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

Prospects for Hermetic Sealing of Scaled-Up Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Generators for Reliable and Risk Free Operation

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PVcomB, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH, Schwarzschildstrasse 3, 12489 Berlin, Germany
2
Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin HTW, Wilhelminenhofstraße 75A, 12459 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(21), 4176; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12214176
Received: 1 October 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 29 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Devices for Solar to Hydrogen Energy Conversion)
Photo-electrochemical (PEC) systems have the potential to contribute to de-carbonation of the global energy supply because solar energy can be directly converted to hydrogen, which can be burnt without the release of greenhouse gases. However, meaningful deployment of PEC technology in the global energy system, even when highly efficient scaled up devices become available, shall only be a reality when their safe and reliable operation can be guaranteed over several years of service life. The first part of this review discusses the importance of hermetic sealing of up scaled PEC device provided by the casing and sealing joints from a reliability and risk perspective. The second part of the review presents a survey of fully functional devices and early stage demonstrators and uses this to establish the extent to which the state of the art in PEC device design address the issue of hermetic sealing. The survey revealed that current material choices and sealing techniques are still unsuitable for scale–up and commercialization. Accordingly, we examined possible synergies with related photovoltaic and electrochemical devices that have been commericalised, and derived therefrom, recommendations for future research routes that could accelerate the development of hermetic seals of PEC devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: photo-electrochemical; solar hydrogen generator; hermetic sealing; reliability; safety; scale-up photo-electrochemical; solar hydrogen generator; hermetic sealing; reliability; safety; scale-up
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MDPI and ACS Style

Calnan, S.; Aschbrenner, S.; Bao, F.; Kemppainen, E.; Dorbandt, I.; Schlatmann, R. Prospects for Hermetic Sealing of Scaled-Up Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Generators for Reliable and Risk Free Operation. Energies 2019, 12, 4176.

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