The SunStorage project envisages to research and develop direct and efficient conversion of sunlight into storable chemical and electrochemical fuels.
A particular highlight the project aims to achieve is the usage of a PEC device to convert sunlight into electrochemical energy in a redox flow battery (RFB), and the conversion of CO2 into CO and into MeOH.
More precisely, SunStorage aims to:
Develop a very energy efficient RFB but also to couple it with the direct solar charging possibility – this association is a breakthrough new approach to the Nearly Zero Energy Buildings EU Directive that will be enforced to all new buildings already from 2021. As such, the direct and efficient conversion of sunlight into storable chemical and electrochemical fuels is approached in two proposals: the use of a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) to convert sunlight into electrochemical energy in a redox flow battery (RFB); and solar electroreduction of CO2 into CO and into MeOH.
The use of photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells for water splitting is an emerging and promising technology that transforms sunlight into storable H2 energy. However, hydrogen is difficult to store and to transport. As such, the use of efficient PEC cells equipped with non-toxic single and tandem photoelectrodes (PE/PV) coupled with an efficient RFB for converting solar into electrochemical energy is a disruptive approach, proposed for the first time by a team member. A PEC panel installed in a residential building would be able to harvest thermal and solar energies with very high overall energy efficiency. In our preliminary approach, RFB is positioned as possibly the most suitable technology for stationary electricity storage.
The practical goals of the SunStorage project are: