The Advanced Energy Conversion Systems Thrust focuses on the development and evolution of systems which either lower carbon emission, increase energy efficiency, or both:
i) the thermo-neutral electrolysis cell has the potential to take a large share in the electrolyzer market due to its high efficiency and low cost. I2CNER’s research will focus on the electrode structure in relation to water-assisted phase separation, the quantitative prediction of oxygen reduction, and the degradation mechanisms for technological functional oxides.
ii) the energy storage system utilizing reversible fuel cell / novel battery is a promising means to modulate/adjust supply and demand in electricity markets. We have developed an air-battery based on SOFC/SOEC concepts where H2 is used to reduce hematite to metallic Fe thereby storing reducing equivalents as metallic Fe rather than H2. Future research will optimize this device for higher roundtrip efficiency, capacity, and operating temperature.
iii) I2CNER will advance the exciting photovoltaics technology of hybrid perovskite solar cells whose adoption in the PV markets can lead to drastic CO2 reductions. I2CNER research will focus on increasing the efficiency of the lead-free systems we developed and found to exhibit promising durability.