The reactor design for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production

Chung Jen Tseng, Chia Lin Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The heat transfer and flow characteristics of a photoelectrochemical (PEC) hydrogen generation reactor are investigated numerically. Four different reactor designs are considered in this study. The solar irradiation is separated into short and long wavelength parts depending on the energy band gap of the photoelectrode used. While short wavelength part is used to generate electron and hole pairs, the long wavelength part is used to heat the system. Because the energy required for splitting water decreases as temperature is increased, heating the reactor by using the long wave energy increases the system efficiency. Thus, how the long wavelength energy is absorbed by the reactor is very important. The results show that more long wavelength energy kept inside the reactor can increase the solar-to-hydrogen efficiency, ηSH. For Fe2O3 photoelectrode, careful reactor design can increase ηSH by 11.0%. For design D under 4000 W/m2 irradiation and a quantum efficiency of 30%, ηSH is found to be 14.1% and the hydrogen volume production rate is 166 L/m2 h for Fe2O3. Effects of several parameters on the PEC hydrogen reactor are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6510-6518
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Photoelectrochemical method
  • Reactor design
  • Solar hydrogen production


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