UD researcher Erik Koepf holds a vial with solar fuel. Credit: Kathy F. Atkinson

Solar reactor can produce solar hydrogen, but how much?

February 5, 2013 by Karen B. Roberts

(Phys.org)—Last spring University of Delaware doctoral candidate Erik Koepf and research associate Michael Giuliano spent two months in Switzerland testing a novel solar reactor Koepf developed to produce hydrogen from sunlight.

Eight weeks of sophisticated testing at temperatures up to 1,200 degrees Celsius revealed that the reactor’s mechanical, electrical and thermal systems worked just as Koepf had predicted.

He was even able to collect small amounts of the stored solar energy in a vial, despite operating below critical reaction temperatures in order to validate the system’s components in a high temperature environment.

Next month, Koepf heads back to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich to operate the reactor at full power for the first time.

“Our objective is to produce as much solar fuel as possible,” he said.

Read more: Solar reactor can produce solar hydrogen, but how much? — phys.org.

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