RoseStreet Labs breakthrough: carbon-free hydrogen fuel source using thin-film solar cell

rosestreetlabsPhoenix, Ariz. — RoseStreet Labs Energy (RSLE) has announced a major breakthrough for generating hydrogen gas directly from sunlight with a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC). This hydrogen fuel is generated spontaneously in a single device without external power and without petroleum products such as natural gas, said the lab. RSLE’s photoelectrochemical cell development targets the high-performance terrestrial market for renewable energy.

Hydrogen gas is a key resource for next-generation hydrogen-fueled cars, and also a key component in the renewable process of harvesting biofuels and biodiesel for replacement of oil-based gasolines and jet fuels, according to RoseStreet Labs.

RSLE’s discovery is coupled with RSLE’s Full Spectrum photovoltaic development, which is expected to start field trials in late 2010 with +25 percent efficiencies. Full Spectrum technology is primarily based on nitride thin-film semiconductors, which are said to have excellent robustness in extreme environments including solar radiation, heat and corrosive environments.

“We are excited about this new development in capturing the full spectrum of the sun for not only instantaneous power generation, but also for energy storage via liquefied hydrogen or to assist the emerging biofuel and biodiesel efforts,” said Bob Forcier, CEO of RSLE, in a statement. “Although this is a significant milestone in our scientific research in nitride thin-film photovoltaics, it also represents the opportunity to commercialize this technology to the next level with RoseStreet’s partners.”