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Energy Center is EPFL’s interface between its energy research laboratories and the public, companies, and investors. Its role is to inform about the latest developments in energy research at EPFL, establish links with competent laboratories, and support the development of collaborative projects.

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#Energy Research News

Understanding Wavelength-Dependent Synergies between Morphology and Photonic Design in TiO2-Based Solar Powered Redox Cells

EPFL researchers are developing a device that can both convert and store solar energy, without the use of gases or conventional batteries (such as lithium ion or alkaline batteries). By tuning how the device interacts with light and electrons through nanometer-scale engineering, it is possible to improve its solar conversion efficiency. Congratulations to authors Jiaming Ma, Kiseok Oh, and Prof. Giulia Tagliabue!

Interpretable temporal-spatial graph attention network for multi-site PV power forecasting

A forecasting method has been developed at EPFL and CSEM to improve predictions of solar energy production, facilitating its integration into power grids. With the method, it is possible to determine which power stations are most influential when making accurate forecasts. Testing with data from real photovoltaic stations in Switzerland showed that this new technique can outperform state-of-the-art models. Congratulations to authors Jelena Simeunovic, Baptiste Schubnel, Pierre-Jean Alet, Rafael Carrillo, and Pascal Frossard!

A Cation Concentration Gradient Approach to Tune the Selectivity and Activity of CO2 Electroreduction

CO2 is quite inert in the atmosphere, but it can be electrochemically converted to valuable chemical building blocks. Researchers at EPFL discovered that by adding varying amounts of a salt electrolyte to the conversion reactor, they could influence the types and amounts of new products formed, providing new insight into a technique for how we might one day make use of CO2. Congratulations to Dr. Wenhao Ren, Prof. Xile Hu, and collaborators!

Making the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism acceptable and climate friendly for least developed countries

This week in #EnergyResearchNews, we highlight a paper that shows a different facet of EPFL research- the importance of policy in the energy transition. Sigit Perdana and Marc Vielle, researchers from the Laboratory of Environmental and Urban Economics, investigated how adding a carbon tariff to energy-intensive products imported into the EU affects Least Developed Countries (LDCs). By modelling the outcomes of different potential scenarios, the authors propose measures that will limit the harm done to LDCs while maintaining the environmental benefits of the tariff.

Photo-Electrochemical Conversion of CO2 Under Concentrated Sunlight Enables Combination of High Reaction Rate and Efficiency

Photo-Electrochemical Conversion of CO2 Under Concentrated Sunlight Enables Combination of High Reaction Rate and Efficiency Carbon dioxide is a very stable compound which makes it challenging to transform into other products. Researchers at the Laboratory of Renewable Energy Science and Engineering have developed a device that can turn carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight into solar fuels. The device is unique in that it works with concentrated light, at high production rates, and with high efficiency. The work is featured on this month’s cover of Advanced Energy Materials! Congratulations to authors Etienne Boutin, Mahendra Patel, Silvan Suter, and Prof. Sophia Haussener, as well as collaborators at the Janáky lab.

Design and Cost Analysis of 100 MW Perovskite Solar Panel Manufacturing Process in Different Locations

Not only is it important to invent new technologies for renewable energy, it is also critical to figure out the right path for how to manufacture them. Researchers from EPFL have investigated production models of perovskite solar cells to determine which material inputs, processes, and locations of manufacturing lead to the best chance of commercial viability and low energy payback times. An interesting, collaborative paper from the IPESE, GMF, and LCOM labs. Congratulations to all authors and collaborators!

Thermally controlled growth of photoactive FAPbI3 films for highly stable perovskite solar cells

Perovskite solar cells could revolutionize the solar energy field with their low cost of manufacturing, low weight, and high efficiency. Unfortunately, current perovskites suffer from low durability and often use toxic solvents in their production. Researchers at the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces have demonstrated a potential solution to these problems- the use of flash-infrared annealing method to create solar cells with robust stability. Beyond producing and testing an efficient device, they also look into the mechanism of how exactly it is formed.

An Organic Semiconductor Photoelectrochemical Tandem Cell for Solar Water Splitting

Researchers from the LIMNO lab at EPFL have demonstrated, for the first time ever, a way to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using organic semiconductors within a solar-powered photoelectrochemical tandem cell. Organic semiconductors are made from commonly available carbon-based materials, avoiding the need for expensive or difficult to obtain metals. This technology creates new possibilities for the production of green hydrogen. Congratulations to authors Dan Zhang, Han-Hee Cho, Jun-Ho Yum, Mounir Mensi, and Professor Kevin Sivula!

Optimal Co-Planning of ESSs and Line Reinforcement Considering the Dispatchability of Active Distribution Networks

Incorporating uncontrollable renewable energy sources like wind and solar into the electricity systems makes grid’s management significantly more complex. In this paper, researchers from the Distributed Electrical Systems Laboratory and ABB / Hitachi Energy Research present a method for how to best utilize distributed energy storage systems to address the intrinsic uncertainty of renewable energy production. They tested the effectiveness using simulations on a real Swiss electrical distribution network hosting substantial amount of renewable electricity generation. June 8th, 2022 Optimal Co-Planning of ESSs and Line Reinforcement Considering the Dispatchability of Active Distribution Networks Yi, J. H.; Cherkaoui, R.; Paolone, M.; Shchetinin, D.; Knezovic, K. IEEE Transactions on Power Systems

Energy Center Interview Series

EPFL Energy Center is pleased to present you a new interview series on our center’s actors! With these interviews, we want to provide glimpses of the wonderful and dynamic innovation spirit of EPFL in the Energy field. Depending on the topic the interviews will be recorded in English or French.

Find all our videos on our youtube channel.