Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Abstract A 7 W generator, based on monocrystalline silicon solar cells, was directly wired to an electronic load, simulating the current-voltage characteristic of an advanced water electrolyser. System performance was monitored from January 15 to July 7, 1980. Measurements included current and voltage at the load and at the point of maximum power output, global irradiance and ambient temperature. Solar generator efficiency ranged from 7.5 % to 11.5%. A large spread of ±1% in instantaneous generator efficiency was observed at identical values of global irradiance and ambient temperature. The dependance of the average generator efficiency on global irradiance and ambient temperature is given by a simple relation to a precision of ±0.2%. Load matching was optimized for high global irradiance at high ambient temperature. Averaged over the half year period losses by non-ideal load matching amounted to only 8.9%. Assuming an ideal current efficiency of the simulated water electrolyser, the overall efficiency of hydrogen production was 8.0%.
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