Modeling and Optimization of a Photoelectrochemical Solar Hydrogen Cell with TiO2 as a Photo-anode
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A photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell model for solar hydrogen production with titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a photo anode and platinum (Pt) as a cathode is developed. Despite the wide bandgap of TiO2 resulting in limited photon absorption from the sun, it is still a good candidate due to its stability in liquid electrolytes and reasonable cost. In this model, Beer-Lambert law is used in conjunction with the empirical diode equation to calculate the electron/hole pair generation rate in the photo-anode, and the external current reaching the cathode to estimate and optimize the hydrogen generation rate evolving at the cathode with TiO2 and ITO thicknesses as optimization variables. The model revealed an optimal solution of TiO2 thickness of 3230 nm at 400 nm ITO thickness, with optimal external current value of 26.9 A/m2, hydrogen generation rate of 1.394x10-4 mol/(m2s), and an overall cell efficiency of 3.4 %.