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HyperSolar Granted new US Patent

Patent protects the use of solar-powered water-splitting nanoparticles for making renewable hydrogen

HyperSolar, the developer of a technology to produce renewable hydrogen, using sunlight and any source of water, has announced that it was issued Patent No. 10100415 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for 'Multi-junction artificial photosynthetic cell with enhanced photovoltages'.

The patent is to protect the intellectual property related to the development of HyperSolar's GEN 2 technology, a potentially low-cost renewable hydrogen technology . This patent is jointly owned by HyperSolar and the Regents of the University of California, as a result of the collaboration with the University of California, Santa Barbara in developing the technology.

The patent protects the company's proprietary design of a self-contained high voltage solar-to-hydrogen device made up of billions of solar-powered water-splitting nanoparticles, per square centimetre. These nanoparticles consist of consist of multiple semiconductor layers, with each successive semiconductor layer having a different composition and producing a successively smaller energy bandgap to increase the photovoltages for higher solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency.

The important aspect of the patented technology is the integrated structures of high-density arrays of nano-sized high voltage solar cells as the core of hydrogen production units. The nanoparticles can be produced on ultra-thin sheets through a roll-to-roll process which requires substantially lower materials cost and manufacturing cost compared to conventional solar cells used in rooftop power applications. Further, the manufacturing process uses low physical and carbon footprint and maximises raw material use.

This GEN 2 technology is designed from the ground up to be low cost. The company believes it has the potential to produce 'green' renewable hydrogen to replace 'brown' hydrogen made from the steam reforming of natural gas, the primary generation method used to power the fast-growing hydrogen fuel-cell transportation sector for cars, trucks, busses and trains.

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