Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.


Issue 25, 2019
Previous Article Next Article

A comparative performance analysis of stand-alone, off-grid solar-powered sodium hypochlorite generators

Author affiliations

Abstract

Sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) is a chemical commodity widely employed as a disinfection agent in water treatment applications. Its production commonly follows electrochemical routes in an undivided reactor. Powering the process with photovoltaic (PV) electricity holds the potential to install stand-alone, independent generators and reduce the NaClO production cost. This study reports the comparative assessment of autonomous, solar-powered sodium hypochlorite generators employing different photovoltaic (PV) technologies: silicon hetero-junction (SHJ) and multi-junction (MJ) solar cells. For Si hetero-junctions, the series connection of either four or five SHJ (4SHJ and 5SHJ, respectively) cells was implemented to obtain the reaction potential required. MJ cells were illuminated by a novel planar solar concentrator that guarantees solar tracking with minimal linear displacements. The three solar-hypochlorite generators were tested under real atmospheric conditions, demonstrating solar-to-chemical conversion efficiencies (SCE) of 9.8% for 4SHJ, 14.2% for 5SHJ and 25.1% for MJ solar cells, respectively. Simulations based on weather databases allowed us to assess efficiencies throughout the entire model year and resulted in specific sodium hypochlorite yearly production rates between 7.2–28 gNaClO cm−2 (referred to the PV surface), depending on the considered PV technology, location, and deployment of electronics converters. The economic viability and competitiveness of solar hypochlorite generators have been investigated and compared with an analog disinfection system deploying ultraviolet lamps. Our study demonstrates the feasibility of off-grid, solar-hypochlorite generators, and points towards the implementation of SHJ solar cells as a reliable technology for stand-alone solar-chemical devices.

Graphical abstract: A comparative performance analysis of stand-alone, off-grid solar-powered sodium hypochlorite generators

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
22 Mar 2019
Accepted
18 Apr 2019
First published
08 May 2019

This article is Open Access

RSC Adv., 2019,9, 14432-14442
Article type
Paper

A comparative performance analysis of stand-alone, off-grid solar-powered sodium hypochlorite generators

E. Chinello, M. A. Modestino, J. W. Schüttauf, L. Coulot, M. Ackermann, F. Gerlich, A. Faes, D. Psaltis and C. Moser, RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 14432
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA02221J

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements