Functional Materials for Sustainable Energy Applications
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Functional materials represent a class of advanced energy conversion materials, including photoelectric, thermoelectric, electrochemical, piezoelectric and electromagnetic materials. These materials are already widely used in renewable energy applications, such as photovoltaics (PV), hydrogen production and storage and fuel cell systems, as well as in demand-side systems such as lighting, energy recovery and energy storage. Global demands for lower cost, higher efficiency, mass-production and, of course, sustainably sourced systems, coupled with discoveries and innovation in underlying nanotechnology, have led applications based on functional materials to become an increasingly important and promising part of the sustainably energy mix.
This book presents a comprehensive review of the issues, science and development of functional materials in core renewable energy production and sustainable energy management applications. The book initially deals with solar power materials, reviewing the development and sustainability of advanced PV devices, with particular focus on thin-film technologies. The next two sections cover materials development for hydrogen production and storage, and for fuel cells, providing the reader with a critical understanding of the issues facing the integration of these systems into the current energy infrastructure, as well as their potential implementation in a hydrogen-based economy. The final section covers demand-side technologies, reviewing ways in which function materials apply to reducing the energy demand within the built environment, along with energy storage applications that are an essential part of a sustainable energy mix with increasing penetration of renewable energy sources. An appendix focussing on materials simulation approaches rounds off the book’s coverage.