Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Robert F. Boehm, Chair

Second Committee Member

Samir F. Moujaes

Third Committee Member

Woosoon Yim

Fourth Committee Member

Yitung Chen

Graduate Faculty Representative

Yahia Bahgzouz

Number of Pages



The solar production of hydrogen using photoactive electrodes is a topic receiving much attention in recent years. The use of thin metal oxide films as photoanodes allows the water splitting reaction to occur at a much lower applied voltage than would be necessary with a straight electrolysis process. Researchers have reported up to 18% solar to hydrogen efficiencies over short periods. The University of Nevada Las Vegas in conjunction with the UK based firm Hydrogen Solar have developed a prototype of this type of cell using a WO3 photoanode. An on-sun test facility has been constructed by the UNLV Center for Energy Research where a study is being conducted with regard to the effects various design parameters on the rate of hydrogen evolution. Parameters being studied include electrolyte temperature, electrolyte flow rate, electrolyte resistivity, applied voltage, and membrane to electrode spacing. The data collected will be used in a parametric study of the cell performance. This study will be used to establish general trends as to the effects of these parameters on the performance of the cells outside of a laboratory environment.


Hydrogen; Solar radiation; Thin films; Water - Electrolysis


Applied Mechanics | Energy Systems | Mechanical Engineering

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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