Monalisa Chakraborty

Title of the project: Advanced photoelectrodes for next generation of solar energy storage: Photobatteries

Supervisors and Host institution: Dr. Teresa Andreu Arbella and Dr. Sebastian Murcia-López at Catalonia Institute of Energy Research (IREC)

Over a hundred years of global electricity demand has mostly relied on the fossil-fuel source, significantly impacting the ecosphere by CO2 emission. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power have shown great promise to relieve the dependence on fossil fuels, thereby progressing towards a green Earth. However, due to the intermittent nature of renewables, the power generated cannot provide stable and consistent power delivery. Therefore, energy storage technologies, Batteries, are needed to address the challenges associated with modernizing the electric grid. Amongst various battery technologies, flow batteries are considered as the most promising contenders for large-scale energy storage systems, offering long hours of storage capacity. The focus of my PhD research is to define a new approach to store solar energy through integrated solar redox-flow batteries. I am exploring on the range of aspects and elements related to the design of the integration between the redox flow batteries and photovoltaic cell, to enable a simultaneous way of solar energy conversion and storage in one single device, `Solar redox flow batteries or Photobatteries´.

¨I am privileged to be welcomed as a DOC-FAM Marie-Curie Early stage researcher, which gave me a nice opportunity to get to know my other mates from various, multidisciplinary research fields.¨

I came from the beautiful, ancient metropolitan city, Calcutta, also called as `City of Joy´. My bachelor training in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering, later, a decent job in chemical industry, made me realise my craving for learning more advanced technologies. M.Sc. in Energy Science and Technology in Ulm University, Germany, not only gave me a broad exposure for technical learning but also made me mentally strong enough to accept all the challenges both in studies also in adapting the multidisciplinary environment. My passion for research in `Batteries` has started during my Master internship in Helmholtz Institute for Battery Research, Ulm, which further motivated me to carry out the Master thesis in Li-ion batteries. From the state-of-the-art and research experiences in Batteries, I came to know how important it is to progress in further research in Batteries to save our world from electricity scarcity. My MSCA-DOC-FAM PhD project offered me an efficient platform to continue with my passion for batteries research. Specially, DOC-FAM´s mobility opportunity has opened an extra window for globally outreaching my research work along with fruitful discussion with the well-reputated scientists having expertise in this field. As a short-term objective, I am focusing myself to finish the PhD thesis with publications in the peer-reviewed journals. In future, I would like to enter the industry once again to learn the real-time applications.

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