IPVF Internship – Techno-economic analysis of the best Solar-to-Hydrogen configurations


Function: Master student

Contract Type: Internship

Starting Date: February/March 2022

Working Place: Palaiseau, France (Paris-Saclay technology cluster)

Duration: 6 months

Education: Master 2




Become an actor of the Energy Transition by joining a team driven by innovation and impact to address today’s most decisive challenges.


IPVF – Institut Photovoltaïque d’Île-de-France, is a global Research, Innovation and Education center, which mission is to accelerate energy transition through science & technology.
Gathering industrial PV leaders (EDF, TotalEnergies, Air Liquide, Horiba and Riber) and world-renowned academic research organizations (CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique), multi-disciplinary and international IPVF teams conduct research for clean energy technologies. Supported by the French State, IPVF is labelled Institute for Energy Transition (ITE).


IPVF at a glance:
• An ambitious Scientific and Technological Program (6 programs divided in 24 work packages): from tandem solar cell technologies to economy & market assessment, state-of-the art characterization, photocatalysis and breakthrough concepts.
• State-of-the-art technological platform (8,000m²): more than 100 cutting-edge equipments worth €30M, located in cleanrooms (advanced characterization, materials deposition, prototypes for fabrication, modelling…).
• High-standard Education program (M.S. and PhD students).





Solar powered water electrolysis is an attractive way of storing chemical energy and of supplying green hydrogen for industry as hydrogen is generated by using unlimited and clean solar energy. Mainly there are three representative ways of transforming solar radiation into molecular Hydrogen: the photocatalytic (PC), photoelectrochemical (PEC), and photovoltaic–electrolysis (PV–EC) routes. At present, the most promising of these technologies are photovoltaic-assisted electrolyzers that have reached efficiencies as high as 30%.  The large-scale implementation of solar hydrogen production requires an optimal combination of photovoltaic systems with suitably-designed electrochemical cells, possibly avoiding power electronics for DC-DC conversion, to decrease costs and increase system reliability. The objective of this internship is to evaluate the best solar to fuel configuration from technical, economical, and operational points of view and discuss practical cell architectures and conceptual designs. The focus will be placed on a critical assessment of the key components needed for solar to H2 systems such as PV technologies, electrolyzer technologies, PV efficiencies, solar to hydrogen efficiency, cost, fuel separation, device operability, cell architecture, and techno-economic aspects of the systems.

Based on a deep bibliographic study and techno-economic analysis we will demonstrate whether, how, and when renewable solar powered water electrolysis are the most competitive alternatives for fossil fuels and which configurations are the most promising to be developed.

The most important outcome from the internship is to be able to define a specific technology roadmap for solar hydrogen production, based on PV technologies available at IPVF.




The mission of the internship is to participate in the activities around solar to fuels carried out at IPVF, by carrying out a bibliographic and techno-economic benchmark of different solar to fuel technologies using different configurations/electrolyzes (PEM, AEM, Alkaline) and solar modules (perovskite, Si, Tandem, CIGS) and their combination for the production of H2.


The tasks to be performed during this internship are:

  • Make a state of the art on the PV application for H2 production.
  • Make a state of the art of the best solar to fuel configurations, their efficiencies, cost, amount of H2 produce/year, their ease of implementation.
  • Make a techno-economic study of the best solar to fuel configurations





  • Knowledge in photovoltaic systems and/or fuel cell systems
  • Material science & chemistry
  • Background in electrochemistry and photo-electrochemistry is a plus


  • Interest on techno-economic analysis
  • Fluent in English
  • Good analytical, synthesis, communication/ presentation skills


Self-management skills

  • Strong teamwork skills
  • Curious, enterprising and creative
  • Proactive and autonomous




Cover letter and résumé to be sent to: negar.naghavi@chimieparistech.psl.eu and lars.oberbeck@totalenergies.com

Need a direct line?

Feel free to contact us for more information about our offers.

  • +33(0)1 69 86 58 60
  • contact@ipvf.fr
Contact us