With that statement, I used to begin my day in the blue building of PVcomb… I had the chance to participate with the PV to Fuels Technology group in a project for developing a novel type of hydrogen electrolyzers. These electrolyzers are devices that can use the produced voltage from solar cells to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Therefore, they can enable us to store the solar energy as a chemical fuel, H2; so that we can use it later whenever there is a demand for electricity regardless of the solar irradiance profile over the day.
My work is all about simulating new structures and parameters for the H2 electrolyzers using COMSOL Multiphysics. The capabilities of this program for simulating physical phenomena are astonishing. However, seeking the desired results is obstructed with many problems, and figuring the big picture requires analyzing all the results together.
Many lessons were learned from these simulations, not only about the fluid mechanics and the electrochemistry happening in the electrolyzer but also about the simulation as a process in itself. Usually, I leave two simulations for the workstation to calculate them overnight. In my first days in the internship, I always had that statement in the morning with the results: “very ill-conditioned preconditioner”. It took some time to figure out what it really means and how to be solved but it never stops visiting me to the extent that it became my favorite error now.
But wait! It is not the happy ending yet: I have more warning statements, and ambiguous results to interpret. I wish to find my way to the desired electrolyzer by the end of my internship. To conclude, I would say: behind every error, there is a story to tell.