Solar panels are a great source of renewable energy for homes and office buildings, but extremely difficult for smaller devices. Wearable materials and clothing can benefit more from kinetic energy and we have seen carbon nanotubes extending into the yarn to generate electricity . The same material is used together with cyanobacteria to form micro solar panels.
Scientists have been studying energy potential over cyanobacteria for several years . They create their own food through photosynthesis, which can absorb solar energy and hold an electric charge. By 2015, scientists in Canada were searching for blue-green algae that could replace batteries for smaller devices created using cyanobacteria .
While it may not be enough to get remarkable battery life on our smartphones, scientists have been able to create a battery with cyanobacteria and a bio-solar panel. They are still alive after being pressed with carbon nanotubes onto a paper using an inkjet printer.
How does this work? Inside the chamber where these cyanobacteria are imprinted, two electrodes are separated like a battery, and a membrane allows only protons to pass through. When oxygen forms on the anode side, the cathode section is released. The protons then move towards the cathode where electricity is generated and water is formed.
Using an inkjet printer and paper, scientists have succeeded in lowering expensive production costs. Although there is a unique solar panel model that can generate power without sunlight, there is no convenient way to replace this method with conventional photovoltaic cells. It doesn’t gain much energy at a time and has a short life span of about 100 hours after production.
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These bio-solar cells may provide a temporary power solution in the future, assuming they can continue to scale higher. It is thought that these micro panels can be formed on a standard paper size of 7.5×11. Co-author of the Imperial College London report Marin Sawa gave examples of what his research could do:
” We think it may have a number of applications, such as to act as a sensor to the environment of our technology. The house air quality monitor capable wallpaper like the paper-like, paper-based, consider an environmental sensor is disposable. When he’s done, can undergo biodegradation in the garden without any impact on the environment and can be released. “
Scientists are trying to make it even more economical, while creating a longer-lasting, more powerful bio-solar cell. If they continue to accelerate this technology, it may be useful to monitor the environment and health of developing countries. This can be an excellent way to electrify items that require low power and are used temporarily.
Source: Popular Agriculture