Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bio-Solar Technology

A Design and Construction of the Microalgal pilot facility AlgaePARC
biosolar
A Horizontal Tubular Algae Reactor (HTAR).
BioSolar: Is the energy derived from a natural process that use microorganisms in the photosynthesis to convert sunlight into usable photovoltaic cells for energy. Photosynthesis is the key processes on Earth where primary energy producers like planets. However, is not only the plants that can do photosynthesis there is a group of microorganisms mainly cyanobacteria, protistans and algae which can able to photosynthesize sunlight straight into a biological energy. 

Thanks to the biotechnology in inventing good innovations and advanced techniques where people enable to harness these microorganisms. There are already applications which remodelling biological process, to create an artificial process in mimicking the natural photosynthesis, of course, there are many biological variations explicitly deployable. To understand this process, take a ''sun and tree'' as a scenario: There life on Earth depends on the sun that provides us with an abundant supply of energy, and nowadays people use solar panels to capture and store light-heat energy from the sun more effectively. The sustainable energy source, which can be relentlessly abundant and cheaper than fossil fuels' energy (hydrocarbons). The BioSolar innovation uses exactly the same principles when algae to capture energy straight from the sunlight. 


How it works? According to the research done by prominent scientists like Barry D. Bruce,a Professor of Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular he  describes how we may exploit the ultra-efficient process of solar energy capture and conversion of natural photosynthesis into hybrid devices that will provide either direct photovoltaic electricity or be stored in some form of fuel such as molecular hydrogen. To date, we have help design-build and characterize great novel include luminescent solar concentrators, hybrid Bio-organic thin-film photovoltaic devices, hydride bio-inorganic photovoltaic devices, and bio-Pt hydrogen evolving nanoparticles. 

This means that professor Bruce and his team used bioengineered blue-green algae to interact with a metallic semi-conductor to generate electricity in a similar way to the photovoltaic cells which are used in traditional solar panels.  One of the obvious benefits of this technology is that it utilizes completely natural products to generate electricity, while most standard photo-voltaic solar cells are constructed of man-made materials. For example, the active layers in a photovoltaic panel include the positively and negatively charged silicon layers, charge-collecting layers (a grid of metal wires on the top and a flat metal layer on the bottom), an anti-reflecting layer and a glass window on top. 

A large amount of energy is also required to produce traditional solar panels while the bio-solar cells are constructed of naturally occurring materials. Another important factor is that it retains/produce a great deal of energy under certain constraints.  This technology has the ability to produce truly clean, emission-free solar energy anywhere in the world where plants are able to grow. That is almost everywhere. While this technology is still very much in the developmental stages, the possibilities are endless once it can be perfected. Professor Bruce is not the only bio-solar researcher whose work has implications for the future of solar energy. 


A video demonstrating how Algae 'photobioreactor' harnessed for bio-solar applications

Scientists at Harvard, for example, have created a bionic leaf that works with a catalyst and bacteria to convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen into a liquid fuel called isopropanol. They’re almost at a 1% efficiency rate of turning sunlight into fuel, recreating the efficiency of photosynthesis. Researchers at Stanford are exploring new crystalline substances that could be used to supplement the silicon used in PV panels in order to increase the efficiency of solar cells. It is clear that the future of solar energy is assured and that technological innovation will continue to impact both the cost and efficiency of solar energy installations. 



The developed world is increasingly aware of the potential of renewable energy to both reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels — both foreign and domestic sources — and decrease emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases and other pollutants. As a result, the use of solar and wind power are the fastest growing sources of electricity for any nations to tap in. For now, homeowners and businesses relying on existing solar energy systems will save money as well as positively impact the environment knowing that new innovations will only make their solar systems even more efficient in the future. 
BioSolar has some contrasting factors:
  • Production of these cells is intrinsically inexpensive. 
  • The biological materials used are not rare. 
  • The cells can produce liquid fuels directly. 
  •  BioSolar Cells can capture the greenhouse gas CO2

Biocells
MIT creates a solar cell from grass clippings.

BioSolar synthesizer (bioreactor) is a technical system that mimics photosynthesis process in order to tap sufficiently energy from the sun. In generally we know that all energies are derived primarily straight from the sun using photovoltaic cells or photobiological cells that found in some microorganisms like algae and protozoa that have a chloroplast such as diatoms, marinas,amoeba and others that convert sunlight automatically into biological energy through the process of photosynthesis. While we are discussing this very interesting topic let me emphasize the importance of renewable energy on the African continent:The initiative projects of harvesting and harnessing solar power in African nations will be an important step toward accomplishing what we called "Industrialized Age" through improvement and investment into solar technologies, Africa's states can increase affordable energy to all remote villages, 'remember that energy is the power behind every type of development we seeing around the world, therefore a nation without any affordable energy dedicated for its less privileged masses everything will stand at still.
African continent got extra advantage for free available natural gift from God, so Africa has many potentials to develop a solar technology that very complex than any other continent or regions like other parts of Europe,Asia and Tundra that lay very far from equator.
Africa has huge accessibility to the cold Atlantic ocean that house quite deals of green algae and purple microbes in the deep sea that needed to build Bio-solar synthesizers [ bioreactors] for generating energy to provide a free-cost and sustainable energy to all households. African nations especially Namibia have the greater option available for us by tapping the unlimited energy of sunlight throughout the daytime, so it's a call to the challenge to make use of this incredible resource laying idle at our disposal.
There are four main steps of photosynthesis:
  1. Light harvesting-( chlorophyll/carotenes antenna molecules)
  2. Charge separation.
  3. Oxidation. 
  4. Energy production.

The BioSolar Advantages: BioSolar has many advantages over the ordinary Solar power that converts sunlight energy using panels made out of aluminium-alloys. According to researchers in Japan and Netherlands who leading this breakthrough in photosynthesis research, they concluded that a bio-inspired solar power energy system can provide high yield energy more efficiently than the traditional solar power. Since BioSolar energy provides power through a technically modified photosynthesis, that mimics a normal chemical process of phytoplanktons, Algae and some bacteria that live in places where sunlight saturation is less but, these microbes convert more energy from the sun under those environmental constraints. 


To understand this concept better, we must take the natural photosynthesis process that occurs at the pelagic zones [ocean floors] as an example, where there is a limited or even no spot of sunlight, but yet these algae and cyanobacteria that formed up a bioprocess at the pelagic zone these microorganisms make sure that enough sun's rays via the body of waters which is about thousand kilometres from the main water surface.  The bioprocess allows pelagic photosynthesis to produce energy that needed in replenishing the lifeforms in those deep ocean trenches such as the "Mariana Trench" the deepest abyss in the world which is about 10 km deeper below the sea's floor. 

The BioSolar arrays [tubes] may only need a narrow exposure of sunlight for a short period of time to provide extra kilowatts of energy sometimes in a severe bad weather, incomparable to conventional solar power that requires a constant visibility of sunlight. The energy policy that advocating BioSolar utilization should be encouraged and renewable energy projects must be enacted into normal training activities for secondary schools, colleges technicians and university educations.




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