[ad#PhycoBiosciences AIM Interview]

Research

Solar panel advancements increasing algal growth efficiency

August 28, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Dr. Navid Moheimani of Murdoch University's Algae R&D Centre

Dr. Navid Moheimani of Murdoch University’s Algae R&D Centre

J dropcapason Boudville reports in Science West Australia that Murdoch University researchers have dramatically increased the conversion efficiency of solar energy by the novel pairing of algae biomass and selective thin film solar panels.

By modeling different translucent solar panel wavelength absorbencies and situating algae ponds beneath the panels, researchers were able to find algae species which thrived in the resulting ‘unused’ solar spectrum.

Photosynthesis only uses part of the solar spectrum within the range of 400–700nm (mostly blue and red spectrum) and translucent solar panels can be designed to absorb the spectrum outside these parameters to produce electricity.

Algae R&D Centre and School of Veterinary and Life Science’s Dr. Navid Moheimani says while the purpose of the design is to capture the entire light spectrum, a secondary outcome was also a reduction in algae pond evaporation.

“Considering the shortage of freshwater in WA, we can only use seawater in our algae cultivation ponds for filling the pond and evaporative make up,” he says. “Being able to control this by removing infra red light would allow us to grow several other species of microalgae.”

Researchers were also able to model different solar-algae configurations, like using produced electricity to make up the essential red portion of the solar spectrum with LED lighting—this increasing the biomass potential by 16.5 per cent.

Dr. Moheimani says while it will take more research and development to find algae-appropriate wavelength absorbencies for solar panels, it could soon replace other production systems.

The project was also conducted by Murdoch’s Dr. David Parlevliet, from the School of Engineering and Information Technology, Physics and Energy.

Read More

More Like This…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2013 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Tess Riley writes in TheGuardian.com about how spirulina may be able to combat malnutrition in developing countries. Spirulina is one of the oldest life forms on Earth, c...
James Goodman writes in the democratandchronicle.com about Jeffrey Lodge, an associate professor of biological sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, who knows wh...
As of March 1, 2015, bbi-biotech GmbH, of Berlin, Germany, has begun integrating IGV Biotech GmbH’s photobioreactors into its own life science product portfolio. A former...
Sebastian Rich reports on PBS Newshour about the Central African Republic city of Bangui, which has been caught in the crossfire between warring Muslim and Christian grou...
Scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization in La Jolla, California, have published a paper outlining new synthet...
Scientific representatives from the EnAlgae consortium are announcing preliminary results this week from a key algal carbon capture project in the works at Britain’s larg...
While aquafarmers in Maine have been harvesting seaweed for nearly 80 years, for a variety of uses and products, in recent years wild harvests have not been able to meet ...
Nurit Canetti writes in Israeli Pulse that Rwandan agronomists are on a one-year visit to Israel to study various aspects of Israeli agriculture firsthand. Primarily they...
Astaxanthin has been widely used in the aquaculture industry for pigmentation of salmon, trout and shrimp; used for its antioxidant and other health benefits in the nutra...
Algae producers moving from pilot to commercial applications require quick adaptation to algae harvesting capacity of hundreds and even thousands of cubic meters per day....
The Algae and Biofuels Laboratory at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) is partnering with Lianhenghui Investment Company to construct a...
An enzyme responsible for making hydrocarbons has been discovered by Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists studying the common green microalga Botryococcus braunii. ...