Tech (The Times Groupe)- Algae will power our future batteries! That’s at least the conclusion of an experiment conducted by researchers. But, marketing is still a long way off.
A key component of photovoltaics is photosynthesis, which uses energy from the sun (among other sources) to synthesize organic matter. Scientists and industrialists are curious about this relatively new technology, since it could be one of the future methods of producing energy.
Micro-blue algae have been enclosed in a pile by researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Using the process of photosynthesis, these cyanobacteria produced the equivalent of 0.3 microwatt-hours when exposed to sunlight. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to power the Arm Cortex-M0+ chip for six months!
One of the good surprises was that the algae “stack” generated an excess of energy, which made it possible to operate the chip at night. Cyanobacteria can serve as an efficient and cost-effective alternative to conventional batteries and batteries when used with Internet of Things (IoT) devices that require little power.
In addition, algae and photosynthesis are much less polluting than traditional energy sources, but comparisons with solar panels or wind turbines are also useful. Therefore, photovoltaics have a bright future ahead of them, but this technology is far from being finished.
It turns into electricity with only 0.25% of the solar energy captured by algae. It would take huge batteries to power a traditional computer…or keep trying to improve the performance of this technology in earnest! The first step can, however, be taken fairly quickly for an Internet of Things with fewer needs.