BioHybrid, the photovoltaic of the future

Get some spinach and increase the power! Let's not talk about Arm wrestling, rather than solar panels and the new discovery made by the researchers of Vanderbilt University. A protein found in spinach could open up new perspectives in the field of photovoltaic.

We talk about bio-hybrid, the biologically derived protein should be used in conjunction with silicon to achieve record-breaking power. Vanderbit University research uses a protein involved in photosynthesis, the protein in question is photosystem 1 and was first observed about 40 years ago. Today, this protein has attracted the attention of researchers for its ability to convert sunlight in electric energy with an almost totalitarian efficiency.

Technology "BioHybrid"Could offer a conversion efficiency of almost 100% while the current ones photovoltaic panels they exploit only part of the potential light intensity. The result is nearly one milliampere (850 microamps) of current for every square centimeter at 0.3 volts. In practical terms, this means that a Solar Panel of about 60 cm can produce at least 100 milliamps at one volt, an amount of clean energy capable of powering a wide range of small electrical devices. If a 60cm panel can do this, let alone an entire roof covered with this new technology!

Another advantage of the technology bio-hybrid is the accessibility of the raw material. A bunch of spinach costs less than a euro, a price far lower than the classic microelectronic materials. Of course, there are still many difficulties to be faced and, according to David Cliffel, a researcher at Vanderbit University, we would have to wait about three years to obtain an optimal result.

Photo | Vanderbilt University

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