April 20, 2009

Algae proteins boost solar concentrators

Embed light-absorbing algae proteins in plastic and you can increase the efficiency of a type of solar concentrator.

The algae antenna proteins, dubbed phycobilisomes, absorb visible light at one end and efficiently transfer the energy through the other end. This aids photosynthesis for the algae. Embedding the proteins in the plastic-absorbing layer of luminescent solar concentrators increases the amount of light the concentrators collect.

Luminescent solar concentrators absorb sunlight and convert the energy to a specific color of light. The devices concentrate sunlight onto small solar cells. It's cheaper to use small solar cells.

The algae antenna proteins reduce the amount of light the concentrators reabsorb, which is lost as heat, by 50 percent.

Research paper:
Luminescent Solar Concentrators Employing Phycobilisomes
Advanced Materials, published online April 20, 2009

Researchers' contact:
Marc Baldo

Related stories and briefs:
Window generates electricity -- previous research

Back to ERN April 20, 2009



News  | Blog

E-mail headlines

Energy-related books and products from

Home   Archive   Eric on Energy   Researchers   Links   About   Contact
© Copyright Technology Research News 2008-2010. All rights reserved.