How big is an AA battery and can power an ARM Cortex M0+ for six months? Well… it might be an AA battery, but that obviously wouldn’t be worth mentioning. But researchers at Cambridge have Built a cell of blue-green algae He can do the job.
As you might expect, algae need light, as they generate energy through photosynthesis. However, unlike conventional solar cells, algae continue to produce energy in the dark for at least a while. It is assumed that algae store energy during the day and release it at night to survive the naturally occurring periods of darkness.
Generating energy from photosynthesis is not a new idea because photosynthesis releases electrons. A typical cell contains gold electrodes and a proton exchange membrane of some sort. You can watch a video below from Cambridge about generating electricity from photosynthesis. Keep in mind, of course, that the Cortex M0+ is capable of very low power operation. Don’t look to an algae-powered spot welder anytime soon.
People tend to focus on electricity as energy, but there are other ways to harness photosynthesis. For example, we saw the fueling of algae chicken pit In the past. Not to mention we saw the algae used to it robot power In a new, non-electric way.
“Hipster-friendly troublemaker. Communicator. Organizer. Devoted web lover. Unapologetic problem solver. Reader. Explorer. Travel guru.”