Self-assembled, low-tech, low-skill methods for photosynthetic solar power, zinc-oxide, nanowires, bio-photovoltaic, bio-sensitized solar cell (BSSC), practical, open source hardware, local production, off-grid, ambient conditions.
Ultra low cost, ultra low technology solar cells, biophotovoltaics, chemical sensors, biosensors, nanocircuitry
Drastically reducing complexity and cost of making solar power off-grid by unskilled personnel, requiring mostly locally available resources and readily available tools and raw materials (open air kitchen equipment sufficient)
This invention mimics natural photosynthesis to generate electricity using plant or other photosynthetic matter extracts dried on a high surface area electrode. The circuit is completed by non-toxic, inexpensive liquid electrolyte and a layer of transparent conducting plastic. A layer of self-assembled photosynthetic complexes is dried on high surface area ZnO nanowires that are grown solvothermally at ambient temperatures and pressures. This required minimal equipment, low technical skill and only cheap, easily transportable, resilient and non-perishable Zn sheets, stabilizing powders, pH adjusting pellets and transparent conducting plastic sheets. Not even an open flame is required to build these solar panels and there is no need for electricity, vaccum or clean conditions to assemble these cells. This invention shows how it is possible to integrate photosynthetic proteins found virtually everywhere on earth with solvothermally (i.e. at ambient temperature, dirty conditions), grown high-surface area photoanodes produced from inexpensive raw materials using minimal energy and requiring no infrastructure to assemble functional biophotovoltaics that produce useable electricity from incident sunlight.
US Patent application 11/639372 filed on December 14, 2006
Self-assembled photosystem-I biophotovoltaics on nanostructured TiO2 and ZnO ANDREAS MERSHIN*, KAZUYA MATSUMOTO, LISELOTTE KAISER, DAOYONG YU, MICHAEL VAUGHN, MD. K. NAZEERUDDIN, BARRY D. BRUCE, MICHAEL GRAETZEL AND SHUGUANG ZHANG,In review Nature Scientific Reports –Aug 2011
Last revised:January 18, 2012
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