Multi-bandgap Solar Energy Conversion via Combination of Microalgal Photosynthesis and Spectrally Selective Photovoltaic Cell

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Microalgal photosynthesis is a promising solar energy conversion process to produce high concentration biomass, which can be utilized in the various fields including bioenergy, food resources, and medicine. In this research, we study the optical design rule for microalgal cultivation systems, to efficiently utilize the solar energy and improve the photosynthesis efficiency. First, an organic luminescent dye of 3,6-Bis(4'-(diphenylamino)-1,1'-biphenyl-4-yl)-2,5-dhexyl-2,5-dihydropyrrolo3,4-c pyrrole -1,4-dione (D1) was coated on a photobioreactor (PBR) for microalgal cultivation. Unlike previous reports, there was no enhancement in the biomass productivities under artificial solar illuminations of 0.2 and 0.6 sun. We analyze the limitations and future design principles of the PBRs using photoluminescence under strong illumination. Second, as a multiple-bandgaps-scheme to maximize the conversion efficiency of solar energy, we propose a dual-energy generator that combines microalgal cultivation with spectrally selective photovoltaic cells (PVs). In the proposed system, the blue and green photons, of which high energy is not efficiently utilized in photosynthesis, are absorbed by a large-bandgap PV, generating electricity with a high open-circuit voltage (V-oc) in reward for narrowing the absorption spectrum. Then, the unabsorbed red photons are guided into PBR and utilized for photosynthesis with high efficiency. Under an illumination of 7.2 kWh m(-2) d(-1), we experimentally verified that our dual-energy generator with C-60-based PV can simultaneously produce 20.3g m(-2) d(-1) of biomass and 220Wh m(-2) d(-1) of electricity by utilizing multiple bandgaps in a single system.
Publisher
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Issue Date
2019-12
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v.9

ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/s41598-019-55358-6
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/270928
Appears in Collection
CE-Journal Papers(저널논문)EE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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