Bacteria-powered solar cell converts light to energy, even under overcast skies


University of British Columbia researchers have found a cheap, sustainable way to build a solar cell using bacteria that convert light to energy.

Their cell generated a current stronger than any previously recorded from such a device, and worked as efficiently in dim light as in bright light.

This innovation could be a step toward wider adoption of solar power in places like British Columbia and parts of northern Europe where overcast skies are common.

With further development, these solar cells — called “biogenic” because they are made of living organisms — could become as efficient as the synthetic cells used in conventional solar panels.

“Our solution to a uniquely B.C. problem is a significant step toward making solar energy more economical,” said Vikramaditya Yadav, a professor in UBC’s department of chemical and biological engineering who led the project.  Science Daily

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