Combined Harvesting and Storage of Solar Power

This project aims to develop a low cost, biologically inspired solar energy harvesting and storage device. This unique combination addresses the intermittent availability of sunlight during different times of the day by smoothing out variations in the output using stored energy. Solar energy will be captured by very efficient bacterial proteins that normally drive photosynthesis. The captured energy is harvested from the proteins and stored in a liquid salt solution that forms the bulk of the device. By having both the proteins and the salts in solution, it is possible to integrate energy generation and storage and also to make innovative and aesthetically appealing cell designs. This device will enable the industrial partner to develop a line of integrated solar energy products that may eliminate the need for batteries and unobstructed south facing solar panels.

Ashwin Usgaocar
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. John Madden
Project Year: 
British Columbia