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The solar energy available within the visible portion of the solar spectrum is about 300 W/m2 (43%) and that available in the UV and IR portion is about 400 W/m2 (57%). This provides opportunities for developing integrated energy systems that capture and use specific wavelengths of the solar spectrum for different purposes. For example: biofuels from photosynthetic microbes use only the visible light; solar cells use a narrow band of the solar spectrum that could be either mostly in the visible or in the IR regions of the solar spectrum, depending on the photovoltaic materials, e.g., gallium antimonide (GaSb) cells utilize predominately IR radiation; and finally, solar panels that heat water utilize a broad range of wavelengths (visible plus IR). The basic idea of this research is that sunlight has many possible end-use applications including both direct use and energy conversion schemes; it is technically feasible to develop multifunctional solar energy systems capable of addressing several end-use needs while increasing the overall solar energy utilization efficiency when compared to single-purpose solar technologies. Such a combination of technologies could lead to more cost-competitive ?multifunctional? systems that add value and broaden opportunities for integrated energy systems. The goal of this research ismore » to increase the overall energy efficacy and cost competitiveness of solar systems. The specific objectives of this research were: 1) Evaluate the efficacy of a combined photobioreactor and electric power system; 2) Improve the reliability and cost effectiveness of hybrid solar lighting systems ? a technology in which sunlight is collected and distributed via optical fibers into the interior of a building; 3) Evaluate the efficacy of using filtered light to increase the production of biomass in photobioreactors and provide more solar energy for other uses; 4) Evaluates several concepts for wavelength shifting such that a greater percentage of the solar spectrum energy can be used for photosynthesis.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
SPO 090998
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Utah State University
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 09 BIOMASS FUELS Solar Energy, Multifunctional, Algal Biomass, Hybrid Solar Lighting, Photobioreactor, Biofuels