Photosynthesis and Solar Energy Harnessing Compared
Life on earth depends mainly on solar energy, which trapped by the photosynthetic process, which is responsible for the production of all organic matter we know. Organic matter includes the foods we eat every day and animals, fossil fuels (oil, gas, gasoline, coal), as well as firewood, timber, paper pulp, including raw material for the manufacture of synthetic fibers, plastics, polyester, and so on. The paper considers the energy that comes in the form of solar radiation on Earth, which is about 120,000 terawatt (TW), much more than what needs by the humanity. However, this energy comes in a very scattered form. The researchers estimate that average annual impact on the planet is about 170 watts per square meter, which is greatly dependent on location. The challenge is to capture this energy efficiently.
Discussion and Analysis
The comparison between photosynthesis and photovoltaic cells continues to be fairly enforced, because these are two very different processes. In order to perform an efficiency comparison fairer, scientists base their calculations of the PV system in which electricity from solar panels is in turn used to produce hydrogen from water electrolysis. This equals more things, since the energy of solar cells stored as well as hydrogen.
Factors Influencing Photosynthesis
Several factors have an influence on photosynthesis, including:
Temperature: photosynthesis is optimal between 20 and 35 ° C. She stops at 0 ° C due to the slowdown of the plant physiological causes, among others, leaf fall and reduced the absorption of water;
the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO 2) in air: an atmosphere rich in CO 2 promotes photosynthesis;
Light intensity: the more light, more chlorophyll benefits. Under a cloud cover, photosynthesis will be lower than in full sun;
Leaf area exposed to light: in hardwoods, the lower leaves are often larger and thinner than leaves from the top to compensate for the lack of light. In conifers, the leaves are very small in order to better withstand frost, but they are against many;
The plant must sweat to absorb carbon dioxide. If water is scarce, the plant reduces transpiration and photosynthesis slows.
What the researchers argue in this paper is that photosynthesis can significantly improve your efficiency and be a way to mimic the solar panels. To be fair with plants, solar photovoltaic panels used in comparison with plants, can also store energy in chemical bonds (Newha, ...