Algae-powered batteries could be used to power underwater sensors that transmit info via blinking diodes
Image credit: Paolo Bombelli et al.
Darko SavicMay 25, 2022
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"Place and forget" underwater sensors that run on algae-powered batteries. The data is transmitted via blinking diodes to a faraway receiver that is using a telephoto lens.
Ability to "place and forget" sensors in locations that would otherwise require specialized equipment/staff to maintain.
How it works
Algae powered battery
This battery powered by algae ran a low-energy computer chip for 6 months. A bio-photovoltaic energy harvester system using photosynthetic microorganisms on an aluminium anode that can power a microprocessor widely used in Internet of Things applications. This video explains how it works:
This is basically a solar panel + battery in one. It works at night too. It doesn't work when the temperature falls below 5 degrees celsius. So its useful during warm months, or in warmer climates, or underwater.
The battery is suitable to power devices that consume low power or short bursts of higher power (via condensers). It could power all kinds of sensors that are needed for long scientific experiments, observation, etc.
Low power communication via diodes
The sensors could be equipped with a few diodes that relay information by blinking in patterns. The blinking would be picked up by a receiver with a telephoto camera. It would have to be within the line of sight. The blinking patterns are then translated back to digital data.