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Home / News / Next Big Thing – bio-photo-voltaic devices

Next Big Thing – bio-photo-voltaic devices

A table made with moss sounds useless now but soon it could be powering your devices

Plants can power things?

Apparently so, according to scientists from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) working in bio-photo-voltaics – that’s the use of wasted energy from photosynthesis to power devices. The BPV-powered Moss Table above is a potential powerhouse of gadget juice.

So, that lamp is powered by the moss?

Well, not quite yet. At the moment BPV will only run less energy-intensive devices, like a digital clock; in the video below, the animation responds to the table’s power output. But the creators of the Moss Table reckon that as more efficient power transferral and less power-hungry devices are developed, it’ll be able to store up enough energy to power more devices. BPV works by generating electricity from the electrons captured by conductive fibres inside the table. That converts chemical energy into electrical. This works with algae, cyanobacteria, and vascular plants right now.

When will it be more powerful?

At the moment research is still in its early stages, with the above table just a concept. But in the not too distant future, we could be powering our iPads – or at least our lamps – with moss.

(via Inhabitat)

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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