Photosynthesis, Photovoltaics and Solar heat

Open question

The bioenergy facade developed by SSC is already a hybrid system integrating solar heat and photosynthesis. Thereby solar radiation of >700 nm  is absorbed and converted into heat. The photosynthesis uses the photosynthetic active radiation  between 400-700 nm with maxima of absorption at 460 and 680 nm. 

Approach of Research 

Between the two absoption maxima lies the so called green gap of light which is absorbed and thus used by the photosynthetic pigments at lower efficiency. For a better use of this light spectrum SSC develops in cooperation with the DLR Institute - Vernetzte Energiesysteme - a semitransparent thin layer photovoltaic cell.    


The research focusses is on Germanium as active layer which allows to establish a high transmission of the light of maximum absorption by photosynthetic active pigments.

Aim of Research

As a result, the semitransparent PV cell is integrated into our photobioreactor so that the sunlight is optimally used for electricity, biomass and heat production. According to our current state of research, we can achieve conversion efficiencies of 4, 8, and 38%, respectively.

Read more

Kerner, M, Gebken, T., Sundarrao, I., Hindersin, S. & D. Sauss. 2019. Development of a control logic to cover the demand for heat in a building with algae production in a bioenergy facade. Energy and Buildings 184: 65-71



Europäisches Patent Nr. EP 2 228 432 A1. Bioreaktor und Verfahren zum Betrieb eines Bioreaktors.


Europäisches Patent Nr. 2533627. Fassadenelement, Fassadenkonstruktion und Gebäude.


V. Volker Steenhoff et al. 2015. Ultrathin Resonant-Cavity-Enhanced Solar Cells with Amorphous Germanium Absorbers; Advanced Optical Materials 3, 182


Patent DE 10 2013 217 653 A1 2015.03.05


N. Osterthun et al. 2018. Spectrally Selective Solar Cells for Simultaneous Use of Photosynthesis and Photovoltaics; EU-PVSEC


Aßmus, E.; Weller, B.; Kerner, M. 2016.Adhesive Joints in Photobiogenerators - Preliminary Studies on Adhesive Materials. In: Schneider, J.; Weller, B. (Hrsg.): Engineered Transparency – Glass in Architecture and Structural Engineering. Berlin: Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn, Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften, 2016.


Wolff, T., Brinkmann, T., Kerner, M., Hindersin, S. 2015. CO2 Enrichment from Flue Gas for the Cultivation of Algae – A field test. Greenhouase gases- Science and Technology 5:1–8; DOI: 10.1002/ghg 


M. Leupold, S. Hindersin, G. Gust, M. Kerner, D. Hanelt. 2012. Influence of mixing and shear stress on Chlorella vulgaris, Scendesmus obliquus and Chlamydomonas reinhardii. J. Appl. Phycol. DOI 10.1007/s1081-012-9882-5 


M. Leupold, S. Hindersin, M. Kerner, and Dieter Hanelt. 2013. The effect of discontinuous airlift mixing in outdoor flat panel photobioreactors on growth of Scenedesmus obliquus. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng. DOI 10.1007/s00449-013-0939-x 


Krohn et al. 2013. Metagenome survey of a multispecies and Alga associated biofilm revealed key elements of bacterial-algal interactions in photobioreactors. Appl. Environm. Microbiol. 79(20): 6196. 


Hindersin et al. 2014. Key parameters for outdoor biomass production of Scenedesmus obliquus in solar tracked photobioreactors. J. Appl. Phycol. DOI 10.1007/s10811-014-0261-2 Hindersin, M. Leupold, M. Kerner 

SSC Strategic Science Consult GmbH

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