Each year the Pacific Energy Center Staff looks forward to visiting the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair to view all the student entries and select a few that represent creative work and whose subject matter relates to energy and energy conservation and sustainability. Solar energy could likely be the solution to the daunting energy crisis we face today, but with the high cost and relatively low efficiency, some are skeptical. The results showed that increased temperature increased the voltage, up to 27C, and had no effect on the growth of the voltage.
Microbial fuel cell technology can be very useful technology in the emerging renewable energy market. One of the burritos had locally sourced ingredients from a local grocery store called New Leaf and the local Farmers Market, and the other burrito had ingredients sourced from Costco. A list of ingredients in a typical burrito ( Tortilla, meat, beans, avocados, cheese, lettuce, sour cream) was put together and taken to New Leaf and the Farmers Market to record where the particular ingredient came from and how much it cost. The conclusion was that the carbon footprint of the Costco burrito was 111x higher than the locally sourced burrito, and the locally sourced burrito was 2.2x more expensive. Have her use one alligator clip to connect the copper wire in potato number 1 to the positive (+) terminal in the clock's battery compartment.
Use the other alligator clip to connect the nail in potato number 2 to the negative (-) terminal in the clock's battery compartment.
Use the third alligator clip to connect the nail in potato 1 to the copper wire in potato 2.
CAVE EXPERTS -- Alana Iacovissi, left, and Ally Ferretti, explain the ins-and-outs of cave life and creation at the Ridge Mills Science Fair on Thursday.


FANTASTIC FLOATING MAGIC -- A ping-pong ball is suspended in midair if by magic by budding scientists Caleb Miller, left, and Tanner Brawdy, right.
STATIC ELECTRICITY IN ACTION -- Alanna Fragapane makes objects move by harnessing the power of static electricity.
NOTHING UP MY SLEEVE -- Ridge Mills Elementary School fourth-grader Nicholas Calandra demonstrates how he can make electricity at the school's science fair. WHEN YOU'VE GOT LEMONS -- You don't have to make lemonade, you can make an electrical circuit, according to Ashton Thompson, a fourth-grade scientist at Ridge Mills Elementary School. Imagine the advancements that could be achieved if this technology could be made more productive and affordable!
MFCs are devices that utilize the chemical reactions of bacterial respiration to create electricity.
The carbon footprint was then calculated using a) the method in which the ingredient was transported ( truck, plane, train), b)the distance that the ingredient traveled, and c) the weight of the ingredient. Believe it or not, the common potato has the capacity to create enough electrochemical energy to power a small digital clock. By harnessing the magnetic environment of a coil of wire, Calandra caused voltage to be "induced" in the coil. My project tested whether a type of solar magnifier, known as a Fresnel lens, could optimize the energy produced by a solar cell and it’s energy application on an LED light, while keeping cell temperatures reasonable. The purpose of the experiment was to find the best sizes of electrodes and best temperatures for the MFCs to operate with.


Based on the data from this experiment, for an optimized MFC, the fuel cell should be in an environment of 27C and have a large 40 ^2 electrode. It was done with a formula developed by the Indiana University, who did a comparable experiment with the food in their cafeteria.
The trace amount of acid and salt in the potato serves as an electrolyte and makes an excellent conductor.
I tested 2x, 3x, and 4x lenses, as well as no magnification as a control on a solar cell by measuring the watts, produced, cell temperature and brightness of the LED light. To do this, three levels of temperature and three levels of electrode surface area were tested to try to optimize MFC efficiency.
I hypothesized that the 3x lens would produce the optimal energy output and temperature, as well as yield the brightest light. Nine fuel cells were built, each one with a different combination of the two variables, and each of them were tested by measuring voltage over 4 trials of 5 days each.
The results of my experiment prove that by using Fresnel lenses, energy production can be amplified and light can be successfully focused on a smaller active cell area, allowing solar technology to be more cost-effective and efficient.



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