My engineer former housemate told me that plants have relatively few energy capture units--so they make chlorophyl to fill the space between, and the chlorophyl acts like the mirrors in a standard (non-photovoltaic) solar array, beaming the energy over to the energy capture units, and there is 0 loss to this transfer process because of quantum effects of resonance. And then it gets even cooler.
Then the energy transfer station thingy turns the photo into an electron, with extremely high efficiency also, I think, and then there is a flow of electrons, and this flow of electrons pushes a really tiny turbine that turns binds ATP the energy holding mechanism we use in our bodies too.
Since ATP is unstable and toxic if it stays there too long in too large quantities, the plant then turns the ATP into starches or sugars. But this process is extremely inefficient--it more often then not binds the starch stuff to oxygen instead of binding it to carbon as it's trying to do. Then it has to spend even more energy to detox from this problem.
There's some kickstarter company trying to create nanoelectrodes that will steal this extra energy before the plant loses it to its weird storage process.
But I think they're going about things the hard way.
Some simpler possible applications of this are that the plant might not make this "misfire" if it had only CO2 in its environment and no oxygen (and note before you jump into action that Paul, Ernie, and Erica STRONGLY discourage trying to vent CO2 into your greenhouse, and that plants NEED oxygen at night...).
And also he said that the problem of storage is more urgent now for society than generation.
Of course, for the homesteader, storage is not as much an issue, the generation piece is still at issue with the questionable costs of creating photovoltaic panels. If there could be a workaround for that it would be .
Mostly just wanted to share this because it's so cool.
Community Building 2.0: ask me about drL, the rotational-mob-grazing format for human interactions.
How about this one?
According to physics you can only suck water so high (10m or 33ft) until the air pressure exceeds the vapor pressor of water and it turns from liquid to gas.
Problem is: Have you ever seen a tree over 33 ft? Often. So how do they do it?? Different scientists have a few different theories but really don't know 100% for sure, but it involves growing up with water continually in the pores such that there are no sites for gas to form.
If you don't "know enough"... try anyway! (Cuz that's how you learn.)