# Biosphere 3: Energy Look at how MANY panels there are for just those few small living spaces! Tahoma Jr. High 8th Grade Science Maple Valley, WA.

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Biosphere 3: Energy Look at how MANY panels there are for just those few small living spaces! Tahoma Jr. High 8th Grade Science Maple Valley, WA

There are many ways to make electricity, but each has its own pros and cons. If you look at electricity used in space programs, it’s usually from photovoltaic (“light” + “electricity volts”) panels. They are not very powerful (why you need so much surface area) but they are totally clean, have no moving parts to wear out (so you don’t need to do maintenance) and they last a long time and do their work without any worry to you.

Electricity There are three major Energy problems to deal with:
Air Movement Temperature These problems require quite a bit of math skills… some more than the others. But we’ve made things fairly easy for you – just be careful about your choices and your numbers.

ELECTRICITY PROBLEM: RULE 1: You must have a SIMPLE, RENEWABLE and CLEAN source of your main electrical energy. There is only one logical choice, which is PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR CELLS ! The panels will be outside your biosphere to avoid shading your plants (they have no moving parts nor need maintenance). Although there are some differences you found in your research, all groups will use 200 Watts / m2 per hour (a realistic amount) for calculations.

out in space with photovoltaic panels. PV PANEL PV PANEL BASEMENT PV PANELS REMAIN STATIONARY TO GET 24 HOUR SUNLIGHT

Total Size of Panels Needed For All Appliances.
RULE 2: You will need to produce/show a Data Table of all the electricity using items in your biosphere and how much they will use each day – and then how much PV panel area is needed to produce that amount of electricity. what work done per hr time used total needed per day total that panels need to supply every hour calculated size of panel to supply that appliance’s hourly need Do this for every appliance and then add up all the panel sizes to find: Total Size of Panels Needed For All Appliances.

We want to simulate what really happens on Earth
RULE 3: Have at least one additional method for producing electricity that is also “clean” and also renewable to provide electricity at night (but keep in mind any pollution this method may make and how to deal with it: methane, CO2, etc.) even though your solar panel PV cells can make electricity 24 hours a day and a “buffer battery” is available 24 hours We want to simulate what really happens on Earth instead of a satellite in space.

A little breeze helps a LOT !!
TEMPERATURE PROBLEM: Your Biosphere is in space – and therefore will have a sunny side and shaded side. Objects in space are very hot on the sunny side and very cold on the shaded side. It would be very complicated to try and maintain temperatures like space stations do, so we’ll make it easy for you and just say the temperature in your dome area will “self-regulate” and stay “normal” for all your biomes and “half-sphere” domed space. what are the fans for? Biosphere 2 had air pollination problems because the air was too still or stagnant. A little breeze helps a LOT !!

RULE 1: Temperature control should involve little or no human input (you will be too busy growing and processing food) – it should be “automatic”.

RULE 2: You do need to carefully control the temperature, humidity and airflow in any buildings you have (living/work areas) that are either above or below ground. Calculate their size and use a proper sized HVAC system (or separate heaters and air conditioners).

You should have already found the basic energy needs for an HVAC system heating/cooling an average sized house in your research. You would have to do this if planning a house to build, or changing to a different system of heating/cooling in a current house (new systems are much more efficient). If you want to HEAT and COOL separately (heaters and air conditioners for each room), that is fine – it does not have to be an “all-in-one” HVAC system (it’s just more separate calculations and easier to find info). Just find a system’s amount of Watts that you need to heat and cool all your buildings / living spaces.

AIR MOVEMENT PROBLEM: You have a LOT of air to move in your dome – so you will need to design a way to get air moving throughout the biosphere. Large fans are a simple solution but require LOTS of electricity. If you type “large fans” in google, the first link is this company web site. It is real! Plenty of helpful info here but some (the technical stuff we need) is harder to find. Use the links below to speed things up. see web address?! – used as a marketing strategy to help you remember where to go if you need to find a really, REALLY LARGE fan! cfm data is hard to find at this site, so we’ve put some REFERENCE docs with “specs” (specifications) online – use them to convert h.p. (horsepower) to Watts:

Don’t forget to convert units so you have both metric and (American)
RULE 1: You’ll need to do calculations - total volume of your domed part of the biosphere (volume of half a sphere - formula next slide). Then you need to find how many fans will move that much air (usually measured in “cubic feet per minute” – or “cfm”). Don’t forget to convert units so you have both metric and (American)

~ 1.6 million cubic meters… or ~ 1.6 million m3
Formula for a sphere’s total volume is: 4 3 (of course, since you only need the air of the top half of the sphere, you divide the answer by 2) V =  r3 BIG HINT: you still need to show calculations, but half of a 6 acre biosphere’s air volume is ~ 1.6 million cubic meters… or ~ 1.6 million m3 (use the answer with the formula to show all work and that it’s correct)

out in space with photovoltaic panels. ~100m ~(300 feet) PV PANEL PV PANEL BASEMENT this circular area is 6 acres – with a height to the top of ~100m (~300 feet)

What happens to air volume when it heats up and cools?
RULE 2: Biosphere 2 also had air volume/pressure problemsbetween day and night. What happens to air volume when it heats up and cools? Have some way of dealing with this (Bio 2 solution?). Is there a logical place to put something like this and not take away space that receives sunlight for growing things?

This is the last major problem you will be given (other than a surprise Crisis you just design an experiment to solve), so now you can make sure all the parts work together as best as possible. Start putting the individual puzzle pieces of Biosphere 3 together - you will get a Rubric and Checklist PPT next class. end show

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