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

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There are many ways to make electricity, but each has its own pros and cons. If you look at electricity used in space programs, its 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 dont need to do maintenance) and they last a long time and do their work without any worry to you.

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

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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 / m 2 per hour (a realistic amount) for calculations.

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Heres your basic biosphere layout out in space with photovoltaic panels. PV PANEL PV PANEL PV PANELS REMAIN STATIONARY TO GET 24 HOUR SUNLIGHT BASEMENT

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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 appliances 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.

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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, CO 2, 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.

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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 well 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 !!

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

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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).

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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). Just find a systems amount of Watts that you need to heat and cool all your buildings / living spaces. 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 (its just more separate calculations and easier to find info).

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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 weve put some REFERENCE docs with specs (specifications) online – use them to convert h.p. (horsepower) to Watts: wer/hp-to-watt.htm

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RULE 1: Youll 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). Dont forget to convert units so you have both metric and (American)

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BIG HINT: you still need to show calculations, but half of a 6 acre biospheres air volume is ~ 1.6 million cubic meters… or ~ 1.6 million m 3 (use the answer with the formula to show all work and that its correct) Formula for a spheres 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) r 3 V =

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

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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?

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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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