Night darkness generates electricity

New work, in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters, looks to provide a potential path to generating electricity like solar cells but that can power electronics at night.

An international team of scientists has demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to generate a measurable amount of electricity in a diode directly from the coldness of the universe. The infrared semiconductor device faces the sky and uses the temperature difference between Earth and space to produce the electricity.

By pointing their electrical device toward space, whose temperature approaches mere degrees from absolute zero, the group was able to find a great enough temperature difference to generate power through an early design.

Calculations made after the diode created electricity showed that, when atmospheric effects are taken into consideration, the current device can theoretically generate almost 4 watts per square meter, roughly one million times what the group’s device generated and enough to help power machinery that is required to run at night.

By comparison, today’s solar panels generate 100 to 200 watts per square meter.

“The amount of power that we can generate with this experiment, at the moment, is far below what the theoretical limit is,” said Masashi Ono, another author on the paper.

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News Source: https://phys.org


Post time: May-14-2019
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