• Home
  • Science
  • Science News
  • Solar Energy Can Now Be Generated at Night Using Earth's Radiant Infrared Heat, Claims New Research

Solar Energy Can Now Be Generated at Night Using Earth's Radiant Infrared Heat, Claims New Research

Energy produced by University of New South Wales researchers using Earth's radiant infrared heat was 100,000 times less than solar panel's generation.

Solar Energy Can Now Be Generated at Night Using Earth's Radiant Infrared Heat, Claims New Research

Photo Credit: Press Release / UNSW Sydney

Researchers have used thermoradiative diode to capture photons leaving Earth

Highlights
  • Solar panels absorb energy from sunlight and convert it into electricity
  • The energy coming from the Sun warms the Earth throughout the day
  • Earth's radiant energy can be converted into electricity

The world is quickly gravitating towards adopting solar energy on a wide scale in a bid to slow down the potentially devastating effects of climate change. But a major roadblock has been solar energy's limited generation depending on sun's brightness. However, in a major breakthrough, a group of Australian researchers appears to have found a way to address this challenge. In what they claim to be the first in the world, the researchers have demonstrated that solar power can be generated even at night.

As we all know, solar panels absorb energy directly from sunlight and convert it into electricity. In absence of the availability of sun, for instance at night, it is impossible to generate solar power. So, this research may appear as a contradiction in terms but is undoubtedly a major step in "night-time solar" technology.

The team from the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) made use of the heat generated by Earth through the night. The energy coming from the Sun warms the Earth throughout the day. At night, our planet radiates the same amount of energy back into space. This radiated energy comes off the planet's surface, so there is a thermal emission that can be tapped. The researchers have added that this radiant energy can be tapped into a cell device and converted into electricity.

In a study published in ACS Photonics, the team detailed on how they put this theory into practice. The researchers have used a thermoradiative diode (found in existing technologies like night-vision goggles) to capture photons leaving Earth along the infrared spectrum and convert them into electricity. They were able to generate power, although the amount was very small — around 100,000 times less than what is supplied by a solar panel. But they hope the results can be improved in future.

“We have made an unambiguous demonstration of electrical power from a thermoradiative diode,” said Associate Professor Ned Ekins-Daukes, team lead of this research.


Are affordable smartwatches worth it? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.
Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Further reading: Solar panels, Solar energy, Earth, heat
Axie Infinity’s Discord Bot Targetted by Hackers: Here's What You Need to Know
Indian IT Sector Growth Boom to End Due to Soaring Inflation, Supply Chain Issues, Predict JP Morgan Analysts
Read in: हिंदी
Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment google-newsGoogle News
 
 

Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2022. All rights reserved.