New technologies can even generate solar energy at night by “harvesting” heat from the earth.

Solar energy is slowly emerging as a major source of clean energy around the world, and as more countries seek to move away from fossil fuels, it has become an important area of ​​study for scientists looking for better alternative sources. However, as the name suggests, the energy depends almost entirely on the availability of sunlight in each region. A new technology could change that, however, as it will enable solar power generation even at night.

A group of researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, have managed to generate electricity using technology seen in night vision goggles.

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The process, described as “heat emitted in the form of infrared light by a semiconductor device called a thermoradiative diode,” produced a small amount of energy, but researchers believe it can be modified to produce more simultaneously using photovoltaic technology .

“Photovoltaics, the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity, is a man-made process that man has developed to convert solar energy into electricity,” explains Phoebe Pearce.

“In that sense, the thermoradiative process is similar; we are redirecting energy flowing in the infrared from a warm earth to the cold universe,” the university physicist added.

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“We have clearly demonstrated the electrical performance of a thermal radiation diode. »

While solar power is currently generated by harnessing sunlight, the new technology harnesses energy that the earth absorbs during the day and radiates back into space at night.


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