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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