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The new discovery opens the door to nocturnal solar energy

Photo by Pixabay / JillWellington

The earth absorbs heat from the sun’s rays every day, but at night this sun’s heat travels back into space as infrared light. By capturing some of it at night, we can have a powerful source of energy when the sun is not shining.

This is exactly what Australian scientists have done to create a groundbreaking new method of generating electricity from the scattering of infrared light. They were discovered in a semiconductor device called a thermal diode, which is made up of materials used in night-vision goggles.

“With the help of thermal cameras you can see how much radiation there is at night, but only in infrared, not in visible wavelengths. “What we have done is equipment that can generate electricity from the emission of infrared heat radiation.” Ned Ekins-Dakes, an associate professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, led the research team.

“When there is a flow of energy, we can convert it into different forms,” ​​says Ekins-Daukes.

The thermodynamic process on which scientists based their invention is similar to photovoltaic technology, which allows us to convert daily light into electricity.

“We’re diverting infrared energy from a hot Earth to a cold one,” said Phoebe Pierce, another lead researcher.

Just as a solar panel can generate electricity by absorbing sunlight emitted by very hot light, a thermal diode produces electricity by emitting infrared light to a cooler environment. In both cases there is a temperature difference that allows us to generate electricity. Pierce clarifies.

Breaking is the first application to use what was previously a theoretical process: if the amount of energy produced by a device is still 100,000 times less than the output of a solar panel, in the future much more efficient devices can capture much more infrared energy. scales.

Australian researchers note that as far back as 1954, the first silicon solar cell had an efficiency of about 2%, but solar cells have come a long way since then, and their efficiency has increased more than 10 times.

Even if they are commercialized [new] “Technology is still a long way off. Being in the beginning of a developing idea is a very interesting place as a researcher,” said Michael Nielsen, a co-author of the University’s Photovoltaic Renewable Energy School. Author of an article on team discoveries.

“Using our knowledge of how to design, optimize blood cells, and take materials from the existing community of mid-range infrared photodetectors, we hope to make rapid progress toward our nighttime solar energy dream,” Nielsen said.

The post New Discovery Opens Door for Night Solar Energy First appeared in the Sustainability Times.

Source: Stability times

The new discovery opens the door to nocturnal solar energy

SourceThe new discovery opens the door to nocturnal solar energy

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