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A Device That Generates Electricity From Darkness – Anti-Solar Panel

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A unique device called an anti-solar panel, which collects energy from the cold night sky.

The solar panels are mechanisms that can obtain the maximum performance from solar energy changing it into electrical power. There are various types, and each of them has different functionality depending on the technology.

A group of researchers at the University of Stanford in Palo Alto, California, have been invigorated to develop a new system that can get
energy from ‘darkness.’ This type of project plans to use the heat to create energy, a different variation of the classic solar panel, which uses the heat difference between the Sun and Earth.

The system created by these experts exploits the heat dissimilarity between the nocturnal coolness of the atmosphere and the Earth.
The scientific magazine Joule has disclosed this knowledge.

Credit: Aaswath Raman

Study author Shanhui Fan, Stanford electrical engineering professor, Told Gizmodo: “The amount of power coming in from the Sun has to be approximately equal to the amount going out from the Earth as thermal radiation, in order to keep the Earth at a roughly constant temperature. The amount of power available for harvesting is very large.”

Some people call it ‘anti-solar panel,’ this device exploits the difference in temperature and not in direct sunlight, collecting energy from the night sky. This device, based on a thermoelectric generator, uses the temperature variation between the Earth through space and not the silicon that reacts to direct sunlight. Still, a thermoelectric generator that exploits the temperature difference between space and Earth, reflecting light and heat of the Sun, like all celestial bodies.

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Credit: Wei Li

The demonstration showed that even with the low-cost implementation, enough power is produced to light an LED: generating light from the darkness.”

To test the device, the researchers tested a small prototype. The prototype was an aluminum disk 20 centimeters, conjunct of thermoelectricity and painted black generators.

The possibility is that this device could act in reverse during the daytime, by absorbing sunlight and producing electricity from heat traveling from the Sun to the disk.

Credit: Wei Li

Science News reports said that a more significant device could one day light up rooms, charge phones, or power other electronics in areas that lack electricity at night when solar panels do not work.

Currently, this device doesn’t come close to the energy harvesting abilities of a solar panel. It is still in the research and development stage. The researchers have plans to improve it, including enhanced insulation around the top plate that could potentially raise the device’s energy production to about 0.5 watts per square meter or possibly more.

This is only the beginning, as this brilliant discovery can access a higher level of renewable energies. Once perfected, it will be more economical and could produce more energy than a traditional solar panel.

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