In a first, newly created device generates electricity from cold, night sky

Shazma Khan September 13, 2019
  • For the first time, a new device generates electricity from the dark, night sky.
  • The device works as an complementary one to solar panels as it works at times when solar panels can’t.
  • The device takes advantage of the cold, dark nights as a renewable energy source.

Researchers have now figured out various ways to harvest energy such as solar panels, however, they require the sun to get the energy from and when it goes down, they are of no use. Now, a scientist has created a device that will generate energy from the dark.

A new invention created by an engineer from University of California, Aaswath Raman, can allow us to continue harvesting renewable energy even in the dark from the night sky for powering up an LED. This device takes researchers a step closer in finding a new source for renewable energy.

As described by Futurism, the device is made from materials easily available including Styrofoam and off-the-shelf aluminum parts. The device takes advantage of a process known as radiative cooling that lets objects release heat after the sun sets.

New device generates electricity from snow, where solar panels don’t work

The device’s top portion cools down more quickly as compared to its bottom. This trait lets the device turn the temperature swing into electricity through a thermoelectric generator.

However, as per the New York Times, the device currently is not that powerful. It did power up a white LED, but was still three orders of magnitude less powerful as compared to a solar panel per square meter.

“Our work highlights the many remaining opportunities for energy by taking advantage of the cold of outer space as a renewable energy resource,” said Raman. “We think this forms the basis of a complementary technology to solar. While the power output will always be substantially lower, it can operate at hours when solar cells cannot.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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