Scientists have discovered that "anti-solar panels" can generate electricity in the dark
By Leilah Sand 2020-02-06 324 7
In a new paper published in the journal ACS Photonics, researchers from the University of California, Davis explain how they build what they call "anti-solar panels." As the name suggests, this new "solar" technology works in the opposite way to traditional solar panels.
Traditional solar panels capture sunlight and convert it into available energy. But how can such a thing be reversed? It's actually quite simple: just as a conventional solar panel captures the energy transfer from the sun to the earth, the anti-solar panel captures energy from the earth to space.
When one side of the earth falls into darkness, the surface gets cold. The heat radiates from the earth's surface, and this new type of solar panel traps the heat that is trying to escape from the ground and converts it into electricity.
However, anti-solar panels can only produce about 25% of the electricity generated by solar panels in a day. In spite of this, this is basically "free" energy that can be captured and used, and as long as the scale is large enough, its power generation is still considerable.
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