This technology uses solar energy… in the middle of the night!

Let’s say it right away. The amount of electricity generated is very small. About 100,000 times less than what can be expected from a conventional solar panel. But the idea is perhaps worth considering despite everything. Especially since the University of New South Wales researchers (Australia) hope they can improve the technology. To produce energy on a much larger scale. This technology is that of generating electricity from a infrared radiation. You know, the one that is emitted by any hot body. Including our human body.

What relationship with thesolar energy ? It is that during the day, sunlight warms our Earth. In response, at night, it cools by emitting infrared radiation. Harnessing this infrared radiation to produce electricity therefore comes down — indirectly of course, but all the same — to drawing electricity from our Sun… in the middle of the night. And all of this, here, with a component that is already found in so-called night vision.

“Just as a solar cell can generate electricity by absorbing sunlight emitted during the day, our thermoradiative diode generates electricity from infrared light emitted in a cooler environment at night. In both cases, it is the temperature difference that allows us to produce electricity.says Phoebe Pearce, a researcher at the University of New South Wales, in a communicated.

This image taken by thermal camera shows the amount of heat emitted by the port of Sydney (Australia) and its surroundings during the night. Heat in the form of infrared radiation that researchers hope to use in the future to produce electricity. © University of New South Wales

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