As the planet suffers the consequences of climate change, rising temperatures, and other phenomena, people are doing what they can in various attempts to revitalize the condition of the Earth. Among these efforts, the use of renewable energy and clean energy is by far the most significant step taken by humankind.
Over the past decades, various efforts to utilize and supply clean energy have been the center of many tech developments and researches. Works of various types of solar panels, wind farms, and hydropower have been developed and improved over the years.
A new invention by a group of scientists has emerged which yet again identifies a new source of renewable energy. The new source, scientists revealed, uses the coldness of the universe to generate electricity. They explained that the homeowners could soon slash their energy bills by powering their houses using only the night sky.
The invitation uses a special conductor pointed towards the sky. The gadget then harvests energy from the temperature difference between the freezing vastness of deep space and the Earth.
The big difference between this new set of "reverse solar panels" and the conventional solar panels is its energy harnessing capability. The new invention would work around the clock regardless of the weather and brightness, whereas, the conventional solar panels would only work under good sunny conditions.
The scientists pointed out that it would be a fair few more years before the new technology is powerful enough to run a machine such as a television. However, it is undeniable that the new design of the "reverse solar panels" has very high potential.
The scientists explain that the new tech would work just by sitting on the surface of the Earth as long as it is positioned facing towards the frigid temperatures of space.
The gadget works in a way that it releases an outflow of heat energy aimed towards the sky in the form of infrared registration. The reverse panels would then harvest this radiation. The tech would convert the harvested radiation into electricity. It has a similar concept when solar cells absorb solar radiation as it passes from the sun to the Earth.
The scientists are optimistic about the new invention as it could revolutionize how civilizations would power or energize houses and structures by generating electricity. Unlike solar cells, however, the new tech would be able to power electronics even at night.
Dr. Shanhui Fan, a team member from Stanford University in California, explained that the vastness of the universe is actually a thermodynamic resource. Dr. Fan added that harvesting outgoing radiation is as possible as harvesting incoming radiation.
As of now, their invention can produce only 64 nanoWatts of power per square meter. Whereas, an average conventional solar panel can deal with a thousand million times more powerful than this new tech. This means that there is still a long way to go for the improvements and modifications to further develop the group's invention.
Source: The Science Times