Radiated heat generates electricity at night

Engineers in Australia develop new solar cells that generate electricity even at night.

The team used the technology commonly found in night-vision goggles to generate power.  The technology utilizes infrared, or radiated heat, that escapes from the Earth into the cooler environment, creating a slow current of electricity.  So while the new solar cells generate electricity with sunlight during the day, it continues to produce power at night by absorbing infrared.              

The prototype only generates a small amount of energy and will ultimately produce about 1/10th of the power of a solar cell.  It’s unlikely to become a competitive source of renewable energy on its own.  But coupled with existing solar power technology, it could potentially remove the need for batteries in certain devices or help to recharge them.

Will the solar panels of tomorrow feature this technology?  Let us know what you think. 

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