Anti-Solar Panel: Scientists In a position to Produce Electrical energy at Night time


February 22, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. EST

Scientists are designing so-called “anti-solar panels” that produce electricity at night.

The modules would be the exact opposite of current climate change-friendly solar modules, where the sun generates electricity and releases light instead of consuming it at night.

The aim of the new night tables is to be able to produce electricity around the clock. While it won’t be able to generate as much electricity as traditional solar panels, it is believed to be able to generate a quarter of the energy that its current day predecessors provide.

(Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash)

Related article: Electricity: Alternative Renewable Sources are beating fossil fuels for the first time in history


Photovoltaic system

(Photo: mrganso)

According to the Robologic Lab, the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) has developed a prototype in which thermoradiative panels have been integrated so that they can generate energy through radiation cooling.

The parallels between a traditional solar panel and the proposed new night modules were observed by Jeremy Munday, an electrical and computer engineer from UC Davis.

“You have to use different materials, but the physics are the same,” he added.

A normal solar cell generates electricity by absorbing sunlight, which creates a voltage around the system and causes electricity to flow, Science Daily said. Instead, these modern devices produce light, and the current and voltage go in opposite directions, but they are still producing electricity.

Ultimate goal

Scientists want to create a panel that can run 24/7 rather than creating two separate panels, one for the day and one for the night.

According to researchers, the secret is a specially built photovoltaic cell that can produce up to 50 watts of power per square meter at night under optimal conditions. That is about a quarter of what can be generated by a conventional solar panel during the day.

In other words, as they are called, these thermoradiative cells generate electricity by emitting radiation into their atmosphere. It would emit infrared light if this thermoradiative cell was pointed at the night sky, simply because it is colder than space.

This approach is not new; For hundreds of years, people have used this phenomenon to cool off at night, Montag said. “However, over the past five years there has been a lot of interest in devices that can do this during the day,” he added.


At present, this technology may not match the energy harvesting capabilities of a solar module, but it is still in the research and development phase. The researchers have also suggested improvements, including better insulation along with the top layer, which in theory could boost the system’s performance to 0.5 watts per square meter or more, and this is just the beginning.

Possible market

If they can optimize the device so that it generates roughly as much electricity as a typical solar panel everywhere, the green energy market will change completely. When solar panels cannot do this, it is easier to produce and provides a means of generating energy.

As the global economy shifts towards carbon neutrality and people continue to innovate, “the sun is not the only option for generating electricity towards the sky,” as the paper concludes.

ALSO READ: Greener Earth: The Real “Big” Problem

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