Scientists build 'anti-solar panel' that generates power in the dark

University of California scientists generate power in the dark with 'anti-solar panels'

Published Feb 4, 2020 8:31 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:45 AM CST
0 minutes & 56 seconds read time

If only North Korea had this new anti-solar panel technology that generates power in the dark when they made their historic trip to land on the Sun... but the country has been beaten to the punch by scientists at the University of California.

Scientists build 'anti-solar panel' that generates power in the dark |

ACS Photonics says researchers at the University of California have made something they're calling an "anti-solar panel" which works in the reverse way a normal solar panel does -- it generates power in the dark, versus a normal solar panel generating power from the sun.

The researchers explain: "In order to produce electrical power after the sun has set, we consider an alternative photovoltaic concept that uses the earth as a heat source and the night sky as a heat sink, resulting in a "nighttime photovoltaic cell" that employs thermoradiative photovoltaics and concepts from the advancing field of radiative cooling".

Don't go expecting to see this technology rolled out anytime soon, as the current "anti-solar panel" isn't that useful as it can only capture around 25% of the energy that a traditional solar panel can. Still, it's a great move towards capturing energy 24/7 which is something we should all be excited about.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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