Energy production, storage, and future technologies

GRtak

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https://earthsky.org/human-world/solar-power-photovoltaic-production-at-night

Producing solar power at night

To help supplement solar power technology, scientists are proposing the use of a new type of solar cell, a nighttime solar cell if you will. These cells are driven by radiative cooling, whereby at night they release radiative heat built up over the day and generate electricity. The new research perspective was published in the January 2020 issue of the peer-reviewed journal ACS Photonics.

Tristan Deppe of the University of Maryland and Jeremy Munday of the University of California, Davis are currently developing prototypes of these new nighttime solar cells. Jeremy Munday explained the concept in more detail in a statement. He said:

A regular solar cell generates power by absorbing sunlight, which causes a voltage to appear across the device and for current to flow. In these new devices, light is instead emitted and the current and voltage go in the opposite direction, but you still generate power. You have to use different materials, but the physics is the same.

While this is the first PV system to be able to do this, there are other solar technologies that produce power after the sun goes down.
 

narf

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Tends to be the case for new technologies.
I was more thinking about the physics, ie the energy/power involved. When the sun is shining there's hundreds of W/m² shining on the solar panel, in best cases >1000W/m². The temperature differential is massive, so the yield is pretty good.
Trying to harvest energy radiated out by the Earth involves a lot of power too, but the temperature differential between the Earth radiating heat up and the solar cell receiving that heat is small. Small temperature differentials usually result in poor yields.

That being said, I can't access their paper, so 🤷‍♂️
 

CraigB

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Speaking of which, the local coal powered plant has not been fired since the beginning of the year. Apparently it's cheaper to buy off the grid than run it. Meanwhile the wind farm that's set to replace it completely is starting to take shape.
 
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