Primitive solar technology absorbs the rays of incoming sunlight to create a certain voltage. As strange as it looks, some materials can run in reverse and produce power as they emit heat back into the cold night sky.
A team of engineers in Australia has now explained the theory of inaction by using the kind of technology commonly found in night vision goggles to generate power.
However, the prototype generates only a small amount of power and is somewhat unlikely to become a competitive source of renewable power. But if combined with the existing photovoltaic technology, it could harness the small amount of energy provided by the solar cells, which cool after a long, hot day’s work.
“Photovoltaics, the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity, is an artificial process that humans have developed to convert solar energy into power,” explained Phoebe Pearce. She is a physicist from the University of New South Wales.
To be exact, the idea of using the planet’s cooling as a source of low-energy radiation is something that engineers have been entertaining for a while now. Different methods have shown different results, and they all had their costs and benefits.
Ekins-Daukes said, “Down the line, this technology could potentially harvest that energy and remove the need for batteries in certain devices – or help recharge them.”