Stanford engineers have received solar panels for night power generation

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(Photo: Caspar Ray / Unsplash)
Solar panels are an excellent alternative to more traditional energy sources, but they come with a caveat: they can only be used during the day. That is until now. Sid Asawaourit, an electrical engineer and PhD candidate at Stanford University, is leading the effort to make ordinary solar panels effective at night.

Assaworrarit has been successful so far. He and his colleagues have developed a device that helps regular solar panels generate electricity using the ambient air temperature. As it turns out, solar panels can work the opposite way; Solar panels emit infrared radiation even in the absence of light. It transforms into protons by carrying heat from the solar panel through the invisible wavelength of the human eye. On a clear day (when there are no clouds in the sky to reflect the infrared light towards the Earth) this heat transfer creates a temperature difference of a few degrees, which is the secret sauce of Asaurrit’s device.

On a clear night, the team’s technology can capture 50 milliwatts per square meter of solar panels. (Photo: Lucas Gallon / Unsplash)

A device called a thermoelectric generator captures the heat flowing between the warm air and the solar panel and converts it into energy. Assaworrarit’s team is currently able to get about 50 milliwatts per square meter of solar panels. Although it is a small fraction of the amount of electricity a solar panel can generate during the day (mostly about 150 watts per square meter), Asoarrit Said Proper positioning and some changes in technology may allow the device to carry “about one or two watts per square meter”, much more than the solar panels made the night before.

Not the team of Asaorarit First Their method looks promising when using a thermoelectric generator to capture heat from the night, but using existing solar panels for day use. By using an aluminum plate to reduce the amount of heat from the edges of their solar panels, the team was able to multiply the energy produced by their technology almost ten times.

Night-effective solar panels carry a significant amount of potential. Scientists who use solar-powered equipment, such as meteorologists and wildlife researchers, may benefit from more reliable energy sources and lighter backup battery loads. Those who rely on solar and other off-grid solutions for everyday life অর্থাৎ that is, about one billion people worldwide তারা could also benefit from panels capable of delivering more consistent electricity.

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