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Coldness of Space to Produce Electricity to Power Devices at Night

Even though the solar energy is a good source to generate electricity, it has its own drawbacks as well. The major drawback of solar energy is it requires sunlight to produce electricity. So, to overcome this situation, researchers have discovered a way to generate electricity from the freezing sources in the universe.

The devices that are facing the space have extremely freezing temperature. This chilling flow of energy is leveraged to harness similar kind of energy that is used for solar energy. The process involves optoelectronic physics. Advanced research in recent study reported in Applied Physics Letters indicates the potential way to achieve this goal. It mainly focusses on producing electricity which can power the devices at night.

A technique by which electricity can be generated is discovered by a team of scientist across globe. They suggest to use coldness of universe to gain energy directly in a diode. An infrared semiconductor that faces the sky uses the temperature difference between space and Earth to generate energy.

Vastness of Universe Acts a Huge Thermodynamic Resource

“The expanse of universe is a huge thermodynamic resource,” says author of the study, Shanhui Fan. According to optoelectronic physics, there exist an exceptional symmetry between extracting outgoing radiations and incoming radiation.

Unlike harnessing incoming energy like that by solar cells, the new technique uses negative illumination effect. It extracts the energy when the heat leaves the surface. However, currently, technology does not efficiently taps the energy from negative temperature differences.

When the device points in space, where the temperature is almost close to zero, the required temperature difference is achieved. This difference helps in producing power using an early design. However, the amount of energy produced is currently extremely less compared to theoretical limits.

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