A team from the University of New South Wales worked on the new device. A group of scientists has constructed a working prototype of a “night battery”, which is technically the complete opposite of solar panels. UNSW writes.
The technology is called “thermoradiation diode”. It uses the same principle of PN junction in semiconductors, but it works in the opposite direction.
The whole space around us is permeated with streams of energy in various forms that can be intercepted. For example, when sunlight irradiates the Earth’s surface during the day, it not only bombards it with photons, but also heats it.
At night, this excess heat is directed towards cold space, which generates infrared radiation from the planet’s surface. It turns out that we can collect the energy of our star both day and night, using different types of batteries.
The thermoradiation diode is built on the basis of details from the solar panel and night vision goggles. It can intercept infrared radiation from any source, but its effectiveness depends on the temperature difference between the source and the diode.
This efficiency is not too high: at a temperature difference of 12.5 degrees Celsius, the electric power density was only 1.8 percent of the power of the radiation itself.
However, calculations show that the capacity of such a battery can be increased – it can reach 10 percent of the parameters of the solar panel operating in the same area and in the same weather.
The source of infrared radiation can be any heated object – such as a machine engine or a hot wall of a production plant. Even the human body radiates heat, often in vain, so you can design special clothes that will collect this energy and charge small gadgets.