Engineered solar panels harvest energy at night

Stanford University engineers have added thermoelectric generation to solar panels enabling them to harvest heat energy radiating to space

Soon, solar panels could work at night. Photo: Nuno Marques via Unsplash / from the article

by Sarah Roach, 7/4/2022 in Protocol

Stanford engineers make solar panels work at night: Meet the thermoelectric generator, what could be solar panels’ newest friend.

The Stanford team used a device known as a thermoelectric generator. As the name hints, the device generates electricity from difference in temperature between the ambient air and solar cells. The device basically harvests energy that passes between solar panels back into space at night, a process known as radiative cooling. (That process isn’t limited to solar panels, either.)

It has a particularly strong effect on clear nights, which is when the researchers found they were able to generate the most power. The new system can offer a “continuous renewable power source” throughout both the day and nighttime and could cost less to maintain over the long run compared to battery storage, according to the new paper published in Applied Physics Letters.

Read the complete article….

Featured image: A thermoelectric circuit composed of materials of different Seebeck coefficient (p-doped and n-doped semiconductors), configured as a thermoelectric generator. / Ken Brazier – self-made, based on w:Image:ThermoelectricPowerGen.jpg by CM Cullen (which is GFDL 1.2 and CC-by 2.5 licensed) via Wikimedia

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Managing resources to reduce battery costs for zero emissions

Davide Castelvecchi – 17/08/2021 in Nature
Electric cars and batteries: how will the world produce enough?

Added comment: Good review of how to reduce battery costs costs for electrifying fossil fuel driven private transport. Not discussed here is that the fabrication of private vehicles consumes way more resources than just what is required for the power train. If we are serious about stopping and reversing global warming we will need to do more than just stop carbon emissions. Major savings on all sorts of resource requirements can be made by replacing private vehicles with electric bicycles and public transport and delivery. A good project for someone who is good with numbers would be to calculate the global footprint required to produce a private car for a person/family vs how many people/families without a private car could occupy that same footprint.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Coal assets face rapid stranding from green tech

New technologies dispatching power from sustainable long-term storage threaten to put coal-based dispatchable power stations out of business

We may be sitting on the green energy missing link – don’t tell the Coalition. Photo: TND

By Alan Kohler, 24/01/2022 in the Newdaily

Long-duration energy storage systems are writing coal’s death certificate
Australia is sprinting towards 100 per cent renewable energy, 24/7, 365 days a year, but very few are ready for it, least of all the coal industry and its subsidiary, the Morrison government.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.