Solar panels are one of the most useful inventions as it helps in creating electricity by using natural sunlight. In California, a researcher has claims to have created anti-solar panels that can work at night too.
Jeremy Munday, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the University of California, is working on a panel prototype that can create electricity without sunlight. His research was featured in a journal named ACS Photonics.
Solar panels are cold surfaced objects pointing at the bright and hot sun to absorb the light and generate power through it. Jeremy Munday’s invention will work in just the opposite way.
It has thermoradiative cells that would heat up and point towards the night sky, which is a much cooler object as compared to the cells. The thermoradiative cells will then radiate heat in the surrounding in the form of infrared light.
A simple solar panel creates power by absorbing sunlight. It increases the voltage of the device and the current flow. In Jeremy’s model, the light is emitted, and the current and voltage go in the reverse direction, but still, power is generated. Jeremy stated that different materials would be used in creating an anti-solar panel, yet the physics will remain the same.
As of now, the solar panels don’t produce energy in the dark in the absence of sunlight. However, the panels provide energy via net metering, and the surplus energy is passed on the public utility power grid.
The real advantage of Jeremy’s model is that they can work for in the absence of light, which a basic solar panel can not do. However, Jeremy is working on fixing the errors in his model. One of the most noticeable disadvantages is that it produces 50W of electricity per square meter, which is only around 25% of what a solar panel produces during the day.