Generating Light From Darkness
Renewable and Complements Solar Power
This new, inexpensive thermoelectric device may be transformative in energy generation. It harvests the coldness of space during the night to generate electricity - enough right now to power a LED light at nighttime, but the inventors say it's very scalable. The device is a significant new innovation from engineers at UCLA and Stanford University. The gadget works at night when solar systems don't. The inventors say it's a new approach to power generation when power at night is needed. It complements solar power that doesn't work at night, giving a 24/7 approach to green, renewable energy.
Phenomenon Like Frost Formation
The device takes advantage of radiative cooling, the process by which frost forms on grass during above freezing temperatures at night. The sky facing surface of the technology passes heat to the atmosphere as thermal radiation. It looses some heat to space and reaches a temperature cooler than the surrounding air. That temperature differential produces renewable energy at night, when lighting demands are peak.
Scalable Tech for Global Use
According to the UCLA and Stanford engineers, their invention is highly scalable. The radiative cooling device essentially consists of an aluminum disk coated with paint and all the other components are readily available for purchase off the shelf. This is important innovation to watch for because of its practicality and scalability for worldwide use to supplement solar energy at night.