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Come again? Solar Cell for use at night?

Question asked by Ramani Aswath in #Electronics on Feb 5, 2020
Ramani Aswath
Ramani Aswath · Feb 5, 2020
Rank A1 - PRO

World Industrial Reporter reports: Scientists from University of California, Davis (UC Davis) have developed a unique solar cell for night-time use.
According to professor Jeremy Munday, the specially designed photovoltaic cell could generate up to 50 watts of power per square meter under ideal conditions at night.


Posted in: #Electronics
bill yorke
bill yorke · Feb 5, 2020
Rank C2 - EXPERT

Technically it shouldn't. Solar panels do not generate night-time energy. To generate electricity the photovoltaic cells in solar panels ought to have sunlight. But the bottom line is not this. Solar panels offer two indirect solutions for the nighttime energy.

Solar panels work hard most of the day producing sun-based electricity. We also promote night-time, renewable solar energy solutions.Due to net metering and solar battery storage, you will actually benefit from their energy production after sunset. So, how do solar panels work in the night when you ask? Those are the two practical ways they can do it.

Electrical grid connectivity with net metering and solar battery storage both enable your solar energy system to provide electricity while your solar panels are resting.

Ramani Aswath
Ramani Aswath · Feb 5, 2020
Rank A1 - PRO

That is not the way the device described works. Solar panel is a misnomer. It is just a specially designed PV panel. The open sky is at near absolute zero temperature while the panel on earth is at ambient temperature, which is higher. The panel radiates this heat to the space creating a reverse voltage, which can charge a battery. Devices that freeze water using this reverse radiation are commercially available. The group I work for were seriously considering making these freezers but gave up because of unfavourable particulate pollution over most of the Indian cities, which severely cuts down such reverse radiation.

However the energy density (w/sq.mtr) of these panels will be substantially less than solar PV panels because the temperature differences are different in the two cases.

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