Science 2 min read

New Device Generates Electricity From the Coldness of Space

Researchers have created a new device that generates electricity from the coldness of space. If its efficiency can be improved, it could become a vital source of renewable energy.

Max Pixel

Max Pixel

An international team of researchers has reportedly developed a new device that generates electricity just by being pointed towards space. According to the team’s paper published in the journal Applied Physical Letters, the infrared semiconductor uses the cold temperature between our planet and space to produce electricity.

Shanhui Fan, one of the authors of the study, was quoted as saying:

“The vastness of the universe is a thermodynamic resource. In terms of optoelectronic physics, there is really this very beautiful symmetry between harvesting incoming radiation and harvesting outgoing radiation.”

Instead of taking advantage of the incoming energy from space as solar panels do, the radical new device depends on the near absolute zero degrees temperature of space to generate power. Masashi Ono, a co-author of the study, said:

“The amount of power that we can generate with this experiment, at the moment, is far below what the theoretical limit is.”

Device That Generates Electricity from Space

The experimental device that generates electricity from the coldness of space is made of negative illumination diodes. It was able to produce about 64 nanowatts per square meter of power during its initial trial.

Based on the calculations made by the scientists after the diode generated electricity, the device could potentially produce almost four watts per square meter of power if atmospheric effects are to be taken into consideration.

That’s roughly one million times more than what the experimental device generated, which is more than enough to power machines operating at night. To date, solar panels can produce between 100 and 200 watts per square meter of electricity.

According to the researchers, the device can also be used to harvest the heat emitted by machines and turn them into useful energy. However, despite the promising results of the experiment conducted using the device, the team is still currently focusing on improving its performance.

Read More: New Device Creates Electricity From Snowfall

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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