Soon Solar Panels Will be Able to Send Excess Heat Back Into Space to Cope with Global Warming


The scientists from the Standford University and the University of China are developing a new array of solar panels which will be capable of sending excess heat back into space. Currently, all solar panels work in one principle. They all convert the solar light into the electricity. However, according to the researchers, the excess of solar energy does not go anywhere, except they keep making our planet hotter. The solar arrays produce enough energy and the rest of the heat bounces back to the atmosphere.

However, that may not necessarily be the case now due to the radiative cooling technology. The conventional solar panels will contain the second layer of circle-shaped radiative cooler, made from silicon nitride, silicon, and aluminum layers enclosed in a vacuum. The second layer will be responsible for converting the excess energy into infrared light so that it can be emitted back to cosmos.

The product will be built from the idea that any type of heat that our bodies or devices emit does not go back into space. The earth is protected with a thick layer of atmosphere, the blanket, which protects the heat inside the earth. The blanket does not allow heat to be lost. However, the infrared lights can find holes in the atmosphere and make their way back into space.

The first prototype was effective in terms of converting the excess heat into infrared lights and sending it back to the universe. However, what they weren’t able to test is whether the device also produced electricity as the ordinary solar arrays do. The upper layer in this experiment lacked the metal foil, normally found in solar cells, that would have blocked the infrared light from escaping. The team is now designing solar cells that work without metal liners to couple with the radiative cooling layer.

The findings are reported in Joule.

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