A new device harvests two types of energy during the daytime, making it cool on one end and hot on the other, to generate electricity around the clock. With further improvements, the device could be used in off-grid Internet-of-things sensors.
The details were published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials (“Simultaneous harvesting of radiative cooling and solar heating for transverse thermoelectric generation”).
Thermal emission is radiated from the top of the device, keeping it cool, while sunlight is absorbed at the bottom, keeping that part warm. The temperature gradient and types of materials used lead to the generation of a spin current that is converted to thermoelectric voltage.
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