Online — Scientists at Stanford University have demonstrated for the first time that heat from the sun and coldness from outer space can be collected simultaneously with a single device.
Their research, published November 8 in the journal Joule, suggests that devices for harvesting solar and space energy will not compete for land space and can actually help each other function more efficiently.
Renewable energy is increasingly popular as an economical and efficient alternative to fossil fuels, with solar energy topping charts as the worldwide favorite. But there is another powerful energy source overhead that can perform just the opposite function–outer space.
“It is widely recognized that the sun is a perfect heat source nature offers human beings on Earth,” says Zhen Chen, the first author of the study, who is a former postdoctoral research associate at Stanford in the group of Shanhui Fan and is currently a professor at the Southeast University of China.
“It is less widely recognized that nature also offers human beings outer space as a perfect heat sink.”
Reference; Joule, Chen et al.: “Simultaneously and Synergistically Harvest Energy from the Sun and Outer Space” https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(18)30471-9
About: Joule (@Joule_CP) published monthly by Cell Press, is a new home for outstanding and insightful research, analysis, and ideas addressing the need for more sustainable energy. A sister journal to Cell, Joule spans all scales of energy research, from fundamental laboratory research into energy conversion and storage up to impactful analysis at the global level.
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