‘Nighttime Photovoltaic Cell’ Proposed to Generate Electricity at Night

Thanks to an ECW reader for sending a link to a paper published in the journal ACS Photonics titled “Nighttime Photovoltaic Cells: Electrical Power Generation by Optically Coupling with Deep Space”

The authors are Tristan Deppe and Jeremy N. Munday

Link is here: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsphotonics.9b00679


Photovoltaics possess significant potential due to the abundance of solar power incident on earth; however, they can only generate electricity during daylight hours. In order to produce electrical power after the sun has set, we consider an alternative photovoltaic concept that uses the earth as a heat source and the night sky as a heat sink, resulting in a “nighttime photovoltaic cell” that employs thermoradiative photovoltaics and concepts from the advancing field of radiative cooling. In this Perspective, we discuss the principles of thermoradiative photovoltaics, the theoretical limits of applying this concept to coupling with deep space, the potential of advanced radiative cooling techniques to enhance their performance, and a discussion of the practical limits, scalability, and integrability of this nighttime photovoltaic concep