Scientists at China’s Jimei University have created a unique device that generates power continually by utilising solar heat and radiative cooling emitters (RCEs). This ecologically friendly device can operate continuously, even in cloudy conditions, and it could provide a steady power source for small electronic devices such as outdoor sensors.
Batteries, which are often used to power small gadgets, have limited capacity and must be recharged or replaced on a regular basis. The new thermoelectric generator (TEG) overcomes these limits by capturing sunlight with an ultra-broadband solar absorber (UBSA), which heats one side of the generator while cooling the other with a planar RCE. The temperature difference between the TEG’s two surfaces is transformed into electricity.
One of the main challenges in using TEGs with RCEs is the limited and unstable temperature difference across the TEGs, which reduces the output performance. However, the scientists have resolved this issue by using a larger UBSA to provide more heating power than the cooling power of the RCE.
The new TEG has the potential to revolutionize small electronic devices by offering a continuous and sustainable energy source. Moreover, it can be applied to a flexible substrate, which could be useful for powering wearable devices. The device’s 24-hour energy supply could be particularly useful for remote areas or places with limited access to traditional power sources.
In summary, the novel TEG developed by scientists at Jimei University is a promising development in the field of sustainable power supply. The device’s ability to generate electricity continuously, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions, could have a significant impact on the development of small electronic devices in remote locations.