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A team of engineers at Stanford University have developed a solar cell that can generate some electricity at night.
While standard solar panels can provide electricity during the day, this device can serve as a “continuous renewable power source for both day- and nighttime,” according to the study published this week in the journal Applied Physics Letters.
The device incorporates a thermoelectric generator, which can pull electricity from the small difference in temperature between the ambient air and the solar cell itself.
“Our approach can provide nighttime standby lighting and power in off-grid and mini-grid applications, where [solar] cell installations are gaining popularity,” the study said.
Mini-grid applications refer to independent electricity networks. These can be used when a population is too small or too far away to extend the grid.
As the war continues in Ukraine, Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade association for the solar industry, told CNBC that investing in energy alternatives is important.
“In the face of global supply uncertainty, we must ramp up clean energy production and eliminate our reliance on hostile nations for our energy needs,” the CEO said.