Today’s Solutions: May 20, 2022

While solar cells are an efficient source of renewable energy during the day, currently there is no similar renewable approach to generating power at night. Solar lights can be outfitted with batteries to store energy produced in daylight hours for night-time use, but the addition drives up costs. 

With that in mind, researchers at Stanford University and the University of California-Los Angeles developed a low-cost device that can generate electricity and power tiny LED lights simply by harnessing the cold nighttime air. The novel technology sidesteps the limitations of solar power by taking advantage of the good old thermoelectric effect. As the device releases heat, it does so unevenly, the top side cooling more than the bottom. It then converts the difference in heat into electricity. 

At its best, the device generated around 0.8 milliwatts of power, corresponding to 25 milliwatts of power per square meter. That might just be enough to keep a hearing aid working. Clearly, we’re not talking about massive amounts of electricity here, but as we’re looking for innovative ideas to drive our green energy revolution, such simple devices could represent the beginning of something bigger and brighter.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Architects redesign their industry labor model

The architecture profession is often glamorized as a creative and lucrative job where individual designers get their names tied to monumental construction projects. The truth is that an individual’s effort, even their whole team’s collaborative ... Read More

Meet the animals that refused to go extinct

May 20th marks the 17th annual Endangered Species Day. Every year, thousands of people around the world join together in taking action to protect and celebrate endangered or threatened species. In solidarity with the lives ... Read More

US trucking shortages might be at an end

Right now, economists, workers, and consumers alike are all holding their breath with the looming potential of a recession. It’s a lot to mentally wrangle with while we all look at various economic indicators and ... Read More

“Dramatic” success in clinical trials of novel asthma treatment

According to the AAFA, around 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma, about one in every 13 people. This long-term disease causes swelling and inflammation of the airways, resulting in restriction and discomfort when ... Read More

UK-based walking group makes strides in men’s mental health

Of course, it’s never advisable to generalize, in this case, however, the evidence demonstrates that men are notoriously difficult to serve when it comes to mental health support.  With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, ... Read More

4 fascinating facts about bees to celebrate Bee Day

May 20th is Bee Day! So, to celebrate our fabulous pollinating friends, here are four facts that go beyond their all-important role in plant cross-fertilization. Females are the future Female bees have different jobs depending ... Read More