Harvesting energy from sun, outer space, and soil

Yanpei Tian, Xiaojie Liu, Fangqi Chen, Yi Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


While solar power systems have offered a wide variety of electricity generation approaches including photovoltaics, solar thermal power systems, and solar thermoelectric generators, the ability to generate electricity at both the daytime and nighttime with no necessity of energy storage remains challenging. Here, we propose and verify an environment-friendly, sustainable, and cost-effective strategy of harvesting solar energy by solar heating during the daytime and harnessing the coldness of the outer space through radiative cooling to produce electricity at night using a commercial thermoelectric module. It enables electricity generation for 24 h a day. We experimentally demonstrate a peak power density of 37 mW/m2 at night and a peak value of 723 mW/m2 during the daytime. A theoretical model that accurately predicts the performance of the device is developed and validated. The feature of 24-h electricity generation shows great potential energy applications of off-grid and battery-free lighting and sensing.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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