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Solar panels cannot produce energy at night, for obvious reasons. However, experiments at Stanford and at the University of New South Wales that exploit a process called radiative cooling may change this. An object cools down at night and radiates heat to outer space. This difference in temperature can be used to generate electricity. The technology can be added to solar panels, even though the energy produced is just a fraction of that of a solar cell—50 milliwatts per square meter compared to 200 watts.

Using the coldness of outer space


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