A team of Harvard physicists have been brainstorming a way to harness infrared radiation. They’re trying to harness the heat Earth and Sun and converting it into a renewable power source (DC power). With the advancements in nanotechnology and smaller electronics, the Harvard team came up with two devices that have the possibility to convert the radiation into DC power.
One of the devices would work like a standard solar panel, but instead of one panel they would use two. One would be put on the ground to suck up the infrared energy from the Earth, while the other would be cooler and be on top of the other one to emit it. With the heat differences from the two, you can use them to do work and that work could be to generate electricity. The other device they have come up with would use temperature differences to generate power. The power would generate a smaller scale of power but it would still be renewable. The device would have an antenna that would emit infrared radiation from the Earth. The other part would be a valve, or diode. With the diode being cooler it would then create power just like the first device.
The only problem with both devices is that they don’t generate a lot of electricity, only a few watts per square meter each day. This could help with solar power plants during the nighttime. While most use battery or gas-powered generators, they could use this new technology to power it during this time and use less non-renewable resources. This technology can only get better in time and this could be a great way to harness renewable energy 24/7.