These Anti-Solar Panels Can Generate Power Even at Night

These Anti-Solar Panels Can Generate Power Even at Night

Solar panels have been around for quite some time now and are being used in various applications ranging from powering households to spacecraft. However, there has always been one major limitation of solar panels, i.e. they can only generate electricity during the day when the sun is shining. This has led researchers to explore alternative ways of generating power from sunlight, including the development of "anti-solar panels."

Anti-solar panels, also known as thermoradiative cells, are designed to generate electricity by emitting radiation, rather than absorbing it like traditional solar panels. This is achieved by utilizing the thermoradiative effect, which occurs when an object loses heat by radiating infrared energy. The thermoradiative cells in anti-solar panels are designed to emit this infrared energy, which can then be converted into electricity.

The idea of anti-solar panels is not new, but recent advancements in materials science and technology have made it possible to create more efficient and cost-effective thermoradiative cells. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, led by Jeremy Munday, an electrical and computer engineer, have developed a prototype anti-solar panel that can generate at least one-quarter of the energy it would during the day, even in complete darkness.

The team achieved this by combining a photovoltaic cell with a thermoradiative cell. During the day, the photovoltaic cell generates electricity by absorbing sunlight, while the thermoradiative cell emits infrared radiation. At night, when there is no sunlight, the photovoltaic cell stops generating electricity, but the thermoradiative cell continues to emit infrared radiation, which can then be converted into electricity.

One of the major advantages of anti-solar panels is that they can provide a continuous source of power, even in areas with limited sunlight. This could be especially beneficial for regions with long winters or frequent cloudy weather, where traditional solar panels may not be as effective.

Another advantage of anti-solar panels is that they can potentially reduce the cost of energy storage. Currently, solar panels need to be paired with batteries or other storage systems to provide power at night or during cloudy weather. Anti-solar panels, on the other hand, can generate electricity continuously, eliminating the need for large-scale energy storage systems.

Despite the potential benefits of anti-solar panels, there are still some challenges that need to be overcome before they can be widely adopted. One of the main challenges is improving the efficiency of thermoradiative cells, which currently have a much lower efficiency compared to traditional solar cells.

Another challenge is developing cost-effective materials for thermoradiative cells. Currently, the materials used in thermoradiative cells are expensive and not readily available in large quantities. However, as the technology matures, researchers are optimistic that these challenges can be overcome.


Anti-solar panels represent an exciting new technology that could revolutionize the way we generate and store energy. While there are still some challenges that need to be addressed, the potential benefits of anti-solar panels are significant. As research in this area continues, we can expect to see more advancements in the development of thermoradiative cells and the integration of anti-solar panels into existing energy systems.