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散失到夜空的热量可以为非电网电力供电

wjrxm 于2019-10-25发布 l 已有人浏览
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加州大学洛杉矶分校的材料科学家拉曼的团队开发出暴露在寒冷的夜空中就能发电的简单热电装置。
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Heat Loss to Night Sky Powers Off-Grid Lights

散失到夜空的热量可以为非电网电力供电

Switching on the lights at night is second nature to most people in the developed world. But electricity isn't a given in many other parts of the globe. "Something like a billion people on our planet still lack reliable access to electricity. Think about folks in parts of the developing world that are living in off-grid locations. And for them, one of the central applications of electricity is lighting, and we need lighting the most at night."

对大多数发达国家的人来说,晚上开灯是第二天性。但在世界上的许多其他地方,电却不是一定都有的。“地球上大约有10亿人仍然缺乏可靠的电力供应。想想那些生活在远离电网的发展中国家的人们。对他们来说,电的主要用途之一是照明,而我们在晚上最需要照明。”

U.C.L.A. materials scientist Aaswath Raman. Solar cells can provide remote areas with electricity during the day but require batteries to store that energy for use at night. Raman's team has developed a potential solution: a simple thermoelectric device that generates power when it's exposed to the cold night sky. It's made possible by a phenomenon called radiative sky cooling.

加州大学洛杉矶分校的材料科学家阿斯沃斯·拉曼表示到。太阳能电池可以在白天为偏远地区供电,但需要电池来储存这些能量以备夜间使用。拉曼的团队已经开发了一种可能可行的解决方案:一种一暴露在寒冷的夜空中就能发电的简单热电装置,这个装置是由一种叫做“辐射天空冷却”的现象实现的。

All objects, Raman explains, radiate heat. "And so what that means from the perspective of a surface that's looking up at the night sky is that it will, all by itself, send out more heat than the sky sends back to it. It escapes to the upper atmosphere and even out to outer space. And it's something that anyone can observe at night. So if you go and measure the roof temperature on your house in the early morning hours, say, you should read a temperature that is much lower than the immediate ambient air temperature."

拉曼解释说,所有物体都会散发热量。“所以,从仰望夜空表面的角度来看,这意味着夜空表面自身发出的热量比天空反射回来的热量还要多。热量逃窜到上层大气,甚至窜到外层空间。任何人在晚上都能观察到这一点。所以,假如你在清晨测量你房子屋顶上的温度,你应该会量到一个比周围环境实时温度要低得多的温度。”

Raman reasoned that this temperature difference could be exploited to generate electricity. His team built their device using an aluminum disk that acts as a radiative cooler. Its cool side faces the night sky, while its other side is warmed by the air around it. As heat escapes upwards, a thermoelectric generator converts the temperature difference into electricity that powers a small LED light.

拉曼认为这种温差可以用来发电。他的团队用一个铝盘作辐射冷却器搭起了他们的设备。辐射冷却器凉爽的一面对着夜空,而其余面被周围的空气温暖着。当热量向上逸出时,热电发生器将温差转化为电能,为小型LED灯供电。

For now, the energy output of the device is just a tiny fraction of what a solar cell can produce. But engineering improvements could eventually boost its performance. Raman sees the device as a complement to solar, providing inexpensive, 24-hour power generation to remote areas of the world - without the need for batteries.

到目前,该设备输出的电量,相比太阳能电池所发出的电,很少。但是,通过工程改进最终可能会提高其发电性能。拉曼认为这种装置可以作为太阳能供电的补充,只需极少的成本,便可以为世界上偏远地区24小时供电,并且还不需要电池。

You can also think about, say, the polar regions, where for several months of the year, there is no sun at all. So in those kinds of regions, this might represent one of the few ways you can actually generate power naturally at night. The research is described in the journal Joule. [Aaswath P. Raman et al. , Generating light from darkness]

“你也可以想想极地地区,那里一年有几个月根本没有太阳。所以在这些地区,这可能是少数几种你可以在夜间自然发电的方法之一。”这项研究发表在《焦耳》杂志上。

In addition to lighting, Raman says the device could be useful for specialized applications, such as powering wireless sensors and monitoring atmospheric conditions. Or it could be a really cool way to recharge your cell phone at night.

拉曼说,这种设备除了照明还可以用于特殊用途,比如为无线传感器供电以及监测大气状况。或者,还可以成为一种很酷的晚上给手机充电的方式。

- Susanne Bard

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