During the month of October last year, the sky over Stanford solar panels were visible for many nights. And this was welcome news for Sid Assawaworrarit and his colleagues who were doing the research. As he told media, the weather conditions were “perhaps the greatest of the entire year.”
Although clouds did not prevent starlight from travelling through the atmosphere and reaching his telescope’s mirror. Assaworrarit is not a thankful astronomer for this fortunate circumstance. Clear evenings were very desirable to him as an electrical engineer for a completely different reason. A clear night means that infrared light from the surface of solar panels is free to radiate into space, which is extremely beneficial.
In this way, the device developed by Stanford engineers, an ordinary solar panels equipped with a thermoelectric generator. It is capable of generating small amounts of electricity from the slight temperature difference between surrounding air and the surface of a committee that is visible from a great distance in space.