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散失到夜空的熱量可以為非電網電力供電

wjrxm 于2019-10-25發布 l 已有人瀏覽
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加州大學洛杉磯分校的材料科學家拉曼的團隊開發出暴露在寒冷的夜空中就能發電的簡單熱電裝置。
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Heat Loss to Night Sky Powers Off-Grid Lights

散失到夜空的熱量可以為非電網電力供電

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."

對大多數發達國家的人來說,晚上開燈是第二天性。但在世界上的許多其他地方,電卻不是一定都有的。“地球上大約有10億人仍然缺乏可靠的電力供應。想想那些生活在遠離電網的發展中國家的人們。對他們來說,電的主要用途之一是照明,而我們在晚上最需要照明。”

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.

加州大學洛杉磯分校的材料科學家阿斯沃斯·拉曼表示到。太陽能電池可以在白天為偏遠地區供電,但需要電池來儲存這些能量以備夜間使用。拉曼的團隊已經開發了一種可能可行的解決方案:一種一暴露在寒冷的夜空中就能發電的簡單熱電裝置,這個裝置是由一種叫做“輻射天空冷卻”的現象實現的。

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."

拉曼解釋說,所有物體都會散發熱量。“所以,從仰望夜空表面的角度來看,這意味著夜空表面自身發出的熱量比天空反射回來的熱量還要多。熱量逃竄到上層大氣,甚至竄到外層空間。任何人在晚上都能觀察到這一點。所以,假如你在清晨測量你房子屋頂上的溫度,你應該會量到一個比周圍環境實時溫度要低得多的溫度。”

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.

拉曼認為這種溫差可以用來發電。他的團隊用一個鋁盤作輻射冷卻器搭起了他們的設備。輻射冷卻器涼爽的一面對著夜空,而其余面被周圍的空氣溫暖著。當熱量向上逸出時,熱電發生器將溫差轉化為電能,為小型LED燈供電。

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,該設備輸出的電量,相比太陽能電池所發出的電,很少。但是,通過工程改進最終可能會提高其發電性能。拉曼認為這種裝置可以作為太陽能供電的補充,只需極少的成本,便可以為世界上偏遠地區24小時供電,并且還不需要電池。

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]

“你也可以想想極地地區,那里一年有幾個月根本沒有太陽。所以在這些地區,這可能是少數幾種你可以在夜間自然發電的方法之一。”這項研究發表在《焦耳》雜志上。

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.

拉曼說,這種設備除了照明還可以用于特殊用途,比如為無線傳感器供電以及監測大氣狀況。或者,還可以成為一種很酷的晚上給手機充電的方式。

- Susanne Bard

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