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Anti-Solar Panels?
Charges in the dark

I'm not sure I understand how these Anti-Solar Panels are supposed to work.
It kind of smells like another "cold fusion" thing. It can only work if they're warm - radiating IR.

They say they're intended to run on wasted heat from industrial processes which are already using fossil fuels, but the inventor/promoter is also saying some really suspect hype like "While these panels can produce carbon-free power when attached to a waste-free power when attached to waste heat sources, they can also produce carbon-free power by just sitting on your roof, like a solar panel." Not without sucking heat from your house or somewhere else, they can't.

The actual research paper is pure theory at this point, though he claims to have created prototypes which achieve 50W/m^2, or, 25% the power of solar panels. That's unpublished though and I doubt it greatly.

The paper itself has some suspect claims too: "In practice,TR cells can be used as waste heat recovery units in order to extract power from a hot source, for example, an engine’sexhaust pipe, a generator’s cooling towers, or other heatsources in industrial manufacturing plants." Well, no, in practice, it's unlikely the same device can both capture waste heat as well as radiating it out to deep space. That's being in two places at once, unless either the collecting position or the radiating position is far from optimized.

And the entire concept is based around the temperature difference between Earth (300 degrees K) and deep space (3degK), which forces me to ask why he's even bothering to propose extracting waste heat in order to warm the panels at all. I feel like any increase in power production, which should be linear with temperature, isn't going to make up for the economic and energetic inefficiency of capturing waste heat and transferring it to the panel, if you're already getting 297K for free. Why propose the extra complexity?

I mean, kudos for the novel approach, and I'm not saying this can't go anywhere, but applications are decades away and nowhere near as simple as either the paper or the coverage make it out to be. We all know how bad news outlets are at overhyping tiny research findings, but researchers need to be responsible as well. To do otherwise is a bad smell.

Yeah, I'm not so sure how this is supposed to work, exactly. Stuff like this works in space because of vacuum, but harvesting electricity via heat radiation doesn't seem ideal given Earth's atmosphere.

Also, 30% the efficiency of solar is... pretty bad. Solar's already quite low efficiency as far as power generation goes, fractions of that? We're talking scraping the barrel here.

There's way, way better ways to use waste heat.