A new type of photovoltaic device can generate useful amounts of electrical power from sources that radiate heat at moderate temperatures. So say researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in the US, who succeeded in recovering power densities between 27–61 μW/cm2 from thermal sources at 250–400°C. The new energy-harvesting technology might be used on waste heat from nuclear power plants or chemical manufacturing facilities. According to Paul Davids, who led the research effort, it could also aid the development of compact thermal power supplies for deep space probes and other remote applications.

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