Cold Vapor Generation beyond the Input Solar Energy Limit

Haomin Song, Youhai Liu, Zhejun Liu, Matthew H. Singer, Chenyu Li, Alec R. Cheney, Dengxin Ji, Lyu Zhou, Nan Zhang, Xie Zeng, Zongmin Bei, Zongfu Yu, Suhua Jiang, Qiaoqiang Gan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


100% efficiency is the ultimate goal for all energy harvesting and conversion applications. However, no energy conversion process is reported to reach this ideal limit before. Here, an example with near perfect energy conversion efficiency in the process of solar vapor generation below room temperature is reported. Remarkably, when the operational temperature of the system is below that of the surroundings (i.e., under low density solar illumination), the total vapor generation rate is higher than the upper limit that can be produced by the input solar energy because of extra energy taken from the warmer environment. Experimental results are provided to validate this intriguing strategy under 1 sun illumination. The best measured rate is ≈2.20 kg m−2 h−1 under 1 sun illumination, well beyond its corresponding upper limit of 1.68 kg m−2 h−1 and is even faster than the one reported by other systems under 2 sun illumination.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


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