# Can a solar panel work with heat?

As we know that a solar panels due to the energy of light, but can we run a solar panel with the same amount of energy provided as heat?

• In theory, you could make a thermo panel that produced electricity when IR rays were incident on it. But it couldn't be made of the same stuff as solar panels and it wouldn't be as effective as solar panels. I'd make this into a full answer, but that would require looking up numbers and references – Jim Apr 20 '15 at 12:23
• I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm not making that into a full answer because I don't have the time to look up the numbers and references. I left the comment in the hopes that it might help other potential answerers (and yourself, obviously) – Jim Apr 20 '15 at 12:30
• @ACuriousJim no problem – Bhavesh Apr 21 '15 at 2:26

## 1 Answer

It would certainly require a material that allows electron release from energies lower than those of the visible spectrum. The energy of a wave is given by E=hf where h is the planck constant (6.63 x 10^-34) and f is the frequency. The wavelengths of IR light range from 0.001 m to 750 x 10^-9 m. (Hyperphysics.com, infrared) Using this knowledge you can get the frequency by using the equation c=wf where c is the speed of light and w is the wavelength. Once you habe done these calculations you could go and find a material that is has suitable properties such that the energy you calculated would be sufficient.