If the temperature on the surface of the sun and on the surface on the earth were the same, and the temperature of the universe were uniform, would the solar panels produce energy?

  • $\begingroup$ If the temperature of the universe was uniform, solar panels would be the least of your concerns. There would be no life, no thermodynamic processes, nothing. Complete equilibrium and completely boring! $\endgroup$
    – Qubit1028
    Jan 30, 2015 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ Who would've created those panels is beyond me. Anyhow, welcome to chemistry.SE! If you had any questions about the policies of our community, you can ‎visit the help center or take a ‎‎tour of the website.‎ $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 30, 2015 at 12:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It seems like a question for Physics SE $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Jan 30, 2015 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about chemistry. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Jan 30, 2015 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


Solar panels work on the principle of photovoltaic effect. The only criteria for a voltage difference to be affected is that the light be incident on the solar panel. The energy of the incident light needs to be around that of the band-gap. According to the question if both sun and the solar panel were of the same temperature, a solar panel on which light rays are incident would indeed generate a voltage. The band gap on the other hand depends on the temperature of the panel. Higher the temperature, smaller the band gap. Therefore, if the light incident on the panel is energetically close enough to the band gap (which depends on the temperature) the panel will generate a voltage difference.


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