Credit: Opera News
One drop of tap, rain, or seawater is all it takes for a tiny but incredibly effective electrical generator to provide enough power to illuminate 100 LED lights.
Renewable energy using solar, wind, and water to generate electricity is more crucial than ever given the present environmental issues. To reach masses big enough to make turbine harvesting effective, rain currently has to fall at high elevations and gather in rivers. Water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface, but because of technological constraints, the low-frequency kinetic energy it contains cannot be effectively transformed into electrical energy.
However, this recent study demonstrates that we may directly utilise the potential energy of the descending droplets. The researchers used water droplets to show the generator’s potential power on a polytetrafluoroethylene film that was placed atop an indium tin oxide substrate. A film is stretched over by the water, which also joins the aluminium electrodes. This causes the charges that have accumulated in the film to flow as electricity.
One of the researchers, Professor Wang Zuankai, asserts that “Our research shows that a drop of water released from a height of 15 cm (6 inches) may produce a voltage of over 140V.” One microliter is equal to one millionth of a litre.
High energy conversion efficiency is made possible by the mechanism’s structure, which is modelled after a field-effect transistor (FET). By doing this, the power efficiency is higher than it would be without the structure.
The highlight of all of this is that 2.2% of each drop’s kinetic energy is being converted into electricity, according to the scientists’ calculations. This implies that this most recent development could only be the beginning.
Professor Wang Zuankai, who is one of the leads adds to his claim that other surfaces where liquid meets solid might use the new technology. This suggests that the a low-frequency motion in water may be utilised on the surface of ships, umbrellas, and even water bottles.
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