Researchers from the City University(CityU) of Hong Kong have fabricated an Energy Conversion device that draws Energy from the falling rain droplets and produces a relatively high power density which can reach upto 50.1 W/m2.
The team used FET-like design which mates an aluminum electrode with an indium tin oxide electrode layered with PTFE, a material with a “quasi-permanent” electric charge.
When a falling drop hits the PTFE/tin surface, it bridges the two electrodes and creates a closed-loop circuit. This helps to fully release any stored charges.
If there are continuous drops falling over time, the charge accumulates and eventually hits a saturation point.
This is not the first time where such device was conceptualized as an engineer at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, Ma released a statement that it’s possible to generate electricity by rubbing two things together. So, he thought, “Why don’t we use water?”
He focussed on the triboelectric effect, the generation of an electric charge due to friction.
But this have been a significant step where this technology has been put to test and optimized to yield better results.
A brief burst of energy is easy, while accumulating enough of it for continuous power supply is still another challenge yet to overcome.
However many uses are evident such as its implementation in Building rooftops that could offset at least some of the seasonal electricity requirements of building. It could even be used to charge batteries from everyday items that regularly get wet, like umbrellas and windows.