A team of scientists from Hong Kong has created an electric generator based on water droplets and capable of lighting 100 LED bulbs. At the City University of Hong Kong, they have found a system to obtain energy in an original way. It is an electric generator based on water drops. It is nothing more than the result of one of the many investigations aimed at alleviating the energy crisis.
Still, it is an experimental project. And despite the success of the results, there is still time to create a real system that works efficiently. A drop of water can generate energy through the triboelectric effect (by contact between materials, such as rubbing). However, the energy conversion is really low.
The Hong Kong team of scientists has improved this conversion ratio. Its drop-based electric generator reaches 50.1 W per square meter. And this is thousands of times more than other similar devices. The difference is marked by the introduction of a field-effect transistor, a transistor that uses an electric field to control the conductivity of a channel.
Scientists have verified that a drop of 100 microliters (being a microliter equivalent to one-millionth of a litre) with a drop of 15 centimetres can generate a voltage of more than 140 V. This power can generate light enough to light 100 LED bulbs.
Research at the City University of Hong Kong is interesting because it involves taking advantage of an existing phenomenon. This is actually the philosophy of renewable energy as a whole. Solar takes advantage of the impact of the sun’s rays, while wind takes advantage of the spontaneous blowing of the winds. The drop-based electric generator could act to collect rain. Although it could also do it with stored water.
Passive Power Generation
However, there are also other wasted forms of energy. They are a type of energy that does not come from nature. We, humans, generate it with our activity. At the moment, these are experimental projects, as is the case with the electric generator based on drops.
One of the most striking cases is the concept of a gym capable of harnessing kinetic energy. There are many people who come to these centres to train daily. They run on the treadmill, they do elliptical or bicycle. All of these machines could be connected to a generator. This would make the transformation from kinetic energy to electricity. It is estimated that a user could generate between 50 and 150 watts in a 30-minute workout.
But there are also other examples. Traffic could be exploited with a speed bump, the compression of which bypassing the wheels of a car would help move pulleys connected to a generator. But it is that our walking could also generate electricity. A composition of materials that compress when polarized has been tried to be attached to the base of a shoe. By generating a potential difference, it is possible to take advantage of the charge to obtain energy.