• 5 days Retail On Pace For Most Bankruptcies And Store Closures Ever In One Year: BDO
  • 10 minutes America Could Go Fully Electric Right Now
  • 7 days Majors Oil COs diversify into Renewables ? What synergies forget have with Solar Panels and Wind Tirbines ? None !
  • 1 min Most ridiculous green proposal
  • 12 hours China Sets Its Sights On Global [EV, AI, CRISPR, Fusion, Navel Lint Collector] Dominance
  • 3 hours Rethinking election outcomes for oil.
  • 3 hours Video Evidence that the CCP controls Joe Biden
  • 1 day The Leslie Stahl/60 Minutes Interview with President Trump
  • 4 hours The City of Sturgis Update on the Motorcycle Rally held there, and the MSM's reporting hence
  • 9 hours P@A will cost Texas Taxpayers $117 Billion.
  • 8 hours Republicans Have Become the Party of Hate
  • 2 days Even Obama can't muster a crowd to support Biden.
  • 9 hours Australia’s Commodities Heartland Set for Major Hydrogen Plant
  • 1 day WallStreet Journal editorial " . . Big Tech-Media are the propaganda arm of Democrat Party leading to one party autocratic rule. " This is the State of the Union.
  • 2 days Saudi Oil Minister Abdulaziz said getting rid of oil "Far Fetched and Unrealistic". . True. . . but
  • 1 day Permian in for Prosperous and Bright Future
  • 1 day Clean Energy Is Canceling Gas Plants
  • 2 days Irina Slav has a good article - Regarding Investors & Oil
Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

More Info

Premium Content

Scientists Find Way To Convert Water Droplets Into Energy

Scientists have been trying for years to harvest energy from the movement and impact of water droplets and other sources of mechanical energy. Researchers from the University of Twente and South China Normal University said this week that they had managed to design and test a generator of electricity using the movement of water droplets and other mechanical energy.

The new approach to generating electricity is not limited to the mechanical power of droplets only, the researchers say.

“Our method can also be considered for other applications where mechanical energy needs to be converted into electrical energy, for example in wearables, from tidal waves, or for sensing,” says Niels Mendel, one of the authors of the new research published in the Advanced Materials magazine.

The researchers propose the so-called charge trapping?based electricity generator (CTEG) to passively harvest energy from water droplets with high efficiency.

Related: Former Oil Execs To Launch New Hydrogen Investment Fund “By utilizing CTEG, we could overcome important bottlenecks of conventional nanogenerators, namely the low power density, the low and unstable surface charges density along with poor long?term reliability,” the authors of the paper wrote.

The scientists’ novel approach consists of injecting charges into an insulating layer of the electricity generator by using an innovative charging method based on electrowetting. This is the process of modifying the ability of liquids to stay in contact with a solid surface in the electric field. The impact of the droplet generates an electrical current.  

After testing their approach, the researchers succeeded in converting nearly 12 percent – 11.8 percent – of the mechanical energy of the droplet into electrical energy. According to the scientists, this is a significant improvement in efficiency in generating electrical energy from similarly constructed devices.  

The researchers also demonstrated that the energy-harvesting efficiency does not degrade after 100 days, requiring only a single 15-minute charging cycle before long-term application.

The new method of generating electrical energy from mechanical energy is not limited to the droplet-based technology, as the team says, so its potential applications could go beyond using rain, for example, to produce electricity, perhaps at some point in the future.

This novel approach is the latest attempt from scientists to use all available abundant clean resources to generate energy, considering the global drive away from fossil fuels and onto renewable energy sources in order to curb the worst effects of climate change.

Related: Russia Eyes Another Massive Gas Pipeline To China

Research into droplet-based technology for generating electrical energy advanced earlier this year, when a team of U.S. and Hong Kong researchers managed to produce 140 volts of power from one single raindrop. That’s enough to light 100 LED lights for a short while. The team from City University in Hong Kong and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln had spent two years working on the energy density of what they have called a droplet electricity generator, or DEG.

What they did was use the design of field-effect transistors – three-terminal devices that use an electric field to control the flow of electric current through them. Thanks to this design, the energy density of the DEG shot up to over 50 Watts per square meter, which is thousands of times more than the energy density of comparable devices.

Making rain or other sources of mechanical energy really work on a scale will need a lot of additional research and years to test and analyze to see if this could be a commercially viable source of low-cost, abundant renewable energy. The global push from investors and governments for a more prominent role of zero-carbon energy sources could further incentivize researchers with grants to look into developing simple enough devices that could harvest energy from sources of mechanical energy, including raindrops.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News