(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Device to Generate Electricity from Raindrops, Ocean Waves
Device to Generate Electricity from Raindrops, Ocean Waves
IIT Delhi researchers have designed and fabricated a device that can generate electricity from water drops, raindrops, water streams, and even from ocean waves using “Triboelectric Effect” and “Electrostatic Induction”.
The device is called “Liquid-solid Interface Triboelectric Nanogenerator”. The generated electricity can be stored in batteries for further use.
The device has a very simple structure consisting of specially designed nanocomposite polymers and contact electrodes and can generate a few Milliwatt (mW) power, which is sufficient to power small electronic devices like watches, digital thermometers, radio frequency transmitters, healthcare sensors, pedometers. When compared to conventional methods, such as the use of the piezoelectric effect, the present device can generate significantly more electricity.
Prof. Neeraj Khare from the Department of Physics and his group at the Nanoscale Research Facility (NRF), IIT Delhi, have been working on harvesting electrical energy from to be wasted mechanical vibrations using the triboelectric effect. The group has filed an Indian patent on the various aspects of the use of ferroelectric polymer for harvesting mechanical energy including the present device.
The researchers successfully incorporated nanostructures into a polymer matrix, which enhanced the film's surface roughness, polarizability, and hydrophobicity, among other characteristics.
The research team also explored the underlying mechanism of the electricity generated when the water drop comes in contact with the solid surface and it is shown that saline water drops generate more electricity.
The researchers also showed that the device can even work with ocean waves, where the water is saline, and through the ocean waves contacting the surface of nanocomposite polymer film, electricity is generated.