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Create device to generate power from water drops

Triboelectric effect is a known phenomenon for a long time, the best example we see are sparkling lights when we move the blankets/jackets. It is only lately that it has been extensively investigated as a practical alternative for energy harvesting

Create device to generate power from water drops
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Create device to generate power from water drops

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New Delhi: Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, (IIT-Delhi) have designed and fabricated a device that can generate electricity from waterdrops, raindrops, water streams, and even from ocean waves using "Triboelectric Effect" and "Electrostatic Induction".

According to the developers, the device, known as "Liquid-solid Interface Triboelectric Nanogenerator", can store generated electricity in batteries for further use. The innovation can prove to be critical and essential since the specially designed nanocomposite polymers and contact electrodes can generate a few Milliwatt (mW) power, which is sufficient to power small electronic devices including digital thermometers, radio frequency transmitters, healthcare sensors, pedometers, etc.

Professor Neeraj Khare, Department of Physics, and his group at the Nanoscale Research Facility (NRF), IIT-Delhi, have filed an Indian patent on the various aspects of the use of ferroelectric polymer for harvesting mechanical energy including the present device.

"Triboelectric effect is a known phenomenon for a long time, and in this effect, charges are generated when two surfaces are in friction. The best example we see are sparkling lights when we move the blankets/jackets. It is only lately that it has been extensively investigated as a practical alternative for energy harvesting," said Neeraj.

The IIT Delhi research team also explored the underlying mechanism of the electricity generated when the water drops come in contact with the solid surface and it is shown that saline water drops generate more electricity.

The researchers also demonstrated 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.

Archana Rao
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