Researchers at UCLA designed a device to produce electricity during snowing. This device is first-of-its-kind and it is inexpensive, thin, compact, and flexible like a plastic sheet. Thus, it can be helpful in remote areas. It provides power, which eliminates the need for batteries.
Additionally, it has a feature for estimating the amount of snowfall along with its direction and speed of snowfall. The researchers have named it as snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator a.k.a. snow TENG. This device generates charge using static electricity to produce energy. This happens due to the exchange of electrons. The journal Nano Energy has explained the device in details.
Static electricity is formed from the interaction of materials and captures electrons. Then the separation of charges takes place and this creates electricity from nothing. One of the researchers and a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA explained in the journal.
Exploring Electricity Generating Alternative
The electricity generation from alternative options is necessary due to its growing demand. Additionally, these methods might help to lower pressure and over-reliance on the traditional methods of electricity generation.
Snow has a positive charge and is able to give up electrons. Silicone has a negative charge. Thus, contact of these two material produces a charge and the device captures it for generating electricity.
Practically, snow covers about 30% of the Earth’s surface in winter during this time solar panels fail to work. Thus, accumulation of snow could benefit from the electricity generation throughout the year.
Further, the device can be useful for monitoring snowfall as it offers results that are more precise. Also, it can help to observe performance by identifying the movements of the athlete. As it is a cost-efficient technique, it might get wide acceptance.