New Research Finds Raindrops Can Generate Renewable Energy

March 17, 2020

Rainbow umbrella amidst nature at the hillsAmidst all of the uncertainty and fear right now, we need some good news. One incredible change I have noticed in 2020 is a commitment within the science community to keep moving forward and creating. There have been so many recent advances in renewable energy, new anti-solar panels that work at night, and huge grids of solar panels that can single-handedly decrease CO2 levels by 50%. Now, raindrops are our latest source of energy. 

It’s so important to have different sources of renewable energy available around the world. For example, wind power won’t work in regions that don’t get enough wind. Even solar energy doesn’t scale everywhere. In areas that seasonally don’t have much sun or even have shorter days, solar panels aren’t the answer. That’s why the anti-solar panels were invented. And now, electricity generated by raindrops could be another game-changer in rain-heavy areas such as Seattle or London. 

A new study recently published in Nature by scientists from the City University of Hong Kong is hoping to develop exactly that. The engineers behind the project developed a system that drops water in a way that mimics rain. The drop hits a flat surface that is connected to an electrode. The raindrops form a bridge between them, which allows for the generation of energy. This method created enough energy from a single raindrop to power 100 LED lightbulbs. Although this method is not yet stable enough to power our homes or business, the engineers are hoping they’ll be able to develop water bottles or umbrellas that use this technology and also double up as a power bank. Imagine filling up your water bottle and generating enough energy to charge your phone! In an interview with Vice, chemist Xiao Cheng Zeng from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln explained, “The significance of this technology is the much enhanced electric power per falling rain droplet, which makes the device much more efficient to convert energy from a falling droplet to electricity.”

With how rapidly technology has been developing these last few decades, I have no doubt some of our rainier areas will soon be powering up their houses and business that have roof panels that collect rain. The more these alternative energy sources are invented, the more we have a chance to heal our planet and give the next generations a chance to enjoy the beauty Earth has to over. 

With the uncertainty and grief all over the world right now, it’s essential to have some advancement and good news. I hope that this news brought some relief from the anxiety I know a lot of us are feeling. Continue to be safe and love each other. Do not feel pressured to “hustle” or “grind” during this time if you need a break from what’s going on. Take the time to rest and enjoy some good news like this. If you have the energy, I invite you to join me and take this time to meditate or think about our place in the world and what changes we can make in our lives to bring more happiness to our world.

Also by Iga: Colorado River Is Drying Up, According To A New Report In Science

Climate Change Is Causing More Sexual Abuse & Violence Against Women

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Photo by Konstantin Planinski on Unsplash

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Iga is a freelance writer based in Colorado, but originally from Poland. She follows the vegan, sustainability and zero-waste movements while trying to live a practical lifestyle! When she’s not writing she likes to practice yoga, read, play with her dogs and just be outside in nature. You can find more of her work at her website www.igashmiga.com.

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