Thursday, April 10, 2008

Innovation Converts Rainfall into Energy

French scientists are at work on panels that convert the mechanical energy from rainfall into electricity, reports National Geographic in this video feature (via Seed's Daily Zeitgeist). A write-up on the story is also available at Physorg.com.

With an innovation like this, made cheap and easy to manufacture, societies may have clean, renewable energy rain or shine.

How does this work? When a raindrop falls on a panel manufactured to convert mechanical into electric energy (generally known as piezoelectric material), tiny vibrations are created. Those vibrations generate an electrical charge that can be captured, explains Physorg.com.

A while back, Pound360 recalls a story about walkways that could capture energy from pedestrians. So it seems that almost anything can be tapped to generate energy. Again, the key is to make the technology cheap and easy to manufacture.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.