NewEnergyNews: Device Turns Snowfall Into Power

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    Thursday, April 25, 2019

    Device Turns Snowfall Into Power

    Best in snow: New scientific device creates electricity from snowfall The first-of-its-kind nanogenerator designed by UCLA researchers and colleagues also acts as a weather station

    Stuart Wolpert, April 15, 2019 (University of California at Los Angeles)

    “…[A new device can create electricity from falling snow…[I]t is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic…[It is called] a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator, or snow TENG. A triboelectric nanogenerator, which generates charge through static electricity, produces energy from the exchange of electrons…Snow is positively charged and gives up electrons. Silicone — a synthetic rubber-like material that is composed of silicon atoms and oxygen atoms, combined with carbon, hydrogen and other elements — is negatively charged. When falling snow contacts the surface of silicone, that produces a charge that the device captures, creating electricity…

    About 30 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by snow each winter, during which time solar panels often fail to operate…[because the] accumulation of snow reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar array, limiting the panels’ power output and rendering them less effective. The new device could be integrated into solar panels to provide a continuous power supply when it snows…The device can be used for monitoring winter sports, such as skiing, to more precisely assess and improve an athlete’s performance when running, walking or jumping…It could usher in a new generation of self-powered wearable devices for tracking athletes and their performances...It can also send signals, indicating whether a person is moving. It can tell when a person is walking, running, jumping or marching…” click here for more

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