Researchers Found a Snow-Powered Nanogenerator Which Will Work Best in Winters

Researchers Found a Snow-Powered Nanogenerator Which Will Work Best in Winters

Science

Nowadays, opting clean energy is in trend, but existing technology is restricting people from adopting it. Utilizing water and wind potential are difficult for the average person. Readily available solar energy is still too expensive to set up. Though scientists have developed innovative ways to trap the energy of all the natural resources; but the new one is different. For the first time engineers have discovered a technology to generate electricity from the snow. A team of scientists from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has found the new innovative device, a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator or Snow TENG.

As the name suggests, Snow TENG operates with the turboelectric effect. It uses static electricity to produce a charge by switching electrons. The device uses an initial chemical reaction to do so. The science behind the new model is as similar as we experience shock when touching a metal door handle. As snow falls from the sky towards the ground, the particles contain a positive charge. Even those snowflakes are ready to drop electrons. So it is a natural and free form of energy ready for adopting. The team of scientists tested various materials with a negative charge that could work well in the case of snowflakes. In the end, they found that a negatively charged silicon most useful to collect electrons produced from the snow.

According to the study, published in the Nano Energy journal, static electricity is a result of interaction between two materials. One of them traps electrons and another which emits electrons. The Snow TENG, a 3D printable device, has a layer of silicone connected to an electrode. It consists only a piece of a silicon material which is plentiful and low-cost. Scientists say it can be merged with solar panels, which would continue to generate electricity even when it is covered with snow. The idea is similar to a former hybrid solar cell that collected energy from the movements of raindrops along with sunlight. There are a number of applications of the newly discovered technology. It has the potential to power wearable technology such as trackers. As per the team, the technology is not only user-friendly but also amazingly simple to make.

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