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The next generation of clean energy: humidity power

The next generation of clean energy: humidity power

  • Categories:Company News
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  • Time of issue:2010-09-27
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The next generation of clean energy: humidity power

  • Categories:Company News
  • Author:
  • Origin:
  • Time of issue:2010-09-27
  • Views:0
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Recently, at the National Conference of the American Chemical Society, Fairland, a chemist from Campinas University in Brazil, proposed the concept of "humidity electricity". The so-called humidity power refers to the fact that objects will be charged when placed in the air with higher humidity, which also provides another new way of exploring air energy.

It is well known that there is a huge potential for energy development in the air, and there are many ways to use it. Mankind has made great progress in the use of air movement (wind energy) and the capture of fast-moving photons (solar energy) in the air to generate electricity. But from the current point of view, it seems too mysterious to collect electric charges directly from the air to meet human demand for electricity.

When it comes to electricity in the air, the first thing people think of is lightning. Why is there lightning in the billowing clouds in the sky? As early as the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin proved that the sudden release of a large amount of electric charge is the cause of the formation of lightning. But how is such a large amount of electricity generated? After all, millions of lightning events occur worldwide every year. Such large-scale electricity frequently appears in the air, and energy workers have to have the imagination of conquering it. And Fairland's research team said that they have cracked the cause of the current formation in the atmosphere, which may help them find a way to directly use electricity in the air.

The cause of lightning has always been controversial. Some theories point out that lightning is formed by the collision of ice and snow particles in convective clouds; at the same time, some people believe that the solar rain with charged particles sends lightning to the earth. However, the explanation found by Fairland and others is different from these. They believe that lightning occurs because water vapor is charged in the air. Scientists have long believed that small water droplets floating in the atmosphere remain electrically neutral even after they are combined with small particles such as dust. Electrical neutrality means that in a solution such as water, molecules with different charges are in a state of equilibrium. But Fairland's research results prove that this conjecture is wrong, because the small water droplets in the atmosphere have tiny electric charges. When experimenting with aluminum phosphate and silica, which are commonly found in the atmosphere, they found that after being combined with water droplets, the silica particles will be negatively charged, while the aluminum phosphate particles will be positively charged. If it is in humid air, these charged particles will slowly accumulate and eventually explode on a large scale. This explanation of the charged water droplets is a subversion of the idea of ​​the neutrality of water droplets that has been popular in science for decades.

Researchers pointed out that charging in a humid environment is a common feature of many metals. "My colleagues and I discovered that ordinary metals such as aluminum and stainless steel are naturally charged when they are placed in an air that is isolated from electricity but with high humidity. I think this can also explain the phenomenon of insulators being charged in a humid environment. It can be seen from this that air can be called a large'reservoir' for storing electric charge." Fairland said.

After having a certain understanding of humidity and electricity, researchers began to develop equipment that can capture electrical charges from humid air. The device is actually a piece of iron, similar to a lightning rod. The iron piece is connected to one pole of the capacitor, and the role of the latter is to separate and store the charge in the air. The other end of the capacitor is connected to the ground. When the metal sheet is placed in a high-humidity environment, charge collection can be performed. "If the experiment goes well, it will be the beginning of our good control of thunderstorms," ​​Fairland said. "The equipment is more suitable for tropical and subtropical areas with high air humidity."

There are always voices of disagreement that accompany the new concept. William William, an atmospheric physicist at Oklahoma State University in the United States, said bluntly: “Humidity and electricity are just nonsense. To charge water droplets like lightning, there must be a collision between snow pellets and ice particles in the convective cloud. This is essential.” And similar efforts to capture electricity from lightning have also failed. Recently, American Alternative Energy Corporation built a lightning-catching tower outside Houston, but it has never been used for any purpose. "This theory has been overturned time and time again." Company manager William said disappointedly.

The efforts of human beings to try to tame lightning began with Temples, the head of the twelve gods of Mount Olympus. Although taming lightning is just an unattainable dream now, maybe one day human beings will be able to control lightning and use it for their own use.

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