Published on : 24 January 20222 min reading time
Electricity production via rainwater
To transform the energy of rain into electrical energy, technicians use a state-of-the-art equipment called piezoelectric whose operating is based on the exploitation of the mechanical energy of rain and the fascinating property of the quartz crystal. Indeed, the piezoelectric takes the form of a cylinder whose two sides are covered with quartz crystal.
As a reminder, the constituent atoms of a quartz crystal are negatively charged oxygen and positively charged silicon. Each time the raindrops fall on one of the flanks of the piezoelectric, the positive and negative charges are separated on either side of the hexagon.
In this way, an electric dipole is formed. The two sides of the piezoelectric are then connected by two separate electrical wires. As the raindrops exert pressure on it, electric current flows through it.
Measuring the electrical energy from raindrops
Recently, the Grenoble Institute for Research and Development was able to create a system for recovering electrical energy from rainwater. This device makes it possible to measure the energy recovered at each rain impact. It should also be noted that this system only affects raindrops with a diameter that ranges from 1 to 5 mm.
According to the measurements carried out with this device, a power value ranging from 1 to 12 milliwatts can be recovered. However, the researchers stated that these results are likely to improve in rainy areas, i.e. where raindrops are larger.
Converting rain to electrical energy
At present, the field of application of the piezoelectric effect is still very narrow, although the system is capable of supplying electrical energy to portable devices and small home appliances such as sensors or other microelectronic equipment.
However, according to scientists, the area of use this rain energy can still be expanded with a larger piezoelectric membrane and a regular raindrop frequency.
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