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New scientific device creates electricity from snowfall

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posted on Apr, 17 2019 @ 08:32 AM

UCLA researchers and colleagues have designed a new device that creates electricity from falling snow. The first of its kind, this device is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic.

“The device can work in remote areas because it provides its own power and does not need batteries,” said senior author Richard Kaner, who holds UCLA’s Dr. Myung Ki Hong Endowed Chair in Materials Innovation. “It’s a very clever device — a weather station that can tell you how much snow is falling, the direction the snow is falling, and the direction and speed of the wind.”

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, El-Kady noted. 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, he said.

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, Kaner said. It also has the potential for identifying the main movement patterns used in cross-country skiing, which cannot be detected with a smart watch.

It can also send signals, indicating whether a person is moving. It can tell when a person is walking, running, jumping or marching.

The research team used 3-D printing to design the device, which has a layer of silicone and an electrode to capture the charge.

So a team of researchers have come up with a simple low cost device that generates enough power from falling snow to power itself or charge snow covered solar panels.

It seems like the amount of electricity produced is fairly low, but it seems like they've got some applications for the technology already.

posted on Apr, 17 2019 @ 08:55 AM
Small raindrops are also positively charged. This is what Tesla was working with when he tried to capture power from electrical storms with his experiments at Wardenclyffe and Colorado Springs, I believe.


posted on Apr, 17 2019 @ 10:26 AM
There is a surface charge that builds up on the top of snow, it actually goes up trees in the winter and protects them from dying. It also goes up our houses to the siding if you bank the house with snow. It is a high voltage low amp charge. it has ultraviolet characteristics. If you bank the snow on the house it jumps to the house and electrifies the outside. This causes a surface tension on the house, which helps suppress the flow of energy out of the house, it does not insulate, it dampens the rate of flow from warm to cold, the electrons are not attracted to the lack of electrons so much.

I studied paints that could actually accumulate this charge, lead based paint is illegal but it did actually help. Also some metals like titanium white and others in the paint can help with this. Think about it, how come glass does not leak out heat, it is the surface charge not the glass that stops the flow of ions out of the glass by reflecting it. Wind blowing on your house could actually make the furnace run less as it helps to build this charge. I have not tested it but if I am correct at evaluating some research, a simple blacklight on either outside or inside the house can slow the current through the wall, so can the ultraviolet light that comes through the clouds and makes the ice glow bluish sometimes.

That snow falls on the ground and electrifies the snow, that energy barrier created can stop the frost from going too deep too. It is part of the insulating effect of snow on the ground. Remove that charge and it can cause a deepening of cold which could kill the roots of your grass or trees. Also salt is an electrolyte, it can alter the energy paths.

posted on Apr, 17 2019 @ 02:18 PM

Oh, man! First chance we have to create energy like this and now Global Warming will wipe it out!

Sorry, couldn't resist.

That's actually pretty cool, but it seems like if they can get it to work with snow, then they should also get it to work with rain too.

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