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Researchers develop system to produce electricity out of thin air

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posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 10:47 AM
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Researchers have achieved the seemingly impossible by producing electricity out of thin air.

The system is quite straightforward and consists of a thin film of protein nanowire just seven micrometers (sometimes known as a microns) thick which is positioned between two electrodes and exposed to the air.

This nanowire film absorbs water vapor present in the atmosphere, thus creating a small electrical charge

Air-Gen reportedly produces a sustained voltage of 0.5 volts at 17 micro amperes per square centimeter

The system produces no waste and could (theoretically at least) work in places like the Sahara Desert

Source

Wow... Scientists have found a way to generate electricity from the air itself, while producing no waste in the process. They do this by using a special "nanowire film" that absorbs water from the atmosphere, which produces a sustained electrical charge.
Now, I'm not exactly a scientist myself, so I have a question here. What happens to the water vapor that's being absorbed from the atmosphere? Could this basically suck up all the water vapor and "dry up" large areas, potentially creating drought conditions? If not, this technology seems like a massive breakthrough for energy production.


+15 more 
posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 10:52 AM
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a reply to: trollz

Pretty cool, but didnt Tesla and Reich both do this without nano proteins 100+ years ago?



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 10:53 AM
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originally posted by: BlueJacket
Pretty cool, but didnt Tesla and Reich both do this without nano proteins 100+ years ago?


Tesla's was highly inefficient for transmission over distance.



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 10:57 AM
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I read the article yesterday, it is impressive how someone thought of this out of the box idea.

I do not know how much electricity they could produce from this for commercial applications, but it would be great for running electronic sensors and stuff for remote seizmic test equipment and weather sensors and stuff like that.

I kind of wonder if they would need to be cleaning those little wires all the time as dust and molecules stick to them. It could be more work than it is worth, simple oils, smokes, and stuff in the air might make this way less efficient.



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:02 AM
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a reply to: trollz

Where does the absorbed water go?
I suppose that there must be some limit to how much water is absorbed before the system does not produce current.
If the absorbed water can be expelled by some means without requiring energy added, that would be great, but I have a feeling that it will require energy to 'dry' the nanowire film out.

I keep thinking that you can't get something for nothing.



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:04 AM
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a reply to: butcherguy

I imagine that evaporation would take care of that.



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:09 AM
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originally posted by: grey580
a reply to: butcherguy

I imagine that evaporation would take care of that.

Does it?
If you get electricity when the nanowire film absorbs moisture, wouldn't it tend to follow that moisture evaporating would require an equal amount of energy to release it?
Conservation of energy and what not.



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: trollz

Ummm...I wonder if the small voltage would be enough to electrolyze the water vapor...and split it into hydrogen and oxygen...?

Or the water vapor simply evaporates...and raises the relative humidity...?





YouSir



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:22 AM
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This is great. No more lugging around my potatoes and wire.



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: trollz

You mean scientists have rediscovered work pioneered by Nikola Tesla over 100 years ago?



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: butcherguy

Is it just turned into hydrogen and oxygen and passed into the atmosphere?



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:31 AM
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.5 volts at .000017 amps. They'd need to build a lot of square footage of this for it to be useful if that's all they get per cm square.

Heck even the difference in potential of the height of a 10 metre wire generates a tiny bit of energy too, so do trees but it's more current

a reply to: trollz



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:39 AM
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originally posted by: PokeyJoe
a reply to: butcherguy

Is it just turned into hydrogen and oxygen and passed into the atmosphere?

If so, they should capture the hydrogen and oxygen and burn it... yielding water which could be reabsorbed by the film again.
If it does break down water into hydrogen and oxygen and yield energy in return.... this would be quite a breakthrough, as normally it requires energy to break the bond in the water molecules.

Doesn't anyone think this sounds too good to be true?
edit on b000000292020-02-18T11:45:27-06:0011America/ChicagoTue, 18 Feb 2020 11:45:27 -06001100000020 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:52 AM
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originally posted by: hombero
.5 volts at .000017 amps. They'd need to build a lot of square footage of this for it to be useful if that's all they get per cm square.

Heck even the difference in potential of the height of a 10 metre wire generates a tiny bit of energy too, so do trees but it's more current

a reply to: trollz


Art Bell spoke of this with his Parump radio broadcast antenas



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:53 AM
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sounds like a nice plan doesn't it? free energy, no environmental harm, sounds like a win, win doesn't it?

but what would be the environmental harm and impact? i mean that electricity has to come from somewhere. so what are the possible environmental effects of removing it from the environment, without replacing it? and that is one difference between this and Tesla. HIS idea was to put that electricity into the environment to use, not just removing it. in all honesty i have to even wonder about environmental impact from even adding electricity to the environment. not something that was at all a concern in Tesla's time period. but something we have to take into serious consideration in our time since we know that we could cause environmental damage with what we do.



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 11:57 AM
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Sounds sketchy.

They claim:

We find the driving force behind this energy generation to be a self-maintained moisture gradient that forms within the film when the film is exposed to the humidity that is naturally present in air.

www.nature.com...

A "self-maintained" moisture gradient. That is a perpetuum mobile. So what is the actual driving force? Gravity/condensation?



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 12:08 PM
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Here is another article stating that the system does saturate over time with the power output dropping:
arstechnica.com...

But that it somehow regenerates (what is driving the regenration?) and can be used "repeatedly".



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 12:17 PM
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.5v at 17uA is literally no different than ambient electrical potential and static.



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: moebius
Here is another article stating that the system does saturate over time with the power output dropping:
arstechnica.com...

But that it somehow regenerates (what is driving the regenration?) and can be used "repeatedly".

From your link:

But how this can maintain itself indefinitely is not clear, since the humidity would gradually even out across the device over time.

A lot of questions to be answered.



posted on Feb, 18 2020 @ 12:30 PM
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a reply to: butcherguy

How the wire absorbs or retains the water is unknown. If it retains it at all.

I'm assuming that the wire is porous and will allow the moisture back into the environment.



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