How rain is leveraged to generate energy

September 14, 2020   By Dhoof Mohamed

How rain is leveraged to generate energy

From solar to wind energy, there has been a push for renewable energy nationwide for a plethora of reasons – and this is especially true in Texas. Government backing along with private enterprise and consumer support have made renewable energies very popular over the last few years.

Although solar and wind energy get the bulk of the attention, rain has emerged as a new and exciting energy source. Researchers across the globe are exploring how rain can power generators to produce electricity.

How can rain produce energy?

Hydropower has long been viewed as one of the most promising avenues of renewable energy. Advancements made in hydropower include utilizing different forms of water in nature. The newest technologies have explored using the water cycle to generate the maximum amount of energy possible. One of the most promising technologies is using generators that use rain to produce power.

Researchers have explored different methods to use rain as a renewable power source, but recent advancements have been especially effective. Researchers from City University of Hong Kong have developed a new form of droplet-based electricity generation (DEG). With DEG, the generator field-effect transistor-like structure to produce high voltage from water drops.

This new advancement within rain energy opens up vast opportunities for renewable energy and can be used to combat climate change. These findings entail bridging two electrodes that create a closed-loop circuit that can release stored charges.

The work being done on this is still in its infancy because the energy generated is short and not continuous. With further research, the technological gaps can be addressed and turn this into a reliable energy source.

Opportunities:

There are numerous technological and environmental applications of leveraging rain as an energy source. From the average consumer’s perspective, one of the most promising avenues of using rain as renewable energy is to power consumers’ homes. Once the generator’s technology is perfected, they can be placed on top of homes to produce power when it rains.

This can be extremely beneficial for areas where the climate produces heavy rain. Researchers have also discovered that rain-derived energy has the potential to power solar panels. This combination of both rain and solar energy opens up even more opportunities for the renewable energy industry.

Some of the other opportunities include:

  • Back-up energy source: Although rain may not be consistent in most places, it can be used as a back-up energy source in case a primary energy source fails. This reserve is crucial because many businesses do not have any source of back-up energy if their services were to be disrupted. Generators can be placed virtually anywhere within a building to provide back-up energy.
  • Optimize irrigation technologies: Many farmers today use advanced irrigation techniques to leverage rainwater as much as possible in their operations. If the generator technology for rain is improved, farmers will have the ability to use rain for both irrigation and electricity. This new avenue can propel productivity while using renewable energy.
  • Energy harvesting: With improved rain energy technology, the energy harvesting industry can be impacted significantly. Technologies within energy harvesting use materials that don’t take rain into consideration. With generators that leverage rainfall, the materials currently used for energy harvesting can be improved significantly. This can lead to an exponential increase in the capacity to store energy.

Many of the research and projects that entail utilizing rain as a source of energy are still new, but the future of renewable energy looks promising with these advances. Capturing all the natural energy resources around us are vital to addressing the current energy crisis globally.

 

Dhoof Mohamed writes about energy and IT topics for various clients. His academic interests include solar energy initiatives and the future of sustainable energy. His articles have appeared on SiteProNews, ChooseFlorida and the office of the U.S. Embassy. You can reach him at dhoof@dhoofmohamed.com.

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