Tag Archives: Hygroelectricity

Air The Next Alternative Power Source

Imagine capturing power from thin air, seems unbelievable doesn’t it? Nikola Tesla dreamed of capturing and using electricity from air, even before that and after him for centuries man has wondered about lightning and how it is discharged in our atmosphere. Remember the experiment by Benjamin Franklin using the kite to figure out whether lightning was really an electric phenomenon. Lightning causes many deaths and injuries worldwide every year along with millions of dollars in property damage.

According to a report presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) scientists are already in the early stages of developing such devices.

The study leader Fernando Galembeck, PhD says “Our research could pave the way for turning electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future” His research may help explain a 200-year old scientific riddle about how electricity is produced and discharged in the atmosphere. Dr.Galembeck works with the University of Campinas, in Campinas SP, Brazil.

Scientists have noticed formation of static electricity as steam escaped from boilers. Using that premise Gambleck and his team figured out through experiments in their laboratory that simulated water’s contact with dust particles in air accumulated electrical charges and transferred it to materials that came in contact with it. They have named it “Hygroelectricity” meaning “humidity Electricity”.

“These are fascinating ideas that new studies by ourselves and by other scientific teams suggest are now possible,” Galembeck said. “We certainly have a long way to go. But the benefits in the long range of harnessing hygroelectricity could be substantial.”

Their aim is to create collectors which can harness this electricity just like the solar cells trap the sun’s energy. It should be interesting to see how far it goes and how soon.

My Opinion

I for one never did think that man would ever be able to harness the magnitude of power a lightning strike generates. It would be the breakthrough of the century for me if man did succeed! Last week we had a strike right next to our home and it hit this giant oak tree splintered and spread its bark all around. Now I watch it slowly dying bit by bit by bit… Just imagine being able to trap a lightning strike and use all that energy! That would be mind blowing!

Read the entire article on the ACS website HERE