Solar panels have trouble producing electricity whenever it snows. With winters expected to increase in severity because of climate change, generating power in the cold, snowy season will likely become a major issue in years to come. scientists from UCLA just invented a way to produce energy from snow.
The technology they developed is called a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator (or snow TENG, for short) which generates energy from the exchange of electrons.
It works by generating power via static electricity. If you’ve ever received a nasty shock when touching a metal door handle, you’ve already experienced the science at work here. As it falls towards the earth, snowflakes are positively charged and ready to give up electrons. The scientists found that the negative charge of silicone made it most effective for harvesting electrons when it came into contact with snowflakes.
The snow TENG is made out of silicone, which has a negative charge and actively captures positive charges. Once the material gains positive charges, the device gathers those charges and turns them into electricity.
Its creators believe it could be integrated into solar panel arrays so that when blanketed with snow in the winter months, they could continue to generate power.
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Date: Apr 27, 2019 @ 09:16
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