HYGROELECTRICITY

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HYGROELECTRICITY
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Concept: Extracting
electricity out of
humidity
Not just a pie in the sky
Atmosphere : A great
source of electricity
Could be of great utility
in region of high
humidity
WHAT IS THE NEED ?
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Humans : A creative creature but still acts as virus when it
comes to energy consumption
The end of fossil fuel
Global population
Demand for Energy
Global Warming
Conclusion: A need to look for alternative and renewable source
of energy
HYGROELECTRICITY : THE BASIC PRINCIPLE
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A metal placed in humid environment develops charge on its
surface.
The charge increases with the increase in relative humidity
The amount of charge depends on
Nature of metal
Exposure time
Relative humidity
Surface area
CONTRAST WITH ELECTRONEUTRALITY PRINCIPLE
Electroneutrality
principle statement
water droplets in the atmosphere were electrically neutral, and remained
so even after coming into contact with the electrical charges on dust
particles and droplets of other liquids
Recent
researches shows ion imbalances
Not actually contradiction
water has ion imbalances that could allow it to produce a charge. The
principle of electroneutrality states that if you consider the liquid as a whole
that the net charge within the liquid will be neutral . The principle does not
state that if you subdivide a liquid and only consider a portion of its volume
that the charge in that portion has to be neutral
UNEXPECTED PATTERN OF R H V/S STATIC ELECTRICITY
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Decreases with increase in RH .
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Due to increase in conductance,the charge dissipation
increases.
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Actually this idea was for dielectrics.
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Charge deposition on metals due to humidity remain
undiscovered.
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Recent researches shows opposite behaviour in case of
metals
GAMEBLACK’S REPORT
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Presented on Aug 25 at 240th meeting of ACS
Revealed his research showing unexpected electric
charge distribution on metals and insulator surfaces.
Questioning the well proved concept of electrostatics.
Our lack of knowledge about the identity of charge
forming species.
Builds and tests models explaining adsorption of H+
and OH- on metal in humid environment.
Aims at capturing this electricity calling it
hygroelectricity.
EXPERIMENTAL OBSERVATIONS
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According to the previous theory of charge
dissipation, static electricity decreases with increase
in RH
BEHAVIOUR OF HUMIDITY
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Dual behaviour of humidity
Encourages reproducibility of electrostatic
experiments .
Electric shocks experienced from boiler surfaces
Age old mystery unfold
The idea was actually given by Faraday long ago
but was buried in grave of time due to
technological limitations
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Isolated metals within faraday
cages acquire charge
spontaneously
Aluminium and CPB becomes
negative
SS rendered positive
First observed during faraday
cup experiment
Electric charge on isolated
metal should
remain zero if it is grounded
Sample made of brass or
electrolytic copper
mounted within but electrically
isolated
from an outer hollow CPB.
Charge drifts slowly to negative
values
Independent of RH
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Different behaviour when
outer
hollow cylinder is made of
aluminium
Similar behaviour at low
Humidity
But at 50% or more RH ,
sharp steep on the curve.
Aluminium acquires
negative charge, SS
acquires
positive charge.
POSSIBLE EXPLANATION
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Acidic behaviour of
Aluminium oxides
attracts OHBasic behaviour of SS
oxide attracts H+
Charge flows through
conducive wires
H+ and OH- left out in
atmosphere recombines
VERIFICATION OF ADSORPTION THERY
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Coating the aluminium and SS cylinder with
silicone oil
Silicone oil reduces water vapour contact
Charge accumulation negligible upto relative
humidity =95%
HYGROPANELS
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All the results encourages development of device
to capture the charge to produce electricity
Charge on metal easily transferable to circuitry
CONSTRUCTION
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Stacked sheets of filter paper, Al, filter, SS, filter paper
and so on in this order.
Acts as capacitor
The electrodes to be chosen so as to form oxide layer on
its surface
One should be acidic in nature, the other basic
Filter paper used because it is an excellent dielectric
and great adsorbent of moisture
A large number of capacitor bank should be connected
in parallel by means of conducive wires
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Allowing it to charge and
short circuiting after
certain intervals shows
the following pattern
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Quite reproducible at
high humidity
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Thus electricity can be
generated continuously
POSSIBLE APPLICATION AND QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS
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The hygropanels can be mounted on the roof tops and
electricity generated can be utilized like solar panels
As a supplement to solar panels
A 5cm2 area sheet can develop 10-4 C charge at RH> 60%we
use 10 cm thick stacks or piles made of Aluminium or SS
sheet (thickness-0.3-0.4 mm)
A stack of 10 cm thickness approx. equals to 200 sheets
Let n be the number of sheets in 1 m2 area, 10 cm thick
panel
n=(100*100/5)*200*10
=4*105
Energy generated by one capacitor bank =0.8(v)*10-5(C/s) W
This multiplied by n gives 3.2W of energy
Cost analysis of the proposed hygropanels
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We have calculated the approximate cost as given below:
The hygro panel taken is of 1m2 area 10 cm thick
Materials used where aluminium, stainless steel, filter
paper, conducive wires, etc.
Supposing 33% of the panel is made with aluminium and
another 33% by stainless steel, and the rest with filter
paper, conducive wiring, etc.
Density of aluminium = 2700kg/m3
Hence amount of aluminium used = 2700/1*1*0.1*3 =
85 kg approx
Similarly density of stainless steel = 8000 kg/m3
Hence amount of SS used = 240 kg
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Rates
Aluminium = Rs 70 per kg
SS = Rs 100 per kg
Total cost on metal = 70*85+240*100= Rs 29950
Extra cost on wiring panel and filter paper = Rs 10000
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Total cost of hygropanel = Rs 39500 approx
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Although in this amount of money we can have a 224 W solar
panel, but further researches and developments would for sure
bring down the cost per unit of electricity produced .
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Efficiency
Talking of the efficiency , we don’t have any idea about the exact
value because it has never been practically implemented but it
could be well around 90% due to the static nature of the device.
WHY TO INVEST MONEY ON DEVELOPMENT OF THIS
TECHNOLOGY ?
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Other possible future energy sources are using waste heats ,
body electricity etc.
But in this technology small electricity needs not to be stored
because of the static nature of the system
Unlike solar technology, doesn’t work only in day time
Need not to be mounted on roof tops only
Doesn’t involve manual interference
Can be employed as supplement to solar technology
Can prove to be of great utility in coastal areas
The metals used are not so costly
Can act as absorber of atmospheric electricity formed during
lightning
Thus useful in country like Brazil
CHALLENGES
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Since theoretically fascinating but practical application
still a dream
Low level of current produced
Can only work in high humidity areas
Development of reverse potential between the
electrodes due to desorbed or left out charges
CONCLUSION
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This technology will be challenged on many practical
grounds but that doesn’t concern me a lot because
“That's how science works”
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