Scientists have been working on finding renewable energy sources as well as improving the existing ones. The traditional energy sources, such as thermal energy have contributed a lot to global warming in recent times. In order to make energy production sustainable, countries are shifting towards renewable energies such as wind and geothermal energy.
Generating electricity from water is not a new phenomenon. The lightning that is observed during a thunderstorm is due to the electricity generated by different water forms present in the clouds. Other than that, Michael Faraday had already discovered the production of charges on metal surfaces using water droplets. This was because of the friction present between the two. There is even a recent study that talks about the charge being induced on metal surfaces by the atmospheric humidity.
In a struggle to build a low voltage battery, scientists placed two different metals under high humidity. It was instantly known that the voltage existed between the two plates under the atmospheric condition that had at least 60% humidity. The voltage disappeared as soon as the metal plates were placed under dry conditions.
Furthermore, the water molecule is known to pass on the electrical charge to other molecules during the collision whereas the underlying phenomenon behind charge induction remains the same, that is, friction. However, the amount charge that builds on the metal surface in the presence of water molecules is dependent on the type of metal being considered.
Scientists believe that the possibility of generating electricity using the humidity in the air could be a huge breakthrough in solving the energy crisis across the globe. water droplets in the atmosphere could charge a metal surface to a voltage of around 1 volt. It could be easily put to use in the tropical regions that have more than 60% atmospheric humidity.