'Evaporation Engine' from Columbia University generates electricity from air humidity

Signal of change / 'Evaporation Engine' from Columbia University generates electricity from air humidity

By Munur Munuroglu / 24 Jan 2018

A new 'Evaporation Engine', developed by Prof. Ozgur Sahin and his team at Columbia University, works by using the movement of bacteria in response to changing levels of humidity.

Although in its early stages, natural evaporation from open water sources could potentially match power output from current wind and solar technologies, while simultaneously cutting water lost from evaporation by nearly half.

So what?

A major obstacle to the development is the need to cover open water sources with energy generating infrastructure. The researchers call the engine a 'thought experiment', aimed to encourage exploration of water surfaces as a renewable energy source, rather than a development proposal.

Sources

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608949/evaporation-engines-could-produce-more-power-than-coal-with-a-huge-caveat/

http://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00581-w

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/water-evaporation-renewable-energy-source-scientists-united-states-lakes-a7968111.html

 

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