Canadian scientists have invented a new way of producing electricity from flowing water. The new device, which description is published in a special edition of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, called "electrokinetic battery."
The battery is a small glass jar, which run through hundreds of thousands of parallel microscopic channels. Due to the phenomenon of the electric field that creates a two-layer medium, the vessel operates as a conventional heating coil. Water it flowing through the channels forms a positive charge at one end of the vessel and negative — on the other. As a result of the energy produced.
The experimental unit was created at the University of Alberta in Canada. Because of their small size and energy it produces little.
In the words of the inventor Larry Kostiuk, still electrokinetic effect due attention has not been given, since the amount of electricity generated by a capillary — is negligible. For example, the pressure of water column height of 30 cm 2 is sufficient to produce electricity microamperes. The experimental setup, collected by him and his colleague Daniel NANOTECHNOLOGY Quoc sostyaschaya of thousands of capillaries, could generate enough electricity to light a light bulb.
Sydney Morning Herald predicts that in the future there will be phones, working "on the water": each is equipped with a miniature hand pump to pump water from the reservoir through the capillaries.
If a battery of large size will place along the fast flowing rivers, it is possible to produce energy on a regional scale. Kostiuk himself believes that this is still far away, as it would require a truly "huge amounts of water, it could go to a commercial operation."
While this finding is mainly scientific value. Dr. David Lynch, a colleague Kostiuk, said this discovery — "a completely new way of generating energy and an incredible breakthrough in basic science." "It happens once in a lifetime," — he said.
The team is currently experimenting with Kostiuk water of different salinity, hoping to get more power in the same plant.
Until now, the newest method of generating electricity was the direct conversion of chemical reaction force into electricity, occurring in solar cells. Proposed a similar approach in 1839 Edmond Becquerel, in the same year, the Englishman William Grove collected the first pilot plant for production of electricity. Both were honored for the invention Nobel Prize.