Electric generation from drops impacting onto charged surfaces

Research output: Working paper

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The impact of liquid drops onto solid surfaces leads to conversion of kinetic energy of directed drop motion into various forms of energy including surface energy, vibrational energy, heat, and under suitable conditions, electrical energy. The latter has attracted substantial attention in recent years for its potential to directly convert energy from random environmental flows such as rainfall, spray, and wave motion on the sea to electrical energy. Despite the invention of numerous configurations of such energy harvesters, the underlying physical principles and optimum operation conditions have remained elusive. In this letter, we use a combination of high-speed electrical current and video imaging measurements to develop a parameter-free quantitative description of the energy harvesting process for an optimized electrode configuration. A novel electrowetting-assisted charge injection method, EWCI, enables highly stable surface charges and robust energy conversion for several months with record efficiencies exceeding 2.5 percent of the initial kinetic energy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020


  • physics.app-ph


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