Although the world has been moving forward in terms of green energy, the search is still on for a potential energy source that is both renewable and easily available. Recent developments have led to the rise of a new form of energy source that satisfies these criteria perfectly. Considered the new kid on the block, evaporation energy harnesses the humidity levels in the air, including changes in the same to produce power.
Potentials of Evaporation Energy
Over 70% of the earth’s surface is comprised of water. As such, evaporation energy can potentially be considered as the single largest power source one earth. By harnessing the energy that is produced during the water evaporative cycle, one can easily produce enough energy to power anything from small scale electrical appliances to even large electrical generators.
A group of researchers have discovered a soil bacterium by the name of Bacillus Subtilis that can contract and expand with the introduction of water. Coating a small sized, flexible plank with the solution that contains this bacterium (in the form of spores) would allow it to bend and straighten according to differing humidity levels.
The kinetic movement produced by the plank can thus, generate over 1000 times the force of a human muscle. One pound of these spores when moistened can thus, generate enough energy to lift a car at least 3 feet off the ground.
Progress in the Field
So far, the team of researchers has used evaporation energy to build tiny engines consisting of thin plastic strips coated with spores that would power LEDs and a gram car.
The team has also created an evaporation engine as well as a moisture mill as part of the project. While the first consists of a bio engineered muscle that contains tape ribbons treated with these spores to open and close strips when exposed to changing humidity levels, the latter involves a wheel that rotates as and when the spore treated tape attached to it contracts and expands when exposed to moisture.
Although the technology used to harness evaporation energy still remains within the lab, potential developments in the field in the near future can lead to myriad applications for the same.
Accordingly, changing humidity levels can be used to power a large scale generator that can, in turn, produce enough power to produce electricity day and night.
The technology can be used to power robotic limbs or prosthetics as well as generators and batteries in typical sportswear. The technology would make use of the sweat the body produces to generate the power needed for these devices.
Large scale applications of evaporation energy include its use to power aircrafts, thus substituting fuel power considerably. The evaporation cycle can be used to generate enough power when the aircraft is introduced to moisture during the flight. This would, in turn, reduce an aircraft’s dependency on fuel for travel, bringing down fuel related costs by nearly 50% or more.
Military units can also use evaporation energy to power military body armor. It is a known fact that the batteries used in these gadgets are quite heavy and need frequent re-charging. By making use of the moisture contained in body sweat to power them would prove to be more efficient for military units.
Scaling evaporation energy to bigger levels can even lead to the creation of giant floating generators or rotating machines that can sit above water in reservoirs or bays to produce electricity for entire cities.
All these go to show that evaporation energy can easily replace solar and wind energy in the long run. It could lead to the generation of an entirely new energy platform that could produce and store enough renewable energy to power entire cities.
Scientists have discovered a new form of renewable energy that would easily replace all other non-renewable energy sources on earth. Evaporation energy can easily be considered as the next major energy source in the near future.