Work on obtaining electrical energy fromalternative sources sometimes leads to original engineering solutions. Developers from the University of California created a Snow TENG nanogenerator capable of extracting electricity from snow, which will increase the efficiency of solar panels during periods of snowfall.
Snow covered solar panel withThe Snow TENG tribo-electric nanogenerator integrated into its surface is capable of using static electricity for energy generation. The fact is that the snow cover has a positive electric charge, therefore, when rubbing against a coating with a negative charge, an electric current is created. As a material with a negative charge is selected compound based on silicon. Snow TENG is applied using a 3D printer with a layer of silicon on the electrode.
The developers claim that about 30%surface of the earth in winter covered with snow. During this period, solar panels often do not operate at full capacity. A layer of snow reduces the amount of sunlight reaching the solar cell, limiting the output power of the panels and making them less efficient. Snow TENG can be integrated into solar panels to provide uninterrupted power supply during a snowfall.
The effectiveness of such generators, however, is smalland is only 0.2 mW per square meter of surface. However, this amount of energy is enough to ensure the work of economical weather sensors.