Could dew power our phones in future?

Water and electronics might not seem like a natural or safe combination, but researchers in the U.S have discovered that H2O could be used to charge a mobile.

Nenad Miljkovic and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered that when water forms condensation on copper plates, it spontaneously jumps from one to the other, picking up an electrical charge in the process. Inspired, they built a machine to channel that charge into electricity.

For now, the process is slow-going, and would take around 12 hours to charge a phone, they say. But in the upcoming apocalypse, when the power’s out and you can see zombies on the distant horizon, it should give you enough time to be able to crank out a text or two. More seriously (um, not that the zombie apocalypse isn’t real, of course), if we could one day harness the power of natural resources to power up our energy-consuming tech, that would be pretty cool.

The only bummer for we Brits is that it apparently works best in a humid environment, meaning that we’re going to have to wait for global warming to take full effect to make the most of it. But it should go without saying that when scientists finally find a way to power up gadgets using rainwater, we’ll be all set.

Image via A Guy Taking Pictures’ Flickr.

Diane Shipley

Comments are closed.