Technicians develop small organic vapor engine




Scientists at Columbia University have developed two devices that get their energy directly via evaporation: a floating, piston-powered motor that generates electricity and a light may blink and a rotary motor driving a car.

HYDRA strips The system operates by using only a small pool of water so that water vapor can act as an energy source. The precise action by the researchers in Nature Communications should be and do. The idea for the use of water vapor as an energy source came after the discovery of traces of a common bacteria from the soil: the spores swell as they absorb water and shrink when they release the moisture in drier air. The difference is sufficient to dispose of very small objects and pulling.

Because large quantities of spores into a thin film, the researchers were able to ensure that the film retracts over a longer distance by evaporation or extends to moisture absorption. Researchers naming tracks in this application hydra or hygroscopic powered artificial muscles.

Then the researchers put a lot of pieces of film together in a floating plastic box with shutters that open and close. If the hydra in the box sit above the water, the evaporating water vapor causes the hydra will be longer and the shutters open. Then the water evaporates and the shutters close again. By then to link it to a small piston which drives a generator again, enough energy could be generated to blink an LED. The best result was obtained at 31 degrees Celsius. For example, could be obtained at short moments 60 micro watts over a resistance of 100 kilo-ohms.

hydra car The other engine that the researchers made was a wheel with all short pieces with traces coated film. By pasting the pieces on a wheel and it hung above a small bowl with water, the wheel rotates constantly because one half in wet and the other half is in dry air.

A larger version of the wheel may have enough power to generate electricity above a much larger body of water. From a technological standpoint, the researchers found that the engines might find interesting applications in the future for systems that are not connected to the electrical grid or can be, especially given the low cost and the large quantities of water to be found anywhere on earth .

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