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Video: 14-Year-Old Generates Electricity from Raindrops
(Smart Planet) One night, 14-year-old Raymond Wang lay in bed trying to come up with a design for a science project. The rain was slapping the roof of his Vancouver home pretty hard and the loud noise gave Wang an idea. Maybe he could capture the rain hitting the roof and use it as a source of energy.
Wang’s idea turned into an energy collector that he calls the “weather harvester.” The device takes energy from rain or snow and turns it into electricity that is stored on a capacitor. Wang entered the project in the Google Science Fair and now he is one of the finalists in the competition.
So how did he build the device?
To start, Wang began researching piezoelectric materials, which convert kinetic energy into electric current. After comparing a number of different materials, he settled on polyvinylidene fluoride because he says it is sensitive enough to collect energy from things like wind and rain.
Then Wang created a model roof to test how the electricity would be captured.