A team of researchers in South Korea have a pretty exciting new idea for hydroelectricity. They figured out a way to turn the mechanical energy from flowing water into a sustainable energy source. In other words, your toilet flushes could help power your home.
It's not just toilet flushes though. Rain water, ocean waves, river currents -- this method will work pretty much anywhere there's running water. It takes advantage of a property in dielectric materials whereby they develop an electric charge when put into water. Scientists from Seoul National University and Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI) simply adapted a transducer to harvest the energy. The movement of a just single water droplet was enough to light a green LED using the new equipment in the lab.
Water's looking pretty good these days. It was just a few days ago that we learned how pouring saltwater over graphene generates electricity. Makes you wonder: What else can we pour water over to generate electricity? [Chemistry World]