Scientists at the CEA/Leti-Minatec in Grenoble, France are looking at ways to produce electricity from the vibrations caused by falling raindrops.
It's the latest step toward exploiting piezoelectric principles. In piezoelectrics, bending or otherwise deforming an object can produce power. If you take a tiny wire and bend it, for example, a negative charge gets produced on the stretched side while a positive charge gets created on the compressed side. When the pressure on the wire is relieved, an electrical current can be detected.
Using the CEA's concept, raindrops hitting a flexible surface set off the vibrations … Read more