A new device has been recently developed by researchers that create energy out of moisture in the air. The device has been named as “Air-gen”, with relevance to the generation of electricity from the air.
Air-gen forms a transfer pathway for electricity by connecting electrodes with nanowires. The technology uses natural proteins to convert ambient moisture into power. The development was done at the University of Massachusetts. Geobacter – a bacteria commonly found in soli and aquatic environments. The bacteria are especially suitable within electronics applications, because of its unique electron transfer capabilities. According to the researchers, Air-gen can operate 24/7 and the energy generated is green, affordable and renewable. Portable electronics don’t go well with wind power or solar power, due to the requirements of sunlight and wind to operate. These requirements make it unusable in indoors where no sunlight or wind is available. While on the other hand, moisture exists everywhere in our environment which helps the device to work everywhere and also during the night.
Plans are underway to adapt Air-gen into a compact patch, which would work most effectively in devices like smartwatches and fitness monitors. Long-term power storage solutions could also be considered using this new technology. UMass Amherst electrical engineer Jun Yao, has also pointed towards numerous other protein nanowire applications being developed.