For many years, scientists have been breaking their minds on how to get energy from alternative sources with maximum efficiency. Researchers at MIT were able to create a technology that allows the generation of electric current literally from the air.
The Air-gen installation proposed by engineers is an array of specially designed protein nanowires. The nanowires installed in the pneumatic generator in the form of a film have a thickness of less than 10 microns. Electric current is generated by water vapor, which is present in any room, regardless of humidity level.
“We managed to produce electricity directly from the air. Air-gen is capable of generating energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Perhaps this is the most extraordinary and exciting application of protein nanowires in the history of science, ”said Jun Yao, co-author of the study.
Engineers assure that the use of such a facility is permissible anywhere in the world, regardless of the level of humidity. You can even place such a generator even in the Sahara desert, since the thinnest nanowires can convert moisture in the air with any concentration into steam.
The efficiency of the already created prototype of such a generator is 40 milliwatts per square centimeter at a voltage of 0.5 volts. It is noteworthy that such indicators are relevant even with air humidity of only 20%. The maximum efficiency of the created film was noted with a protein fiber layer thickness of 14 micrometers. Complete regeneration of the installation occurs in five hours, after which its effectiveness is restored to its previous level. According to scientists, further studies will improve the effectiveness of this method.