The current focus for engineers and scientists worldwide is on developing new avenues for renewable sources of energy. Solar energy is by far the most promising of all of them.
Solar panels, however, have a fundamental drawback. They don’t function in rainy weather properly or at times when there is no sufficient sunlight available.
Now there is a new ray of hope and a solution to this problem. Scientists in China have devised a way to harness the power of falling raindrops on the solar panel to produce electricity. A device called TriboElectric NanoGenerator (TENG) is the soul of this enhancement. Although not a new technology but its use in solar panels is done for the first time.TENG can generate electricity from any objects which are rubbing together. In other words, it’s a device which generates energy from friction.
In this case, the TENG would generate electricity from the friction caused due to the rolling of raindrops on the solar panel. The idea was not new, but the challenge was to develop a system that was compact and lightweight. Plus it had to work along with solar panels and not as a substitute.
A system had to be created where the sun rays would be able to penetrate the solar panel along with generating electricity from the falling raindrops. This technology also meant that during rainy seasons if it rains at night then also the solar panels would be able to produce electricity.