Earlier this month, researchers in Tel Aviv generated electricity out of thin air.
More precisely, the electrical charge was generated using water vapor found naturally in our atmosphere.
The voltage generated was very low, but the experiment shows that water vapor in the atmosphere has the potential to become a viable source of renewable energy.
“If an AA battery is 1.5V, there may be a practical application in the future: to develop batteries that can be charged from water vapor in the air,” said Colin Price, a researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences.
The research is based on a natural phenomenon you’re probably familiar with; lightning.
In their research, the team honed in on that phenomenon. They found that voltage only developed when the relative humidity in the air rose above 60% — atmospheric conditions that are extremely common across the world.
The researchers say the technology could be impactful in developing countries where many communities don’t have regular access to electricity, but humidity is high.