Making a splash with ‘rainwater‘ electricity

AZERBAIJAN • She is just 15 years old, but has already designed a smart device that generates electric power from raindrops.

Reyhan Jamalova, a ninth-grade student at the Istek Lyceum in Baku, Azerbaijan, and her friend Zahra Gasimzade worked for four months running calculations and developing a device to harvest energy from rainwater. They were assisted by their physics tutors.

The instrument has four main parts: a rainwater collector, water tank, electric generator and battery.

The collector fills the reservoir with rainwater that will later flow at high speed through the generator to produce energy. The generated energy is stored in the battery, and can relieve pressure on the local power grid by providing communities with an additional source of electricity.

The team has developed two prototypes. One lights up three LED lamps, while the other produces enough electricity to light 22 LED lamps for up to 50 seconds using only seven litres of rainwater.

Underprivileged communities can use Rainergy to power equipment such as street lamps, Reyhan said.

Student Reyhan Jamalova and a friend developed a device to harvest energy from rainwater after four months of work. PHOTO: JEYHUN SHIRINOV

“Our model is much more efficient in comparison with similar systems,” she explained, saying piezoelectric rain generators produce only 25 micro-watts of power.