It's pretty darn impressive that scientists have been able to harness energy from the sun, wind, and water, providing us with all kinds of alternative sources of power. And now they've managed to create energy from snowfall. According to a 2019 study, engineers and chemists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a device made of silicone that can harness a charge from static electricity.
The development of power generators that can function in harsh snowy environments and contact with snow can be beneficial but challenging to accomplish. Herein, Scientists introduce the first snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator (snow-TENG) that can be used as an energy harvester and a multifunctional sensor based on the principle of snow-triboelectrification.
"Snow is positively charged and gives up electrons, while silicone is negatively charged and accepts the electrons," IFL Science explains. "So, as the snow lands on the silicone, a charge is produced and then captured." Think of it as the spark of energy you create when you rub a balloon against your hair.