Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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piezo rain plate

Piezo hydro power
  [vote for,

A thin plate of piezoelectric material probably not more than 1 cm in diameter; the pressure exerted by a large raindrop could cause a current. Multiple plates could be placed on top of buildings in cities such as Seattle which experience heavy rainfall creating an alternate source of energy.
Maeljin, Jan 31 2003

Rain Panel http://www.halfbake...m/idea/Rain_20Panel
Mentioned in an annotation here. [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004]

Alternative solution http://www.halfbake...electric_20turbines
(as mentioned by kropotkin) [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]


       It may work better if the rain impacts upon a lever which forms an extension of the piezo element.
angel, Jan 31 2003

       Seattle doesn't necessarily experience *heavy* rainfall - just constant.
thumbwax, Jan 31 2003

       Or what about hydro-electric power from a rain barrel on the roof?
kropotkin, Jan 31 2003

       I don't think it has much potential as an energy source, but I'd be very interested in seeing how this might be applied to a bucketless electronic rain gauge.

You may have stumbled onto something here.
X2Entendre, Jan 31 2003

       Energy input can be estimated from:   

       Average mass of raindrop
Average terminal velocity of raindrop
Conversion efficiency figure for piezo device

       More later.
8th of 7, Jan 31 2003

       8th, check the Rain Panel link before you go too nuts. A lot of figurin' was done over there, you may be covered.
waugsqueke, Jan 31 2003

       It might be simpler to just think of rainfall in terms of inches of water. Then it's just a question of collection area * depth of rain * weight of water per unit volume (constant) * average velocity of raindrops * device efficiency. You could express it in general as J per cm of rain per m2 of surface. Not much energy, though, as everyone on the Rain Panel thread points out.   

       Maybe a hybrid solar / rain generator for the tropics. If you really wanted every last scrap of energy, you could always mount it in a convenient high place and spin a turbine with the runoff as well.
Monkfish, Jan 31 2003

       I doubt the energy created by the plate would ever exceed the energy required to make the plate. Pieze crystals do make current, but in very very small amounts...micro amps (millionths of an amp). I think a good old fashion gravity powered water wheel at the top of each building , using the great height of the building to build water pressure would generate MUCH more power.
nomel, Jul 02 2004

       a big (-) only because my lateral thinking on elephant electricity i.e. piezoelectricity generation by elephants walking on generators tied to theis footbase was fish boned. otherwise i would have remained neutral.
vedarshi, Jul 02 2004


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