IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


25th July, 2023 Geography

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A groundbreaking discovery in the field of renewable energy.


  • Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a technology called hygroelectricity, which generates electricity from humid air.
  • This concept, explored by Nikola Tesla, has been a subject of scientific inquiry for decades and is now closer to becoming a reality.

How it Works

  • The technology utilizes a device with two electrodes and a thin layer of material filled with nanopores.
  • As the water molecules move from an upper chamber to a lower chamber, they interact with the edges of the nanopores, leading to the buildup of electric charge imbalances between the chambers.
  • This process effectively transforms the device into a miniature battery, generating continuous electricity.

Similar to Clouds and Lightning

  • Researchers compare the device to a small-scale, man-made cloud that converts air humidity into usable electricity.
  • Potential applications include powering miniature computers, sensors, and providing sustainable energy sources for remote locations.

Versatility and Continuous Availability

  • One significant advantage of this technology is its versatility, applicable to a range of materials with the necessary nanopores.
  • Unlike solar and wind energy, air humidity is continuously available, making it a sustainable reservoir of energy.

Challenges and Potential

  • Currently, the device can produce electricity equivalent to only a fraction of a volt, making scaling up for practical energy demands a challenge.
  • More data on power output and cost-effectiveness is needed for widespread adoption of this revolutionary energy source.


Q) Explain the significance of the groundbreaking discovery of hygroelectricity in the realm of renewable energy. Elaborate on the working principle of this technology. (200 words)