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 a friend, Zahra Gasimzade, assisted by their physics tutors, worked for four months running calculations and developing a device to harvest energy from rainwater.
The nine-metre-high instrument consists of four main parts: a rainwater collector, a water tank, an electric generator and a 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 liters of rainwater. Jamalova says that underprivileged communities can use Rainergy to power items such as street lamps.
“Our model is much more efficient in comparison with similar systems,” explains Jamalova, noting that piezoelectric rain generators produce only 25 microwatts of power. Rain-harvested energy emits 10g/kwh of CO2 during electricity production, which Jamalova claims is “very low compared to alternative energy solutions.”