ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY

Professor Wang Zhangkai, City University of Hong Kong: From Mechanism to Application Design—A Latest Review of Water-driven Generators Based on Bionic Design


On November 7, 2022, Professor Wang Zhangkai of the City University of Hong Kong (currently: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) hosted an international academic journal at Tsinghua UniversityNano Research Energy (https://www.sciopen.com/journal/2791-0091) published a recent review titled “Bio-inspired water-driven electricity generators: from fundamental mechanisms to practical applications,” which is comprehensively presentedDifferent forms of water-driven generators based on bio-inspired influencesThe latest research advances.

Ubiquitous water occupies about 70% of the Earth’s surface and absorbs 35% of solar radiation (about 60 terawatts). In order to obtain the huge energy contained in the water, the traditional method is mainly to use large electromagnetic generatorsTidal changesorRiver dropGenerate electricity. However, electromagnetic generators based on conventional technologyIt is difficult to obtain water energy that is more widely available on a small scale or at low frequencies, such as evaporation, raindrops, slow flow of rivers, small undulations of the water surface, etc.Water-driven generator technology based on water-solid interactionThe direct harvesting of energy from nature’s water cycle and the generation of electricity provide a solution to this challenge (Figure 1). However, due to the overly simple artificial design, water-driven generators existLow energy conversion efficiency, poor durability, poor scalability, and low integrationand so on.

Figure 1 Water-driven generators based on water-solid interactions harvest energy from the natural water cycle to generate electricity

Luckily, the variety of interesting creatures in nature inspires us. After a long period of natural selection, organisms have evolved to be ableStructure or function adapted to various harsh environmentsto efficiently treat and manage water and energy. For example, the hydrophobic micro/nanostructure of lotus leaves can form between droplets and surfacesair cushionIt is greatly enlightening to make the droplets roll on their surface with very low resistance, thus achieving the effect of “coming out of the sludge without staining”Superhydrophobic surfaceof research. Araucaria leafThree-dimensional asymmetric capillary serrated structureLiquids with different surface tension can flow in different directions. Nepenthes will be abundant through its surface structureLiquid rivetsOn its surface, thus enlightenedThe liquid is injected into the porous surfacedesign. These unique biological surfaces/structures provide new perspectives for designing a variety of water-driven generatorsCombined with better durability and higher energy output

Currently, water-driven generators based on bionic designJust getting started, a comprehensive review of water-driven generators based on bionic design is urgently needed,Scientific adaptive design that reveals its basic principles and biomimetic structureto guide the design, selection, optimization and manufacture of artificial materials to go beyond nature and develop new water-solid interaction-based water-driven generators and power generation systems for specific practical applications. This article first introduces the various forms of water-driven generatorsGenerator management; Secondly, the latest bio-inspired water-driven generators are reviewedResearch progress, including bionic wave or flowing water driven generators, bionic evaporation driven generators, bionic rainwater driven generators and bionic moisture driven generators; Next, the bionic water drives the generator inSensors, wearable generation and self-powered devicesMajor applications in three areas. Finally, the existence of water-driven generators is discussedProblems, solutions and development prospectsIt provides a new perspective for the application and integration of biomimicry in the field of water-driven power generation.

Paper Information:

K. Wang, W. Xu, W. Zhang, et al. Bio-inspired water-driven electricity generators: From fundamental mechanisms to practical applications. Nano Research Energy. https://doi.org/10.26599/NRE.2023.9120042.

Doi:10.26599/NRE.2023.9120042

Nano Research Energy is a companion journal of Nano Research, (ISSN: 2791-0091; e-ISSN: 2790-8119; Official Website: https://www.sciopen.com/journal/2790-8119Founded in March 2022, Professor Qu Liangti of Tsinghua University and Professor Chunyi Zhi of City University of Hong Kong serve as editors-in-chief.Nano Research EnergyIt is an international multidisciplinary and English-based open access journal, focusing on the cutting-edge research and application of nanomaterials and nanoscience and technology in new energy-related fields, benchmarking against top international energy journals, and committed to publishing high-level original research and review papers, which has been selected2022 China Science and Technology Journals Excellence Action Plan – High Starting Point New Journal Project。 APC fees will be waived until 2023, and teachers are welcome to submit their papers. To submit, please contact: NanoResearchEnergy@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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