Electric sparks from falling water


Derek Muller, from Veritasium, shows off a device that simply uses the falling water as an electricity generator. You have two water sources, curled pipes around the water dispenser, then other two curled pipes around a sieve at the bottom. Wires are connected to the sieves and then to two big spheres. After a while a spark will show up between those two spheres.

The device is called a Kelvin Thunderstorm and uses the fact that falling water has positive (H+) and negative (HO-) ions in it. If you get some charge near that water you may have, at a given time, only positively changed water on one water dispenser and negatively charged water on the other water dispenser.

Due to this difference you will see flow of current between the two spheres at a given time. That current is too wak to practical use, but it is good to know that we can use falling water to generate electricity (except the water damn with turbines, ok?).

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