14-Year-Old Student Turns Rain Into Electricity

Hi, this is Steven Cherry for IEEE Spectrum’s “Techwise Conversations.”

How many people have lain awake at night listening to the sound of rain? We know the answer to that: It’s about 12 billion, because half the people who have ever lived are alive today [Note: this is incorrect, as a commenter notes below], and probably every single one of them has done so. How many people have had the thought that maybe there’s some useful energy going to waste there? We don’t know the answer to that one, but probably a pretty tiny fraction. How many people have actually harvested that energy?

Just one. We know because he built it and then entered it into the Google Science Fair, where he reached the regional finals, one of four Canadian entries to make it that far.

My guest today is Raymond Wang, a 14-year-old student at the St. George’s School in British Columbia. He came up with a sophisticated yet simple energy collector he calls the “weather harvester” that takes the energy of falling precipitation or wind, turns it into electricity, and stores it on a capacitor. He joins us by phone from Vancouver.

To read more, please open the following link : 14-Year-Old Student Turns Rain Into Electricity