Imagine that you are lost in the middle of the desert, stuck on a desert island or simply hiking in the mountains. You’ll probably need electricity to power your flashlight or your mobile phone. Obviously, there are no power outlets on the horizon… What can you do if you don’t have an O’SOL generator handy??
Together, we will go through some simple notions that you will need to know if you want to create your own free energy from nothing!
Some fundamental rules to keep in mind
If you are reading this article, it certainly is because you are intrigued by the fact that it may be possible “to create electricity from nothing” … and you are right to be concerned since it isn’t possible! If you don’t have a scientific background, here is a simple rule to bear in mind to better understand this article:
“Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”
These famous words, attributed to Antoine Lavoisier, simply explains that on the physical level, it is not possible to create matter. What may seem to “appear” or to magically “be created” is nothing else that the result of a transformation through well-established physical laws. Amongst them, the law of matter conservation or more generally the law of conservation. Similarly, energy can’t be created, but simply transformed from one type to another (example: the dynamo which transforms part of a cyclist’s kinetic energy into electrical energy to power the lights).
For those of you with a scientific background, you will easily understand that the two first principles of thermodynamics don’t enable the creation of energy but merely its conversion with conservation.
(As a reminder: the first principle of thermodynamics states that energy is always conserved, the second calls upon the entropy to establish the irreversibility of physical phenomena).
Even with these fundamental concepts in mind, we are not yet in a position to generate our own electricity in the desert… but we know that it is necessary to look out for a source of energy in order to transform it into electricity. Which is already a great step forward!
A few known energy sources
Energy sources can be put into two categories : primary and secondary sources. Primary energy (PE) sources can be found in natural phenomena which surround us whereas secondary energies, such as electricity, stem from the conversion of these primary sources.
What matters for us for the sake of this article, is to produce electricity. Therefore, we need to operate the conversion from a primary source. Here are the different primary sources of energy known to this day:
- Bio-chemical energy (used by any living organism by converting it from the energy of its alimentation)
- Solar energy, which stems from the radiation of the sun.
- Mechanical energy, which stems from the displacement of a body or a fluid. This energy can be categorized into several types like hydraulic or wind energy.
- Fossil energy, which stems from the accumulation of biomass (and therefore biochemical energy) during hundreds of millions of years.
- Nuclear energy, which stems from the fission or the fusion of elements at the molecular level.
Unless discovering another source of primary energy, you will for sure need to convert on of these listed sources into electricity to power your phone or your flashlight.
A few ideas
Admittedly, it is not possible « to create electricity from nothing » but more than that, in all cases, you will need some materials to turn a primary source of energy into electricity.
Here are a few ideas that you can dig if you really have “nothing” and if you have not anticipated this lack of electricity:
- Production of electricity from biochemical energy included in organic elements (example: the lemon which produces enough energy to power a small light bulb)
- Production of electricity from the biochemical energy included in the urine… but you will need an electrolyser! It’s not the kind of material that you have with you on a hike!
More seriously, numerous portable solutions are available on the market and let you convert different types of primary energy sources into electricity. They all share the same word : an electrical generator.
With our O’SOL generators, you will easily convert the energy from the sun into clean electricity and even store it and use it in a context of mobility or emergency. You can also check different alternative solutions, depending on your situation:
- Diesel generators, polluting and noisy, convert fossil energy into mechanical energy, which is then turned into electricity.
- Mechanical generators (dynamos or portable wind of hydraulic systems) which turn kinetic energy into mechanical energy, which is then turned into electricity.
- Electrochemical generators, widely known as batteries, convert the chemical energy of the elements they contain (lithium, lead…) into electricity.
It is necessary to have a minimum of material to produce your own electricity, which means “free electricity, from nothing” is not possible. The appealing articles that tricks you into thinking that it is possible to produce infinite energy with DIY systems or with perpetual motion devices are simply lies.
Keep in mind that producing electricity necessarily results from the conversion of a finite amount of energy into another finite amount of electricity!
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