Unimpounded Hydropower for the Poor (XPRIZE Proposal)

Hydroelectricity is one of our cheapest and most reliable forms of renewable energy Unfortunately, it has a lot of environmental side effects because of its reliance on dams and moving parts, like turbines, to turn kinetic energy into electricity

These make life difficult for salmon and a lot of other kinds of fish, plus it's destroying sensitive river delta ecosystems downstream Here's the thing- you don't need moving parts to generate electricity from a moving fluid If you stick one end of a conductor into fast-flowing water and ground the other end, the moving fluid strips electrons from the exposed end, pulling new electrons from the ground to balance the charge If you have a really sensitive digital multimeter you can test this yourself- just set it to millivolts, attach one probe to a good ground and stick the other into the flow This basic "atredyne" produces a current that is very small, but measurable

We need your help to turn this very simple generator into a practical, inexpensive home atredyne that can charge something small, say a cell phone, overnight Doing this will transform the lives of millions, maybe even a billion, of the world's poorest people- folks who struggle to get basic electricity for lighting, learning, and communication Your design will also open the floodgates of innovation, making possible commercial-scale atredynes so that we can finally say good-bye to hydroelectric dams and let the poor salmon freely swim back to the spawning grounds of their great-great-grandparents See YOU in the XPRIZE competition!

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