Nice to see more projects popping up.
I guess I have a project running atm as well, so here it goes:
Basically, we're building an electrostatic generator which generates power from falling droplets of water. I expect to see some eyebrows raising, so here it goes:
Chemistry tells us that water contains both H+ and OH- in a perfect balance to create a pH of 7. So when a drop of water falls, it will be neutrally charged. However, even the slightest outside electric interference will cause the pool of water from which the droplets fall to be polarized. This means that a droplet /could/ have slightly more OH- than H+, or vice versa. A charged object would serve the task of creating this interferance just fine. Now I might be losing some of you... but please try to get it. :p Say you have 2 buckets of water at a meter height. Out of the left bucket there falls a positively charged droplet (by chance) into the reservoir beneath it. It passes through a metal ring on it's way, but that doesn't do anything... yet. The point is, you hook the left ring with the right reservoir, and the right ring with the left reservoir. So when the first reservoir becomes positively charged, the ring on the other side will become positively charged, pressing the positively charged ions in the bucket above it further away, which will make a negatively charged droplet drop. This makes the reservoir beneath it negative, which makes it's ring negative, which makes a more positive droplet fall. this cycle will generate thousands of volts until it discharges, which will create a pretty spark to indicate that the generator works.
So that's the theory in a wrap, and unless someone has comments, we got that covered. What I want help with is the following:
How would you be able to tell wich side of the generator turns negative?
How is the randomness of the first charged drop influenced?
Can the circumstances be manipulated so that the right bucket (for example) be negative always? Any more input would be appreciated.
If you didn't understand the theory, look here.