how it works
Raingen, the evolution
The use of ionisation to affect rainfall is credited to an American, Bernard Vonnegut, who is also given credit for the founding of cloud seeding as a weather modification technique.
Simply put, a very high voltage is applied to a very fine element, causing a corona current which causes free electrons (from atmospheric gasses) to charge the particles of dust, salt etc that in any event form the nuclei of raindrops.
Then, presumably at least partly because of the bi-polar shape of the water molecule, these charged particles accelerate the usually random colliding of said water molecules into drops of sufficient mass to affect the net precipitation.
While much to do with the processes involved is not very well understood, many have tried over the decades to measure the effects of installing ionisation devices (or cloud seeding devices for that matter). Until recently, rigorous scientific analysis has not been able to support the ambitious claims of the various proponents of such systems.
It is said that though many CSIRO scientists were involved in such evaluations in the 60’s and 70’s, that the various technologies apparently could be proven to do little else but ruin reputations.
This seems to have changed over the last 5 years or so with the development of a new measurement technique developed by a Professor Ray Chambers and his team of statisticians.
This work was funded by our client, Australian Rain Technologies (ART), and they have the measurement methodology patented. While this company has no right to use it (unless under licence) and to be frank does not have the skills to, we have been very fortunate in that ART has measured the efficacy of our last generation of design and operation and they have published those results.
Whilst various practical problems encountered by us installing the 3rd generation in the middle East prompted some significant modifications to the equipment those mods are all structural or practical and we have ensured that the electrical design of the emitter and associated performance related systems are unchanged, apart from some minor reliability tweaks.
These evaluations of our designs have been carried out in double blind trials over several seasons, in both the Adelaide Hills and Oman, and over wildly varying seasonal conditions.All the evaluations (including peer group review of both trial protocols and results) have yielded similar results of around 10% more rain to a significance in the high ninety per cent range.
This trend changed the 2014 season in Oman where an 18.5% increase was measured to 99% significance. I have been advised by an Emeritus Professor of statistics that once such a trial and evaluation has been done twice, nothing further needs to be proved.