Harvesting lightning energy


Since the late 1980s, there have been
several attempts to investigate the possibility of “harvesting lightning
energy”. While a single bolt of lightning carries a relatively large
amount of energy, this energy is concentrated in a small location and is
passed during an extremely short period of time; therefore, extremely high
electrical power is involved. It has been proposed that the energy contained
in lightning be used to generate hydrogen from water, or to harness the
energy from rapid heating of water due to lightning, or to use a group of
lightning arresters to harness a strike, either directly or by converting it to
heat or mechanical energy, or to use inductors spaced far enough away so that
a safe fraction of the energy might be captured.
Overview A technology capable of harvesting
lightning energy would need to be able to rapidly capture the high power
involved in a lightning bolt. Several schemes have been proposed, but the
ever-changing energy involved in each lightning bolt render lightning power
harvesting from ground based rods impractical – too high, it will damage
the storage, too low and it may not work. Additionally, lightning is
sporadic, and therefore energy would have to be collected and stored; it is
difficult to convert high-voltage electrical power to the lower-voltage
power that can be stored. In the summer of 2007, an alternative
energy company called Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. tested a method for
capturing the energy in lightning bolts. The design for the system had been
purchased from an Illinois inventor named Steve LeRoy, who had reportedly
been able to power a 60-watt light bulb for 20 minutes using the energy captured
from a small flash of artificial lightning. The method involved a tower,
a means of shunting off a large portion of the incoming energy, and a capacitor
to store the rest. According to Donald Gillispie, CEO of AEHI, they “couldn’t
make it work,” although “given enough time and money, you could probably scale
this thing up… it’s not black magic; it’s truly math and science, and it
could happen.” According to Martin A. Uman, co-director
of the Lightning Research Laboratory at the University of Florida and a leading
authority on lightning, a single lightning strike, while fast and bright,
contains very little energy, and dozens of lightning towers like those used in
the system tested by AEHI would be needed to operate five 100-watt light
bulbs for the course of a year. When interviewed by The New York Times, he
stated that the energy in a thunderstorm is comparable to that of an atomic bomb,
but trying to harvest the energy of lightning from the ground is “hopeless”.
Another major challenge when attempting to harvest energy from lightning is the
impossibility of predicting when and where thunderstorms will occur. Even
during a storm, it is very difficult to tell where exactly lightning will
strike. Atmospheric electricity
A relatively easy method is the direct harvesting of atmospheric charge before
it turns into lightning. At a small scale, it was done a few times with the
most known example being Benjamin Franklin’s kite experiment. However, to
collect reasonable amounts of energy, very large constructions are required,
and it is relatively hard to utilize the resulting extremely high voltage with
reasonable efficiency. Directed plasma channels
To facilitate the harvesting of lightning, a laser-induced plasma
channel could theoretically be used to allow lightning to strike in a
predictable location. A high power laser could be used to form an ionized column
of gas, which would act as an atmospheric conduit for electrical
discharges of lightning, which would direct the lightning to a ground station
for harvesting. Teramobile, an international project
initiated jointly by a French-German collaboration of CNRS and DFG, has
managed to trigger electric activity in thunderclouds by ultrashort lasers. A
large amount of power is necessary, 5 terawatts, over the short pulse
duration. For the moment, the application of laser-channeled lightning
is to use energy to divert the lightning and prevent damage instead of harvesting
the lightning energy. ” Electrical energy from clouds, lightning
and thunder The electrical energy generated from
charged cloud, lightning and thunder energies can be described with circuit
diagrams. See also
Distribution of lightning References

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4 thoughts on “Harvesting lightning energy”

  1. Mike Gorgichuk says:

    Store the lightening bolt into a capacitor. Then release it in a controlled manor.

  2. Ben Derival says:

    This is just stupid. I could just go on Google and read it myself. Why post this.

  3. Unoriginal Overlord says:

    can you attach rows of little motors to the rod and those motors be turned by the lightning bolt the way a paper clip motor turns but scaled way up? would definitely lose most energy but would the motors generate any usable amount of electricity? I ask because I wanna set up a rooftop windfarm and want to have a lightning rod to protect them during storms and was wondering If there would be any way that lightning could make up for lost solar power during cloudy weather.

  4. Butter Golem says:

    I have a way to contain/use lighting as a power source I’m not gonna show anyone the ways unless someone were to contact me privately because this is worth millions

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