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Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by littledonny, Nov 6, 2008.
Is it possible to store lightning strike energy in capacitor bays in order to provide electricity?
It would be very difficult.
From wikipedia... Lightning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"An average bolt of lightning carries an electric current of 40 kiloamperes (kA), and transfers a charge of five coulombs and 500 MJ. Large bolts of lightning can carry up to 120 kA and 350 coulombs. The voltage depends on the length of the bolt, with the dielectric breakdown of air being three million volts per metre; this works out to approximately one gigavolt (one thousand million volts) for a 300 m (1000 ft) lightning bolt. With an electric current of 100 kA, this gives a power of 100 terawatts. "
So, you need a system capable of absorbing all of that power in an instant, convert it to the voltage necessary for your storage system, and store it... all in a VERY short period of time. And unless you've got a nice tall tower to ensure your feeder is the highest point for miles around, you can't gaurantee lightening strikes.
Then there's the problem of long periods between thunder storms.
i always wanted to look into this. i had an idea to make it work but dont know if it could or not...
what if you had multiple points that would 'absorb' the energy.
just imagine a long 'pole' <--|-----|-----|------|------|------|---->
the energy could travel along the horizontal line and have multiple points (the vertical points) that would asborb from it. almost like leaching off the main line.
In my head it would be like a veins in your body or like watering a garden. several points feed off the main supply and retain the energy because it wasnt such an abrupt amount of power at once.
even better and i just thought of this, what if you had a system that would divide the energy into many points. imagine a system that looked much like a plant all the way down to the roots. it would just work opposite how a plant does.
I dont know if that would work or if there is something that could make a system like those work.
hopefully i didnt just invent something that someone else will steal and use and make millions off my idea(s) lol!
at least i get an A for effort right?
Certainly an interesting concept.
The amount of voltage and subsequent current would be almost impossible to harness. Even if you could, getting the lightning to strike your lightning rod would be costly and possibly dangerous. It wouldn't happen often enough to make it worth your while.
I saw a show where they were testing how safe a person was in a car during a lightning strike. It might have been Mythbusters. They would shoot a grounded steel cable into storm clouds to attract lightning. That or a large grounded tower would be necessary and would make it cost prohibitive.
You know you could possibly produce artificial conditions that could make the lightning strike even without rain I thought it was attracted to nitrogen or some kind of charge right? Can capacitor bays even store a terrawatt, how big would that have to be? Would nano-mesh capacitors be more effective than plate capacitors?