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lightning

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by mkh, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. mkh

    mkh New Member

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    isn't there any way at all of utilizing the vast amount of energy in lighning?
     
  2. OutToLunch

    OutToLunch New Member

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    don't some people shove rods into sand so that when they get struck by lightning, the sand heats up, turns to glass and makes a pretty "sculpture"? If anyone has seen "Sweet Home Alabama", you'll know what I'm talking about.
     
  3. Hero999

    Hero999 Banned

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    There isn't that much energy in lightning compared to wind or hydroelectric power.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    Lightning still has a lot of energy, problem is it's impulse energy. Almost everything conducts electricty at the voltages present in lightning.
     
  6. Oznog

    Oznog Active Member

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    I once heard a lightning bolt has about $35 in electricity in it, all the way from the cloud to ground. I don't know how accurate that was, it would be quite hard to accurately measure too.

    Capturing an impulse of many kiloamps is nearly impossible- and capturing it with a tower 100 ft tall might only yield a few thousand volts drop, meaning only a small portion of the energy would be captured. You'd need a tower that went all the way into the clouds to capture it all without wasting it with all the light, heat, and noise of a bolt.

    Towers sometimes pick up current from the electric fields generated (often called "sky power"). They actually want to short it out to keep it from damaging the tower's transmitter, rather than build up a voltage you can use. It's somewhat different than lightning though, and I don't think the amplitude is either strong or consistent.
     

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