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I think it's possible, but you're right it's not that much energy compared to global demand for electricity. Most lightning strikes are air-to-air and we have no ideas how to harvest that energy, which leaves only the air-to-ground strikes, which even if you could capture every strike over land and the vast oceans would only meet the world's electricity needs for 9 days a year, assuming ideal 100% efficiency which is impossible.
originally posted by: Tempter
I've always wondered if it's possible to harness electricity from lightning and store it in some kind of large lithium battery.
Does anyone know if this should be at least theoretically possible? Is it just not that much power?
originally posted by: dragonridr
a reply to: Tempter
First lightening has over 5 billion jules but occurs in a fraction of a second. Now thefirst reason is we dont know where its going to hit. And to store it you would need to make sure it hits the correct point. Then you would have to have something with the capacity to store it which currently doesnt exist. Then convert it to AC for use without frying the system. If lightening hits a transformer they blow up. Now the final problem though they have alot of energy most of it is lost heating the air around it to the temperature of the sun. This would tend to melt your equipment. This is why farmers used lightening rods better to hit that then melt a hole through a metal roof or start a fire.