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Why aren't we harnessing electricity from lightning?

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posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 08:57 AM
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a reply to: dragonridr

If we could store it finding out where it will strike won't be necessary. You can create a target that will attract the lightning.




posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 09:32 AM
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a reply to: Tempter

An even more important question is why we can't harvest a portion of the static energy that builds up causing the lightning. Solve a lot of problems. Sounds like Nikolai Tesla stuff. Maybe Musk can get working on that too, he's not busy.



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 09:53 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. A couple of things that come to mind are:

1) Everything was impossible until we did it

2) instead of using rockets to initiate, why not use a disposable drone carrying a lead (leed) line?

3) There doesn't need to be a single form of renewable energy that handle all of our needs, but a combination of many. Lightning power could fill a small percentage of our needs in places it's most likely to strike.

4) In the future we might be able to efficiently create storms in containment and harness that power. But maybe the power needed to do that would outweigh the benefit.

5) If we're going to make it on this planet were going to need more energy and we should work towards using all available resources!



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 10:03 AM
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originally posted by: sine.nomine
a reply to: Arbitrageur

When you say "x number of days of the year" are you talking globally, nationally, or what? Because if a company could manufacture the systems needed, then couldn't say a plant supply a municipality for quite some time?

Honest question btw, I'm genuinely curious at the feasibility of harnessing this kind if energy.
I was talking globally.

If you talk regionally it gets worse because then you only count the land strikes and not the ocean strikes.

One large expense would be the lightning collection towers, where you've got some options. You could build some Eiffel-tower size structures and you would need fewer of those than smaller towers but either way just building all those towers would cost a fortune, without even considering the cost of the equipment needed to handle such large currents, which is going to be very, very expensive because handling large currents takes large components that cost lots of money, which includes the towers and their current carrying capacity. That's assuming a solution could even be engineered to harness the energy, but we currently have no such solution because everyone realizes it's not economical so nobody is working on it though at least one company tried and failed.

www.nytimes.com...

according to Donald Gillispie, C.E.O. of Alternate Energy Holdings, “Quite frankly, we just couldn’t make it work.” And so for now they’re out of the lightning-farm business and concentrating on other projects (including a proposed nuclear power plant/biofuel facility in Idaho). “Given enough time and money, you could probably scale this thing up,” he says. “It’s not black magic; it’s truly math and science, and it could happen.”

Dr. Martin A. Uman, co-director of the Lightning Research Laboratory at the University of Florida, disagrees. “Lightning is just really fast and really bright,” he says, but doesn’t actually carry that much energy by the time it gets down to earth. He estimates that dozens of towers would be required just to operate five 100-watt light bulbs for a year.


The idea reminds me of solar freaking roadways, an idea that pops into your head that sounds like a free source of energy until you do the economic analysis and find it's not free but ridiculously expensive, and far more than you're paying now.

Until electricity becomes much more expensive than it is today, it's just not economical. But also consider what our landscapes would look like aesthetically covered with lightning towers. You would want them spaced further apart than these oil derricks but still this gives you some idea of what a lot of towers covering the landscape looks like:

infoglaz.ru...


edit on 2017107 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 10:03 AM
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a reply to: Tempter

"In the future we might be able to efficiently create storms in containment and harness that power. But maybe the power needed to do that would outweigh the benefits"

That would be the far distant future compared to say nuclear fusion Tokamak reactors which are essentially near enough ready to become mainstream in the next 15-20 years and will indeed meet our energy demands well into the next century finally enabling humanity to progress to a type one civilization.



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 10:20 AM
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It can be done and the tek has been around from the 1960s .
As for how much power lets just say your electric bill would be 5 $ a month .

Scientist did it back in the 1960s while the machine they built was not intend for this it would work for it with minor mods .
Now of all the conspiracies on this site this one is acutely true . Harness lighting supply worlds power ( forever )
On good storm has a lot more then what that one poster thinks .
anyway No more coal plants no more gas plants no more nuk plants no more hydro dams no more windmills .
starting to get the idea yet ?
It is not a matter of if it can be done but should it be done the worlds economy would collapse over night .
No way to put this tek into the worlds system with out this effect .
Look up the one and only machine they built in the 1960s .



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 10:29 AM
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originally posted by: Tempter
If the title question exposes my electrical ignorance, please forgive me. I do not claim to know much at all about electricity. However, like many I suppose, I've been influenced by Hollywood movies like Back To The Future and people such as Nikolai Tesla for a long time.

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? Is that why we haven't implemented a solution like this for renewable energy?



It's not really a consistent source. How often do you expect your lightning rod to get hit? Several times a day, everyday, forever?



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 12:19 PM
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i havent read the whole thread so forgive me if this has already been posted.


collecting lightning energy is totally feasible, notwithstanding the costs to do it as another poster pointed out (im not interested enough at this point to challenge their math)

another thing worth thinking about is its been pointed out that if you ran a dipole high enough up in the atmosphere with a cable going to the earth you could siphon off energy from the atmosphere all day long. You could do it with a blimp and a cable attached to the ground. Forget what its called but im sure you can look it up.



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 04:11 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur

originally posted by: sine.nomine
a reply to: Arbitrageur

When you say "x number of days of the year" are you talking globally, nationally, or what? Because if a company could manufacture the systems needed, then couldn't say a plant supply a municipality for quite some time?

Honest question btw, I'm genuinely curious at the feasibility of harnessing this kind if energy.
I was talking globally.

If you talk regionally it gets worse because then you only count the land strikes and not the ocean strikes.

One large expense would be the lightning collection towers, where you've got some options. You could build some Eiffel-tower size structures and you would need fewer of those than smaller towers but either way just building all those towers would cost a fortune, without even considering the cost of the equipment needed to handle such large currents, which is going to be very, very expensive because handling large currents takes large components that cost lots of money, which includes the towers and their current carrying capacity. That's assuming a solution could even be engineered to harness the energy, but we currently have no such solution because everyone realizes it's not economical so nobody is working on it though at least one company tried and failed.

www.nytimes.com...

according to Donald Gillispie, C.E.O. of Alternate Energy Holdings, “Quite frankly, we just couldn’t make it work.” And so for now they’re out of the lightning-farm business and concentrating on other projects (including a proposed nuclear power plant/biofuel facility in Idaho). “Given enough time and money, you could probably scale this thing up,” he says. “It’s not black magic; it’s truly math and science, and it could happen.”

Dr. Martin A. Uman, co-director of the Lightning Research Laboratory at the University of Florida, disagrees. “Lightning is just really fast and really bright,” he says, but doesn’t actually carry that much energy by the time it gets down to earth. He estimates that dozens of towers would be required just to operate five 100-watt light bulbs for a year.


The idea reminds me of solar freaking roadways, an idea that pops into your head that sounds like a free source of energy until you do the economic analysis and find it's not free but ridiculously expensive, and far more than you're paying now.

Until electricity becomes much more expensive than it is today, it's just not economical. But also consider what our landscapes would look like aesthetically covered with lightning towers. You would want them spaced further apart than these oil derricks but still this gives you some idea of what a lot of towers covering the landscape looks like:

infoglaz.ru...



There were some experiments in using lasers to ionize the air in order to create a conducting channel. This tech was being used to create free floating holographic displays. That would eliminate the need for a tower.



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 04:46 PM
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a reply to: stormcell
What's your source? How well did the experiments work?
Even with what you describe you would probably still need a small tower or some kind of projection to collect the lightning that is above the surrounding buildings, though it might not need to be as large.



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 04:49 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur




There were some experiments in using lasers to ionize the air in order to create a conducting channel.

I think this might be the reference. It has nothing to do with holography or natural lightning, of course.


edit on 10/7/2017 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 05:32 PM
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a reply to: Phage
It wouldn't be the first time someone had their wires crossed trying to cite a claim from memory without posting a source to back it up, but if that's what stormcell was referring to, it sounds more like an artificial lightning generator that consumes energy and makes lightning, which is not what this thread is asking about: collecting energy from naturally occurring lightning.

I got a chuckle out of the engineering problem they had trying to keep their experimental test unit from zapping itself.



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 05:33 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

There were a couple of threads about it.

Lightning bolts with laser beams on their heads!



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 06:32 PM
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Also the aurora. I imagine copper wires suspended by balloons. That to though is probably far to sci-fi to actually work.

Mother nature has a of energy we could harness if we devoted more time and effort into it. To much money is being made from the things we already have so there's no big reason to improve on those systems. Only when all the oil is burnt up will we have to use some other means and I I have money down on crystal methane. It will use the same systems we have already in place just a slight tune up for a different substance.

Harnessing lighting though...the heat alone is one hurdle to have to overcome along with the huge electrical surge it will produce. Hope one day.
edit on 7-10-2017 by ConscienceZombie because: silly little typos



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: ConscienceZombie




I imagine copper wires suspended by balloons. That to though is probably far to sci-fi to actually work.

Yeah, because balloons wouldn't be able to carry that much wire that high (50 miles of wire is pretty heavy) and it's not actually electricity that's going on up there.

edit on 10/7/2017 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 07:44 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur
a reply to: stormcell
What's your source? How well did the experiments work?
Even with what you describe you would probably still need a small tower or some kind of projection to collect the lightning that is above the surrounding buildings, though it might not need to be as large.


link.springer.com...

phys.org...

www.popsci.com...



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 08:23 PM
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originally posted by: stormcell

originally posted by: Arbitrageur
a reply to: stormcell
What's your source? How well did the experiments work?
Even with what you describe you would probably still need a small tower or some kind of projection to collect the lightning that is above the surrounding buildings, though it might not need to be as large.


link.springer.com...

phys.org...

www.popsci.com...
Phage was right, this is the same thing as the video he posted, which makes a currently dumb idea even dumber. You will consume far more energy by trying to use this device as you suggest (to avoid building towers), than you would collect from the lightning.



posted on Oct, 7 2017 @ 10:54 PM
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a reply to: Tempter

There is just too much power present in a lightning strike, Power being Voltage x Amperage. I don't think we have the technology yet to create something to be able to withstand that much energy all at once. For a terrible analogy I guess it's sort of like how a firecracker will blow up a toilet bowl, but a super advanced super strong toilet bowl would survive (and somehow generate electricity in the process, hah)



posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 02:05 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: ConscienceZombie




I imagine copper wires suspended by balloons. That to though is probably far to sci-fi to actually work.

Yeah, because balloons wouldn't be able to carry that much wire that high (50 miles of wire is pretty heavy) and it's not actually electricity that's going on up there.


Nasa sort of tried this problem was the voltage melted the teather.

www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov...



posted on Oct, 8 2017 @ 02:06 AM
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a reply to: dragonridr

That had nothing to do with the aurora. Induction, my dear Watson.



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