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Tell me again why we can't store or use the electricity from lightning?

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posted on May, 21 2006 @ 09:06 PM
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Originally posted by Shakeyjc
Yeh but the way my idea does it is different. If you had a giant rod collecting the charge as it built up, ligthning wouldn't occur. It would just be a continuous stream of electrons from the sky to the ground due to a build up in potential difference - Would this work?
It takes away the problem of lightning uncertainty and too much at once. Any comments?


That's what they tried with the tether in space.. "it created so much power it almost blew the shuttle up".




posted on May, 21 2006 @ 09:52 PM
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Shakeyjc, actually this works. The problem is that as a storm approaches the energy levels rise so fast everything would burn out.
You would need hundreds of thousands of energy recievers just to get a decent voltage. And if a storm approached it would still overwhelm the recievers.
Think of a "crystal radio" like they used to build "way back when". It's a radio whos only power comes from the signal it recieves. If I remember correctly it's around one volt per reciever. The voltage would be a slight bit higher with an extra tall antenna. But then you run a greater risk of a lightning strike which would bring down the whole system.
I messed with this stuff years ago, it's easy to light an LED. Hook one up once and watch what happens when a storm arrives.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 07:17 AM
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Thanks Shroomery and Beer Guy.
If you were to put a large resistor in the tower, then couldn't you increase resistance to reduce chance of a burn out? And couldn't you place different out puts down it, so when a storm comes, you split the potential difference across a few cables so you divide it.

I am now very interested in this method, and it is quite clear there is a lot of energy stored here and in the skies above us (hence why towering cumulonimbus cload tower above us (like the one that came over here yesterday :-p ).



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 07:25 AM
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Why not just rent a football field, cover it in 2 layers of copper 1 foot thick. Wouldnt that give you the largest capacitor in the world ? Maybe can store the charge long enough to load batteries.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 07:48 AM
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Wouldn't that probably try to discharge anyway? And lose the electricty as quick as it was gained?



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 06:26 PM
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Shakeyjc, it is a very wide open research area. The possibilities are endless.



If you were to put a large resistor in the tower, then couldn't you increase resistance to reduce chance of a burn out?

I just plain don't know the answer to that one.

It sounds workable. Tons of variables when dealing with lightning though....


apc

posted on May, 22 2006 @ 07:03 PM
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It would have to be a very very very very very very large resistor.

I mean... huge.

Really freakin' big.

We're talkin like 30 trillion watts.

And so much would be lost to heat, you might as well just use the heat to boil some water and turn some turbines.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 07:42 PM
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lol, I think you guys are thinking a little to far into the one component idea...

All you have to do is branch the incoming surge along a grid. On each part of the grid is another reciever, capable of taking in a more reasonable amount of electricity.

Remember, items in series distributes the voltage, items in parallel distributes the amperage, do both in the ratios you wish, and you can handle the surge in equally distributed small, more feasable amounts.

though I wouldnt want to be the guy who pays for the guage wire needed... woah.

What youre thinking of doing can be compared to :
You have one truck, but five trucks worth of stuff to carry, youre proposing instead of overloading the truck, you burn 4 trucks worth, and only load one truck.
All you really have to do is bring 5 trucks. (cause in this case you cant really re-use the truck)

If you distribute the load over a grid of recievers, they will becapable of each taking an equal portion of the whole surge. In the end, you've stored th whole surge.

[edit on 22-5-2006 by johnsky]

[edit on 22-5-2006 by johnsky]


apc

posted on May, 22 2006 @ 08:05 PM
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The hard part is guaranteeing equal distribution. Not so easy with lightning. The frequency jumps all over the place, making one length of copper just a little more resistive then another equal length.

The point in focusing on certain components is because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It's easy to say "Just setup one rod with a dozen wires" but in reality the bolt is still going to most likely travel down just one wire, and you never know which one.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 08:22 PM
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Because this would open up the whole can of worms, and get people asking the right questions about how our planets, Sun, and all the matter and forces in the Universe interact. With this newfound knowledge, we would look back into our ancient history and begin to make sense of it. We would understand the purpose of the Great Pyramid with its gold, electrically conducive capstone, and would amaze ourselves. Then the whole religious thing would break out, with a few powerful groups discovering what God is and how his powers work. It'd be Atlantis all over again. Tis better to believe that our weather is simply created by temperature differences caused by the Sun, our magnetic field caused by the rotation of our spinning Iron core leftover from the Big Bang, and that the future of Earth will be like the Jetsons.

These scientists are already pulling lightning out of the sky with these giant antennae arrays we have set up in our cities. I've seen them bring the cloud cover to the cities with the planes and their contrails, and when it's thick enough the lightning show begins. Lots of cloud to cloud lightning with immense bolts that spread out in every direction like cobwebs, but no sound. It's almost like the energy that generates the shockwaves in this thunder is being sapped.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by apc
The hard part is guaranteeing equal distribution. Not so easy with lightning. The frequency jumps all over the place, making one length of copper just a little more resistive then another equal length.

The point in focusing on certain components is because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It's easy to say "Just setup one rod with a dozen wires" but in reality the bolt is still going to most likely travel down just one wire, and you never know which one.


Not that I've worked with such a high voltage... not that anyone has... not intentially at least... but I am in robotics engineering, and wether its a surge, AC, or DC current , you can equally distribute it through branching... each branch has to have similar resistance, they dont have to be exactly the same, just similar... thats easy to do. If you have a multimeter, you can ajust resistance on each branch so that the Ohms read the same on each branch.

Youre thinking of what happens to a grid with little to no resistance... just a bundle of wires... in that case, yeah, the branch the surge will follow is completley unpredictable. Think of using minor resistance through branches as like using fins on a fan to direct where it goes... the more you push on the fin from one side, the more air goes to the other.


apc

posted on May, 22 2006 @ 08:39 PM
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And how would you adjust these fins?

With enormous resistors!


And I repair surge damage on a daily basis. It's amazing how a surge can go straight for one component that is normally pretty tough, and leave rather sensitive components unharmed.

It's the rapidly changing frequencies. The properties of any two bits of wire are never the exact same, and will conduct differently for different frequencies. For this reason, it is impossibile to predict just how much current will flow down one path versus another. And since the voltage is so incredably high, if it doesn't like any available circuit path, it will just jump through the air to a better one.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 08:43 PM
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OK GUYS HOW ABOUT THIS WE ALL GO FLY INTO A FREAK STORM AND HOLD OUT OUR LIGHTING JARS AND TRY TO CLOSE THEM AS FAST WE CAN TO KEEP THE LIGHTING INSIDE AND USE WHEN WE WANT



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by apc
And how would you adjust these fins?

With enormous resistors!



You could use impede it with a quick coil...

like I said, Im in robotics... nothing I work with is meant to take a surge... so you'd know better.

you know what... Im starting to think Mrknighttime32's idea is more feasable... lol.

He shal forever be known to me now as the sparky jarhead.

[edit on 22-5-2006 by johnsky]


apc

posted on May, 22 2006 @ 08:56 PM
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I was joking, but what do you mean by "quick coil"

As in, a short brief coil? Or have I just never heard of something called a Quick Coil? Some kind of choke? haha

Either way youre still looking at the same problem.

Heres how it could be done:

Take your lightning rod and hook it up to a gigantic diode to rectify it. Next stick a one ohm resistor with a heatsink the size of a small asteroid resting in a lake. Then comes the cap to end all caps. The cap will like the rectified signal and drain any excess frequencies to ground.
>
oh yeah, at this point you could safely and relaibly branch off to an array of collectors. but these first few steps would be pretty much unavoidable to obtain a usable signal.
<

All in all, I'd say it should fit inside a single US state. However, because of the ecological disaster that would occur if/when the cap explodes, it would probably be best to build the device in Mexico.

[edit on 22-5-2006 by apc]



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 10:10 PM
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Howdy folks...

IMHO...

Using caps and resistors ain't going to work, what will need to be done is to use a huge ( and I mean HUGE ) transformer, to reduce the amount of voltage to a manageable size ( say about 480 volts, from several hundred million volts )...


apc

posted on May, 22 2006 @ 10:19 PM
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meh... that's pretty low voltage. High tension power lines can sometimes be a quarter million volts.

Keeping the voltage as high as possible maintains efficiency and minimizes loss over distance. Transformers would then be used closer to the end points.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 10:26 PM
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It doesn't produce THAT much energy. It produces a lot of instant energy, about as much as a small power plant would make in a short amount of time; it wouldn't be plausible for a large city, or at least not in my opinion.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 10:32 PM
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Originally posted by Shakeyjc
Thanks Shroomery and Beer Guy.
If you were to put a large resistor in the tower, then couldn't you increase resistance to reduce chance of a burn out?


Resisting all that energy will turn it into heat. And that much difference is gonna generate a LOT of heat. So you'd need an uber cooling system on the thing just to make sure things didn't melt up too badly. The problem is that you can't pick and choose the most heat resistant metal you can think of-it's gotta resist a lot of stuff, too, so that can limit your options.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 10:39 PM
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I believe the trick to harvesting the energy in lightning would be to harvest the ions that produce the bolt itself.

Trying to harness the energy from a bolt of lightning would be like trying to harness the energy from a top-fuel funny car as it speeds down a drag strip at 200+mph.

The fuel that drives the machine has been used.



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