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# Lightning power generator

Harness the power of random electrostatic discharge
 (0) [vote for, against]

An idea that I'd long ago thought about was the possibility of using lighning to generate electricity, or harness it directly. One idea is using a flywheel connected to a cable. The other end of the cable is connected to an Electromagnetic rail (a la bullet-train) powered by the lightning (one end grounded, the other in the air. The large discharge would rev up the flywheel, which would slowly be "discharged" by a generator. A the same idea could be done but with an electric motor attatched instead of the cable idea. Direct harnessage could be done with a high-resistance circuit that would slow down the surge to a "usable speed".
 — jong-scx, May 19 2003

Here's an article... http://www.weatherw...lightningpower.html
[snarfyguy, Oct 17 2004]

Lots of resources here... http://www.halfbake...ing_20Power_20Plant
[snarfyguy, Oct 17 2004]

Lightning, electricity and sex http://www.geocitie...ctricityandSex.html
Huh? [snarfyguy, Oct 17 2004]

Harnessing Lightning http://www.halfbake...nessing_20Lightning
[hippo, Oct 17 2004]

Lightning is Spanish http://douglas.min.net/essay/
Lightning will knock down your soul [tiromancer, Feb 07 2005]

You might want to just read through the second (or fourth) link and post your ideas as a further annotation.
 — snarfyguy, May 19 2003

Using lightning to make electricity crossed my mind a few times before. I never thought of an idea that might actually work, though.
 — Ytutu, Feb 05 2005

 There are a world of problems here. Typical lightning strike is 100,000,000 volts at 100,000 amps for a few milliSeconds or so. To transfer that energy into movement it usually must be converted to magnetism. This involves channeling the strike through coils that will convert this energy into magnetic energy, these coils must be robust enough to survive the sever mechanical impulse and extreme strain on the insulation . The inertia of turning a flywheel over such a short duration will be huge.

This is a job for capacitors, big munty capacitors.
 — ljanz, Feb 06 2005

You might want to reconsider using metal, like some articles tell you to do. The true power can be accessed more easily. If a bassin of water would be charged by lightning, the electricity could elektrolyse it. If you were to light a spark it would return back to water only giving an explosion of power, which could drive a generator.
 — NeoVamp, May 15 2006

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