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Store lightning power in a block of special resin

Store lightning energy in a can of special electron collecting resin
  [vote for,

I made a idea about storing lightning power. What if we create a block of resin, that changes the structure when electricity travels over it? When the lightning strikes, we could divert the power to blocks of this resin and later recover electricity by using mechanical power? That would be something like Lichtenberg figures, but engineered more so we could store and retrieve more energy the way we want to. Instead of a block of resin, there could also be cans of other kind of resin powder. Lightning would cast it together and the resin would release big amounts of energy while milled back to powder.These kinds of resin combined with lightning generation tools,could be use in special trucks, sent specially to collect lightnings from storm clouds or even supercells!
dreamtechnics, Feb 07 2011

Harnessing Lightning Harnessing_20Lightning
The title of this idea is not very helpful. It should be "Lighting Loves Tungsten" or something of the sort. [bungston, Feb 07 2011]

You mean like this? http://www.sciencep...s.html?id=659250392
Electrical discharge permanently etched into lucite. [sqeaketh the wheel, Feb 14 2011]

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       I don't think that such a resin exists. If it did, wouldn't we be using it for batteries?
AntiQuark, Feb 07 2011

       Well, lithium batterys also didnt exist until they were invented:)
dreamtechnics, Feb 07 2011

       So what's so special about resin, that it can 'catch' lightning, in a way that say, custard or water cannot?
zen_tom, Feb 07 2011

       Also important, how do you get the lightning to pass through the resin? If it's capturing any power, then it's creating a resistance. That is going to make the lightning seek an alternate path. (same problem applies to various capacitor tricks)   

       It might be possible to capture the potential difference that creates lightning, but only with a kite or balloon type setup that provides a path (including capacitor) with less resistance than the air gap.
MechE, Feb 07 2011

       Right, but the tricky part here is the control element that allows a one-way-parth for all the energy to enter under input conditions, but which later allows someone to you tap that energy in a controlled manner at some later convenient time. I don't know of any naturally occuring material that lets you do that.
zen_tom, Feb 07 2011

       You need one of those Baron Frankenstein reverse Tesla coil jobs. A kite or balloon would help; run the conductor down through a very large coil with (relatively) few turns, wrapped with many many turns of much finer wire. Use the lightning pulse through the transformer to charge huge capacitors.   

       The coil will present a very low DC resistance so will have no problem attracting a strike; since the discharge is a step function (or at least, has a very fast rise time) the high impedance of the coils will serve to harvest the energy.
8th of 7, Feb 07 2011

       Why not connect big tanks of slightly salty water to huge lightning rods? Every time there's a strike, the energy will heat the water, and the heat can be recovered at leisure.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 07 2011

FlyingToaster, Feb 07 2011

       /Also important, how do you get the lightning to pass through the resin? If it's capturing any power, then it's creating a resistance./   

       The molten tungsten idea which is around here somewhere did this idea more plausibly, since I believe in both tungsten and molten, but magic resin not so much.
bungston, Feb 07 2011

       [marked-for-deletion] magic (you can't just say that a special resin will solve all your problems)
hippo, Feb 07 2011

       Gigantic wintergreen lifesavers. They "spark" by triboluminescence, they're made of something that could almost be described as a resin, and they turn your teeth sortof almost blue when doing so.   

       The poster clearly has no idea how batteries actually function. Aren't there going to be some very lonely protons somewhere?
RayfordSteele, Feb 08 2011

       No. Triboluminescence is generated by tribbing, which lessens loneliness.
normzone, Feb 08 2011

       No, you're thinking of kipling. You're never alone when you're kipling.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 08 2011

       // tribbing //   

       Which should never be confused with "tribbling", a form of high-velocity zero-G croquet played with Tribbles.
8th of 7, Feb 08 2011

       Heaven help us if we ever did anything seriallly around here. Oh, and welcome to the Halfbakery, [dreamtechnics]. The help file is over there on the left, under meta:   

       Despite the silliness, there are some pretty sharp people here, and if the science behind your ideas doesn't pass muster odd things will happen to your ideas.
normzone, Feb 08 2011

       //you can't just say a special resin will solve all your problems// Righty, Right! Things need to be better hashed out. Thus the Kipling references (a hero of mine) I presume?
Zimmy, Feb 14 2011

       <physics pedant> There's a fundamental problem with storing "power" - it's the wrong unit. (Watts)   

       Storing "energy" is what you're after (Watt-seconds, or Joules.) </pp>   

       Capturing and storing the enormous energy in a lightning storm is a worthwhile endeavor, but it won't be possible without storing it as potential energy in some form (mechanical, chemical, thermal, etc.)   

       Your "blocks of resin" are [mfd] magic without additional detail.   

       (I was introduced to tribbing by a college girlfriend who wanted to maintain her virginity. It lasted a while. I'm also fond of the stories of Rudyard Kipling, introduced to me at a much younger age.)
csea, Feb 14 2011

       // introduced to me at a much younger age //   

       Very much younger ...he died in 1936, how old ARE you ... ?
8th of 7, Feb 14 2011


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