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Electricity from Lightning

An inventor in Illinois is working on a device to generate electricity from lightning. While a couple of recent articles in different publications have covered this concept, none of them have much in the way of details or particulars. The best coverage seems to be from Inhabitat, where I first heard about this.

Each small three-foot bolt generates enough electricity to illuminate a 60-watt light bulb for 20 minutes. But a full-scale system, LeRoy believes, could power 30,000 homes for a day with just one lightning bolt. Given that the average Midwest thunderstorm releases enough electrical energy to power the entire U.S. for 20 minutes, who knows what the potential is for the harvesting of lightning fields and the best site canada generic levitra arrays of bolt conductors.

This is being covered (in Business Week among other sources) along with some other things we've mentioned on EcoGeek in the past such as parasails for cargo ships, the Tornado Generator, AquaBuOY wave power generator and algae biofuel. We assume it falls into the same range of feasible, early-development technology. But while there is only sketchy information about the concept for now, we'll just note it without comment about its potential until we can find out more information about it.

Previously on EcoGeek:
Using Lighting to order cheap levitra Create Hydrogen or Create Hype?

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Comments (36)Add Comment
Power per Unit Volume
written by Ian George, October 16, 2007
The True Problem with harnessing lightning energy is two fold #1>the rate is comes in at... and #2> where it will come.

#2> at best you can increase the chance of levitra in uk getting lightning where you want it by putting a metal object as the highest point near by.

#1> is much more difficult,
I think it is levitra woman something like 100,000 Amps on average combined with 1 billion ( 1,000,000,000 ) Volts to get a 1,000 foot bolt... or about 100,000,000,000,000 Watts And all that energy hit you in a fraction of a second...

Best of luck with that... but ultimately like just about all energy other than nuclear.... it is all Solar Energy as the thunder storms get all their energy from the sun anyway...

written by John Fill, October 17, 2007
If you're really pedantic, nuclear energy is solar too, because all the matter in the Earth formed from the elements fused in the young Sun (give or take a negligible amount from comet strikes).
Research: Harnessing of Lightning for Co
written by Todd Ridolph, October 28, 2007
Does anyone know of anyone currently funding projects related to the 'Harnessing of Lightning for Conversion into Usable Electricity'?

If so, I would be interested in knowing about the research.

Todd B Ridolph
Aurora Power
written by malibugene, November 06, 2007
I read about a farmer somewhere near the cialis woman Canadian border that was zapped with electricity when he touched a barbed wire fence, which was not connected to anything electric. It was theorized that the wire was collecting energy from the magnetic fields that create the Auroras in the north latitudes. It seems to me that setting up a grid of wires over unused acreages in the northern latitudes could harvest this enormous source of potential energy.
written by Cool materials, November 21, 2007
There is still much to learn about nature power and it will take long to make devices working on nature power wide spread.
written by gloria Allen, November 27, 2007
Sounds like it has a lot of potential. Add to levitra in uk this hurricanes, combining the power of lightening with the intensity of wind. And tornados. But how to harness these beasts?
written by Steve LeRoy, December 05, 2007
Thanks for the comments..I realize this idea seems impossible, but my lab experiments prove that more than 1 million volts in a spark gap can be tapped with emf induction coils at the base of the strike rod into manageable voltages. I am as yet unsure where this will lead. Steve
written by Steve LeRoy, December 13, 2007
Unfortunately there is a corporation that has gone to vengeful lengths on a paid PR campaign to discredit my years of research and development. So I have destroyed my lightning prototype to avoid further involvement with this endeavor. I hope someone else develops this concept to completion.
how to convert
written by srivatsa, January 23, 2008
in my view conversion will be possible if we can use a very high rated stepdown transformer..this could actually be done by diverting the channel of the lightening before it is earthed.though the idea is abstract i think it works if we can cannelise the lightening energy
Lasso A Lightening Bolt
written by Pecos Bill, July 10, 2008
Clouds. That is the Machine Invented By God to Make Lightening. What if: You figured out how a Cloud can use Air,Light,Dust,and Moisture to levitra cost in mexico arrange Positive and Negative IONS to produce the electrical charge we see as LIGHTENING....Then you would not need to STORE it. You could make it. Then you could develope a device....a small "Cloud" put into your Vehicle....It would produce "Lightening" when you push the accelerator.....No Moving Parts....Just a CLOUD.

das.....All Rights Reserved.
written by Rich, July 28, 2008
hi i am also looking and studying to harness the power of lightnning and belive you could divert the electricity in many directions reducing the cialis 10mg power for each generater it is possible and dosage levitra would reduce the cabon emissions 10 fold
harnessing electricty from lightning
written by hinduja, August 05, 2008
i would like 2 know the extent of feasibility in this process
harnessing electricty from lightning
written by hinduja, August 05, 2008
i would like 2 know the extent of feasibility in this process smilies/tongue.gif

lighting into hydrogen and oxygen for fu
written by haneesh, September 08, 2008
one may know that avery high voltage is discharged to earth through lightning.if it is possible to use this voltage to electrolise water into hydrogen and oxygen which can be used in fuel cells to power automobiles and others in future,whose waste will be pure water...isn't it a better idea!!!
need help inventor sir....
written by gaurav, September 16, 2008
respected sir,
i am a student from india and am pursuing a project under the same title as you are.I would like to it's great! buy viagra in canada get in touch with you and learn what can be done in this regard.please help if you can.

kind regards,
harnessing lightning energy
written by saurabh, September 28, 2008
dear sir,
i am a student of online tramadol pharmacy B.Tech from India and am working on a similar project as you are.I would like to get in touch with you and learn what can be done in this regard. please help if you can.
Lightning and Electrolysis
written by Noah Schieber, March 31, 2009
I have been researching how to manage and propecia sale use lightning in a practical sense. The main hang up of course is converting this extreme amount of energy to a manageable potential energy that we can use when we need. I like the idea of using lightning in electrolysis to create hydrogen that can later be used in fuel cells. Is there anyone who knows more about this or is aware of any research being done regarding this?

research for an idea on the future
written by green bug, April 16, 2009
I was wondering if there was a way of trapping a lightning bolt, negotive or possitive.
Hello Steve LeRoy...Need to contact you
written by Asim Amitav Jena, June 16, 2009
need ur help
written by asokkalidass, August 29, 2009
I am an undergraduate student doing my prefinal year in mechatronics engineering . I am doing my project on Harneshing electricity from lightning . Hence kindly help me on storage of power from lightning.
lightning for power
written by Steven LeRoy, January 08, 2010
smilies/cool.gif 3 years later and interesting people are still responding. THANK YOU. I actually spent 10 thousand $ to build a 15 foot tall 20 MILLION volt tesla coil in a rural setting for testing power in vs power stored. Yes step down transformers with current limiters and diverters/time delay are def needed. I am also working on compact high HP magnet motors for vehicle use and to ELIMINATE THE POWER GRID by powering each home individually. And 70,000,000 US vehicles. Let USA lead the world again in technology and wisdom. tts steve
mr. leroy
written by leland, February 21, 2010
please contact me. I would like to further discuss some ideas.
leland kay
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
written by joseph, March 18, 2010
Dear Steven LeRoy,
i am doing assignment about the lightning power and may i have a full explanation and design how to capture the lightning and transform to power supply ?
about lightning
written by parvez shekh, December 26, 2011
ya i m also intrested in this project of electricity from lightning from that we'll get a huge ammount of energy for any use.-parvez (India)
written by Eric Konecny, February 18, 2012
I like this article. I have been looking for many ways to harness the power of lightning for over 13 years now. I have drawn many conclusions about history, fact and fiction. The reality of it is who ever can capture atleast. 50% of the lightning from 10% of the storms "wins". By that I mean that the worlds power can come from them instead of the many other ways we do today.

Now I have looked at mega mall size batteries that might hold the bolt as if a spark hit it. I've researched using aluminum gyros with positive and negatively charged cobalt embedded aided by electro magnets and charged by lightning strikes. Even nets hanging inwith the cloudshouse that are tethered to generators.
And that's when I realized that we were all looking at it from the wrong angle. I believe we need to "plug in" instead of wait for one to jump out and waste emergy making itself seen.

Open you minds and try to find ways to plug into the clouds and use the power within.
Such as a barge that is gps controlled to stay inside storms that plugs into the clouds runs the energy to graphite rods in saltwater in the hull of the ship. When it travels into the rods and the energy then allows the hydrogen to remove itself from the oxygen in the h2o in the salt water. The salt is the electrolyte that aids the energy to flow as it dose in the human body. The barge being in the ocean keeps the system from over heating. The gases could be pumped into containers so the energy could ne used in other ways.

We dont need to bet the other methods of gaining energy. We need to find more creative ways of using them together.

Any ideas sound good to you, use them. More power to you. Its my belief that if a new better energy is discovered it should be free for all to use. STOP PATIENTS ON ENERGY IDEAS(just say it would help)
written by Theresa St. Amant, August 04, 2012
If we ever figure out how to harvest energy from electrical storms, Venezuela's nightly Catatumbo Lightning show will be enough to power up the entire planet.

Catatumbo lightning is the product of a unique meteorological phenomenon that has lit up nights in this corner of Venezuela for thousands of years.

Every night the sky unleashes up to 20,000 bolts of lightening, each with about 400,000 amps of energy. The nightly show stopped in late January 2010 and not a single bolt had been seen until April. Many proposed a drought was to blame.

There are similar phenomena in Colombia, Indonesia and Uganda. Although lightening shows in these other locations don't last the whole night, like they do in Venezuela, they still represent a potentially reliable, renewable and environmentally safe source of electric energy to power our homes and communities.

Now, given that the energy source in Venezuela is permanently fixed to the coordinates 8°30' and 9°45'N and 71° and 73°W and is predictably regular in its nightly shows, is it not possible to harvest energy from the local atmosphere, rather than the lightening directly?

Given Venezuela's 21st Century Bolivarian Revolution, I think it's a safe bet that if someone were to propose a viable project for harvesting the Catatumbo Lightening, the government would fund the project and ensure that citizens obtained the energy free of charge.

I hope Steve Leroy reads this. I think you have some work to do in Venezuela.
written by Santosh, September 02, 2012
what if v could try to pass the lightening through the gallons of the water stored in the container....
power generation
written by satheesh kumar, February 21, 2013
In now a days the power generation is very low,the only source to generate the more electricity is lightning we have to concentrate in to generate the power by using the lightning source (by using the external lightning generator) , i have a more ideas to generate the electric power from the lightning source by using then brrons material...........................
written by Adefarati, April 30, 2013
I don't think is possible to harness the power of lightning,the major issue is how to reduce the voltage,the voltage is in million and billion based on the intensity of the thunder bolt.Is there anybody that has used the method to generate electricity before
Sky rake
written by Cory, May 16, 2013
I am currently studying this topic and believe i may have a few improvements. I would much like to put heads together with an engineer who could take conceptual imagination and help make reality. I fear government suppression of anything that may threaten big energy but I think i have a couole good ideas.

One of u already suggested a version of my sky rake idea that i have been toying with since my days as a aviation electrician. I will explain more in email...the other is an idea to utilize the existing power grid as a diffuser of sorts where the bolt is run over several smaller harvesters and then directly onto the grid. The uses a set of tower to strip static from the air before it can build into an actual bolt.
Couldn't you heat water?
written by Aran, May 30, 2013
Much like nuclear reactors couldn't you heat water with lightening and use steam as your electricity generator? I know there would be huge losses in the process but 50,000 F is hot... It seems like currently, the most feasible way to trap lightening??
written by Harsha, July 09, 2013
I think it is too hard to capture that much of electrical energy in few seconds. First take a look on how lightening occur.In my vison, when two fastly moving clouds are colide with each other, then only lightening and thunders will come. So friends, think why don't we convert the high speed motion of clouds into electrical energy...?????????
Then we may have some time to capture electrical energy.
written by krishna, August 28, 2013
written by krishna,august28,2013
I think it is to hard to harvest electrical energy from
the ground. First we must design a machine to capture
the lightning bolt from the birth of it.
capture the lightning bolt
written by adarsh b s, January 22, 2014
From what equipment we can capture the energy released by the thunder?
and from what equipment we can store electrons?
written by Shikhar, July 03, 2014
is this possible that lighting transform to heat energy and from heat energy we can make electricity

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