Harnessing Energy from Lightning
Iíve always wondered if lightning could be harnessed as a practical source of energy. And why not? Lightning is made of electricity. Lightning is a renewable form of energy. Harnessing lightning would not harm the environment. In fact, harnessing lightning would even be safer for humanity.
There are three main problems with harnessing lightning as a source of energy. First, lightning is not consistent. This is not important, since this source of energy would only be used to decrease our dependency from other sources of energy that cause pollution. Lightning would never be able to completely replace fossil fuels by itself; however it could be more economical and safer for the environment. Second, capturing lightning requires a lot of lightning rods and luck. I believe this is a minor issue too. Third and finally, converting lightning into a useful form of energy is the most difficult problem. Lightning is too strong of an electrical current to be easily stored directly into batteries. The cost of doing so would be astronomical too.
My idea is to convert existing water towers to produce hydrogen fuel from lightning. Water towers already have plenty of lightning rods attached to them, but they redirect the electricity safely into the ground. My idea is to redirect the current of the lightning through the water in the water towers. This way, the electricity of lightning would convert the water into both oxygen and hydrogen gases. This chemical reaction or process is known as electrolysis. Both gases would need to be quickly stored for later use. This storage issue may be the only difficult part of my idea. The hydrogen gas could easily be used as a stable and portable form of energy. Even the oxygen gas could be sold for a profit too.
That is my entire idea for converting lightning into a useful form of energy. I hope this article will help engineers make this idea into a reality.
by Phil B.