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PostPosted:Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:02 pm
A very large insulated flask (bigger the better), with a lightening rod projecting up from the top end, and an earthing rod built from the bottom deep into the ground. The flask would have to be electrically and thermally insulated, and kept dry. Inside the flask, the lightening rod from above would split into 'fingers' that penetrated approx. two thirds the length of the flask. Another set of 'fingers' would lie parallel, but not touching, the first set. These 'fingers' would meet at the bottom and progress downwards to form the earthing rod buried in the ground. The space between the 'finger' rods inside the flask would be filled with a suitable medium that would allow the passage of electricity, but have enough resistance to heat up dramatically, thereby capturing some of the lightenings energy as heat. After one or several lightening strikes the flask should contain a vast reservoir of heat energy. That heat would be accessed by an electrically insulated rod, or framework of iron, from within the flask- outside to a steam turbine generator. I had considered using aluminium (similar to the bauxite smelting) or a mix of ceramic and metals to capture the energy within the flask, but I am not a mtallurgist, chemist or electrical engineer so I don't know what would work best, if at all. The New Scientist mag. issue 2755 has a new battery design (David C. Holtzman) using three layers of molton metals. Could these be up-sized to industrial levels?
The technology involved in this flask is low-tech, simple compared to other designs and could be employed in any areas where lightening is prevelant.

Reward: acknowledgement (just to say I'm not a complete loon)