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By AaronBurns
Static Electricity is a convertable form of electricity less than the wattage it takes too be useful in pursuing, barring it has a way of cycling the same electricity back into itself building a charge that can be stored too power smaller electyronics.
I have been thinking of temperature coupled with solar cells to power a liquid of least viscosity through tubes adding equal distant drops of a liquid that doesn't mix with the liquid at equal distances withing the tube and a charge to start it sothat this vertical tube filled with two liquids pushes an electrical charged liquid to keep a object moving every time the lower viscosity liquid passes by the battery being charged picking up a charge at specific intervals.
All speculation but, the alternating weight in the pressurized tube will ciculate if the heavy liquid pushes the least viscosity liquid keeping all liquids stable due to the fact that the tubes are filled with two liquids that do not mix keeping the heavier liquids the exact same distance appart.
Any way, they move circulatorily picking up a charge and dispearsing it into the battery day and night by having a solar cell that has a chemical reacting too temperature so it powers nonstop with the added vertical tube at night.
We just need a way to harness the constant flow of electricity and trhe condusive liquid passes by the static charge filling the storage to be used for a recharger or a fancy clock.
My answer is that we will never have an answer and no matter how much I add to this idea; Static Electricity can never be harnessed efficiently without expending more energy then what you get from the static.
How ever; as a miniture version powered by electrolytes and potatos it would make a unique and harmless (But vastly interesting) miny Jacob's Ladder for any age.
Another desk top office toy! ;D
Hi. I do apologize for making a blanket statement about something being impossible, as I did in the above post about Perpetual Motion. I am the first person to say that "Given enough time and money, most anything is possible." Even if it means taking thousands or even millions of years, I believe that most anything can be done.

Now back to your idea. If you have in fact come up with something that will produce more energy than it takes to run it, I would be very interested in hearing more details about it and knowing how you control it. It would seem like a positive feedback situation, something like Nuclear Fission and/or Fusion, once started it continues in a chain reaction and is very tricky to control and/or stop. Remember what the scientists who developed the A-Bomb had said before their first tests? They had made the statement that they didn't know whether or not the chain reaction would ever stop and if it may just ionize the entire Earth's atmosphere. Fortunately this didn't occur, but it was a very real concern at the time.

If you could find a way to harness the energy in a bolt of lightning, then you've got something there. I'm not saying that it's impossible, but just that so far nobody has figured out a way to do it. Lightning has a HUGE amount of energy associated with it and a huge amount of current too, but the problem is that it's all released instantaneously and not something that can be usably stored. Oh, sure you can store a bit of it in a low capacitive reactance capacitor, as Ben Franklin did in his famous kite flying experiments and a Layden Jar (a high voltage capacitor). But again, you have the same problem, of converting it to usable current electricity instead of an instantaneous release of energy. And by the very nature of a low capacitive reactance capacitor, it wouldn't have enough capacity to supply a steady stream of current electricity for any length of time (perhaps a few nano-seconds). And if you used a higher capacity capacitor, it's reluctance to charge would essentially "short out" the static source.

The bottom line is that if you could slow the release of energy from of a bolt of lightning (or a high voltage capacitor) considerably, then it could have the potential of being stored and converted into usable current electricity.

When you asked if there is a ratio of static electricity created to alternating current used to create it, the answer is that obviously the less power needed to generate your static electricity, the better...assuming that you've found a way to convert that generated static electricity into usable current electricity.
By PiesRround
Thanks for your replies guys. I think that if I knew more about the subject, I could post better questions. People have made, and even patented machines that create static electricity. What I have come up with produces more, steady streams of static, I don't yet know what the upper limits are. Quite frankly, I am holding off on exploring the upper limits because I might hurt myself in my ignorance.
I can generate this static using no more current than a toaster oven draws. I can multiply what I am creating by perhaps a factor of ten, maybe more, without increasing the power required to create. I would like to tell you how it is done, but it might be a valuable idea. That is what I am trying to determine.
Instead of sending this stream to a capacitor, is there some type of motor that it could power? Then use that motor to turn a generator?
Yes there are electrostatic motors, but the ones I am aware of are typically very small and do not have much torque so they wouldn't be able to turn something like a generator, especially if it were loaded down at all. So the amount of usable current electricity produced from this would be far outweighed by the amount of electricity needed to generate it.
By PiesRround
Ok I'm starting to get it Bill. Looked at capacitors and that doesn't seem very practical. Is there a known type of battery that the stream could be sent into? Then use an inverter to get usable electricity out of the battery? Could this work?
Regarding if there is a known type of a battery that static electricity could be sent into to produce usable current electricity? Not that I know of, as this is the very crux of what is trying to be solved here. You've gone full circle with this thread. As the title states, it started out with one of the contributors to this thread as stating that he has a way to charge batteries with static electricity. But to date no details have been revealed, and only grandiose, top level, generalizations have been made which would tend to indicate to me that they don't actually have anything there.

The second part of your post is the easy part. If, and this is a HUGE if, you are able to charge a battery using just static electricity alone, then it's easy to, as you said, run it through an inverter to produce AC and go into a transformer to change the voltage levels.
By PiesRround
Thanks for all the help Bill. One more question though. Assuming that I could build it, what voltage must my rechargeable battery be so that I can recharge it with static electricity?
I've never seen so many flawlessly competent technical responses to such a simple CreativityPool post until now. I'm soooooo tempted to start asking anti-gravity/time travel/quantum physics questions while you people are hopefully still monitoring this site. Well done! ;D
Sorry for making so many responses, but I am just trying to answer questions raised here.

Before a question like "what voltage must a rechargable battery be so that it can be recharged with static electricity?" can be answered, it must first be determined if and how it can be done. But generally speaking, the lower the voltage, the easier it is for present day technology to regulate, convert, and otherwise manipulate it. In other words, it would take very expensive and maybe even as yet unavailable technology to try and regulate and convert potentials in the hundreds of thousands or millions of volts, for instance.
By PiesRround
C'mon now Bill, you are doing good here and I for one am getting an education on the subject. Thank you. In my own readings I discovered the "voltaic pile". It seems to me that if one had the resources, then theoretically, one of these could be assembled to handle the voltage? I'm gonna have to figuratively hold your feet to the fire on that last question however, as you did not answer it. Is the answer not known?
Your answers help me formulate more questions? Thanks again.
Another question, since I can direct my streams of static to a conductor, what instrument is available to me to measure the voltage? Nothing I own will measure large voltage.
I believe that I did answer your question about "what voltage must a rechargable battery be so that it can be recharged with static electricity?" I said, "...the lower the better" and I explained the reasons for that. I don't have an actual voltage value, if that's what you're looking for.

Also the Voltaic Pile, invented by Alessandro Volta in 1799, was just the first battery ever produced. It has no special properties making it more conducive to being recharged by static electricity than any other battery. While you can continue adding more and more cells to a battery for it to provide more and more voltage, it is unlikely that any sort of a practical battery could be made to provide hundreds of thousands or even millions of volts, mostly because of the physical size such a device would have to be. Then you still have the reluctance to charge issue. Any battery, thousands of volts or not, will require some current for an extended period of time in order to charge. I am not a chemical engineer or a battery designer so I don't know all the things that go on inside a battery when being charged, but just from my own observations of charging any batteries in the past, it takes time and current to do so. At least one of which static electricity does not have...time.

This all has to do with energy as measured in Coulombs (or Amp-Seconds). If you have a bolt of lightning with 10,000 amps, for example, but it's delivered in its entirety is just 1 microsecond, then your energy is just 0.01 Coulombs. Whereas a simple 1.5V AA battery can deliver about 1 Amp for an hour, or one Amp-Hour. This gives the AA battery an energy capacity of 3,600 Coulombs. So you tell me, do you think that you could charge even a single AA battery that requires 3,600 Coulombs of energy to be at full capacity with a source of static electricity from even something as violent as a bolt of lightning when it can only provide 0.01 Coulombs? It's very unlikely. Perhaps if you could harness 360,000 ten thousand Amp bolts of lightning, then maybe. But remember, this is just to charge ONE AA Battery. To do anything more substantial would take MUCH more.

To answer your question about what to use to measure your high voltage static electricity, I don't have a good answer here. Most anything that you could typically use for measuring high voltage, current electricity would discharge your static electricity entirely in the process of measuring it. Perhaps somebody else online could chime in here if they know of a device typically used to measure high values of static electricity. Sorry.
Forgive me, but it's been several decades since my last high voltage experiments and I'd forgotten some of the methods of voltage measurement. The primary method of voltage measurement is an approximation based upon the length of an arc in free air. The relationship is 10,000 Volts per Centimeter. In other words, if you discharge your static source and measure the distance the arc travelled in free air, then you take that distance, in centimeters, and multiply it by 10,000. This should give you a pretty good approximation of the amount of voltage you have there.
I wanted to correct some of the information I had stated in a previous post regarding some of the characteristics of Lightning. I was going on old, off the cuff information. But after researching it some more today, I find that lightning has a little more energy than I had initially thought. Not much, mind you, but more than I had stated. It seems that a bolt of lightning can last anywhere from 50 to 100 microseconds and can be anywhere from 30,000 Amps to 300,000 Amps. So going on these minimum and maximum numbers, it would give an energy of between 1.5 and 30 Coulombs, the best case of which is still a factor of 120 to 1 below that needed to be equivalent to a single AA battery in energy capacity.

Note that I have not made any mention of the voltage levels in any of these calculations. This is because the potential of a static source (voltage) is mostly irrelevant to its energy (Amp-Seconds), or charge. And, as mentioned in a previous post, it is the energy that is the usable portion of this.

I can just "smell" your next question. You're now going to ask how you can measure or otherwise determine the amount of current your device can produce and for how long. Well, let's just say that if what you produce isn't capable of sending an arc for several miles in the sky, then it's probably not even close to that of even a single lightning bolt, which we've determined is far too feable to be usable, energy wise.

I hope that this puts things into perspective a little bit better for those hoping to use static electricity to produce usable current electricity.

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