Gallery: Power your home with LIGHTNING!

 

As part of our ongoing exploration of alternative energy sources, we’re happy to report this “shocking” new source- lightning! Through an innovative and efficient partnership with nature’s more ethereal forces, lightning generation and harvesting is currently gaining momentum and proving to be a viable and renewable way to create energy. While there are numerous initiatives making progress of the green power frontier, this one is certainly worth ‘getting charged up about.’

Illinois-based inventor Steve Le Roy has developed a device that intentionally generates lightning in order to harvest energy from the electrical discharge produced. As mentioned in this month’s Business Week’s Green Tech forum, Le Roy took his cues from a coiled transformer created by Nikola Tesla at the turn of the century.

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 arrays of bolt conductors.

(Worth noting: The environmental installation artist Walter De Maria’s Lightening Field in rural New Mexico may also have been a precursor to Le Roy’s invention as a reminder to onlookers that nature often generates the best art and display of awe-inspiring energy.)

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25 Comments

  1. jbrownatv May 7, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Good information

  2. neonicblue July 14, 2010 at 5:04 am

    recently i read the following link and wonders, is it possible to convert the heat generated by the lighting by which simply conducting lighting to containment and store it in similar fashion ?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andasol_Solar_Power_Station

  3. Balmore July 1, 2008 at 11:24 am

    This is very intersting but think about how the clouds keep the energy and how we can get this energy from the clouds and not from the lighting or maybe from both

  4. static2008 June 5, 2008 at 10:54 am

    great Scott! how can i get one of these rods on top of my car?

  5. Inhabitat » TOP 1... March 16, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    [...] energy, tons of companies are getting creative and exploring alternative energy sources from lightning to human movement as a potential source of energy generation. Energy is embedded in everything, so [...]

  6. Steve in T.O. December 15, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Lightning_Power
    The answer is not in huge capacitors, but in the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen.

  7. Steve LeRoy December 13, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    UPDATE: I am stopping all energy research due to a corporate smear campaign against my years of documented research. I don’t have the resources to compete with a multi million dollar corporation and they know it. Hopefully others will pick up where I left off.

  8. Steve LeRoy November 30, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Hold the lightning bolts!! I’m diversified…have been experimenting with high frequency oscillations of quartz crystals and the various wavelengths of laser beams to irradiate them with. They can put out planar 25+ kilogauss with just a 200mwatt UV laser beam. Photoelectric? When I find out I’ll tell you. No moving parts except at atomic level. The higher the quartz ferequency the better. CO2 lasers not as good as UV. If this is a discovery, you will see it. Steve

  9. Steven LeRoy November 3, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Wow..I do one interview and make the blogosphere..jeez. Actually, I’m experimenting with MANY alternative energy sources..already have 3 energy patents, one more soon to follow with liquid nitrogen cooled superconductor machine creating self sustaining power output. Am building a small prototype in my basement. We shall see. Thanks for any comments. Steven LeRoy

  10. Christian Talavera October 20, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Ferroelectric materials:
    Naresh S. Dalal, the Dirac Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at FSU, recently collaborated with three colleagues, Jorge Lasave, Sergio Koval and Ricardo Migoni, all of the Universidad Nacional de Rosario in Argentina, to determine why a certain type of crystal known as ammonium dihydrogen phosphate, or ADP, behaves the way it does.

    “Ferroelectric materials can stay in a given state of charge for a long time — they retain their charge after the external electrical source is removed,” Dalal said. “This has made ADP and other materials like it very useful for storing and transmitting data.

    ADP was discovered in 1938,” Dalal said. “It was observed to have some unusual electrical properties that weren’t fully understood — and for nearly 70 years, scientists have been perplexed by these properties. Using the supercomputer at SCRI (FSU’s Supercomputer Computations Research Institute), we were able to perform in-depth computational analyses that explained for the very first time what causes ADP to have these unusual properties.”

    http://www.physorg.com/news112018272.html

  11. Brendan Bombaci October 19, 2007 at 1:33 am

    Wow. Does anyone really think about the geodynamo-interrupting implications of harvesting the byproduct (and the otherwise perpetuative electrochemical factor) of the tidal interactions between the Earth and the Moon? Seriously. Just because you know what electricity is, or at least know how to “harvest” it, doesn’t mean you can do this without serious radiation concerns, tectonic shift concerns, or climatic concerns inherent. The very same proton stream that feeds the ionospheric plasma buildup to charge our world with the life we know is also incredibly destructive on any planet without an electromagnetic force field surrounding it. And its not as though we’ve been easy on it thus far either: think HAARP, think Thunderstorm Solar Powered Satellite, think “passive” microwave transmissions into the hundreds-of-GHZ range, think EISCAT, and even the AESA and VTRPE radar weapons/ research “tools” being utilized along with electrically conductive weather modification “aerosols” which disrupt the natural discourse of not only rain and wind, but also sunscreening and even biological migratory field line stasis. IT DOES NOT TAKE A SCIENTIST TO FIGURE THAT THIS STUFF IS A BAD IDEA NO MATTER HOW “COOL” IT MAY SEEM. Only one whom is awake…

    Light and Truth,
    Brendan

  12. RemyC October 18, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Any ham radio enthousiast, who has rigged his own antenna tower will tell you, there is a naturally occuring electrical differential between the top and the bottom of the tower… it doesn’t produce much electricity, but if you planted an entire field of metal rods, that field would generate electricity by itself, without any need for lightning strikes.

  13. H. Short October 17, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    As in most popular reporting venues the facts here are significantly skewed to misled the unknowing or unwary. What is being discussed here is simply the utilization of environmental energy: in this case electrical energy. The most common form is the differential potential between the earth and the world enveloping electrical sheaths in the magneto-sphere energized by proton streams from the sun. There is an existing voltage gradient in the realm of ten volts per foot of altitude, with practical voltage potential differentials up in the hundred of thousands and extreme values to 2 billion volts or more.

    Lightning is simply the result of the generation of static electrical potentials inside cloud formations plus, in some cases, the formation of pathways through the atmosphere to connect the negative earth charges with that of the positive magneto-sphere potential. Headlines such as: ‘power-your-home-with-lightening’ are a sensational way of gaining the public’s attention but are misleading since the actual lightning strike is a distructive breakdown event which terminates the avalanche effect and the production of electricity. The trick is in maintaining the avalanche and preventing the breakdown.

    In the atmosphere the electron avalanche effect is related to the formation of ionized air molecules. This is probably the process behind Steve Le Roy’s device, and has formed the underlying foundation for several devices over the years, such as Gray’s ‘splitting the positive’ CSET. Tesla and others had patents for devices which utilized this, so as a process it is unpatentable although Le Roy could be patenting a specific device design of his own which in itself is a waste of time except for PR purposes, since the basic design has been in the public domain for a long time. It can be noted here that Tesla’s ‘Magnifying Transmitter’ coils are inherently aetheric radiant energy generators which produce what can be referred to as the ‘pure’ form of electricity and that the atmospheric electron avalanche effect is a secondary bonus that can be incorporated into the design for greater electrical output.

  14. A Modern-day Ben Frankl... October 17, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    [...] A forward-thinking innovation and design Weblog, Inhabit.com, posted this week that Le Roy believes a full-scale system built with his technology could power 30,000 homes for a day with just one lightning bolt. [...]

  15. gregb October 16, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    This idea goes back at least 100 years (remember Dr Frankenstein?), but once again confuses POWER with ENERGY. A lightning both generates enormous amounts of power for very short periods of time- hundreds of Gigawatts in tens of microseconds. But in terms of energy, kind of pitiful. Even a very strong lightning bolt dissipates only 100 KW-hrs per strike. Enough to run one house for a few weeks. And, the bolts don’t strike in predictable locations, so its hard to gather economically. Plus there is no practical way to store even 100KW-hrs that quickly.

    Its like a Ferrari- a very powerful car which can hit 60 MPH in 4 seconds, but the energy the car contains is not determined by its acceleration, but by the gas in the tank. Just not that much gas in a lightning bolt, no matter how bright or how loud…

  16. links for 2007-10-17 &l... October 16, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    [...] Power your home with LIGHTNING! How cool is this? Now the electricity in lightnong can be “harvested”… (tags: cool eco green sustainable) Posted by francisanderson Filed in Uncategorized [...]

  17. Енергия за д... October 16, 2007 at 8:06 am

    [...] Източник: Inhabitat [...]

  18. Powering your home with... October 16, 2007 at 5:26 am

    [...] Posted by keelynet on October 16th, 2007 This isn’t a new idea but always a fascinating one. As I recall the problem is storing all this power since it would explode any kind of battery bank. Years ago, some lab was working on liquid molten sodium as a storage method, another was looking into superconducting rings. “Illinois-based inventor Steve Le Roy has developed a device that intentionally generates lightning in order to harvest energy from the electrical discharge produced. As mentioned in this month’s Business Week’s Green Tech forum, Le Roy took his cues from a coiled transformer created by Nikola Tesla at the turn of the century. 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 arrays of bolt conductors.” – Source [...]

  19. Power of Lightning for ... October 16, 2007 at 2:15 am

    [...] [Inhabitant] [...]

  20. Sam October 15, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    I think this idea is awesome in using nature-made electricity. No plants to grow or process, no wind to turn turbines. I suppose it’s the technology that has to improve if we are to take advantage of this. Maybe then, storm chasing could turn a huge profit! just supposing.

  21. mdq » Power your ... October 15, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    [...] Inhabitat » Power your home with LIGHTNING! [...]

  22. Bryce October 15, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Harvesting lightning would be awesome. As a general trend, we’ve got to place a priority on developing vast networks of energy storage. That way we can operate existing power generation facilities more toward what would be an average use, rather than building them for peak use and running them at it all the time. It would also be of great help in harnessing natural sources of power like wind, solar, waves, lightning, and anything else we can think of.

  23. eco-a October 15, 2007 at 8:48 am

    I’m curious to know: Is his design to harvest actual lightening or is he planning on creating generators to produce lightening? If hes producing the lightening how much energy is required to produce it, because at this point it seems like thats a little counter-productive.

  24. Jim Philips October 15, 2007 at 6:31 am

    Quoting from the post:

    “Le Roy took his cues from a coiled transformer created by Nikola Tesla more than three centuries ago.”

    Uhh…Nikola Tesla lived from 1856 to 1943. I don’t really think he created anything more than three centuries ago. Otherwise, great post.

  25. Ian October 15, 2007 at 5:59 am

    Tesla developed his Tesla coil in the 1890′s, and completed most of work between 1890 and 1920. He passed away in the early ’40′s in NYC.

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