Monday, April 13, 2009

Science: Lightning Energy from Le Roy

To all our tutors... this week lets share some of the science facts about lightning to our students. Learning is all about fun and sharing. Do visit this blog to get updated news about science and take this opportunity to astonish your students with science facts. Everyone love science and adventure

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BusinessWeek has an interesting look at some “unusual” sources of energy, profiling everything from tornado power to using kites to move giant container ships. One of the more intriguing examples was from an inventor named Steve LeRoy who has developed a system to harness energy from lightning bolts. “LeRoy has developed a device that generates lightning to harvest energy from the electrical discharge. The prototype, derived from the coiled transformer developed by physicist Nikola Tesla more than a century ago, can create lightning bolts three feet in length and as loud as a gun shot. Each little bolt only generates enough electricity to illuminate a 60-watt lightbulb for 20 minutes. But a full-scale system, LeRoy believes, could power 30,000 homes for a day with just one lightning bolt.”

What would a full-scale system look like? Damn cool, we imagine. The potential is definitely there. As the article points out, the average Midwest thunder storm “releases enough electrical energy to power the entire U.S. for 20 minutes.” In LeRoy quips, “It’s energy for the taking.”

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