# Thread: Capacitor to store lightning?

1. Originally Posted by MacGyver1968
I've been trying to design a system in my mind that could store energy from a lightning bolt, like Benny proposes ... I can't figure out how you would keep the voltage carried by "main input lead" to the circuit from just arcing to ground.
That's the thing though, lightning has to have a low impedance path to ground, or it will find another. Making lightning do work, by storing it's energy, lessens the chance of it striking.

The only way I can see this working, is by using a lightning rod, which guides the lightning to ground, and that rod is surrounded by inductance loops, so the lightning has a nice, low impedance path, more favourable than air, and you can take out some of the energy that it would require to break down the air into ions from the inductance loop.

Of course, you can only store a fraction of the bolt's energy, but you can increase the chances of getting a strike. Benny seems to think you can effectively trap lightning in a box, and keep it for later. That's ludicrous. But then let's face it, he said he was given his idea by god, so we know he's a frikking lunatic from the outset.

2. Originally Posted by MacGyver1968
Benny's system would start with a lightning rod to collect the bolt. That lightning rod would need to be connected by some conductor to the first part of his current/voltage divider circuit. At that point, though, the voltage in the "main input lead" delivering the current to the circuit would still be at 100's of thousands or even millions of volts. Since Benny's circuit would have at least some DC resistance and inductance...I can't figure out how you would keep the voltage carried by "main input lead" to the circuit from just arcing to ground.
I visited a friend in Boston once. He showed me their Museum of Science, which has a room devoted to lightning with shows on a regular basis. In this room, a huge Van de Graf generator can produce hundreds of millions of DC volts. During the show, they turn it on, they turn down the room lights, and eventually, I saw what looked like sparks jumping across two huge electrodes which looked like metal balls, each approx three feet in diameter.

In the same room, and very close to the electrodes, was (I presume) a museum employee, sitting inside a dome-shaped wire cage. He hosted the show with a microphone in front of him. He warned the audience to expect loud noises, caused by the same process that causes thunder. He explained what lightning and thunder were for the benefit of the children who weren't scared off by the first few bolts of man-made lightning.

This is website for the room, part of the museum's website.
http://www.mos.org/sln/toe/toe.html

Here's a copy-and-paste quote from a clickable page called "Touching Lightning":

"During part of our regular lightning shows the demonstrator raises the cage so that it will be struck by the sparks. We do this to demonstrate why it is safe to be in a car during a lightning storm. Most people believe that the reason has to do with the rubber tires, rubber being an insulator. Air is also an insulator, however, and almost as good a one as rubber! If a lightning bolt has just travelled two or more miles through air, an inch or two of rubber will not make much difference. Indeed, it has been calculated that you would need solid tires about a mile thick to be safe!

However, that is not needed as there is a more effective protection involved. In a car you are sitting in a metal box (this is not true in a convertible or plastic/fiberglass car, and these are not safe). That is the source of your safety. Many people who know that it is the metal not the tires assume that the car forms a Faraday Cage, but that is also not the reason. Faraday Cages work with static electricity, lightning bolts are anything but static! The real reason is something called the skin effect.

In fact, not only are you safe inside the car, even the inside of the metal car BODY is safe, a fact we demonstrate by touching the inside of the cage bars while it is being struck. The outside is not safe, however, so if your hand were to go through the bars you would get struck (something that has happened to several of us at one time or another--it hurts a lot, like hitting your funny bone but about ten times worse--though the current is so low that there is no permanent damage. The hardest thing for the demonstrator in such cases is to remember not to say something bad since the microphone is still on!"

The page also has clickable links titled "Franklin's Kite", "Tesla Coils", the "History" of their Van de Graf generator, a safety quiz, and a video gallery.

3. Originally Posted by phlogistician
I used my intelligence and exposed your ignorance about capacitors blocking DC current.
A broken wire cannot conduct DC current. This is the same for AC current as well. Capacitors serve a different purpose by being constructed somewhat differently than broken wires. Someone who had studied electricity would use a more precise term than "blocked" current, which is YOUR term, not mine.

Your posts are still way too argumentative, so I won't respond to any more of your arguments. As I said, if you want to discuss lightning and/or capacitors in an intelligent fashion, you're welcome to do so.

Benny

4. Originally Posted by BennyF
... Someone who had studied electricity would use a more precise term than "blocked" current, which is YOUR term, not mine.... Benny
Benny your ignorance of the subject is showing again. Google "blocking capacitor" and you will get 9,540,000 hits! More than that number of people commonly use "blocking" or "DC blocking" to describe one of the functions of a capacitor. ("More" as most articles Google cites have more than one author.)

5. Originally Posted by phlogistician
Steve LeRoy (mentioned in the article I linked to) sold his idea for capturing lightning to Alternate Energy Holdings (AEH) in 2007, and they still can't make it work, and they are messing around in the lab, using controlled conditions. You want to harness real lightning, well, seems the ideas you have had, have already been had, and aren't feasible.
Whatever they're doing in their lab, they aren't applying for any patents. My idea hasn't been patented yet, and it hasn't been applied for yet. I've checked, so the door is wide open for someone who can submit an original idea to the patent office under their application requirements.

One more time. NOBODY has seen my schematics.

Originally Posted by phlogistician
Suck it up, failure boy.
Didn't you say that this wasn't personal with you? That quote sure sounds personal, so until you change your attitude, this is the last time I'll respond to anything you write.

Benny

6. Originally Posted by BennyF
A broken wire cannot conduct DC current.
And the symbol for a capacitor being;

What does it look like, ... a wire, then a plate, then a break, then another plate, connected to a wire, there's a discontinuity, in real life, filled with an insulator.

Do you get it yet, capacitors BLOCK DC.

This is the same for AC current as well.
Oh dear no it isn't. AC is not blocked by capacitors. Capacitors can be used to smooth AC frequencies.

Capacitors serve a different purpose by being constructed somewhat differently than broken wires.
Yes, that's why they have two large surface areas separated by an insulator. That insulator blocks DC.

Someone who had studied electricity would use a more precise term than "blocked" current, which is YOUR term, not mine.
Here's the certificate for one of the qualifications I got in Electronics;

I overwrote my real name, because giving it to some nutter who believes god told him to store lightning in a box probably isn't wise.

On using the term 'blocked', well, that's the technical term used. No wonder you fail to recognise it.

Your posts are still way too argumentative, so I won't respond to any more of your arguments.
You won't respond, because you can make no response, because you are wrong. This much is evident, or should be to you, because so many people keep telling you that you are wrong. I really don't care how you feel about me pointing out how wrong you are, that's just a matter or your ego. But then god talks to you, so you ego was evident from the outset.

As I said, if you want to discuss lightning and/or capacitors in an intelligent fashion, you're welcome to do so.
I'm more then welcome, Benny, I'm qualified !

7. Originally Posted by BennyF
Whatever they're doing in their lab, they aren't applying for any patents. My idea hasn't been patented yet, and it hasn't been applied for yet. I've checked, so the door is wide open for someone who can submit an original idea to the patent office under their application requirements.

One more time. NOBODY has seen my schematics.
So the foremost researchers in the field aren't using your approach. What does that tell you about your approach?

Didn't you say that this wasn't personal with you? That quote sure sounds personal, so until you change your attitude, this is the last time I'll respond to anything you write.
It's not personal. I am completely dispassionate about how a big an ignoramus and failure you are.

8. Originally Posted by phlogistician
AC is not blocked by capacitors.
You misunderstood me. I was discussing broken wires, which cannot conduct AC current. This is the similarity I was referring to.

Lose the attitude that makes you think you know more than I do and discuss some concepts in a much more friendly manner.

9. Originally Posted by phlogistician
So the foremost researchers in the field aren't using your approach. What does that tell you about your approach?
Nobody has seen my schematics, and nobody has patented my schematics. Nobody.

Originally Posted by phlogistician
It's not personal. I am completely dispassionate about how a big an ignoramus and failure you are.
That IS personal, so don't expect any more replies.

10. Originally Posted by BennyF
You misunderstood me. I was discussing broken wires, which cannot conduct AC current. This is the similarity I was referring to.
We weren't talking about broken wires, and as you admit capacitors differ greatly in construction from broken wires, why would you say there was some similarity?

Lose the attitude that makes you think you know more than I do and discuss some concepts in a much more friendly manner.
You saw that certificate? I studied at school for a year to achieve that qualification, amongst others. What qualifications have you got? See, I won't lose the attitude that I know more than you, because clearly, I do know more than you.

I don't really care if you don't like my delivery. I really don't care for your ignorance.

11. Originally Posted by phlogistician
We weren't talking about broken wires, and as you admit capacitors differ greatly in construction from broken wires, why would you say there was some similarity?
You weren't talking about broken wires, but I was, and that may be the reason for the confusion. The similarity is that a broken wire can conduct neither DC nor AC. If you check, you'll see that this is what I was saying, even though you misunderstood what I said and then misquoted what I said.

Originally Posted by phlogistician
You saw that certificate? I studied at school for a year to achieve that qualification, amongst others.
Well, SOMEONE sure did, but it's easy enough to find a graduation certificate online somewhere and "edit" it.

Originally Posted by phlogistician
What qualifications have you got? See, I won't lose the attitude that I know more than you, because clearly, I do know more than you.
What's clear to me is that you have a bigger ego than anyone here, because you're verbally attacking the only person posting on this board who has said that he's going to patent something, which you apparently haven't done yet.

Originally Posted by phlogistician
I don't really care if you don't like my delivery. I really don't care for your ignorance.
Nobody is making you stay, and nobody likes your attitude, so consider leaving without saying anything that would get you banned by the moderators that you may not be used to dealing with.

12. BennyF,

The patent office does not check that a product actually works. Patents are issued based on whether that particular product is owned by another patent or is something new.

So even if you had that patent, it would do you little good.

You mentioned earlier about a Scam Letter you got promising big money...

13. Originally Posted by Neverfly
BennyF,

The patent office does not check that a product actually works. Patents are issued based on whether that particular product is owned by another patent or is something new.
It doesn't look like you've investigated the submission requirements.

First, patents don't "own" a product, a PERSON or a COMPANY does.

Second, the originality of a patent is a requirement for every patent, even patents that are improvements on existing patents, which are allowed by the patent laws. I've checked on this and you should, too.

Originally Posted by Neverfly
You mentioned earlier about a Scam Letter you got promising big money...
Yes, I did, and I'm glad you enjoyed that story. It illustrates very well the difference between fantasy and reality.

If you'll remember the punchline for that story, reality is a paid-up application to the patent office. Even if the patent isn't ultimately granted, just having an application that can make it past the intake clerks shows any reasonable person (not you, Phlogician) that one has his feet on the ground.

In contrast with reality (the paid-up patent application), I said that fantasy was a statement that the wires would be made from stranded silver instead of stranded copper. Silver is a much better conductor than copper, but such wires would be many times more expensive to buy, so it's only a dream to think about using such wires.

14. Guess what, folks?

There's another lightning storm in Iowa!!

15. Originally Posted by BennyF
You weren't talking about broken wires, ... The similarity is that a broken wire can conduct neither DC nor AC.
There is no similarity Benny. A capacitor allows AC. A broken wire does not. Not similar, your comparison fails.

Well, SOMEONE sure did, but it's easy enough to find a graduation certificate online somewhere and "edit" it.
OK, here is it again. You should note I added a little caption on a piece of paper, and also photographed the certificate at 90° to the last one (you can see the pattern in the leather om the edge of my desk has a different orientation) proving I am in ownership of said certificate. Sorry bub, but you're just being a guttersnipe by denying that cert is mine. Let it go.

What's clear to me is that you have a bigger ego than anyone here, because you're verbally attacking the only person posting on this board who has said that he's going to patent something, which you apparently haven't done yet.
You think the supreme being, the creator of the entire Universe, talks to you, but it's me that has the ego? Priceless!

And just to remind me, how many patents do you currently hold?

Nobody is making you stay, and nobody likes your attitude,
Really? Got anything you can back that claim up with, 'cos the way I read this thread, everyone is telling you your idea is futile. Nobody else has complained about my attitude, or when you say 'nobody' is that you, and the voices in your head?

so consider leaving without saying anything that would get you banned by the moderators that you may not be used to dealing with.
Spray that again? The grammar got a bit derailed towards the end. You think I'll get banned for pointing out you don't understand how capacitors work? Or for joining in with the fiscal analysis of your proposition?

16. Originally Posted by BennyF
Guess what, folks?

There's another lightning storm in Iowa!!

Then you just need to catch a plane to Iowa with your portable lightning catcher, and harvest all of that 'free' electricity, don't you!

Of course, you'll need FAA approval for bringing back a box of lightning that you've multiplied up to a bazillion volts, but hey, I'm sure once you get your patent, convincing the FAA with be a breeze!

17. Here's my invention.

It's based on a native American Dreamcatcher, but I'm going to attach three plastic pop bottles made into leyden jars to the tassles, and send it up into the sky on a big kite.
I estimate that each pop bottle will store 18 trillion volts, and power the USA for 10 years.

Sorry if this is what you were thinking of Benny.

Anyone who wants to use my idea can do so, but I want \$10 per person.
If you can't afford \$10, then just send what you can, but not coins PLEASE.

18. Originally Posted by Neverfly
BennyF, The patent office does not check that a product actually works. Patents are issued based on whether that particular product is owned by another patent or is something new. ...
That is generally true but there are (at least) two exceptions. Applications that claim to be "perpetual motion" machines or "over unity" devices (energy gain makers) are rejected because they cannot work.

The most important part of a patent is the final list of claims made. That is the first thing inspected as it quickly defines the field or the invention and aids in routing the application to the inspector most familiar with that field. If claim is for a "perpetual motion" machine or "over unity" device, the application goes no further, is never read. - It is just sent to the "reject letter" secretary. (If Benny persists in his "step up voltage to gain energy" ideas his application will go straight to the trash can without being read as an over unity device claim.)

In Benny's recent posts he seems to think he can patent a circuit diagram - that would be possible if it is sent in as a design or trademark application. Invention patents are issued only on original concepts, feasible or not. It is not likely there are any remaining in the more than 300 year old field of capturing and storing lightning. Certainly not just a circuit design. Adding a resister to a textbook’s circuit design would make a new original circuit. A new concept, with or without a circuit design, is what is required

To get a patent, the application must also demonstrate an understanding of the problems* of the field and how the new invention solves those problems. That is why the first few pages (often half the total application text) of an invention application describe the prior art and then the text transitions to how your application is an improvement or solves some existing unsolved problem.

-----------------
*Benny is extremely lacking in understanding of the problems of this filed and holds several erroneous ideas such as stepping up voltage produces more energy, that voltage does not drop across the inductance of capacitors and wires, about new voltage breakdown arcs, especially when nearby metal is exposed to UV from other arcs, etc.

I have tried to educate him a little, but he is stubborn and resists learning. However, my efforts have not been entirely lost as some others have learned from my posts, but there is not much more I can explain, so this is probably my last post in this thread.

P.S. to Captain Kremmen
I regret to inform you that you are at least 50 years too late with your post 317 invention. As a graduate student, I worked two summers at LASL, which is an isolated, very male dominated community. In desperation for female companionship, I when down the hill into the valley to visit the Indian community (San el De Fanso). There I saw several of your inventions, one was even an improved version – Its hanging bottles were filled with water, so it was never a flying kite. I asked why its bottles were water filled and was told that flies see their image magnified and are scared away. It seemed to do this job well too. Forewarned about the lack of women, the second summer I brought my own – we lived in the married graduate student's quarters, but were not married; LASL just thought we were.

My visit to San el De Fanso Pueblo was not successful. From the looks of young male Indians, I quickly understood that I was not the first horny "Anglo" to arrive. So, I bought a thunder bird silver ring from an old squaw and left without injury. She wanted to sell me the much more expensive Squaw Blossom turquoise and silver** neckless (they promote fertility in women) but I explained that sadly I had no need of that at present.

**The largest piece of silver is sort of the shape of an inverted "U" and always at the bottom center of the neckless. - I am quite sure that symbolically it represent the womb (and/or other closely related parts of the female anatomy).

19. My invention is an adaptation of an American Indian invention called a Dreamcatcher. This was originally intended to catch dreams as they enter a teepee, but I realised that it would do just as well as a lightning bolt catcher.
Being absolutely brilliant, I call it a LightningBoltCatcher. (Copyright)

I am using a form of payment named after a singer who is partly Cherokee Indian. I call it Cherware (Copyright)

Sorry, I can only tell you very basic details of my invention, or provide you with any calculations, so pardon me if I argue round in circles and drive you batty.

20. Originally Posted by Captain Kremmen
My invention is an adaptation of an American Indian invention called a Dreamcatcher. This was originally intended to catch dreams as they enter a teepee, but I realised that it would do just as well as a lightning bolt catcher. Being absolutely brilliant, I call it a LightningBoltCatcher. (Copyright)...
I hope you don't mind, but I plan to do sort of the same with my HLL catcher* I think you are forgetting the lousy economics of catching lightning. I am not - the HLL catcher will be wildly profitable. But, I too can not go into details of how it works, until after my patent issues.

* HLL = Hot Liberal Lady.

PS: "HLL catcher" is a copied right protected trade mark - That application is already in the mail to the USPTO.

PS2: Did you read the PS of post 318, directed to you?

PS3: We should thank Benny for this entertaining, but otherwise useless thread.

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