Some places in the world are renown for the sheer number of lightning strikes they get a year. One of these places is Tampa Bay, Florida. This lightning city could theoretically harness the incredible power of lightning to power their city.
While we were writing we ran into the query “Can a lightning bolt power a city?”.
Some think that Lightning is both incredibly powerful and crazy fast. While it’s true that a single lightning bolt could power the entire city of Santa Fe for about a minute, there are some issues with capturing lightning as an energy source.
This begs the inquiry “Could a bolt of lightning power a town for a day?”
So the answer to the original question is that a big bolt could power a small, 56-house town for a day. That assumes we can catch all of that average bolt of lightning in a large capacitor.
How many houses can a bolt of lightning power?
So if we divide the power draw for the house into the power of a lightning bolt, we’ll have the number of houses that bolt can power: = 56 houses/bolt of lightning for one day. So the answer to the original question is that a big bolt could power a small, 56-house town for a day.
The average lightning strike contains about 1 million joules, enough energy to fry the founding father in his boots. “The typical house in the U. Has 100 amp service or about 28 horsepower,” says Kirtley. Unfortunately, relying on lightning bolts to power our hair dryers, TVs, and refrigerators would be far from cost effective.
Frequency of lightning across the planet (NASA Earth Observatory) In the forms of electricity, light, heat and thunder, this energy is all released by the flash in a matter of milli- or even microseconds. From here let’s consider the practical potential of lightning is as a power source.
Why can’t lightning be used to generate electricity?
Additionally, lightning is sporadic, and therefore energy would have to be collected and stored; it is difficult to convert high-voltage electrical power to the lower-voltage power that can be stored.
So, can lightning energy be harvested by a technology?
A technology capable of harvesting lightning energy would need to be able to rapidly capture the high power involved in a lightning bolt.
Several schemes have been proposed, but the ever-changing energy involved in each lightning bolt renders lightning power harvesting from ground-based rods impractical – too high, it will damage the storage, too low and it may not work.
Can a lightning strike a car?
Yes, cars are more likely to get hit by lightning but can also serve as a protective shield for people inside the car. When lightning strikes a car, it hits the outer metal surfaces like the antenna and the roof and moves along with the metal frame.
To conclude, your car can be struck by lightning. However, your vehicle is also one of the safest places that you can be during a lightning storm. If you close your windows and keep your hands placed in your lap, you will likely get through a lightning storm unscathed.
What would happen if lightning struck a car?
Safety Reminder: You also should not to touch the radio, Do not talk on the cell phone, If you are driving, pull to the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights, turn off the engine and wait out the storm.
When a car is struck by lightning, some of the current can flow through the vehicle’s electrical systems and metal things attached to the car such as radios, cell phone chargers, GPS units as well as car door handles, foot pedals, the steering column and the steering wheel.
How to tell if your car was struck by lightning?
Depending on the entry point and the intensity of the strike, the signs that a lightning strike has hit your car can range from superficial damage or a totaled vehicle. Lightning can render any vehicle inoperable. This includes gas, diesel, and electric-powered cars.