P6 6 The Power of the Forks: Harnessing Lightning Power

Alexander Toohie, Joe McGuire, Alexandra Pohl


The power of lightning and the fraction of that which is available to us is explored in this paper. We find that exploiting Joule heating we can harness 7.5x10^4J of energy per lightning strike, and by using a bank of capacitors we can harness up to 2.5x10^5J. The total power available by these methods in every strike that occurs on Earth is 11.25MW, six orders of magnitude less than the Earth's power consumption.

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