Last test my LTPC broke and sliced my knee. A part of the shale broke down after a short-circuit of the mechanism. Biggest problem is that I my LTPC is broken and fixing it will be very costly.

Knee injury

To get more investors behind my project I used an older version to show the full potential of my Lightning to Power Converter. What I did was mounting the older smaller version into my backpack and used the antenna from my last test. If a lightning strike hits, I would be able to power my phone or laptop in my backpack!

I will be live streaming it tonight (15-06) on my Facebook page.

See you there!

It worked!

After two years of research I can finally say that I had a working prototype! Last Friday evening I did my second prototype test. Where with the first test the weather wasn’t in my favour, the second test the weather was just right. 

I lit up the balloon with the copper wire attached to it and was able to get a triggered lightning strike after 40 minutes. My Lightning to Power Converter was able to extract 8 ampere out of the strike with a voltage of 40, which comes down at about 300 watts. I know that it doesn’t sound big, you can probably run your washing machine for half a wash, but it is a very nice beginning.

The main goal of these first test was to see how many Watt my LTPC was able to convert from one lightning strike. To take my LTPC one step further I’m going to connect it to the closed power grid of my parents house, they are on holiday so they won’t even notice. I will do the test a usual and hope to able to power a part of my house out of one lightning strike. I will be testing it tonight (Monday 12th of June) if the weather conditions are favourable.

My successful prototype test got a bit of attention in the Dutch media:

Breda Vandaag (Dutch)

Omroep Brabant (Dutch)

Q-Music (Dutch) 

Update – Lightning Maps

Last Wednesday I had a live video on my Facebook and Twitter. If you missed it, you can watch the time-lapse above this blog or go to my Facebook (link) to watch the whole two-hour live video.

During this live video I looked at weather maps of the Netherlands that displayed the lightning strikes that happened between the period of 2004 and 2008. In total I looked and compared 4 places on 500 different lightning maps. The places that I looked at in particular where Breda, Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Groningen.

The result of my research concluded that during the period of 2004 and 2008 those 4 places had a very different lightning ratio. During those 1.461 days there where over 500 days where there where more than 10 lightning strikes in the Netherlands.

The results per city where as followed:

  • Breda: ±120 days
  • Eindhoven: ±74 days
  • Amsterdam: ±58 days
  • Groningen: ±35 days

These differences are very big and to make my hypothesis more convincing, I’m going to test the amount of positive and negative particles in the air in those different places. I will be starting in Breda and hope to expand to different cities very soon.

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Update – Lightning spots

Just a small update of what I’m currently working on. I’ve found some interesting reports while doing some location research for the wiring test. I’ve looked at lightning strikes in the Netherlands in May 2004 till 2017, and some peculiar details came up.

I have found out that in these last 13 years, when there where lightning strikes in The Netherlands, they almost always striked near the same places. Why that is the case I’m not really sure. I’ve looked at wind on different levels, humidity, temperature and water currents. But I wasn’t able to pinpoint the exact reason why it happened on those places.

One place got me most interested. From 2004 till 2017 there was a place in The Netherlands that almost never got hit in May. In the north of The Netherlands (Groningen) there is a place that was only hit twice in this period. Even when there where severer thunderstorms near that location, that placed got spared.

To be absolutely sure that it isn’t a coincidence, I’m going to spit through all months from 2004 till 2017 to find out if it is recurring. Because it is a lot of data (5000+ lighting maps), I could use some help! Please send me a message via Twitter / Facebook or email, there will be beer and pizza!

Link to the lightning maps

The power of lightning

Lightning is one of the most powerful things we know, but it’s also something that we don’t fully understand. If we knew the full potential of lightning we would already use it as a power source and don’t waste al its energy.

Trough some research I’ve calculated that if we could harvest only a small part of one lightning strike we could power an average house for more than a month.

One single lightning strike is enough to fully charge an electric car for 33.750 times.

Researches have found out that an average lightning strike produces about 5 to 200 kiloampere and voltages vary from 40 to 120 kilovolt, which is about 2.700.000 watt-hour. An average household uses approximately 48.000 watt-hour per day. So with one single lightning strike we could power an average household for 56 days.

If you count for the fact that there are 100 lightning strikes every second, which is 8 million strikes a day, which is 2,9 billion strikes a year. You would have enough power to power 163,5 billion households for a day!