In parts of Venezuela, there are lightning storms almost nights each year, producing skies so bright that navigators once used them as a lighthouse. So could lightning be used to power the planet instead of fossil fuels? Karl Kruszelnicki finds out. Last time I talked about how see more actually comes into existenceand how it hits our planet about 44 times each second.
So why don't we capture this awesome lightning stock shop struck by lightning, and use it to run our industries and boil our kettles? Well, to answer that, the obvious place to is a lightning capital of the world: Lake Maracaibo in the state of Zulia in Venezuela.
Before I did the numbers, my gut feeling wrongly told me that the energy from lightning could easily provide bulk energy for the whole world. Venezuela is so far north in the continent of South America that it actually sits in the Northern Hemisphere, running from the Equator to about 10 degrees north, stock shop struck by lightning.
In Lake Maracaibo, lightning storms happen about days check this out each year. That's over 80 per cent of the time. In fact, the locals have put a lightning bolt on the official state flag—to fit in better with the scenery.
Now Lake Maracaibo is not actually a lake, because it is connected to the sea by the Tablazo Strait. This strait is over five kilometres wide where it meets the Gulf of Venezuela. This so-called 'lake' is about kilometres across, and is a major shipping route for Venezuela's crude oil.
But if the locals call it a lake, I'm happy to play along. So far, we've got the lake—which is not really a lake—in a part of Here America, which is actually in the Northern Hemisphere.
Lightning storms stock shop struck by lightning so constant that they've earned the name 'the Never-Ending Storm of Catatumbo'.
The name comes from the Catatumbo River that empties into Lake Maracaibo. The water http://darude.online/black-friday-sale/black-friday-sale-answered-near-me.php warm, and the atmosphere is very humid—after all, it's only 10 degrees from the Equator.
But the mouth of the river is surrounded on three sides, like a horseshoe, by three mountain ranges. When the cold dry air from the mountains meets the hot and humid air, you've got the best possible conditions for lightning. The storm clouds build up to an altitude of over a kilometre.
Within an hour of the storm clouds forming, the lightning starts flashing. Store greenfield flash rate quickly accelerates up to flashes per second. A typical lightning storm lasts for 10 hours, and this happens nearly nights each year. The clouds are like an enormous light bulb, flashing in the sky.
It's bright enough to read a newspaper in the middle of the night. The storms reach their peak in September, but according to the locals, the prettiest storms happen in November each year. Stock shop struck by lightning storms are so powerful and so regular that they have been used by European navigators for the last four centuries as a natural lighthouse.
In fact, they're nicknamed shoe sale smiling Lighthouse'. So we've come to the right place to develop the technology to capture and use lightning.
But before we start thinking about lightning rods and enormous banks of tens of thousands of giant ultra-capacitors, let's take a look at what the scientists would call the numbers. Typically, each lightning bolt carries about megajoules MJ of energy. What does that mean in plain English? First, MJ is the amount of energy stock shop struck by lightning to run an stock shop struck by lightning Western house for about a week.
Second, MJ is the amount of energy in about 38 litres of petrol or gasoline or about 10 US gallons. And third, MJ is enough energy to boil about 1, kettles of water. Did you know Great Moments In Science this web page a podcast? Suppose that we could capture all the energy stock shop struck by lightning all the 1.
In that case, we would have enough energy to make cups of tea for each human on the planet, each year. That works out to a cuppa every three or four days. Now that's quite surprising. Instead, all it would do stock shop struck by lightning give you a few cups of tea each week. Even though lightning is very impressive, it's no match for the energy-hungry society that we humans have developed over the last few centuries.
With stock shop struck by lightning trouble at all, we can easily burn more than 38 litres of petrol in travelling from one Australian capital city to the next—and that's the amount of energy in just one lightning bolt.
So harnessing lightning can't compete with fossil fuels, but it's still enough for a cuppa, so enjoy that zap of energy while you can. Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated that 38 litres of petrol or 4. In fact, 38 litres is 10 gallons. Could lightning be used to power the planet instead of fossil fuels? Dr Karl Kruszelnicki finds out. Could we capture http://darude.online/stationery-sale/stationery-sale-all.php store energy from lightning?
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. Tuesday 14 February am. Parts of Venezuela have more lightning strikes than anywhere else in the world. Listen to this episode Could lightning be used stock shop struck by lightning power the planet instead of fossil fuels?
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