I’m claiming this one. Anyone want to help me apply for a patent, or buy the idea?
There is a newish product out called super-capacitors. I’m thinking that you could arrange many of these devices in series and parallel, with some really high strength electrical connections, transformers, and relays and then get them all hit by lightning.
I figure you’ll need some huge resistors, and bunch of heavy duty transformers and enough capacitors to store several Megawatts of energy. You’ll lose a bunch to heat and transform circuits. but lightning is totally free.
And there is a method to ensure that lightning hits the right place. How?
Basically, a model rocket launches pulling a thin copper wire behind it. Any potential lightning in the area will be attracted to the wire and bang, instant lightning.
The energy travels down the wire into a collection grid, that goes through a series of divisions, spreading the electrons of the lightning out as much as possible and then capturing them.
If that doesn’t work, you could do the same thing except use the lightning to heat up some material (say salt) and use that in a standard heat exchanger to power a turbine.