The Ultimate Vaporware: Power From Air

Lightning Over Singapore

Lightning strike in Singapore. Creative Commons photo by Joost Rooijmans.

Devices much like solar panels on the top of every building could not only discharge lightning before it forms, but collect energy from the air — the ultimate renewable resource. That’s the scenario suggested by Brazilian researcher Fernando Galembeck, PhD, in a presentation at this year’s 240th Annual American Chemical Society meeting.

According to Science Daily, Galembeck’s research focuses on the recently confirmed fact that moisture in the air typically generates opposing electrical charges in silica and aluminum phosphate, both common substances found in air. They’re calling it “hygroelectricity,” meaning electricity from humidity.

Galembeck’s team suggests it would be possible to use collector to harness this electrical energy, and also to prevent lightning strikes. The theoretical procedure would work better in humid regions like the Eastern North America and the tropics.

You can read the press release at the American Chemical Society website, or the article at Science Daily. For what it’s worth, I got there through Above Top Secret, a forum for online lunatics that just happens to be so fantastically unnavigable that its super-secret information about the Bilderberg conspiracy is just about guaranteed to stay that way. They’re not the only ones screaming “Tesla! Tesla! Tesla!” about this one, but they might be screaming it loudest. Since invoking Tesla in an online conspiracy forum seems to be the equivalent of having your 103 IQ branded on your forehead, I’m going to suggest you read the Science Daily article instead, or similar articles at CNET or The American Ceramic Society. Dr. Galembeck’s page at the University of Campesino is in Portugese — so if you speak that, have at.

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