possible or an impossible one...

Thread Starter


Joined Jun 11, 2008
dear sir,
i am thinking of a new project...that is to generate electricity from lightning....is it practically possible to generate.......please give me the suggestions because some scientists say it is practically impossible...and some say it is possible......
thank you......


Joined Mar 24, 2008
Depends on what you want to use it for. Start charcoal? Sure. Run appliences, I suspect not. Lightning is chaotic, which is a fancy way of saying unpredictable. You can't predict the power of a strike, nor where it will hit or when.


Joined Jul 17, 2007
Harnessing lightning would not be impossible, but it would be impractical.

You would have to come up with a way to store a tremendous amount of energy, and then release it over a long period of time, like a huge bank of extremely high-voltage capacitors. Batteries wouldn't work; they would not be able to charge fast enough. Capacitors would be hard-pressed to keep up.

This really isn't something an amateur should attempt to do, unless you relish the thought of being vaporized.


Joined Jul 17, 2007
Benjamin Franklin, one of the United States founding fathers, stateman, author, poet, scientist, humorist - basically, a jack-of-all-trades, documented some experiments that he was considering conducting in the 1750's. I don't have access to these documents, and I don't know if they were actually carried out. Legend says he actually did it, but I have severe doubts; he would've died as a young man instead of an old man.

Here is the "legend" version, which has some obvious technical inaccuracies:

Here is a more scientific attempt at replicating the legend:

I most strongly advise you to NOT attempt to replicate this experiment, as it is virtually certain that you will not survive the attempt.