Static generators for auxiliary battery power

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by souljour2000, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. souljour2000
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    Just curious if there have been any threads dealing with static electricity generators for auxiliary battery power under way or at anchor...did a quick search but nothing came up...has anyone made any headway with this idea that we know of...seems simple enuff at first...any help on this topic would be appreciated...
     
  2. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    If you are planning to collect the energy from Lightning, you really are in some "hot" waters. It can be done, but you need super capacitors to store the 40.000 - max 60.000 Ampere which will be dumped in burts of up to 50 times within a second. Alhough you may see it as one blitz, it is actually short bursts. There is no energy source, battery etc, which can store the high currents. The supercaps are able to handle the current, but not the Voltage. It could be protected maybe by some high powered zenerdiodes, but whatever you do, you need the super capacitor story to be matured first.

    Johannesburg is together with another location in the world with the highest incidence of lightning. Sometimes, some 5 to 10 lightningstrikes at the same time, each having bursts of up to 40 -50 discharges per second.
    Please find an reply to a letter to the Bureaux of Standards
     

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  3. souljour2000
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    Bert...appreciate the reply. Lightning is something that I'd rather stay away from but I was actually thinking along the lines of the kind of static that builds up on an aluminum aircraft in flight...requiring groundwheel mounted static discharge wicks to distribute the static back into the ground upon landing and especially before things like fuel trucks try to hook onto the plane.
     
  4. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    If it is handled the correct way, it could be an fantasitc energy source for boats. First at all, the top of the mast must be able to handle the strike. The 45 degree cone created by this strike, will keep you safe. Maybe you need some eardrums replaced, but you will be alive. The problem will be if the top of the mast is not properly routed to the sea, then you can say goodbay to yourself. I cannot help you with the energy from sails, alluminium static on a boat. But again, I assume you need a super capacitor to store this energy.
     
  5. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Waiting on lightning strikes to supply power to a boat at sea looks like a poor idea to me.

    There is a voltage gradient extending up from the earth surface though. Perhaps it is possible to capture this voltage differential and turn it into a current that can charge a storage device. Maybe a kite can collect the charge at altitude and transmit current down the string/wire. It worked for Ben Franklin. It all looks inferior to other common means of generating power.
     
  6. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Tom,

    Off course you are right. Nobody in his right mind will be taking the risk in having lihtning attracted to his boat. It was just cute to see what conversation would come out of this thread. If the current flows through the conductor from the top of the mast to the sea and you happen to stand upright not too far away. The energy induced into your body from this 40 KAmpere burst would give you quite a surprise. You may even die from it, depending how weak your heart is. Regardless what people say about the 45 degree cone you are supposedely protected by. (as stated in many papers) Also you will have negative and positive strikes from the earth to the clouds and visa versa. Not easy to collect and store.
    Static energy is unrialable and cannot be predicted beforehand. But let see, maybe somebody has some idee we haven't thought about. I would make a ioniser at the top of the mast. Have a very fast micro determing whether the lightning strike is positive or negative and then the ioniser must ensure that the boat is never the hitting target but some other object, like a close by wave. This is done by increasing your potential in such a way, that a lightning strike will find surrounding objects more attractive to discharge too, or too charge from.
     
  7. souljour2000
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    okay..I was just brain-farting or storming about having a 30-foot boat say..with a kind of non-slip all over the hull and on the coach-roof ...made of say...tiny little kevlar teeth..... attached to razor thin copper plate base glued down...which is wired to a small isolator and then to a battery.I'm wondering how electricity collection a set-up like this could yield in 15-20 knots in the winter all day and out on a hook or wherever...if it cloudy and your solar panels arent doing much but it's blowin' hard outside ... could it be somethin worth checkin into? For the record that's what the line of thinking of my question came from...the idea sounds a bit of a reach but it is what it is...
     
  8. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    No idee is ever stupid, all idee's have merritt and it is always worthwhile to investigate.
    Let's philosophy.
    You build up the static to 100.000 Volt and it will discharge 100 micro Ampere into ????? the energy is thus roughly 6 watt. The question is how fast is it build up to 100.000 Volt and how often can it be discharged into a product which can handle 100.000 Volt.?
    That is our problem.
    You need a conversion methode. A super capacitor can only handle 3 Volt maximum.
    Maybe we could use a high Voltage primary winding transformer with secundair 12 Volt. If we can find a way to make contact between the static charge and the high Voltage transformer, you may have indeed a methode for yachts to create a power energy source.

    Yes, well done.

    Maybe a 100.000 lightning gas arrestor from Siemens Lichtning arrestors division Berlin (ask them, write to them) could be the link between the high Voltage transformer and the "static collector" . If it reaches 100.000 Volt it discharges into the transformer and the secondair voltage will discharge via a diode into a capacitor. The Capacitor will have a buckconvertor to charge a battery.

    CDK, here you could come in. Any idee's ?? Souljour, this needs quite some experimenting. What you have to do is to write to organizations like the VDE, static energy division and ask the right questions.
    Questions like what energy can be expected, how often can it be expected.

    Hai Souljour, be carefull, the Oil companies may want to buy you out !!!! and put it into the safe. Here is some money to be made for you.!!! I hate those rich organizations who delay progress on battery development.
    But luckely, they cannot patent it anymore as you have published it onto this site.
     

  9. souljour2000
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    maybe you could use titanium instead of kevlar...expensive initially but were talking tiny teeth like a cat's tongue....that way durability-wise you might not have to replace the non-skid for 20-25 years...but does titanium have any good static-building properties..as good as a pair of new wool socks...? I dont know much about this stuff like alot of you guys but it seems static build-up is strongly related to surface area..like the wool fibers in your socks...
     
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