Call Thor…We May Have A Paying Gig For Him


Lightning (Photo credit: Pete Hunt)

So, I came across this article today when I was surfing through my energy sector news.  Lightning being used to charge cell phones.  How awesome is that? Being the big geek that I am a few things crossed my mind as I was reading.

1.  Lightening Crashes by Live immediately started playing in my head. (Sound tracks are important.)

2. Holy cow, that is really awesome!

3. Thor might have a paying job now.

4. Does this mean that those guys from Stardust that catch lightning could be real one day? (Harnessing lightning is kind of like a battery…right?)

Okay, changing the geek channel here for a minute.  According to this article I read, Southampton University in the UK and Nokia have been working together to develop technology that will seriously allow you to charge your personal cell phone via lightning.  Neil Palmer, the head of the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, led the team in creating artificial lighting bolts.  They channeled this artificial lightning into the smartphone battery.

“Using an alternating current, driven by a transformer, over 200,000 volts was sent across a 300mm gap, giving heat and light similar to that of a lightning bolt,” Palmer explained. “The signal was then stepped into a second controlling transformer, allowing us to charge the phone.” Scientists Charge Mobile Phone with Lightning, CNET,  October 2, 2013 9:55 AM PDT

This shows that an airborne current can be used to charge a device, according to the team leader.  This is all proof-of-concept stuff here, but I live in Oklahoma.  You may have heard that we have some pretty wicked storms.  Although I’m an iPhone girl, I would be willing to make a switch to a Nokia Lumia 925 if I can charge it with lightning.

Taking a step back to look at the larger picture.  Consider the impact of this kind of technology on an area without reliable electricity?  This really makes me want to head off on a tangent about studies that I’ve read about how huge access to energy, electricity, ect. is for developing countries, but I’ll save that for another day.  Nobody wants to steal Thor’s thunder…(I couldn’t resist.  I apologize.)

Now, considering that a car manufacturer had to place a warning on their commercial to warn consumers “do not attempt this at home” when they showed a car driving across the ocean floor…yes, they warn you not to try to charge your cell phone with lightning at home.  Please don’t let me read about anybody dancing around waving their cell phone around in the air during an electrical storm.