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Free Energy from lightning? A cell phone experiment may have answered that question.

Dramatic phone-charging experiment tells us little about lightning

By James Holloway

October 1, 2013

In a development that would seem to bring a whole new meaning to the term Lightning charger, Nokia and the University of Southampton claim to have used simulated lightning to charge a Nokia Lumia 925 mobile phone. A University press release states that a 200,000 V was "sent" across a 30 cm gap with the light and heat generated supposedly similar to that of a lightning strike. But is there really any cause for excitement, or are we merely witnessing special effects?

A Nokia-distributed image of the experiment
A Nokia-distributed image of the experiment
A Nokia-distributed image of the experiment

From what can be gleaned from the available information, it appears a transformer was used to step mains electricity up to 200,000 V, causing an electrical arc to span a 30 cm (12 in) gap between two electrodes. The receiving electrode was connected to a second transformer, stepping the voltage back down so as not to fry the phone.

"We were amazed to see that the Nokia circuitry somehow stabilized the noisy signal, allowing the battery to be charged," says the University's Neil Palmer in the press release. "This discovery proves devices can be charged with a current that passes through the air, and is a huge step towards understanding a natural power like lightning and harnessing its energy."

However, watching the accompanying YouTube video, it appears that a constant electrical arc was generated, which would mean that current was constantly flowing to the phone. In a lightning strike, conversely, a massive accumulation of electrical charge is discharged to the ground nearly instantaneously. So is the flow of current constant?

read more http://www.gizmag.com/nokia-southampton-lightning-mobile-cha...



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