Atmospheric Energy

Atmospheric energy refers to the vast amounts of different types of energy that are present throughout the various layers of the atmosphere.  There are vast amounts of energy spread throughout our planet’s atmosphere, existing in different forms and being converted from one to the other constantly.

The vast majority of this energy comes in the form of solar radiation, most of which is trapped in the upper layers of the atmosphere before it can reach the surface of the planet. As a result of all of this radiation, large amounts of thermal and kinetic energy are generated and stored in the atmosphere as well. There is also an incredibly large amount of static electricity stored throughout the atmosphere, normally only seen during thunderstorms when it is released in the form of lightning strikes. There is also a large amount of magnetic energy present as well, used by several different animal species in order to navigate and find directions.

If this energy could be harnessed and converted into a safely usable form, there is potentially a limitless amount of renewable energy available to be used, just waiting to be tapped into. For the most part, the only form of energy in the atmosphere currently being harnessed is kinetic energy carried by the wind, used to spin wind turbines. This energy is captured by wind farms throughout the world and then converted into electrical energy that can be used by the general population. However, in recent years there has been an increasing amount of research being done on how to capture and store the incredibly large amounts of electrical energy floating around in the sky above us.

For hundreds of years, scientists have been aware that there is a large amount of electrical energy being stored in the atmosphere. The first attempts to draw some of this electrical energy out of the atmosphere took place in the middle of the eighteenth century, credited for the most part to Benjamin Franklin due to his rather famous kite experiment. However, very little progress has actually been made on this front since then.

While today we understand how this electrical energy is generated and stored, lightning remains by and large the only time that this energy reaches the ground.  In the last few years, this has begun to change, and the possibility that we may be able to tap into this unlimited supply of electrical energy is becoming more and more likely.

There is a company called SEFE that believes that they have found a way to do what no human being has ever successfully been able to do before, by tapping into the electricity stored in the atmosphere.  They have designed and started to produce a series of devices that they believe can draw in currents of static electricity from the atmosphere, and then convert it for immediate use on the surface below. They have also developed the technology to convert it back into a more easily stored form on the surface so that this power can be stored in the long term in batteries. The system they have developed uses a high altitude balloon or blimp that will bring a conductive cable into the upper atmosphere where it will remain suspended and connected to a device on the ground. The device on the ground will then convert that electricity into a more easily usable form, and then send it on to a power grid and other infrastructure throughout the surrounding area.