A Different Way to Get Electricity from Solar Panels


Here’s a potential downside to solar panels that I haven’t seen anybody mention before:

A lighting strike likely caused a fire that broke out in a home on Winnisimet Drive Monday night, according to a fire official. …

“It struck the outside of the building,” said [Fire Chief Joseph] Mollo. “The home had a solar system and it looked like that may have somehow drawn the lighting.”

If this is more than a fluke, perhaps lightning rods of some kind should be standard accessories.  The next step would be to tie them into the system, somehow, to capture the energy.

  • Christopher C. Reed

    So you’ve got an energy flux density approximating the surface of the Sun for a few milliseconds…lightning in a bottle? Good luck with that.
    More to the point, what is to become of all these gallium arsenide-laden solar panels when they oxidize to uselessness, in about 20 years or so? Ship ’em back to China? Fat chance…

    • Joe Smith

      One can only hope markets create markets – China and Japan will be getting there probably sooner than the US and Europe I believe mandates recycling so sounds like a perfect joint scientific venture on how to dispose/recycle.

      Or maybe space travel will be so cheap in the future we can just use the moon and space as our new mega landfill..