Do power stations power up thunderstorms?

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Ben Luckie

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Do power stations power up thunderstorms?
« on: 28/11/2011 05:30:02 »
Ben Luckie  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris,

would a bolt of lightning have more or less strength as in voltage when there is an electrical storm around a power station? Or would they still have the same V, as I was wondering whether or not there is a electron average for an area?


Ben  Luckie

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 28/11/2011 05:30:02 by _system »


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Do power stations power up thunderstorms?
« Reply #1 on: 26/11/2011 10:32:52 »
No, power stations and electrical storms are essentially different and do not affect each other significantly.  That is of course with the exception that lightning can strike overhead cables and cause power surges.  This is minimised by various protective measures including lightning conductors to earth on pylons.  There is no electrical reason why electrical storms should be stronger around power stations.

On the other hand power stations are usually considerable sources of thermal energy.  This creates updrafts and seeds clouds.  This effect can frequently be seen near power stations where you have a distant view of them or from the air.  These clouds could develop into thunderstorms but they have probably moved away from the power station by the time this happens.
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