This helicopter is producing static electricity from the blades moving through the dusty air.

Along with the electricity provided by wind generators could additional power be created this way from the blades moving through the dust?

Could electricity be recouped in an electric helicopter this way?

Could electricity be produced on Mars by passing dust through stationary blades in any way?

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    $\begingroup$ One of the issues with static electricity is that despite the possibility of high voltages, the current is very low. For electricity to be useful, electrical current is required. $\endgroup$ – Fred Apr 17 at 9:32
  • $\begingroup$ Also, aren't the dust storms pretty low-density? $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Apr 17 at 13:15

No. Although static electricity can have quite high voltage, even MV-s or more, the actually transfered current is very low. The power is their multiplication.

For example, scouring plastic clothes to glass items, the static electricity can punch centimeters of air (meaning many kVos of voltage), but it can't even harm us.

Doing this is practically impossible even in the far more dense and active atmosphere of the Earth.

Furthermore, this static electricity is built up from the kinetical energy of the dust particles, which is built up from the kinetical energy of the Martian atmosphere (wind). There is a more direct way to tap this energy by it source: windmills. However, doing that in the rare Martian atmosphere also can't compete with the solar panels.


You could generate electricity on mars through the method you mentioned, however the fine dust could damage the components inside the machine, along with servicing the parts, and replacing the parts because of the damage the storm could cause

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    $\begingroup$ Note one of the many OP questions has no moving parts, just fixed vanes electrically insulated from the frame so reliability is not the problem here, rather the amount of power harvestable from static build up in a very thin atmosphere. re wind damage probability, see space.stackexchange.com/questions/12237/… $\endgroup$ – GremlinWranger Apr 18 at 10:28

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