Why dont we just use ion wind flowing through evacuated pipes?

I ask this because if we reduced the atmospheric pressure in the pipes somewhat, and made them out of a cheap yet durable insulating plastic, it seems to me that they would have the constant flow-rate of DC current, yet retain the low-resistance increased range of AC current, so it just feels odd to me... ...it would also make electricity more conventionally intuitive due to the fact that it would literally become a fluid flowing through a pipe, and maybe even be storable in "ion towers" that hold excess static charge... ...It could be safer, because surface charges are exactly that, surface charges, so: a foolish person who stuck a part of themselves into an electrical outlet: would only become covered in dangerous levels of electrity, rather than have danerous levels of electricity immediately begin bouncing around inside of them [or so I think].

It may make it somewhat less convenient when anyone tapping the pipe can drain the system, but our water plumbing already contends with that fact, and seems to still work fine, for the most part.

You would need to increase the resistance of nozzels that tap into the ions for electricity to prevent it from all discharging through one home/tap any time multiple people tried to access it, but that seems like it could be mitigated easily with some math and resistor circuits, so why don't we use insulating pipes of ion wind as opposed to AC or DC?

  • \$\begingroup\$ electrostatic voltages are inconveniently high for standard electronics to use. also ions are very reactive \$\endgroup\$ – Jasen Mar 30 '18 at 1:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ have a look at the word 'just' in your title. Think about what made you use that word there. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil_UK Mar 30 '18 at 6:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Neil_UK Yeah... I know that when you use "just" it indicates an absence of knowledge, but knowing that you don't know the dark side of the moon, does not show you the dark side of the moon. Tldr: a knowledge of ignorance doesn't dispell ignorance \$\endgroup\$ – user179283 Apr 2 '18 at 1:20
  • The ions will be attracted to the walls of the pipe (they're more negative) and discharge into the plastic by "stealing" its electrons. That means they'd chemically react with the plastic.

  • The collisions with various other atoms (plastic, traces of gas) will remove so much energy from the ions that they'd stop carrying any useful energy after just a few centimeters, at best a meter or so.

  • The process of actually creating the ions may consume more energy than is actually transmitted (you need heated electrodes, vacuum pumps, and also get losses due to light emission and heating of the gas)

  • Ions are hot. They'd just melt through the plastic. You'd need glass to contain them.

  • The positive charge would have to flow back to the power source, too, because electricity can't flow without a circuit, so you'd need two pipes.

  • Ions need a high electric field to be created and "flow". The high electric field means high voltage drop over the length of the pipe, causing a lot of power (if not all of it) to get lost.

Fluorescent lamps are pretty much exactly what you suggest to use as an alternative to wires. They're better at producing light (and heat) than conducting electricity, though.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I heard that Fluorescent lamps are so good at producing power that they experience mechanical failure without a resistive watt ballast... but, good answer, consider my curiosity satiated. \$\endgroup\$ – user179283 Mar 30 '18 at 2:42

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