A Gravity-Driven Generator
Requiring No Fuel, Creating No Pollution
With GRAVGEN you can own your own reliable alternative energy source. You won't be dependent upon power companies or subject to their power outages. You won't be dependent on the availability of sunshine, like those who use solar panels. GRAVGEN is powered by gravity, requires no fuel and emits no pollution.
How It Works
The best way to explain how GRAVGEN works is to take you through the thought process that led me to its discovery. I began with the knowledge that if I could get a wheel to turn, I could connect it to an electrical generator to generate electricity. The question for me was how to get the wheel to turn on its own, without fuel or pollution.
I asked myself why the wheel doesn't turn on its own now, and concluded that the weight of the wheel was the same on both sides of its axle: the left side of the wheel weighs exactly as much as the right side of the wheel. This equilibrium is why the wheel doesn't turn.
My first thought was that if I could make one side of the wheel heavier than the other side, then the wheel would turn. However, once the extra weight reached the bottom of the wheel, both sides of the wheel would again weigh the same and the spinning motion would stop.
What I needed to do was build the wheel in such a way that the extra weight would remain on one side of the wheel as the wheel turned. In this way, the left side of the wheel (for example) would always be heavier than the right side of the wheel. Now the wheel would continue to turn indefinitely.
Since I was considering the continuous redistribution of weight as a means of spinning the wheel, it was clear that gravity would be the actual motive power of this device.
This is not unprecedented - it is, in fact, commonplace. Gravity is the motive power behind hydroelectric generators, steam engines and nuclear power plants. Hydroelectric power plants take advantage of the downhill flow of water to generate electricity. Water flows downhill because of gravity. Gravity is the motive power. Steam engines take advantage of the upward flow of heated water. Steam rises because it is lighter than air. Again, gravity is the motive power - and a nuclear power plant is simply a steam engine that heats water with nuclear fission rather than burning wood.
GRAVGEN is simply a new way to harness the power of gravity with out needing to be near a river and without having to burn fuel or split atoms for heat.
My desire was to create a device that could be built and used anywhere, whether or not flowing water was available. However, I did realize that immersing the GRAVGEN in water would offer me a context within which a wheel's weight could be continuously redistributed to one side of the wheel.
In water, weight can be thought of as bouyancy - and it can be equated to volume, or displacement. If I could get the GRAVGEN to turn in such a way that one side of the wheel was always smaller than the other side, the larger side would always displace more water and the uneven bouyancy would be the equivalent of having more weight on one side of the wheel than on the other side.
I looked more closely at hydroelectric generators - not turbines, but simple paddle wheels, like the kind you might see attached to an old mill. A paddle wheel is actually two wheels connected by the paddles between them. These two wheels are parallel to each other, and the paddles between them are all the same size. Both sides of the traditional wheel have equal displacement.
To create more displacement on one side of the wheel than the other, the paddles would have to get larger on one side of the wheel than the other, telescoping as the wheel turned. I realized that, if I mounted the them on separate axles, I could skew the two side-wheels (so that they formed a pie-shape when seen from above). Then the distance between the wheels would grow on one side of the wheel and diminish on the other side.
Traditional Paddle Wheel (Top View)
GRAVGEN Paddle Wheel (Top View)
With the two side-wheels on separate axles, holding the same pie shape as they turn, the distance between the side-wheels will be consistently greater on one side of the paddle wheel than it is on the other. The challenge then was to design paddles that will expand and collapse horizontally, getting longer as they move (with the turning of the wheel) toward the larger end of the pie shape and shorter as they move toward the smaller end. With this arrangement, all of the paddles on the wider end of the GRAVGEN paddle wheel would always be larger than all of the paddles on the narrower end. This means the wider end of the GRAVGEN always has greater displacement and greater bouyancy.
A simple telescoping hollow tube could be used as a paddle - one sturdy enough to hold its shape without buckling under the pressure of the water. These hollow, telescoping paddles could be mounted to the side-wheels with universal joints that would adjust to the changing angles between the side-wheels.
A second aspect of the traditional paddle wheel is that it is not simply immersed in water. It is immersed halfway between two mediums, or environments: water and air. The upper environment, air, weighs less and offers less resistance to the motion of the paddle wheel than the lower environment. The lower environment, water, weighs more than air and offers greater resistance to motion.
If the traditional paddle wheel were fully immersed in water, the upper part of the wheel, which is moving in a direction that is opposite to the direction of the wheel's lower half, would need to push water in the opposite direction. Since water weighs the same as itself, the resistance would be equal to the lower pressure and the wheel would not turn. However, since air is lighter than water, the top half of a paddle wheel which is suspended halfway between the two mediums meets less resistance on its journey in the opposite direction than the water pressure pushing on the lower half of the wheel.
The GRAVGEN is likewise suspended halfway into a tub of water, so that the bouyancy of GRAVGEN's wider half is not cancelled out by the resistance it would meet if it had to push through water when the paddles were moving in the opposite direction. With this arrangement, the paddles are continuously expanding underwater, with the largest expansions all on the side of the wheel that forms the largest area of the pie slice. The paddles then start to contract as they break the surface of the water, coming up and outward into the air as they begin to collapse, finally reaching their shortest length just as the paddles return into the water environment.
This being said, it might be worthwhile to experiment with immersing the GRAVGEN completely into the water to see if it operates more or less effectively than when it is immersed only halfway. After all, even when the GRAVGEN is completely immersed in water, the telescoping paddles will still be at their greatest extensions when on the wider side of the paddle wheel - and at their lesser extensions when on the narrower side.
Easy Air Flow
The next consideration is that the telescoping paddles must be hollow, and the air within each paddle needs somewhere to go when the paddle collapses (and somewhere to come from as the paddle expands). Making the side-wheels hollow as well, and running a flexible hollow tube from each end of each paddle into the side-wheels where they join can solve this problem. Now we have an easy and continual flow of air through the inner structure of the GRAVGEN, which means that the entire system must be airtight, even the telescoping paddles.
For balance and ease of construction, six or eight of these wedge-shaped paddle wheels are arranged to form a whole "pie". A hexagonal design may require the paddles to telescope too much, so the octagonal design is probably optimal.
GRAVGEN - Top View
While the two side-wheels of any GRAVGEN paddle wheel must be mounted on separate axles, the side-wheel of one GRAVGEN paddle wheel can be mounted on the same axle as the nearest side-wheel next to it. These eight short, common axles may be mounted on an eight-legged framework, each leg of which would fit between one set of side-wheels that share a common axle.
The complete GRAVGEN will be a spherical set of eight wedge-shaped paddle wheels, with telescoping paddles, half-immersed in a tub of water, with the axles geared to turn the shaft of a standard electrical generator.