The idea for the gravity-powered generator originated when my uncle’s house in rural Kentucky suffered severe damage during a snow and ice storm because the utility power lines were broken by the ice and he ran out of fuel for his gasoline and propane powered emergency electrical generators. That led me to ask what “emergency” power source could he have used to provide power and prevent damage to his home. I also studied other situations for the use of “alternative” power sources.
Just as my uncle did after the utility lines went down, many people would turn to their fuel-driven portable emergency power generators. However, these are fuel consuming (gasoline, diesel, or propane) and have a limited supply that must be taken into account. In a long term disaster fuel may be eventually hard to find and if available may be expensive due to the circumstances of the disaster. An example of this type of situation would be the earthquakes in Haiti where there was massive damage not only physically but also to the social and economic structure that left many without means of producing emergency power even if they had fuel-powered emergency electrical generators.
Many people in the Saint Louis metropolitan area have installed the natural gas powered emergency electrical generators. Unfortunately, the next big disaster that we are expecting in this area is another New Madrid fault earthquake which will rupture the underground natural gas lines rendering the present natural gas powered emergency electric generators useless. The scenarios above also apply to many other areas of the world.
Solar and wind powered electrical generators suffer the problem of either no wind or no sunshine at times. The photo-voltaic or mechanical sources of their power are not consistently, predictably, or reliably available or are limited in quantity.
But turning away from the very important “emergency” uses of natural electricity producing power sources I began to examine and consider the other “strategic” uses of an independent, non-fuel-consuming natural power source. This brought about a discussion of several alternative uses for an independent, non-fuel-consuming natural power source. The following is just the “short” list of some of the uses for such a device:
- Military Application – Robust, durable units for electricity generation in remote or isolated areas for the military (i.e. Afghanistan’s mountainous areas). You would not have to continuously supply consumable fuel to the outpost and such resupply capacity could be better used for food, clothing, ammunition, and other supplies.
- First Responders and Emergencies – Units for use by police, fire-fighting, and medical personnel either in their facilities or in remote locations.
- Village Industries – Remote villages in developing countries would be able to have home or village industries and business where previously there was no reliable power to the village (small family shops, home industries).
- Field Science – Units used by research and academic communities for remote field research and support (i.e. Antarctic research stations, remote archeological digging sites).
- Warehouse Lighting – Units provide overhead lighting for small, medium, or large warehouses.
- Recreational Cabin – Use in remote hunting, hiking, or other recreational cabins (i.e. private recreational cabins; local, state, or national wildlife park cabins).
- Farm and Agricultural – Units used in barns, storage sheds, work areas, or even the field.
All of these units would not need to be “tethered” to the utility power grid (either electric or natural gas), the electricity would be “free” after the initial investment for the unit, and the production and consumption of the power would be controlled by the owners of the units themselves.
With access to an independent, non-fuel-consuming natural power source people around the world would have the benefits and freedom of access to electrical power that would be of their own making and use. Power production would be available to everyone even in the farthest, remotest reaches of the world or the poorest, most needy places.
A Proposed Solution:
As “natural” based power sources go, gravity is always consistently, predictably, and reliably there. Indeed, gravity has a long history of power creation in many aspects and uses from grandfather clocks (falling weights) turning the clockwork mechanism, to hydro-electric dams (falling water) turning the turbines to produce electricity. In contrast to the other sources of power, I joking say if we ever “run out of” gravity we have more problems than just not having electricity.
The proposed concept is that by utilizing gravity as the mechanical impetus of the power source and using a series of weights and pulleys along with a gearbox to operate an electrical generator we would be able to produce usable, continuous, predictable, and reliable electrical power. The concept would be a Gravity Powered Generator (GPG) and would manifest itself in a variety of different uses, models, and systems.
Some advantages to such a device are as follows:
A natural, continuous, and reliable source of mechanical power for the devices excepting the need to reset the weights at the end of their “fall” generally by human or animal power.
A non-fuel consuming power source that is both environmentally friendly and economically advantageous.
The GPG uses no fuels or consumables nor needs sunlight or wind and does not create, produce, nor release any exhaust, emission, by-products, or pollutants into the environment.
The GPG offers essentially “free” electrical power after the cost of the installation.
An independent, self-contained, self-sustaining power source that can be used in remote or distant locations without the need to purchase, transport and consume fuel.
Provides both AC and DC power capabilities. Capable of small, medium, or large scale voltage production and storage.
Able to range from computer powering aspects to cooking, refrigeration, air conditioning, and furnace operations.