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Old 12-27-2012, 14:54   #1
dennis3dflyer
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Lantern/Generator Gravity Powered

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/this-cou...071039684.html



This is a Lantern/Generator to be available next year a weight on a cable generates the power for charging cell phone ect and the led light in the unit.

Retail is planned for $10

Can't wait to see the final product.

Dennis
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Old 12-27-2012, 15:42   #2
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Cool.
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Old 12-27-2012, 17:17   #3
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I look at that and I see a new application (or maybe simply better marketing) of an 18th-century technology - the weighted grandfather clock mechanism.

Wonder if the same thing couldn't be accomplished with a simple 19th-century wind-up mechanism of a key-wound clock (and the baygen radio), and avoid the need to fill and hang a bag of dirt or rocks in the hut?

Don't mean to sound completely negative on it; maybe it's their way of making it as affordable as possible, so the cost of spring mechanisms & manufacturer-provided weights can be avoided...?
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Old 12-27-2012, 18:24   #4
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How about a little reality check, courtesy of Sir Isaac Newton.

To produce the amount of energy equivalent to one AA rechargeable battery, you would have to drop a 20-pound weight from the height of 400ft. Not exactly a portable setup, is it?
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Old 12-27-2012, 18:50   #5
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Cool idea, I'm anxious to see how useful it is. But even if it can only power a light for a tent, I still think it's cool. As previously mentioned, I'd like to be able to make it myself without buying one specialized product.

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Old 12-27-2012, 18:59   #6
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Take a D.C. Motor with permanent magnet field, and connect the output of the brushes to the load. How you spin the armature is up to you.

Bigger the motor, the greater the output current and the harder it is to turn.

Remember when the cars had "Generators" not alternators, to charge the battery. (yes, in those you had to power the field windings. Super magnets were not available then)
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Old 12-27-2012, 20:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
To produce the amount of energy equivalent to one AA rechargeable battery, you would have to drop a 20-pound weight from the height of 400ft. Not exactly a portable setup, is it?
Did you watch the video?

Last edited by cowboy1964; 12-27-2012 at 20:47..
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Old 12-27-2012, 21:23   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
How about a little reality check, courtesy of Sir Isaac Newton.

To produce the amount of energy equivalent to one AA rechargeable battery, you would have to drop a 20-pound weight from the height of 400ft. Not exactly a portable setup, is it?
This was pretty much answered in the video.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukeblue91 View Post
This was pretty much answered in the video.
You mean, the part where "it turns a very slow falling weight into a very fast spinning generator"? I'm sorry, but a falling weight, no matter how slow it falls, will still have the same exact amount of potential energy (E=m*g*h). And that amount is very modest, at least on the planet where I live.
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Old 12-28-2012, 13:12   #10
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I think the key is that it's just not reproducing the capacity of an AA battery; not for a single little 'kerosene-lantern-replacement' LED like that.

More like the capacity of a tiny watch coin-cell battery; a watch battery so small that you have to recharge (re-lift) it a couple of times every hour.

It does have the advantage of not having an actual battery being constantly recharged and discharged and eventually losing its capacity. As long as the plastic gears don't strip or break, it could (theoretically) function forever.

{edit to add: "like a grandfather clock; but at least they weren't plastic. " }
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Old 12-28-2012, 16:10   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quake View Post
It does have the advantage of not having an actual battery being constantly recharged and discharged and eventually losing its capacity. As long as the plastic gears don't strip or break, it could (theoretically) function forever.
Practically, how long do you think such a device would survive in its target environment - desert sand and village people?

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Old 12-28-2012, 19:45   #12
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Looks like this is a company in the UK...are these even shipping anywhere in the US??

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Old 12-29-2012, 09:29   #13
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Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
Practically, how long do you think such a device would survive in its target environment - desert sand and village people?
Plastic mechanism, specifically made as cheaply as possible, with the Kenyan equivalent of a hillbilly yanking a 20-lb weight up & down on it every 30 minutes...

Not very long at all, but that doesn't strike me as the most important factor in its production. Watching the intro video, it struck me as one of those all-too-common "relief program" projects whose primary function is to do something that makes the unaffected portion of society (in this case, the people NOT living in those huts) feel better about the human race, because "something" was done. Same emotional basis as for alcohol prohibition, gun-control laws, etc.

But don't we all feel better that Barak the hut-dweller now has "free, perpetual light"..? At least until one of the plastic cogs breaks, or uncle Thak yanks too hard on the plastic dirve-belt that's supporting the 20-lb bag of rocks and breaks either the plastic belt or the plastic hanging loop.

Some projects are great and genuinely beneficial, like the tens of thousands of solar cookers distributed in africa. But this one isn't one of those imo.

Again, not trying to be totally down on it. But put a simple wind-up mechanism (as in the old-style baygen radio that I've been using for 14 years now) in it, and there you go. It would power that little LED for hours instead of minutes so there'd be no need to re-yank it twice every hour, there'd be no bag of rocks hanging right where you're trying to use the light, no external belt to break, no need to find 'something' to hang it from every time you want light (picture trying to use that device at a campsite without a correct-size tree in exactly the right spot), and no loose external components (belt, bag, hanger) to lose either.

Right now it strikes me as a hippie feel-good thing that accomplishes not much functionally. But put a baygen mechanisim on it and it'd be something great imo.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:54   #14
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Any more info on these??

I really want to buy one to try it out and then if it works I'd take a case of them to add to the pile!!

But online there is close to ZERO info on them. Just one or two links where they are mentioned.

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