navitron
 
Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Anyone wishing to register as a new member on the forum is strongly recommended to use a "proper" email address - following recent spam/hack attempts on the forum, all security is set to "high", and "disposable" email addresses like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail tend to be viewed with suspicion, and the application rejected if there is any doubt whatsoever
 
Recent Articles: Navitron Partners With Solax to Help Create A More Sustainable Future | Navitron Calls for Increased Carbon Footprint Reduction In Light of Earth Overshoot Day | A plea from The David School - Issue 18
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Novel Renewable Enery generator (Multi-source)  (Read 5080 times)
cwm66
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« on: October 27, 2009, 06:45:54 PM »

Dear Navitron Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum Members
 
I am a 71 year old retired engineer and for nearly 40 years I have mused over the idea of a novel renewable energy device, whilst never having the wherewithal to pursue to a conclusion its worth or worthlessness. I would hate to take the notion to my grave without a professional in the field carrying out some form of assessment.
 
To this end, I lay out the principles below, along with some thoughts as to applicability and suspected advantages over other methods. Any member/s technically and commercially capable of assessing its potential, or otherwise, can do with this as they will; I have no financial interests in any developments going forward. If nothing else, it might represent an opportunity for members to chew over the pros and cons of a novel idea on the crazy inventions forum.
 
Kindest Regards,
 
cwm66.
 
---------------------------------------------------//----------------------------------------------------
 

Renewable Energy Generator, capable of operation from multiple energy sources.

As a little lad, in the 1940’s, we used to play on ‘Tom Puddings’ in the local canal at one of the coal loading stations. From memory, these must have been 16 ft. long x 12 ft. wide x 8 ft. deep. When empty, the top rim was 6 ft. above water level & not of much use to us. However, when they were full, with 40 tons of coal, the rim was only 12” above the water, with a very inviting mound of coal to play on. You could push one of these & as far we were concerned, it would have gone on forever if nothing got in its way. The nearest the human brain could conceive as perpetual motion.

20 years later, I was a qualified, practising engineer, & the first murmurings of climate change & the desirability of energy generation from renewable sources, were being heard. I mused about joining up hundreds of these loaded tom puddings, into a huge circle & floating them in a circular ‘canal’.

This is the premiss of my novel idea, with the ‘rotor’ designed as a flywheel, turbine wheel or circular ‘windship’. Over the years, my musings have taken me into the realms of the following possibilities:

o  Use as a generator for low-head river sites, where river flow is taken into the ‘canal’, to drive the rotor, which, complete with turbine blades, becomes a sizeable turbine wheel; or, if you prefer it, a latter-day water wheel. Since the number of low-head sources are a few orders of magnitude greater than conventional hydroelectricity sites, modest sized installations may be particularly valuable in remote locations in the developing world.

o  Use as a wind energy generator, by the application of computer controlled sails. Such sails are currently under consideration on Knud E. Hansen experimental windships. At ¾ kW/sq.m, designing for a few megawatt of sail area does not seem unrealistic. The low profile of an installation should be much more environmentally acceptable than wind turbines and at the speeds involved, birds would probably be able to nest on them

o  Use as a generator, combining the previous two modes of energy input.

o  Offshore wind/wave/tidal consideration of all of the above.

o  Use as a massive flywheel for on-site electrical energy storage, to optimise the efficiency of an individual power stations. Energy input at off-peak hours from motors through friction or hydrodynamic drives to ‘wind-up’ the rotor to full speed and capable of returning energy output at peak demand through generators similarly coupled, to decelerate the rotor.
Logged
martin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 15733



WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2009, 10:23:24 PM »

I've got a feeling that it's probably another excellent wheeze that's infuriatingly kyboshed by immutable laws of physics - as far as I can work out, what your Tom puddings demonstrate is that if you float even heavy things, they're a heck of a lot easier to move or spin than if the "dead weight" were sitting on dry land/wheels, something that was used to great effect by floating the incredibly heavy lighthouse lenses on circular mercury baths, so that only a relatively small amount of power was required to move them.....
And yet again, people effectively used the same thing when carting stuff around by canal, river or sea......BUT, and I fear it as a rather large "but", they may not take what seems like a lot of energy to "get them going", and they may appear to maintain movement for a long period - but eventually, they'll still slow down and stop through friction, wind resistance etc.......... which is one of the things that always stuffs "perpetual motion" machines....... Smiley
Logged

Unpaid volunteer administrator and moderator (not employed by Navitron) - Views expressed are my own - curmudgeonly babyboomer! - http://www.farmco.co.uk
dhaslam
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6775



« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2009, 10:37:26 PM »

Generation of renewable energy is relatively simple but storage is difficult.  Both wind and solar energy need large storage systems  if they are to supply all energy needs.    The idea could be useful for storage but ideally friction should be very close to zero and the space requirement is large.   At present pumping water up hills and allowing it to flow down at peak demand periods seems to be  best but it loses 50% of the energy in the process.   
Logged

DHW 250 litre cylinder  60 X 47mm tubes
Heating  180,000 litre straw insulated seasonal store, 90X58mm tubes + 7 sqm flat collectors, 1 kW VAWT, 3 kW heatpump plus Walltherm gasifying stove
RichardKB
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 450


« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2009, 10:08:32 AM »

Martin I think he means the river flow will keep the circle of boats spinnning because less than half of then are in the flow.

So essentially a huge undershot water wheel.

Rich
Logged
renewablejohn
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2957



« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2009, 11:57:12 AM »

I do like endless chain technology. I am always amazed going to Austria and using the excellent chairlift system to travel from one village to the next by going over the mountain top with so little effort to keep the cable running.

cwm66

Having a canal boat I can understand were you are coming from. Having seen the floating houses in both Canada and Holland there should be no reason why floating houses could not be designed in the shape of a blade from a cylindrical fan. It would mean you have an ever changing view and if the canal was dug to include a town as well as country area you would not need a car to travel as the house would take you there. Thinking logically  it would be a good way to start an ocean  community as the outer ring of houses would absorb the wind energy giving a calmer inner circle.   
Logged
cwm66
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2009, 03:27:49 PM »

I've got a feeling that it's probably another excellent wheeze that's infuriatingly kyboshed by immutable laws of physics - as far as I can work out, what your Tom puddings demonstrate is that if you float even heavy things, they're a heck of a lot easier to move or spin than if the "dead weight" were sitting on dry land/wheels, something that was used to great effect by floating the incredibly heavy lighthouse lenses on circular mercury baths, so that only a relatively small amount of power was required to move them.....
And yet again, people effectively used the same thing when carting stuff around by canal, river or sea......BUT, and I fear it as a rather large "but", they may not take what seems like a lot of energy to "get them going", and they may appear to maintain movement for a long period - but eventually, they'll still slow down and stop through friction, wind resistance etc.......... which is one of the things that always stuffs "perpetual motion" machines....... Smiley


There's no element of perpetual motion about this concept:  Working off low-head water flow, you put hydro-energy in and get electrical energy out; working as a circular windship, you put wind energy in and get electrical energy out; working as a flywheel, you wind it up to high kinetic energy by putting electrical energy in and extract electrical energy as the kinetic energy is lowered.
Logged
cwm66
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2009, 03:37:58 PM »

Generation of renewable energy is relatively simple but storage is difficult.  Both wind and solar energy need large storage systems  if they are to supply all energy needs.    The idea could be useful for storage but ideally friction should be very close to zero and the space requirement is large.   At present pumping water up hills and allowing it to flow down at peak demand periods seems to be  best but it loses 50% of the energy in the process.   

The overall annular area is not large and it could be made to look environmentally friendly (even underground) and could be sited at individual power stations. Electrical extraction should be much quicker, in 'End of Eastenders' response time terms, than winding up remote Scottish hydro-electrical installations or importing from France. In infrastructural costs, you can imagine it being not too dissimilar to water pumped storage.
Logged
cwm66
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2009, 03:40:09 PM »

I do like endless chain technology. I am always amazed going to Austria and using the excellent chairlift system to travel from one village to the next by going over the mountain top with so little effort to keep the cable running.

cwm66

Having a canal boat I can understand were you are coming from. Having seen the floating houses in both Canada and Holland there should be no reason why floating houses could not be designed in the shape of a blade from a cylindrical fan. It would mean you have an ever changing view and if the canal was dug to include a town as well as country area you would not need a car to travel as the house would take you there. Thinking logically  it would be a good way to start an ocean  community as the outer ring of houses would absorb the wind energy giving a calmer inner circle.   

Now that's what I call thinking outside of the box.
Logged
desperate
Guest
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2009, 07:42:19 PM »

Hi cwm66

Am I right that you are basically thinking of a floating flywheel? you spin it up with electricity or whatever and then extract that energy later when needed, wouldn't  It have to be hugely heavy and spin quite slow or you'd waste a heck of a lot of power stirring the fluid it floats on?

all the best

Desperate
Logged
cwm66
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2009, 07:55:07 PM »

Hi cwm66

Am I right that you are basically thinking of a floating flywheel? you spin it up with electricity or whatever and then extract that energy later when needed, wouldn't  It have to be hugely heavy and spin quite slow or you'd waste a heck of a lot of power stirring the fluid it floats on?

all the best

Desperate

Hiya Desperate,

650,000 tonne oil tankers store a lot of kinetic energy; why not one of these? Friction losses due to motion through the water are a fact of life, but inefficiency has to be at acceptable levels. One of the other contributors mentioned 50% efficiency for pumped storage systems.

Regards,

cwm66
Logged
KenB
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2694


Energy Self Enlightenment


WWW
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2009, 08:34:03 PM »

Cwm66,

Drag losses moving a body through water are considerably greater than an object moving through air.   Whilst I get your concept of the circular canal being able to support hundreds if not thousands of tonnes of barges filled with ballast, would not a large flywheel turning in free air (AKA London Eye) have the same effect.

Doubltless the canal will eventuallly become warm enough to swim in.  Joule did a lot of water churning exercises in the 1850s to prove the calorific relationship of work.


Ken
Logged
guydewdney
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4320



« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2009, 09:48:38 PM »

most flywheel storage of energy systems are in a vacuum for a reason........
Logged

Pic of wheel on day 1
7.2kW Waterwheel and 9.8kW PV
cwm66
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2009, 12:26:52 AM »

Cwm66,

Drag losses moving a body through water are considerably greater than an object moving through air.   Whilst I get your concept of the circular canal being able to support hundreds if not thousands of tonnes of barges filled with ballast, would not a large flywheel turning in free air (AKA London Eye) have the same effect.

Doubltless the canal will eventuallly become warm enough to swim in.  Joule did a lot of water churning exercises in the 1850s to prove the calorific relationship of work.


Ken


Hiya Ken,

There's no sensible way of constructing a conventional flywheel with the tonnages which can be accomodated by flotation. Yes there will be frictional losses, but 'hull' design to minimise drag is just one avenue to be pursued in the development of an idea like this. Hence I've never done anything but muse about it for the best part of 40 years.

Regards,

cwm66
Logged
cwm66
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2009, 12:34:32 AM »

most flywheel storage of energy systems are in a vacuum for a reason........

Most flywheel systems won't be umpteen thousand tonnes in weight and maybe 1000s of metres diameter. Also I would much prefer the pursuit of the 'Windship' version.
Logged
guydewdney
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4320



« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2009, 07:52:19 AM »

Rollers?

Tried to find an equation for narrowboat power / speed / drag but life is too short. Apparently narrowboats 'surf' on their own wave - not sure how this would work with a circular 'boat' (where does it start and finish? what happens at harmonic speeds? What happens at 1/2 harmonic speed (not half, but at the speed where the crest of the 'bow' wave hits the 'stern' wave dip if you see what I mean)?)
Logged

Pic of wheel on day 1
7.2kW Waterwheel and 9.8kW PV
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
Simple Audio Video Embedder
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!