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Clockwork Escalator

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The Clockwork Escalator appears identical to a conventional escalator and functions the same as well.

The power for the escalator comes from a clockwork type engine powered by a very large spring and escapement. The spring is wound by trains that grab on to a sliding bar mounted to a piston between the tracks. The grabbing is performed by a brake system similar to that used on roller coasters. This motion is translated via a shaft to wind the spring thus supplying power to the escalator.

For periods of low escalator usage or to provide additional braking power for larger trains(or use power not needed by the escalator), the piston could be used to pump water, drive a generator or other type of energy recovery system.

An added benefit would be the subtle background ambiance of the mechanism as it goes about its work.

Tick Tock Tick Tock.

Oh and what Wagster said in the first anno. (cant believe I didn't think of that)

jhomrighaus, Jun 18 2007

(?) Muzak for the subway http://www.audiospa...cfm/sound_iid.61193
[jhomrighaus, Jun 19 2007]


       A nice touch would be an enormous key at the bottom of the escalator in case of emergency.
wagster, Jun 18 2007

       What if you connected it to the turnstiles?
jhomrighaus, Jun 19 2007

po, Jun 19 2007

       Perhaps the effect would be enhanced by painting the front of the train to look like a carved cuckoo.[+]
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 19 2007

       I realize you'd smooth the motion, but my brain keeps showing me this vid of a long stream of people on the escalator, glassy eyed, bobbing back and forth to the rhythm of Tick (lean back) (lean forward) Tock (lean back) (lean forward)... priceless.
lurch, Jun 19 2007

       [lurch] Tick - Lurch - Tock - Lurch - Tick...
Cosh i Pi, Jun 19 2007

       Plus you need to remember the Muzak in the background, See Link.
jhomrighaus, Jun 19 2007

       Its sounds like a great idea: not using power from the grid on escalators. However, I think using subway or other types of trains as a power source is where this idea is half-baked. Many times in the past I've thought about the same wastefulness you've noticed. I always felt that the 'down' escalators should be used to recover energy to put towards the 'up' escalators. This would still not be 100% off the grid, but could help to conserve energy. Besides, the down escalator could be completely gravity fed, as long as it had a governor to regulate descent speed for safety.   

       Another problem with the subway train idea is that some subway trains use a flywheel or compressed air energy recovery when stopping to reduce the energy required when accelerating away from a station.   

       Otherwise I'm quite positive about your idea and its about time escalator companies were more environmentally friendly.
garyspare2, Jun 20 2007

       Most (all?) subway trains are electric - any modern one ought to use regenerative braking and feed the power back to the grid anyway. The brakes should be only for emergency and for parking.
Cosh i Pi, Jun 20 2007

       //long as it had a governor to regulate descent speed for safety// - where's your sense of fun?
hippo, Jun 20 2007

       // where's your sense of fun? // - In a big heap at the bottom of the escalator, right on top of yours... 8~)
Cosh i Pi, Jun 20 2007


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