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# Gyrocharger

Gyroscopic battery charger
 (+4, -5) [vote for, against]

Take the gyroscopic generator from the [linked] ocean wave generator, minaturize it, put it on your belt, walk around with it and generate enough electricity to power your wearable computing.
 — JesusHChrist, Apr 06 2005

(?) Gyro-gen http://www-csgc.ucs...ATION/Isaacs04.html

The real thing, well sort of... http://www.newscien...rticle.ns?id=dn7970
[gardenoed, Sep 09 2005]

What keeps the gyros spinning? Sounds suspiciously like perpetual motion...
><///º>
 — coprocephalous, Apr 06 2005

 Faith of couse.

I've got to pluss this for non-linear thinking.
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 06 2005

//what keeps the gyros spinning?// - The little propellor on top of your beanie hat of course.
 — wagster, Apr 06 2005

Precession is the term you're looking for to describe that difference between your motion and the gyro's motion (well, close enough).
 — bristolz, Apr 06 2005

 I probably don't understand the idea, but I'm not seeing it as a perpetual motion scheme since additional energy is added to the system by the motion of the human body.

I don't see how magnets inside and outside the gyro can generate electricity or keep the gyro spinning. I don't get how the generator would be wired in or where the generator would get its input energy. I'll have to go way out on a limb and say it won't work, perpertual motion scheme or not.
 — half, Apr 06 2005

Ah, very good point, [half], my mfd is deleted.
 — bristolz, Apr 06 2005

 JesusH - when you say that the gyro wants to 'stay in one place', do you mean in one *place* or in one *orientation*? If the former, then you're just wrong - you can carry a gyro in any direction you want, as easily as any non-spinning object. A gyro has no tendency to resist translational (sideways, up/down, back/forth) motion.

If you do mean "orientation" then you're right, and if you tilted or twisted your body then the gyroscope would resist this (depending on the direction of the twise), and the relative motion of the twisting body and the non-twisting gyro could, I guess, be used to generate energy.
But, why not use a pendulum instead? Damn sight easier, and you don't need to keep it spinning. There are already simple devices to extract electrical energy from various twisting and bobbing motions, generally using magnets that swing in and out of coils as the device is rocked.
 — Basepair, Apr 06 2005

Simple experiment - put a large flywheel on the spindle of a small DC motor. Spin the flywheel. See how long it spins. Now, connect the motor supply wires together and spin the flywheel. See how much quicker the flywheel slows down. That energy has got to come from somewhere [-]
 — TolpuddleSartre, Apr 06 2005

[TolPuddle] You're right, but I think the idea was that the relevant force was not between the spinning flywheel and the gyro cage (as in your example), but between the gyro cage and something outside that. In other words, the gyro is being used to hold the 'core' of the unit in a fixed orientation whilst the surrounding magnets attached move around with the 'wearer'. But in any case using a gyro to keep the 'core' in fixed orientation seems silly when a pendulum or weight-on-a-spring is a simpler means of capturing kinetic energy via a generator.
 — Basepair, Apr 06 2005

 [half] I don't have the specifics but things like this exist -- see linked article.

 [BP] I mean one *orientation*. Three-axis hand gyros adapt to your motion and store the energy -- so when you run with a hand gyro it goes faster and faster. This works even better if you wrap a hand gyro in high density foam - I'm pretty sure this is how the gyro in the link works (with ocean wave motion). For your bodies motion the gyro would just have to be smaller. Try embedding a gyro in high density foam and playing around with it -- it's pretty amazing.

I don't know if I'm more upset that I got fishboned or that someones already making money off the technology.
 — JesusHChrist, Apr 07 2005

I'm a big proponent of these foam-embedded gyroscopes, you'll see if you look at some of my other fishboned gyroscope ideas, and I'm surprised that no one has heard of them. If you embed a gyroscope in high density, resilliant foam all the motion from the outside of the system is translated adaptively to the motion inside the system and the gyro which has the ability to store energy gets faster and faster. Its the same as attaching the gyro to its casing with springs. You don't need a spinning gyro either. Just an embedded weight in foam works to store energy if the density of the foam is right. The weight gyrates without spinning.
 — JesusHChrist, Apr 07 2005

[TolpuddleSartre] That experiment proves nothing in this context... the energy source is the human body trying to change the orientation of the gyroscope; a force is exerted by the body on the gyro, and precession leads to the gyro exerting a force on the body. Thus we do have an energy source to run the motor from. Not convinced it would work in reality, but it's possible in theory. [JHC]'s link refers to a working system that produces enough electrical power from waves to run the gyro and produce excess power.
 — david_scothern, Apr 07 2005

[JHC] "so when you run with a hand gyro it goes faster and faster" no, it doesn't unless it is changing orientation (ie, being twisted one way or another). Are you thinking that the gyro will draw energy from your linear motion? It will not - if you carry one whilst zipping along on roller skates at 50mph it will do nothing useful.
You will extract some energy from your various twisty-turny movements, but not sure this would amount to much...
 — Basepair, Apr 15 2005

 ////what keeps the gyros spinning?////

Battery power, of course.
 — DesertFox, Apr 15 2005

Actually, couldn't the gyros be kept spinning by means of an electrical supply provided by nitroglycerine? I seem to remember reading somewhere that that would solve all our problems....
 — Basepair, Apr 15 2005

 >>What keeps the gyros spinning? [coprocephalous] [DesertFox] [Basepair] [2frys] [wagster]

 The wave (in the linked article) exerts a force (torque) on the buoy. The gyro resists the torque by exerting a complimentary force on a crank. The crank connects to a generator creating electricity. The gyro stores energy from the wave, using some of it to create spin and some of it to create electricity.

See new link, I found a better article.
 — JesusHChrist, Apr 15 2005

The device applies gyroscopic precessional torque to directly convert the periodic kinetic energy of surface waves (or human gait) into continuous torque that drives a rotary electric generator.
 — JesusHChrist, Apr 16 2005

Ah, now I understand the device, thanks. And I can see that it's a way of harvesting energy from anything twisty and torquey (though I wonder if it really is a lot more efficient than having a pendulum-type device, as used to power some remote buoys). But, I did ; earn something, so thank you!

But, a question. How much power (in milliwatts) is this device going to provide while I walk around? Or while I jog (if that were ever to happen)?
 — Basepair, Apr 16 2005

The Gyro-gen produces about 3.0 watts, although his goal is 1,000 watts. For a human gait version you would just need to produce enough to run wearable computing, I don't know how many watts that is. But you could put a body gyro-gen on a long semi-flexible spring and attach it to your body (or to your beenie) to generate more torque as you walked.
 — JesusHChrist, Apr 17 2005

I need to rewrite this idea, its changed so much, and its got all these bad annos attached to it because I didn't know how to say it when I first wrote it down.
 — JesusHChrist, Apr 17 2005

[JHC] "I don't know how many watts that is" - well, that was the question. I'm sure you can get 1000W, or 1MW or whatever you want if the gyro is big enough and driven hard enough. But my question was how much energy can realistically be extracted from human gait. It might be 1W or it might be 1milliWatt - this is important!

For the record, a stationary bicycle coupled to a generator needs a **LOT** of effort to generate a few tens of watts. Your gyro generator is going to be less efficient than this arrangement, and is relying on capturing 'incidental' energy from your movement, so I would guess we are talking fractions of a watt or less for a device that is comfortable to use and wear.

Whenever you're posting an energy-recovery or energy-generating scheme, the numbers **are vital** rather than incidental. For instance, I can capture energy with a piezoelectric microphone attached to my sunglasses, but how much? I could surgically attach a generator to my eyelid to capture blink-energy, but how much? Real numbers, please!
 — Basepair, Apr 17 2005

See link for a walking generator.
 — gardenoed, Sep 09 2005

Assuming that these gyro generators do work, I've got a good half-baked application. In a windy area, these could be attached to the ends of tree limbs. Energy could be extracted from the swaying motion of the limbs, and your neighbors wouldn't complain about a 12 meter high wind mill in your back yard.
 — JephSullivan, Sep 09 2005

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