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# gravity-powered-electricity

 (+1, -13) [vote for, against]

The idea is to make a heavy weight pushing gears and finaly an electric motor to make electricity for your house.
So if you have a plateau with a ramp on one side, you can park your car on the plateau, which is big enough so you can get out of your car and take the stairs down. The plateau should be 1,5 or 2 meters high. Once down you can turn a switch which removes a lock so the whole thing can start to come down. Of course there should be some strong gears and electric motors so it would take 8 hours for the plateau to move completely down. Once down you can drive off forwards. The energy can be stored in batteries or put on the grid.
The only problem is the acceleration of the plateau, but I think this can be solved by somehow making the resistance of the electric motors stronger as they turn faster.

There should also be a 'by-pass' so if you have to leave urgently, the plateau can come down in a minute or so.
 — zoestefaan, Nov 22 2008

 So, the idea is to drive your car up a ramp, and then let it fall slowly to generate electricity? It's a good idea apart from several fatal flaws.

 First, how much energy will you get? Suppose your car weighs 1 tonne (1000kg), and it falls 2m. This will generate (if everything is perfectly efficient), 20,000J. This will run an electric heater for about 10-20 seconds, or a lightbulb for a few minutes. Did you try to calculate this before you began?

 Second, where do you think this energy comes from? It comes from the petrol (gas) in your car. All you're doing is creating a very low-output, intermittent, inefficient petrol powered electric generator.

[-]
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 22 2008

 Its the Kinetic energy that took you to push the car and the plateau up, that gets converted into equal or lesser amount of potential energy when the car is on top. Then when you let down the whole thing, the potential energy gets converted into kinetic energy of equal or lesser amount, which run whatever that produces the electricity.

 In other word, you used the plateau to store energy for later use, and not generate it. Like batteries.

 Also, the amount of electricity generated will be of energy equal or lesser than the amount of energy which you needed to raise the plateau and the car to that height. What needs to be seen is the loss of energy.

 If the loss of energy is much smaller than if you used high tech batteries, and you can get back the enrgy at a reasonable rate, you might have just invented a new manual way to store energy.

 You may be confused because of hydroelectric power. If you did not already know, you might be surprised that it is just indirect solar energy.

 How does water generate electricity ? Gravity pulls the water down on the turbine blades and makes it turn.

The next quetions you have to ask yourself is "If the water falls down, It has to first go up. Who took it up ?"
 — kamathln, Nov 22 2008

//you might be surprised that it is just indirect solar energy. // Isn't everything?
 — AbsintheWithoutLeave, Nov 23 2008

How about putting your car on rollers that drive a generator? An old car and some scavenging, and you could build a cheap emergency generator for your double wide.
 — ldischler, Nov 23 2008

 A significantly better gravity generator is a hydroelectric plant, as obliquely mentioned above.

Also, for cars, one thing that DOES make sense that is similar is regenerative braking. If you have to go up a hill anyway, might as well charge the batteries on the way down. This is baked, though.
 — Smurfsahoy, Nov 23 2008

 I was working on something like this, but using ocean water for weight instead. When I realized a piston 100m in radius would be required to light a few bulbs and run the t.v., I decided not to go with the idea.

Thankyou, however, for your post. It is most intertaining.
 — MikeD, Nov 24 2008

This would produce enough energy to squash someone to death if it had ceiling trap doors and the cylinder had a walk in donut shop....the human trap, the mouse trap evolved.
 — quantum_flux, Nov 26 2008

Sp. Entertaining
 — Custardguts, Nov 26 2008

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