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swaying tree power

Treetops linked by cables to a driveshaft
  (+14, -2)(+14, -2)
(+14, -2)
  [vote for,

A driveshaft is mounted horizontally and is allowed to rotate in one direction only, by means of a ratchet. One or more bicycle or motorcycle type rear sprockets, complete with ratchet, are fitted at intervals along the driveshaft. Each has a chain draped over it. One end of each chain has a weight or tension spring, the other end is joined via a long cable to the top of a tree (one tree per chain/sprocket). As the trees sway, the chains are drawn back and forth in a sawing motion over the sprockets, which turns the driveshaft (in a somewhat jerky way). Use the rotation for anything that doesn't need smooth movement - eg saw wood, turn an Archimedes screw, charge batteries...
spidermother, Jan 26 2006

(???) Halfbaked. Tree_20power
[daseva, Jan 26 2006]

bladeless turbines wobble to generate energy http://www.gizmag.c...ne-generator/37563/
[xaviergisz, May 21 2015]


       We've covered this (linky), though your mechanism is a little different.
daseva, Jan 26 2006

       Fair enough GumBob. Should I remove it? I'm still new here.
spidermother, Jan 26 2006

       Doesn't really matter. Some people would say, avoid cluttering the 'bakery with duplicate ideas, but personally I don't delete any of my ideas, even the bad ones. More "honest" that way.
5th Earth, Jan 26 2006

       Checked the link, my ideas are pretty much all there. I expected to find it under other: energy: wind if I'd been beaten to it. Wish I knew about this site earlier, I thought of this in about 2002. I was helping a friend to look over a farm he was thinking of buying, and thinking about potential sites for wind energy, looked at how much the trees were waving in different areas as a rough guide to windiness, thought 'hey, wait a minute...'
spidermother, Jan 26 2006

       Have you been watching E.T. again?   

       Seriously, though...I don't see huge potential here, but something is better than nothing, and I don't see any reason that this wouldn't work. [+]   

       Oh, and use of a suitable flywheel could help with the jerkiness.
Freefall, Jan 26 2006

       The flywheel is already mentioned in an annotation on Ra's posting. Actually, my first thought was to use an oldschool double handled saw and power it with a tree and spring (or stand at one end and do the resetting manually, but that involves actually doing some work) to saw wood. Or to cut down other trees - oh, the irony.
spidermother, Jan 27 2006

       Wonder what sort of tree works best for this. Palm trees are not going to get slowed down by snow. Rubber trees might have too much elasticity. Most of the hardwoods don't move enough by comparison to the softwoods.   

       If location is important , you would just have to put up with the trees already there or wait years for one to grow.   

       You could build a synthetic tree from lumber and inner tubes, but might as well build a windmill with the materials and effort.
popbottle, Mar 23 2015

       So, how much energy is available?   

       One important point is that you can only harvest energy from _variations_ in windspeed (or direction). The steady component of the wind will just bend the tree over by a certain amount and hold it there. (Trees are designed not to oscillate in a steady wind, in contrast to flagpoles or tall chimneys.)   

       Also, if you couple your machine to the trunk, you will not harvest energy from the flexing of the branches (which, I would guess, is a large part of the flexing energy available). If you harvest to a whippier branch, you again only harvest a small portion of the total.   

       Howevertheless, I can imagine a tall tree flexing (in its trunk) by maybe a couple of metres, at a frequency of maybe 0.5Hz. I would guess that the force involved is something like a ton (why? I don't know - but I can imagine a small car pulling the tree to the same extent), or 1000kgf, or 10,000N   

       So, you have 10,000N acting over a couple of metres in a couple of seconds, which is 10kW - not undersignificant!
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 23 2015

       You may as well just erect windmills, as swaying trees are the source of the wind.
Cuit_au_Four, Mar 24 2015

       // You may as well just erect windmills, as swaying trees are the source of the wind. //   

       If swaying trees our the source, then harnessing it at the source as described here would be much more efficient than using windmills.
scad mientist, Mar 24 2015

       What about this idea only coupled to something that would sway more effeciently than trees. Perhaps some sort of man-made structure that is specifically designed to sway in the wind?
Altoidian, Mar 28 2015

       watching the palm trees in my back yard, flopping around frighteningly under light breezes, I think this idea (and/or ithe others linked) is awesome.
white, May 31 2015


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