T Nation

Lifting for Electricity?


I was just thinking (daydreaming) about setting up a system where your lifting generates electricity for your home. I don't know how much electricity could be generated, but here are a couple ideas I had. Like a grandfather clock can run for so ling by having heavy weights pulling down on a chain that is geared so that the descent is slow and percise.

Well using that idea, you could have a type of hopper which holds weights. You could detatch the hopper from the chain and slide it to the top, then re-attach the hopper to the chain and load it with heavy rocks or plates or whatever. I mean if you built it sturdy enough, how many 45lb plates could you load in that thing over an hour or 30 minutes? Quite a few i'd guess. Then over the next 24 hours the wieght filler hopper would pull down on the chain which is geared to an electric generator and electricity is produced for 24 hours.

24 hours is an arbitrary figure, Ideally you would have a series of these so there is no down time in electric production. Say you have 2 devices running, 48 hours per cycle, start one, then load another then next day, now you have 2 running, then reload the first one the next day, you would have about 30 minutes a day of running on one only. Again, I have no idea what type of electrical generation you could get from this, but I'll be doing the math on it over the next couple of months.

For the type of weight we ar talking here, say you could load a plate in 5 seconds. Thats 12 per minute. 360 for 30 minutes. Thats 16,200Lbs loaded into those hoppers. With proper gearing I think you could get a fair amount of electrical generation. I'm not saying you could go off the grid with this, but why not save money while you workout instead of paying a gym membership to do it.

Better Yet would be to have a 2 story one with a ramp in between, Then have huge hoppers with 100b sandbags. load 200 sandbags per hopper, Nice strongman type workout, cut your electric bill, win/win.



When this comes around, your more than welcome to workout in my basement haha


Haha, I will also be working on a fleshlight type device that has the electrical generator coils and magnets in it like the new no battery flashlights. Think of all the electricity the world could generate if every guy did thier jerking off with my new device! Infinite electricity for everyone.



Average daily energy consumption is something like 50 kW-h. That's 180,000 kJ. Assume you have all this weight at the top of a two story house, so about 6 meters up. You'll need 3 million kg just to make that much potential energy. I don't know what efficiency is like with this sort of contraption, but I think you get the idea.


Interesting. Well I'll still be doing some of the math on this but I have to take you for your word cause I haven't done any math yet. It seems unreal the type of weight your talking though, I mean if a home windmill (a big one) can provide enough electricity for a house, It doesn't seem like that 10 Ft spinning blade would be able to crank 3 million KG to a height of approx 16 ft. Just seems like a tremendous amount of weight. Also I'm not sure exactly how potential energy transfers over to electricity via an electromagnetic motor. I envision gearing this thing so that the slow fall of the weight will make wheel with magnets on it spin very fast encased in coiled wires so the moving magnetic field pushes electrons through the wires. Again, I just have no idea how gearing and all that crap can translate into electrical energy, but if I can turn an lef flahlight on by shaking it a little bit I would imagine I could at least light my house by moving 20,000lbs of energy up on my device. Just seems like enough to get "some" benefit from it.



Just hook up an alternator to an excercise bike, just like the professor used to do on Gilligan's Island.

Don't want to do the math, but I'm betting it would take a lot of fast peddling to simply light a 60 watt bulb.


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Assume 1000% efficiency though.



This is Vegita we're talking about.


Shit! I forgot, forgive me.


Ok well I don't understand how those flashlights that you shake and they light for like 10 minutes before you have to shake them again work.

Now please forgive me, but from what I remember about an electromagnetic generator is that coiled or supercoiled wire is passed through a magnetic field or vise versa to move electrons from one end of the wire to the other, thus making an electrical current. If the wire is moving in the same direction through the field, it produces a direct current, DC.

If the wire moves back and forth in 2 didrections in the field, it produces alternating current, AC. To make alternating current you would need your magnet(s) to be mounted on a piston type device and then have the wires wrapped in tight coils around the path of the magnet. This is how the flashlights work, the magnet travel back and forth in the tube which is surrounded by wire coils.

So while again I can't refute any of your math, it seems that if I can shake a little magnet through some coils to make a flashlight light up (using more than 1 watt I'm sure) I don't see how riding an excercise bike, or lifting heavy rocks up into a hopper wouldn't produce more electricity.

Let me do a little digging today and see if I can come up with any math on my own.



Still working on the conversion math, but I have figured out how to gear it. Weld a 1 inch diameter gear to a 12 inch gear. The chain that is attached to the hopper will sit on the one inch gear. Then the 12 inch gear is locked into another 1 inch gear, this one inch gear is also welded to another 12 inch gear.

With a combination of 5 1 inch gears each one rotating 12 times faster than the previous one, the 5th gear would be turning at 345 RPM assuming a turn rate on the first gear of one revolution per hour. This would be very good as my hopper would take 24 hours to travel 6.7 Ft, which would be a good distance to lift it each day. Just slightly overhead.

In order to control the speed of the descent , to keep it at 1 revolution per hour, I will need to engineer the resistance on the back end of the device. Say I take 5 earth magnets (very strong) and have them pass through or by 10 coil stations which are each coiled 1000 times. The functioning of the device will provide resistance against the weight turning. All I need to do is add coil stations or take them away to increase or decrease the resistance.

Eventually I can fine tune it so that my first gear is spinning at 1 RPH and the last is spinning at 345 RPM. I'm sure there will be a lot of fine tuning with regards to the coils on one end and the exact amount of weight loaded on the other. Either way I'm going to be building a scaled down version with parts from an old granfather clock.

Just using small weight like say 20 Lbs or so and see how much electricity I can crank from it. Then I'll scale it up.