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Makezine_COTM_Batteries-BadgeWhile not terribly practical for outputting large amounts of electricity, this “gravity battery” demonstrated by YouTube guru MrTeslonian shows a fun way of generating electricity.

In his video he mentions a 25′ version with a pair of water-filled jugs, and when one jug hits the bottom, a pump is triggered that refills the empty jig at the top of the rig, and the process continues. Way cool!

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. Alan S. Blue says:

    Also known as a Grandfather Clock.

    See also: Storing energy in springs.

    The standard thermo disclaimers should be added here as well.

  2. Chrisw says:

    April fool!

    1. Chrisw says:

      This WAS an early April Fool joke, right? As others have pointed out, it is at best an impractical way to make electricity. The claim that it required less maintenance than a storage battery was what made me think he was kidding. Please don’t tell me he was serious.

  3. miroslava von schlockbaum says:

    there’s already a company that specifically manufacturers these things:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2250424/The-GRAVITY-powered-lamp-bring-1-5billion-people-darkness.html
    not that a second source isn’t generally a good thing – but it’s not like it’s “novel”

  4. no says:

    In his video he mentions a 25′ version with a pair of water-filled jugs, and when one jug hits the bottom, a pump is triggered that refills the empty jig at the top of the rig, and the process continues. Way cool!

    so this is converting potential energy from height into electrical energy, then when the water reaches the bottom, it’s using electrical energy to convert to potential energy? I’m sorry, but this is moronic. you’re putting more energy into the system than you’re getting out.

  5. Brucinator says:

    This is interesting, but his use of a transfer pump to put work back into the system negates any energy generated. Still, it is an interesting concept for a battery…..

  6. greatturtle says:

    @no on – It’s not moronic, it’s a battery. It is not trying to generate power, it’s storing excess power until you need it later. Just like charging a battery is less efficient than just powering the device.

    1. Dax says:

      A gallon of water or an equivalent mass hoisted 3 feet up will store only 34 Watt-seconds (Joules) of energy. That’s enough energy to run a small flashlight for half a minute.

      To get the equivalent of a single ordinary car battery, about 500 Wh or 1.8 million Watt-seconds, you need 53,000 gallons of water. If you raise it 25 feet up, you still need 6400 gallons of water or equivalent.

      Hoisting up weights to store energy is a pretty moronic proposition, unless you happen to own a lake and a suitable mountain right next to it.

      1. Alan S. Blue says:

        “Hoisting up weights to store energy is a pretty moronic proposition, unless you happen to own a lake and a suitable mountain right next to it.”

        But if you do, it’s one of the most reversible energy storage techniques we know of.

        Pumping water -up- dams is done in some places during non-peak hours. Because it is more efficient than charging a battery, a flywheel, or a spring.

        1. Dax says:

          Pumping water uphill isn’t particularily efficient compared to batteries, or flywheels or springs. It’s more an issue of scalability and price, because pumped hydro and CAES are pretty much the only technologies that can be reasonably built at utility scale.

  7. engineerzero says:

    My home runs on a gravity battery, in fact every home in my city does. It’s called a reservoir dam. Look up ‘hydroelectricity.’

    1. spchtr says:

      Gravity assists, but it’s still the sun that’s recharging that battery through precipitation.

  8. roid says:

    The technique is taken seriously. If you Google the term “Gravity Power” you’ll find a legit plan to suspend gigantic weights in super-deep holes in the ground, as a means of grid-energy storage. Like someone above mentioned – it’s just like the weights that a grandfather clock uses to store energy, but scaled up immensely.
    Instead of cables and winches holding the weight though it uses water pressure created by the weight’s um… “weight”. It’s kindof a way of making a hydro-electric dam completely vertical, so takes up much less space, and isn’t reliant on the lay of the land. It thereby negates 2 of the major disadvantages of traditional hydro-electric grid-energy storage.

    I was kindof annoyed when i found the “Gravity Power” plan, because i’d already spent the entire week coming up with my own designs, only to find i’d be beaten to it.

  9. I’m disappointed. I thought this would a way of storing and manipulating gravity.
    Other than that, great idea.

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