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Author Topic: Gravity powered lantern  (Read 2004 times)

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Offline Paul

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Gravity powered lantern
« on: December 27, 2012, 03:47:20 PM »
This is a "discovery" so simple that you have to wonder why someone didn't think of it a hundred years ago.  (As near as I could tell, it is just a derivative of the Coo-Coo clock.)  At any rate, I want one and I suspect you will also.

Come to think of it, just about anyone mechanically inclined and with access to a an LED light, a bicycle generator and a few other odds and ends could probably build one from scratch.  Once you know the concept, it is just a matter of fiddling around with it until it works.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/this-could-be-big-abc-news/lantern-powered-gravity-071039684.html

Offline BooMushroom

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Re: Gravity powered lantern
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 01:10:46 AM »
This seems pretty nifty!  I just wish that they could use words like "watts" or "lumens" somewhere.


Offline Ken

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Re: Gravity powered lantern
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2012, 07:31:56 AM »
That's because the amount of power generated, therefore lumens is such a variable.  It depends on what is placed in the counterweights-bags.

Even at best, it isn't enough to recharge a USB device, as they said, it only produces enough light to  replace a kerosene lantern.

BTW, we're only talking about deciwatts, anyways.
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Offline BooMushroom

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Re: Gravity powered lantern
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 01:01:26 AM »
That's because the amount of power generated, therefore lumens is such a variable.  It depends on what is placed in the counterweights-bags.

Even at best, it isn't enough to recharge a USB device, as they said, it only produces enough light to  replace a kerosene lantern.

BTW, we're only talking about deciwatts, anyways.

Okay. I've been very happy with my .25 watt LED night lights, which (if I'm doing my math right) light up two rooms of the house for a dime per month.

Also, I'm imagining this thing (a la Tim Taylor) with MORE POWER!

Like a 40 pound weight lifted six feet, or heck, attach a pulley and pull a 100 pound weight 40 feet up into a nearby tree.

Offline Flight-ER-Doc

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Re: Gravity powered lantern
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 07:31:09 AM »
Okay. I've been very happy with my .25 watt LED night lights, which (if I'm doing my math right) light up two rooms of the house for a dime per month.

Also, I'm imagining this thing (a la Tim Taylor) with MORE POWER!

Like a 40 pound weight lifted six feet, or heck, attach a pulley and pull a 100 pound weight 40 feet up into a nearby tree.


LOL, SPROING!  I can hear the parts stripping and flying from here! :)
Yes, I'm a physician.  No, I'm not YOUR physician.  Nothing I say here is medical advice.

Do I treat Glocks like I treat my lawn mowers?  No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons like my fire extinguishers and smoke detector - annual maintenance and I expect them to work when needed

Offline BooMushroom

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Re: Gravity powered lantern
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 11:34:17 AM »

LOL, SPROING!  I can hear the parts stripping and flying from here! :)

Yup! But if they made all the parts from steel instead of plastic, maybe?  Don't get me wrong, this could sell millions as is! But if it could be scaled up to power or even recharge a USB device, recharge a phone, or provide a lightbulb throughout the night?

Offline Paul

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Re: Gravity powered lantern
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 02:19:27 PM »
I do not know if the visitor center for the Niagara Power Project is still open, but at one time they had an incandescent light bulb that ran off a generator attached to a bicycle.  The amount of effort it took to keep a steady output so the bulb did not go dim was considerable to say the least.  Everyone seemed to try it and darn few appeared to last more than a minute or two before they were pooped.

On the other hand, I have cranked an old "Gibson Girl" hand crank radio transmitter and do not remember that it took all that much effort.  Given incentive nearly anything can be scaled up.  The largest difficulty I see is maintaining a constant speed. (Somehow you would need to keep the weight from accelerating as it drops.)

Offline Drang

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Re: Gravity powered lantern
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 09:56:43 AM »
I do not know if the visitor center for the Niagara Power Project is still open, but at one time they had an incandescent light bulb that ran off a generator attached to a bicycle.  The amount of effort it took to keep a steady output so the bulb did not go dim was considerable to say the least.  Everyone seemed to try it and darn few appeared to last more than a minute or two before they were pooped.
I haven't been on a bike in years, but one need not be an avid cyclist like our host to know that this had more to do with the bike than the light bulb.  (Although the wattage of the bulb might have added to the difficulty.)
This is why most bikes nowadays have gears.

On the other hand, I have cranked an old "Gibson Girl" hand crank radio transmitter and do not remember that it took all that much effort....
Voltage required for those old emergency radios was pretty low, lower than an incandescent light bulb.  (I think I posted a pic of one elsewhere.)
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Offline BooMushroom

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Re: Gravity powered lantern
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 01:05:16 PM »
New LEDs can produce 2-4x the amount of lumens per watt as a regular 100W incandescent bulb.


 

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