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Converting human energy and storing it

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  • Converting human energy and storing it

    An idea that has been circulating in the grey cells for quite a while- what's a good way to allow a human to exert energy into a machine and have it stored for later use? There's the stationary bicycle, arm wrestling kinds of devices, there's flexing of your grip, there's walking a treadmill uphill where you're driving the motor. Pedaling a bicycle is easy to understand- the back wheel can be rimmed with magnets, and a series of coils can pick off electricity and store it in batteries. There's lots of variations in how that's done, but the principle is the same in all cases.

    There's a mechanical system where your pedaling might wind up a spring, for instance. You can pump a fluid and store it in an accumulator, storing the energy in the compressed gas. You could also wind up a flywheel. You could raise a weight, store a height of water, contain a generated heat in a highly insulative container. All of these you allow you to input your exerted energy into the mechanism. What else could work?

    I'd like to build a machine- so far I'm thinking of two pedals that you alternately put weight on, each pulling a steel wire with a one way clutch as its drum. Together they would alternately turn a shaft. Each clutch would have an adjustable return spring so you could get the right feel. What happens with the spinning shaft- could be a disc of magnets and some alternator coils- could be a fluid pump, could be a friction disc to generate heat (there's a low loss one if your intended result was heating), could be a variable transmission to translate the energy into a spinning flywheel.

    Having a pedal moving up and down gives a way to use a linear pushing motion- pumping a cylinder, pushing a push rod- it also give a way to adjust the ratio by altering the point on the pedal arm where the push is taken from. There are many more ideas, and I hope you guys will add your own if you have any.

    Winding up a spring with a ratcheting action seems an elegant way of keeping that power until you use it. Wind it up, and if you don't use it for 50 years, it's still there. A compressed gas would be the same if leakage was zero.

    So far what I see as the actual machine is a stand where you climb on and hold onto two handles. You could sit or stand at will, and pump the handles side to side at will to add to the energy output. You might pump with your grip, and you pump the pedals up and down at will also. You could jump up and down on them simultaneously if you wanted to, or pump each one independently, and vary your stroke. Whatever your forces output to should be at least a somewhat elegant storage and return system. It's an exercise machine and a self-powered energy storage machine.

    Ok, so how do we do it?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    No you can’t build the matrix, it’s not nice to have us all plugged into the new A.I.,s power wall!
    pushing a big rock up a never ending slope comes to mind, got that job without an interview
    mark

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    • #3
      Soylent Green is people
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs-gocza6t8

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      • #4
        The amount of power that a human can produce is really minuscule. Our basal metabolism dissipates something like 30-50 watts, and we might be able to sustain an additional output of 50-200 watts for perhaps an hour or so. The most efficient and least limiting method is probably a stationary bike, where the legs can provide most of the power while the arms and head can perform other functions, such as reading or operating a computer. But it is unlikely that anyone will spend more than a couple hours a day doing such exercise. Thus, you might realistically be able to store about 200 W-h of energy, which can easily be accommodated by a 12V 20Ah battery. That's enough for a few cordless power tools, or maybe a 10 mile ride on an e-Bike or scooter. My idea for a human energy device was to have it display pornographic movies that would become brighter and clearer the faster and harder you worked, but that would probably only work for a few minutes. It would be something like the evil doctor's sex machine that Barbarella destroyed with her boundless ecstasy.

        See also:
        https://www.motherearthnews.com/rene...e-zl0z1211zrob

        http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
        Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
        USA Maryland 21030

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        • #5
          Forgot about barbarella, once scarred you stays scarred, mind the teletubbies May have been worse
          mark

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          • #6
            Getting power from humans is pretty much a waste of time, unless you are an evil Dr. Moreau type of person and plan on keeping enough of them around for some serious power generation. At rest, a human body gives off approximately 100W of heat energy. Making them work, they can sustain a rate of about 1/6th of a horsepower, or about 125W. Assuming 100% conversion rate, that gives you about one small light and a small laptop. To get any meaningful amount of energy from humans means that you have to have a lot of them, all dedicated to providing power forever and we all know how hard it is to get humans to anything that they don't want to do for a long period of time. Then there is the support of all those humans - food, cells for storage of the "off-duty" group, overseers, whips, chains, barbed-wire, etc.

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            • #7
              It would take more energy to turn people into a fossil fuel than you'd get back out from them. Better to enslave them in a cubicle performing processing tasks, until AI gets better.

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              • #8
                wheeeeew. Man, I'm exhausted just reading all this. I'm reminded of a movie/cartoon where everybody is riding around on floating easy-chairs on a spaceship. They had to leave Earth due to all the garbage piling up everywhere. Please don't invent and add to the garbage. I like it here.

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                • #9
                  Some people tend to carry their energy source around with them, especially as they get older. I would like to see Joule's equivalent for fat. It's probably similar to the energy contained in Diesel. I know, I gained 20 kg (44 lbs) when I turned 50 and quit smoking.

                  Fact is, nature is extremely efficient. Perhaps the most efficient of all things, nothing is ever wasted.

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                  • #10
                    stationary bike turning generator and storing in a battery or capacitor is about as good as it gonna get
                    Have you seen the newest examples of the America's Cup boat racers?
                    Seen the crewman turning the hand cranks furiously? those are turning hydraulic pumps to operate the hydrafoils.
                    Hyd energy can be stored in a accumulator, if that helps

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                    • #11
                      get a racing suit and pump heat out of it.

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                      • #12
                        Skip all the pie in the sky BS and just convert you lathe to pedal power. It's not as if the didn't have treadle and walking powered lathed before (Seneca Falls/Star, Barnes).

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                        • #13
                          Have the output shaft from the bicycle (or whatever) slowly lift a weight while it is being pedaled by a person. This essentially stored the energy. Have the lifted weight pull a cable as it descends. This can turn a shaft to release the stored energy..
                          Brian Rupnow
                          Design engineer
                          Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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                          • #14
                            chop wood, dig up coal, and build a fire to heat water, and Presto !! you got steam power

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                            • #15
                              cellular metabolism is about 30% efficient. I wonder how that would compare to burning the food you would need to eat and instead use a peltier or similar to generate that electricity?

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