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Building a battery that will last for centuries

  1. Jun 30, 2011 #1
    I want to make an heirloom mechanical pendulum clock that is very tradition in design and yet will accurately work for centuries—and so I want to micro adjust the pendulum amplitude automatically and that requires some electricity, not very much electricity, but it will take some small amount of electrical power to run the micro circuit and to activate a solenoid that will kick a gear one tooth click forward or backward to micro adjust the pendulum length.

    I will generate electricity from the pendulum as it swings past a coil and so now I need a special battery—a zero maintenance (or ultra-low maintenance) rechargeable low voltage battery that will work for many centuries, even a millennium if I can. Is this possible and how?

    The plates can be large in size if needed; I can store them vertically on the back of a grandfather clock design, or stack them as several plates at the bottom of the clock, or both; I even like the idea of sculpting the metal in a way so that it’s artistic while also storing the power—even if I have to store this art behind glass to protect the energy store this is fine, but I do plan to carve some art into the plates, not simply have them as plates.

    If you have any battery design suggestions please let me know.

    For those curious about my design, I use the atomic clock signals to keep the clock in sync. My goal is for this to stay accurate within 0.5 second, and if I can do better than this I will. It all depends upon the battery—more energy allows me to micro adjust more often and increase the accuracy.

    For daylight savings time I will adjust the time quickly using solenoids that will disengage the standard clock movement and instantly perform the correct 1 hour movement within seconds and move the minute hand forward 1 minute—the clock will sit there motionless for the remainder of the minute and will then resume normal operation; this adjusts the clock to normal time within 1 minute and then more frequent micro adjustments will be performed during the next few minutes to keep the clock accurate.

    I intend to use fuzzy math to keep my clock in sync using these micro adjustments and an atomic clock as my source of truth.

    I plan to use solenoids, gears and levers and my only mechanical parts because they can be designed to last for centuries.

    I hope to make several as gifts to family if successful; I’ll make them out of soft metals, and perhaps even a combination of wood and metal. For the gears, I may clad wood over the top of the metal gears to give it some beauty, but the actual gear on gear touching will be metal not the wood because I am truly hoping to make something that will last for centuries.

    Assuming that atomic clock signals may change in the centuries to come I will make my circuit easy to swap out to something newer.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2011 #2
    It seem that the Silicon-Air battery has some promise in the somewhat near future. I am hoping that i can use my low energy needs to my advantage, especially since I have the needs of a small AAA battery with size capacity afforded to a golf to a golf cart.

    So I want to see if I can use this in a way that makes the battery last a long time and is rechargable. For example, If I have large surface area, can I simply lay one on top of the other with some form of potassium hydroxide paste acting as the electrolyte?

    I could cut parallel lines of sawtooth groove into the plates and mesh them into each other to maximize surface area. I'm just trying to learn what I can do to make a very long lasting battery. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
  4. Jul 6, 2011 #3
    Because you have a continuous source,(the pendulum, and whatever mechanical keeps the pendulum going.) You might be able to use a large capacitor to run you circuit and adjuster. Part of this depends on the duty cycle of the items you want to run. Just an Idea!
  5. Jul 7, 2011 #4
    The pendulum will swing mechanically from weights that will be reset manually, so the kinetic energy is endless as long as the owner cares for it.

    I'm going to make a new post and ask for a specific request on how to make a Nickel-Iron battery last the longest--this seems like my best choice, unless I hear differently from someone or this Silicon-Air battery design from the Israeli's becomes viable over the next few years.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
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