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Flywheel Generator - Split from Propane Solar Collector/Generator Thread

  1. Nov 29, 2008 #1
    I have been working on a holistic system involving flywheel-generators and methane gas as the power source. With all of the recent publicity given methane as a potential source of energy I figured that this was the way to go. I have some rudimentary drawings of the whole system and all of the materials should be readily available off of the shelf as is a basic requirement of all Anticipatory Design Scientists. (Buckminster Fuller). I'd love some feed back on the idea.

    Basically it is a perpetual motion machine as are all machines when they have all inputs inplace. The Earth is a regenerative system and nothing operates outside of the rules of local universe. In this idea we use a vacuum mounted flywheel which should keep increasing in speed if we apply a constant influx of methane. The methane will be around as long as the animals that feed the anaerobic digester are around and the electricity will increase in amount as the flywheel-generator increases in speed. The following is a link to a picture http://api.ning.com/files/z23LVafEV...atorandMethaneSystem.jpg?width=425&height=313
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
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  3. Nov 29, 2008 #2

    brewnog

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    Greatglory, this is not a new idea, and many thousands of megawatts of electricity are currently being produced from human and agricultural waste. Perhaps you should look into the (very large) market of biogas power generation, where methane from anaerobic digesters (from sewage and farm waste) is burnt in a gas engine, with the resulting waste heat being used to warm the digesters. The only difference between this and your idea is that a reciprocating engine is used for high efficiencies, control, and heat recovery.

    I would also advise you avoid using the term "perpetual motion machine", this is the talk of crackpots and lunatics and will attract undeserved attention from moderators.
     
  4. Nov 29, 2008 #3

    russ_watters

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    One thing though - I don't see what purpose the flywheel serves and it seems to me that you may think it is doing more than it really is: Flywheels only store energy, they cannot perpetually generate it.
     
  5. Nov 30, 2008 #4
    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    It seems to me that if something can store energy (ie flywheel) and if it is given a constant input of new energy it is doing something that actually helps in the overall process of energy creation. My thinking is that a small engine attached to a very large flywheel will create a lot of energy. Especially if you start the flywheel off slowly and allow it to increase in speed exponetially.

    As for the fact that methane is used to produce energy already of this I am totally aware. My innovation is in using a specific type of anaerobic digester made in China by a Puxin Technolgies Corporation and linking it to a special collector of the animal manure that I call a S*it bag. These S*it bags ideally will be made of Hemp and ultimately act as Silage for the digester improving the overall production of the total system.

    If you could do me the favor please check your math on the ability of a flywheel that is suspended in a vacuum to create energy if given a constant input of new energy. It is my opinion that you will find that not only can it produce energy but the amount of energy it will produce will be phenomenal. (Note: one must be able to have a free spinning turbine attached to the flywheel as opposed to an internal combustion engine).
     
  6. Nov 30, 2008 #5

    brewnog

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    No, this is not the case. The flywheel will only allow you to extract the amount of energy you put in with your small engine (minus a bit for frictional losses in the bearings). The flywheel can store an amount of energy, but it will never be more than you put in with the small engine in the first place.

    It's you who needs to check your maths (and understanding of basic thermodynamics) here. As Russ has already advised, a flywheel cannot 'produce' energy; only store it. You could run your engine for a year, and store lots of energy in the flywheel over a long period of time and recover this energy in a short period of time; but you'll never be able to get out of it more energy than you put in. The source (reciprocating engine, turbine, hamster wheel) is irrelevant here other than for practical considerations. End of story.
     
  7. Nov 30, 2008 #6
    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    Forget if you will for a moment all LAWS and think about what I am saying. No new innovations have ever come about by men constrained in another man's law.
     
  8. Nov 30, 2008 #7
    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    Newton's Second Law
    The second law is sometimes called the Law of Dynamics, because it concerns forces and what causes objects to move. It can be stated as:

    The acceleration of an object of constant mass is proportional to the force acting upon it.

    Acceleration is the changing of the velocity of the object. Usually, we are talking about the object speeding up. The word "deceleration" is usually used when the object is slowing down, but that also is acceleration or changing of the velocity.

    A force is a push or pull on the object. It may pushing in direct contact or pulling at a distance in the case of gravity.

    This law determines the relationship between force, mass and acceleration, which is

    F = ma

    where:

    F is the applied force
    m is the constant mass
    a is the resulting acceleration
    ma is m times a
    Note that the force F and acceleration a are in the same direction. Since they have a direction, they are called vectors.

    What this law says is that while you are applying a force on an object, it will continue to accelerate or change its velocity. It also states that the greater the force on an object, the greater the acceleration.
     
  9. Nov 30, 2008 #8
    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    There I've checked my maths and in fact if Newton's second law is correct, so am I. A flywheel operating in a vacuum will in fact continue to increase in speed as long as a constant amount of energy (force) is applied to the system. This increase in speed can be harnessed to create increasing amounts of energy from the engine and that is why it as crucial that the engine not be limited in speed as are internal combustion engines.
     
  10. Nov 30, 2008 #9

    russ_watters

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    Heh. No and no.
    Correct. But that tells you nothing at all about extracting energy from a flywheel (well, you could extrapolate...).
    That part is true.
    That part is not.

    You seem to understand how to accelerate a flywheel. What you don't understand is how to extract energy from a flywheel. Here's a hint: they are the same process, with one minor difference: a minus sign.
     
  11. Nov 30, 2008 #10
    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    Actually I do know how to extract energy from a flywheel. Remember, there are two parts to the system a flywheel and a generator that are linked together. Correct me if I am wrong. As a generator increases in speed it can produce increasing amounts of electricity. That is the beauty of this system. It will produce increasing amounts of electrical energy ad infinitum.
     
  12. Nov 30, 2008 #11

    russ_watters

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    You are incorrect. A generator produces energy by converting mechanical energy to electrical. This requires both an rpm and a torque. The torque is the part you are missing. Heck, if generating electricity required no torque, we could just generate an arbitrarily large amount by gearing-up our generators.
     
  13. Nov 30, 2008 #12

    brewnog

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    Ok. You are wrong.

    It won't produce increasing amounts of energy. It will store increasing amounts of energy. If you take this energy out of the flywheel to produce electricity, it will slow down, and be storing less energy.

    Let me repeat this one last time.

    The flywheel is only a store of energy. You will always get less energy out of the flywheel than you put in; never more.

    Your argument about ignoring scientific laws and facts shows a complete lack of understanding or appreciation of the most basic physical concepts. Go and read a book and learn something before you try and propogate nonsense.
     
  14. Nov 30, 2008 #13
    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    You are at best arguing semantics here and at worst just trying to save face. If it STORES INCREASING AMOUNTS OF ENERGY Then you can get ever increasing amounts of energy out of it. What has you so upset? It should be obvious to everyone else that a flywheel-generator combination that is increasing in speed will produce more and more electricity. I don't appreciate the insults especially when I am correct in this matter. Finally, what I was saying about ignoring laws is particularly applicable in this case as I came to my conclusions without knowing about Newton's second law but there it was to back me up. Please provide your math. I provided mine.

    By the way an actual flywheel generator already exists that meets all of the requirements of my system only as of now it may be being made from materials that will shatter when it gets up to top speed. New materials may be in order and it has to be linked to a methane gas turbine to provide unlimited inputs.
     
  15. Nov 30, 2008 #14
    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    The torque is provided by the flywheel that is attached directly to the generator. And yes, you've finally hit the nail on the head. Were we to attach a flywheel to ALL our generators we could produce and arbitrarily large amount of electricity.
     
  16. Nov 30, 2008 #15

    brewnog

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    Cobblers. At best I'm trying to teach you some science, and at worst dispairing at someone who's come here under the guise of asking for advice, with the intent of propogating nonsense and ignoring the facts.

    No. It can't increase in speed AND output energy. If it's increasing in speed, that's because it's storing energy and not producing energy. As soon as you take energy out of the flywheel (to produce electricity, for instance), the flywheel slows down!

    Here you go. I think the Wikipedia page will sum it up at an appropriate level, assuming you don't fancy reading any thermodynamics texts.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics

    The bit about "for a thermodynamic cycle the sum of net heat supplied to the system and the net work done by the system is equal to zero" is most interesting.
     
  17. Nov 30, 2008 #16

    brewnog

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system


    For your information, every mechanical/electrical generator has a flywheel on it. This has nothing to do with producing more power (and it doesn't), it just stabilises the output of the generator and assists with transient and steady state control.
     
  18. Nov 30, 2008 #17

    russ_watters

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    You're still missing the point. Why do you suppose that the flywheel can apply a torque to a generator without slowing down?
    Why would you assume that something so obvious could be overlooked by so many millions of scientists and engineers? Consider the more likely scenario: that you have a misunderstanding of this basic issue of flywheel operation. Consider also that you are not the first person to have this exact misunderstanding and post about it in this forum.
    What you provided should make it clear to you why you are wrong: to make it accelerate, you apply a force. To make it generate electricity, it must apply a force and will therefore decelerate.

    But also, that's not much in the way of math that you've looked into on the subject. Please look into the math of flywheel operation in the wiki page for it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel and also the wiki for angular acceleration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angular_acceleration

    It would probably be helpful if you did some math - by that I mean an actual hypothetical calculation of the performance of your proposed device, because it would highlight your error and help you understand it. Try picking an arbitrary size for a flywheel and do the math to figure out how much energy it takes to accelerate it to a certain rpm and how much power you can extract from it without making it decelerate. And pay particular attention to the difference between the concepts of power and energy.
    Except that it says right there in the first sentence of the page that it is a UPS (a battery), not a generator. It stores energy, it doesn't continuously generate it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008
  19. Nov 30, 2008 #18
    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    Forget the words by Active Power, look at the diagram of the flywheel-generator.

    The reason that my math is correct is that at no point does energy stop entering this system. Granted, the combination flywheel generator will accelerate slower when it is producing electricity than when it is not but it will always produce more and more energy AS LONG AS WE KEEP INPUTING ENERGY. Therefore the only law that is applicable is the fact of constant acceleration. So, let us take the world's largest flywheel-generator and attach it to a model airplane ram jet engine that powers a turbine attached to the flywheel.

    The particular flywheel-generator of which I speak is in england and it takes almost one fifth of the total power in england to get it up to speed within a day. Now suppose instead of trying to get it up to speed immediately we let my little engine that could do the same thing accelerate the flywheel in the course of months even years sooner or later the generator will reach operational speed all for the price of nothing as the methane once again is coming from animal manure.

    "Why do you assume something SO OBVIOUS could be overlooked by so many millions of scientists and engineers"? Genius is seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought. Please do not forget that this is a constant burn system energy is always entering the system it is in no way a steady state system unless you consider the steady state as one of constant increase of energy, power and great glory.
     
  20. Nov 30, 2008 #19

    RonL

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    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    I hope you don't get my thread locked, as it seems you missed the point of the design.
    I am not advocating the combustion of anything (although some gas could be burned to produce a more powerful system).

    The intent is to recover as much as possible, the losses of a generic system of air compression, and a certain amount of the thermal energy delivered by the Sun.

    A two part system, one open and one closed, the closed propane system takes in the heat of compression losses and internal resistance losses of an electric motor, which produces pressure in the propane section, which in turn drives one air motor, and the compressed air drives a second air motor, a cross flow heat exchanger allows for a change of state of each gas and the propane is returned to liquid, and the air is discharged at a much colder state than when it was taken in and subjected to compression.

    This will be a very delicate system, where cold air is more important than the small amount of energy that might be converted to some form of mechanical or electric output. This is an attempt to make a system that is more efficient than current designs.

    As Russ mentioned a minus sign associated with the flywheel, it is actually on both, charge and discharge of the wheel.

    You might want to look up a dynamo,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamo

    Anything combusted cannot be perpetual.

    Ron
     
  21. Nov 30, 2008 #20
    Re: Propane driven Generator system

    I've read all of the articles that you have referred me to and nothing in any of them disputes my theory in fact it all supports my theory in particular this snippet.

    "Rotary Converter Development

    After dynamos were found to allow easy conversion back and forth between mechanical or electrical power, the new discovery was used to develop complex multi-field single-rotor devices with two or more commutators. These were known as a rotary converters. These devices were usually not burdened by mechanical loads, but watched just spinning on their own.

    The rotary converter can directly convert, internally, any power source into any other. This includes direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC), 25 cycle AC into 60 cycle AC, or many different output currents at the same time. The size and mass of these was very large so that the rotor would act as a flywheel to help smooth out any sudden surges or dropouts."

    And the article concerning angular acceleration specifically mentions constant acceleration which is what we are dealing with here. At this point I am forced to ask where did you guys get your "degrees"? The insult about reading "a book" hurts particularly when you refer me to "mere articles" that totally support my theory. Do you guys read the articles or do you just send people to any authority with the intent to obsfucate and confuse.

    I came to test my theory and although all of the written authorities agree with me you guys continue to argue against what could be the biggest development in energy history. I would let you in on the actual workings of the particular anaerobic digester that I had in mind for this system but you might want to find fault with that also.

    We all make mistakes but in this case unless I am simply blinded by foolish pride the mistake is yours not mine. Please retest your assumptions and get back to me. Forget whatever rules that you are arbitrarily applying and look at the facts. At the basis of everyone of the laws to which you've referred me is Newton's second law of dynamics. Not thermo dynamics. The separation of the heat functions and the dynamic functions comes about due to the use of a turbine that will also accelerate in speed to whatever the total speed of the particles coming out of the ram jet is.

    In fact as I think about it there may be a top speed to this system that being the speed of the particles coming from the ram jet and that would violate even Newton's Second Law as you'd be applying a force to a system that should keep accelerating but has reached its limit. I am not sure about that and please don't focus on that in your reply should you decide to reply
     
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