# Idea for clean Power Generation

This came to me last night in a dream. I was wondering if anyone here can validate whether or not this idea is realistic or just nothing more than a dream? It may not be new but I haven't seen it anywhere else. I put together a simple drawing to explain it. See the link below. If anyone else has novel ideas maybe they could share them as well. Thanks very much for any input/feedback!

http://www.getfirefly.net/HydraulicPowerPlant.JPG

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brewnog
Gold Member
Looks like nothing more than a dream to me.

What pushes the hydraulic rams down in the first place? You might be able to 'multiply force' using hydraulics, but you definitely can't multiply energy!

russ_watters
Mentor
That is a classic Type 1 perpetual motion machine. Ie, it violates the first law of thermodynamics by providing more output energy than it gets in input energy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion
A perpetual motion machine of the first kind produces strictly more energy than it uses giving the user Unlimited energy, thus violating the law of conservation of energy. Over-unity devices, that is, devices with a thermodynamic efficiency greater than 1.0 (unity, or 100%), are perpetual motion machines of this kind.
The mistake you made is a common one: Your device multiplies force (as you state in the diagram), but does not multiply energy. Your device is essentially a pulley and as you know of pulleys, on one end you get a large force and a short distance traveled and on the other you get a small force and a large distance traveled. w=fd in your device and in the pulley system.

[edit: damn you, brewnog!]

hi thanks for the replies. for pushing the hydrolic rams down i was thinking about using An electromagnet. (is a type of magnet in which the magnetic field is produced by the flow of an electric current. The magnetic field disappears when the current ceases.) A computer would use the power provided by the turbines to turn on and off the current to each hydrolic ram at specified time intervals (very little energy needed to do this). Or a tiny switch that opens and closes a compressed air valve? I'll update the diagram when I get some time to show this. Probably not feasible but it's fun to contemplate nonetheless.

Don't spend any money on that, it would turn your dream in a nightmare.
As a first exercice, try to understand why the work produced by a small piston is equal to the work produced by the large piston (if no losses), despite the forces being very different.

russ_watters
Mentor
hi thanks for the replies. for pushing the hydrolic rams down i was thinking about using An electromagnet. (is a type of magnet in which the magnetic field is produced by the flow of an electric current. The magnetic field disappears when the current ceases.) A computer would use the power provided by the turbines to turn on and off the current to each hydrolic ram at specified time intervals (very little energy needed to do this). Or a tiny switch that opens and closes a compressed air valve? I'll update the diagram when I get some time to show this. Probably not feasible but it's fun to contemplate nonetheless.
Electromagnets also consume electricity.

You are wasting your time. Learn physics instead of trying to beat it. It is like trying to bat blindfolded: you're swinging at pitches that haven't even been thrown! There is nothing there to hit.

i have a degree in computer science so physics is not my forte. that's why i posted it here. if i'm wasting my time great, i'm having fun doing it. and yes, I know that electromagnets consume electricity...that's why they're powered via a battery. i updated the diagram to show this.

Danger
Gold Member
You do realize that the battery would have to put in more power than you can extract from your turbines, right? So what's the point?

The main thought is to use gravity to power the system. Gravity pulling the weights upon the hydraulic ram. The weights on the pulley system will hang in perfect balance with each other, less than 1 millimeter from the top of each hydraulic ram. The weights could be 5 ton blocks. The key is finding a very low energy way to shift the weight of the blocks - back and forth, in a consistent manner. It could be as simple as a computer releasing water into a slowly draining bucket on the top of each weight. As a matter of fact I think I'll change the design to that - let gravity do the work. That's my thought here.

russ_watters
Mentor
You won't find a way to do it and make it work. The key, as you say, is finding a low energy way to produce a lot of energy. The first law of thermodynamics expressedly forbids that.

I also need to inform you that because we are a serious science forum, while we want to try to help you learn physics and engineering, we are not a sounding-board for crackpot ideas. We don't allow such discussions to go far.

did you see the new diagram? I think it will work. Please tell me why the current diagram won't work. Not trying to be a crackpot but I think I'm onto something here.

Danger
Gold Member
Julius, there's a demarcation between ignorance and crackpottery. That point comes when one who is seeking the truth refuses to acknowledge it. How much energy do you think that it will take to pump the water and sand back up to reload your buckets?

very little. it just needs to tilt the weight ever so slightly and gravity will take it from there. If it starts out in perfect balance then as the opposite side releases the water it will tilt towards equilibrium - adding water to the other side at the very same time the opposite side releases its water will generate some momentum and will tip the scales towards it. simple. keep in mind these could be 5,000 pound blocks, perfectly balanced on a scale - one millimeter above the hydraulic rams.

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I'm not claiming to break the first law of thermodynamics - just a simple clean power station that does not pollute. If it's 80% efficient great - I'm not coming in hear saying hey - physics as you know it is wrong.

Danger
Gold Member
very little. it just needs to tilt the weight ever so slightly and gravity will take it from there. If it starts out in perfect balance then as the opposite side releases the water it will tilt towards equilibrium - adding water to the other side at the very same time the opposite side releases its water will generate some momentum and will tip the scales towards it. simple. keep in mind these could be 5,000 pound blocks, perfectly balanced on a scale - one millimeter above the hydraulic rams.
Very carefully read over what you just wrote. If the blocks are in 'perfect balance', they'd might as well not be there at all. The only mass that gravity will act upon (the difference between the two blocks) is the water that you add. That will not be enough of an imbalance to compress the piston.

how do you know that? have you ever used a hydraulic press? doesn't take much. You bring up an excellent point though (which is why i came here :) Edit: I don't see why xx lbs of water can't depress the piston, depending on the configuration. Thanks for all your replies I do appreciate the feedback here.

i changed the diagram based on this feedback - i will negate the weight of the opposite block via the chain that is holding it - automatically hooking onto a ceiling hook based on a specific chain link size - thus its weight is transferred to the ceiling while the other piston compresses. When the other piston is done, the ceiling hook releases the weight of the block.

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russ_watters
Mentor
XXX Pounds of water will depress the piston and generate exactly as much energy as it took to fill up the buckets (minus efficiency losses).... or to lift them with your system of pulleys to lift the blocks back up. No matter how you do it, the energy you get out will never, ever, ever, ever be more than the energy you put in. That's what the first law of thermodynamics says and you say you are not trying to violate it.

You said you are a computer engineer. What would you tell someone who insisted that they wanted to find a way to load Windows XP onto an original IBM PC?

i updated the diagram with credit to Danger. Thanks Danger. That's why I came here, to learn. Thanks again.

Russ - chill out. I'm surprised at the level of hostility here! Relax... seriously it was just a dream. But as you can see my posting here created numerous improvements. I just updated the diagram per Danger. If it's just moot so be it. No big deal. You'll have other posters to worry about tomorrow. Thanks.

EDIT: 80% efficiency would be great....not breaking the laws of physics. Gravity does the heavy lifting in this design - period. Instead of attacking why not suggest a better design? Thanks again for the opportunity to post here. I do appreciate it.

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russ_watters
Mentor
The diagram now shows a system of pulleys and says that it will make it easier to lift the weights. I already explained in my first post about the relationship between force and energy in pulley systems.

You are not listening and we cannot help you unless you do. It is ok for you to waste your own time, but we won't waste ours on someone who simply refuses to learn.

Danger
Gold Member
Look, man, you can add any number of stages of compliation, and each one will only detract from the efficiency by way of mechanical losses.
This thing will not work!
You are one step away from becoming a dyed-in-the-wool crackpot. Back up a couple of metres.

russ_watters
Mentor
EDIT: 80% efficiency would be great....not breaking the laws of physics. Gravity does the heavy lifting in this design - period. Instead of attacking why not suggest a better design?
All of that is wrong. You are simply not listening. No hostility - we just can't help you unless you listen.