I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Windbottling: Converting kinetic energy into compressed air  RSS feed

 
Brian Pettit
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I am really surprised that more folks haven't thought about using simple compressed air as an alternative energy source. I've been tinkering with prototypes for years now but have yet to complete any of them. The main principle that inspired me was the ancient Egyptian carving found deep within the Dendara pyramid that is being touted as an "Ancient Alien light bulb" that I wholeheartedly have come to believe is actually a bellows system and the "bulb" a compressed air tank whose weight is being used as the force for pumping higher and higher pressures with a feedback line into the tank. As the pressure increases, so does the weight, allowing the same amount of work to be used. It obviously is NOT glass envelope with a filament because the figures are doing WORK as well as handling the "bulb" with bare hands.

I have an inkling that this device was used to inflate giant air bags made from layers of tasseled carpets and kept MOISTENED so that the surface tension of water along with the carpet fibers would create vessels that got STRONGER under pressure. The bags were likely used to lift the giant stones into place from the center of the pyramid and is why there are air ducts built into the interior structure. Light with no smoke was generated by piezo-electric effect by pressurizing crystals against polished silver and gold plates coated in phosphors.

Here is a link to a picture of just one of the Dendara "light bulbs" that I believe is actually two images of the same device but carved to show perspectives from two different sides. You can actually make out the feedback "pipe" and what appears to be a hinged stone block that would work as a shut-off valve between strokes. There are a few different carvings showing slightly different designs, but they all make more sense as MECHANICAL DEVICES that compress air more than any sort of illuminating device. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2518/4150284091_9bfd75b9b6_z.jpg

This is my first attempt on this site for creating a topic, obviously I have LOTS more information to share including images and videos of my prototypes that I plan to release for free to anyone wishing to try to (re?) develop this technology. I really believe this could pull the world out of some serious energy shortage issues. I just want to get my forum posting legs working a bit first to see how much I can include.
 
Todd Hoff
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I've thought about this too Brian. And there are air compressed cars: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_air_car. Some questions: What is the available energy? That is, can I run a household on compressed air? A bulb of compressed air is basically a bomb. How do you keep it safe?
 
Brian Pettit
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Hooray! A reply already! =D I was elated to find that this discussion has ALREADY begun to take place within the permies forums, but apparently I wasn;t using the correct keywords to search for it. The compressed air powered vehicle you linked to is WAY outdated and there is a WONDERFUL new rotary engine that has been invented in Australia which is WOEFULLY under-reported, simply search for the keyword "Engineair", and check out this VERY cool video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X6oWZe0QTc

As for "volume" issues for compressed air and the ALLEGED dangers of exploding compressed air tanks (all intentional propaganda in my humble opinion), there are all sorts of options for containers from "traditional" steel and aluminum holding tanks (including even old propane and other pressurized gas tanks) to using old tractor trailer tires that still have pressure holding integrity, just lack a usable tread to this concept I described about AIR BAGS made from carpets with the nap on the inside and purposely kept WET so that the surface tension of water clinging to the fibers could (theoretically) be constructed that would become STRONGER UNDER PRESSURE. The likelihood of an air tank "exploding" seems low to me. If anything, a hole may develop and a loud noise may occur as the pressure is released, but as for them becoming a "bomb" with shrapnel flying all over, we're not talking about HUNDREDS of PSI being forced into small places but MANY vessels holding relatively small amounts of pressure. Pressure relief valves are widely available that would prevent explosions and besides, wouldn't we rather have inert atmospheric gasses being discharged in a breach rather than some sort of FLAMMABLE or poisonous gas?

I can envision rigging a household with WALLS made of compressed air tanks and just about every appliance that we currently run from electricity being converted to ON DEMAND pneumatic power instead INCLUDING refrigeration units. Just IMAGINE the new industries that could be created building pneumatic appliances or in simply building replacement motors for existing appliances using scaled down versions of these new ROTARY air motors shown in the link!

Now imagine using one of these new motors to power an ELECTRIC GENERATOR in every household so that people could even continue using their electric appliances? We could even use existing natural gas and/or water pipes to distribute and share a common compressed air source that people would have the OPTION of adding pressure or consumiing it AS WELL AS using their own electric generators to add to the existing electrical grid! There are just SO MANY OPTIONS that would open up under this new, improved "grid" that would allow people to either be completely self-sustaining or generate INCOME from their own compressed air and/or electricity. The key in generating compressed air is going to be in bringing back the good old FLYWHEEL and I have some interesting concepts about improving upon this very simple basic machine principle including filling tires with WATER instead of air to create what I call a "fluidic flywheel" that would start rotating easily as the water remains momentarily stationary, and then inertia increases as the water catches up to the vessel speed, and then is difficult to STOP rotation as the water attempts to maintain the inertia.

Another idea I have is to use the HOLDING TANKS themselves as sources of inertial energy, like rigging air tanks to the perimeter of a playground carousel that charge up and GAIN WEIGHT which would enable the same amount of force to build higher and higher pressures, similar to the example that I believe is being shown in that "alien lightbulb" machinery. Here is a link to my latest project which is actually a VASTLY simplified version of other prototypes I've been working on (mostly before my bout with meningitis that has left me virtually bedridden and possibly a bit brain damaged. I have some other older examples on my YouTube channel as well along with a plethora of other urban permaculture projects. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOhBQDYTVuQ

I have some serious catching up to do in the other forums to discover how far other people have taken this concept and again I am OVERWHELMED to discover that others have indeed not only discussed this concept but have BUILT THEIR OWN MACHINES and have been using them since at least 2006 which is almost the EXACT time that I began "tinkering" with this stuff myself. Incidentally, I have also built machines that merely float on moving water sources tethered to the shore and convert the kinetic energy of moving WATER into compressed air. I can envision this concept being scaled down to harness the power of RAINFALL running through downspouts and storing the energy as compressed air right within the compressed air wall structures of homes (that would incidentally add INSULATIVE properties as well).

I do hope others find this discussion and chime in and/or perhaps we can revitalize the pre-existing discussions because I really do see some MASSIVE potential in this reversal of the notion that "cars don;t run on thin air" mentality! =D
 
Brian Pettit
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Wow! What a ride that windmill to air compressor thread was! So many Deja vu moments when hearing about some ideas that I thought were unique to my own demented invention processes including the use of semi truck and tractor tires for holding tanks and using hybrid systems to open up more options. I'm looking forward to occasionally tossing out some ideas and pictures of previous prototypes for folks to comment and expand upon, so let's see if I can figure out how to insert a picture...

I'll try one as an attachment, if it works, it a picture of a couple of my ideas, one uses a string of kites attached to a lengthened, bungee-returning bicycle pedal to run a two-cylinder compressor head from a weighted bike tire flywheel, and the other is a paddlewheel setup that spins a series of electric motors as generators and then the drive continues into a gearbox that spins a smaller two-cylinder pancake compressor head while the generators power a DC compressor... hadn't quite finished adding all the flotation to it in this pic, but it also has a "gulper" flap underneath that funnels water into a jet to help power the paddlewheel.

Hope it displays... all of these projects have since been cannibalized and/or shelved and were never tested =(
muddachugga.jpg
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Troy Rhodes
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"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas A. Edison


Get a working prototype and post some cool video and data.


Just to avoid some static and misunderstandings, compressed air is more of a storage medium, and not so much an energy source.


Would love to see some sketches of photos of your device to convert water motion to compressed air.


thanks in advance,

troy
 
Brian Pettit
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Troy Rhodes wrote:"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas A. Edison


Get a working prototype and post some cool video and data.


Just to avoid some static and misunderstandings, compressed air is more of a storage medium, and not so much an energy source.


Would love to see some sketches of photos of your device to convert water motion to compressed air.


thanks in advance,

troy


Thanks for your interest Troy! I'm afraid that by attempting to avoid misunderstanding, you seem to have caused some because any air tool would tend to disagree about where it's energy comes from and I'm not sure why there would be any "static" or disagreement in this regard honestly.The picture I included is not very clear and I did state that the project did not reach completion stage, mostly because I don't have a moving water source on my urban plots and I needed some of the parts for other projects but the concept should not be "rocket science" to anyone, you simply rig a waterwheel to a compressor head and pipe it into a holding tank. Another alternative would be to use a weighed pendulum arm with a paddle on the end dipping into a moving water source and gang the rocking motion to a bicycle pump pushing air in to a tank.

This would be another instance where you could use the air tank itself as part of the pendulum weight so that as the pressure increases in the tank (and against the piston), the return force (weight) of the paddle back into the water would equally increase to compensate. The "concept" shown in the Dendara carvings would be the "working prototype" proof if indeed my analysis of the device's function is correct. I'm not far off from finishing the pendulum swing and tanks to begin proving the validity of this concept, and after that, "the sky's the limit" for the number of different configurations the concept can manifest in, including vertical axis wind turbines with air tanks built right into the flywheel "base".

The main reason I'm posting my ideas is because I've sustained some pretty devastating disabilities since I first started working on these things and progress is now (literally) painfully slow, not to mention a lot of my energies and resources are being diverted to the gardening and other aspects of the whole permaculture system and I've made the decision that FOOD production comes before energy, but ultimately, the energy part is going to massively assist in gardening tasks as well, especially for water circulation and compost mixing and all kinds of other energy intensive tasks.

This picture may help a little bit, this is around the point where I was adding flotation to the device and you can see the paddle wheel with the flexible drive cables leading from each end that WOULD have reconnected to the gear box and compressor head if I hadn't begun cannibalizing parts for other projects... I'm a bit of a build by the seat of my pants and worry about details later sort of inventor who gets sidetracked WAY too often it seems... a bit of A.D.D. going on with me I guess...
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Floating water wheel
 
Andrew Kimbrough
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Location: Folsom,CA
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As an author & a recovering engineer, I have used windbottling in my post extermination novella (Coastal Event Memories, Volume V, Voyage of Discovery). In the story, a surviving community on the Eastern shore of an Inland Sea that used to be the California Central Valley construct a ship to explore the world and contact other groups of survivors. The sail propelled ship had 20 KW of salvaged solar panels, and used direct coupled motor generators to drive Tesla Turbine compressor motors. The compressed air was stored in salvaged carbon graphite fiber pressure tanks. When the solar array was not producing, the stored air was throttled back through the Tesla Turbine motors and drive the generators. The electrical power was used to provide lighting, auxiliary propulsion, and limited instrumentation.

While this concept does use some artistic license, There was a test system built in Kansas that used off peak grid power to compress air in an salt mine cavity. The stored air was then used to drive a turbine generator to support peak grid power loads.
 
Brian Pettit
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EXCELLENT reply! Ever see the movie "Water World"? I swear Kevin Costner was using compressed air as part of his catamaran system, and they even gave some hints with the vertical blade turbine usage. It seems sometimes TPTB give us little "hints" here and there about what is ACTUALLY in use but just not available to "mere consumers" just to throw it in our faces...

I have indeed heard of power companies pressurizing caverns for storing off-peak energy before, but can you imagine if they were using DiPietro motors to power the generators instead of the inefficient turbines? Combined with flywheels that actually store air pressure/weight and the entire grid could be powered by mere gentle surface winds and/or even the fluid movements through storm and sewage drains!

THIS is exactly the type of discussion I was hoping to encourage, THANK YOU! =D
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Troy is entirely correct, in that compressed air is stored energy, rather than being an energy source. Kinetic energy is used to compress the air, and then subsequently released.
The system for creating compressed air that I find most intriguing is the trompe. It uses falling water to capture and compress air, producing isothermic compressed air at a low humidity. From there you can get all sorts of interesting benefits, from powering motors to refrigeration (and you can do both at once with the same air!)
 
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