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need spring-energy-storage mechanism

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], May 29, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    i think i need a spring energy-storage mechanism. Maybe a very large
    wind-up clock motor?

    the scenario is: a slightly-valuable commodity originates at the top
    of a mountain. More or less a bushel at a time. there is an existing
    paved road. the commodity fetches a price, but not enough to pay for
    very much transport.

    the concept is to use a cargo bicycle, maybe with trailer, to carry
    the items down to the bottom of the mountain, "winding up the clock"
    on the spring-storage.

    at the bottom, the load is transferred to buyers. the now very-much-
    lighter bicycle is to be driven UP the mountain, using the stored

    Any cat which will catch the mice is fine with me. I'm just thinking
    that anything involving electricity, hydraulic fluids, etc, will be
    too involved, and losses throguh two conversions. Capacitor storage
    might be feasible, if there's high quality ones being sold. The charge
    doesn't need to held for long amounts of time. Down the hill, then
    back up.

    Ideally, this will be a ready-to-go or mostly ready-to-go
    commercial item. I am rather mechanically/electrically handy. But
    this is business, not pleasure. Time spent should be cost-effective.
  2. Sue...

    Sue... Guest

    I have been thinking along the same lines.
    Compressed air or chemical batteries appear to be real
    loosers due to the heat loss.

    Mechanical springs or flywheels would seem to offer a lot
    more efficiency. Flywheels have to be heavy
    or fast. Neither characteristic is very attractive for a vehicle.

    1) How hot does the spring get when it is cycled?
    2) How many times can the spring be cycled 'till fatigue
    diminishes its capacity?

    With that information, it should be easy to compare the
    energy density with other mechanisms.

    A few haphazard google searches hasn't offered up the answers
    to those questions in the manner to which I become accustomed
    so I may have to dust off some old texts like "How to do
    research" or "Real work as a moral virtue" >:)

  3. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Use a blimp.
  4. Greg Locock

    Greg Locock Guest

    wrote in
    A Flying fox. Used in Italy to get supplies to and from mountain tops.

    Two cables, one pulley, two carriers and a long bit of rope.
  5. Sue...

    Sue... Guest

    That seems commercially feasible for the logging
    industry but only a few bicycle sheds will accomodate
    a blimp without knocking out a few walls.

  6. This is a surprisingly tough wish. It would have a huge world-wide
    market with any cyclist who would like to get back a little sweat
    equity from freewheeling down hill - on the next uphill stretch.

    Brian Whatcott Altus OK
  7. Trevor Jones

    Trevor Jones Guest

    Gasoline motor.

    Nobody's yet found an effective way to store as much energy as that,
    in as little weight. Commercially available, cheap, practical.

    Any other system is going to cost you more in time, money, and weight,
    than it will ever repay in work done, otherwise the world would be
    well equipped with just such devices.

    Anything that recovers energy on the down trip will cost more to carry
    back up.

    If time spent should be cost effective, you are already over budget
    for the time spent considering such foolishness.

    Trevor Jones
  8. default

    default Guest

    A trailer would be trying to pass the bicycle on the way down if you
    are winding a spring - regenerative braking style.

    Probably too high tech for low value goods on mountain tops . . . but
    there are several experimenter's using something called
    ultracapacitors for energy storage on bicycles. This idea has been
    around since the first ultra caps hit the market.

    NASA note with link to 32 page brief

    The E-Bike is a state of the art, ground up, hybrid electric bicycle.
    Unique features of the vehicle's power system include the use of an
    efficient, 400 watt, electric hub motor and a 7-speed derailleur
    system that permits operation as fully electric, fully pedal, or a
    combination of the two. Other innovative features, such as
    regenerative braking through ultracapacitor energy storage, are
    planned. Regenerative braking recovers much of the kinetic energy of
    the vehicle during deceleration. The E-bike has previously been tested
    with the standard battery energy storage system, a symmetric
    ultracapacitor energy storage system, and a combination battery and
    symmetric ultracapacitor energy storage system. The focus of this
    report is the test results of the E-bike with asymmetric
    ultracapacitor energy storage and comparison to the other energy
    storage systems. The report concludes that the E-Bike provides
    excellent performance and that the implementation of asymmetric
    ultracapacitors in the power system can provide significant
    performance improvements.

    Search on bicycle and ultracapacitor - there's more info on the web
  9. default

    default Guest

    A cable system with pulleys top and bottom. Two or more cargo
    carrying buckets. Weight of full bucket pulls cargo down and takes
    empty bucket up.

    If the cargo can't be suspended over the ground, you could still add
    wheels to the buckets to let them roll over the high points.

    You still have to get people up there to fill buckets - unless you can
    get the bats to deposit the guano into the bucket (just kidding).

    Perhaps the worker could ride an empty bucket up and just take a taut
    cable to ride down (McGuiver style) when his shift is over.

    Lot less hassle than bicycles and springs. Low tech with commonly
    available parts.
  10. default

    default Guest

    Not necessarily. The fallacy in your logic is that you are ignoring
    the stored kinetic energy already in the weight on top of the
    mountain. Everyone is thinking in terms of lifting it up and carrying
    it down the mountain.

    The op has already put the idea of bicycles, trailers, springs and
    other wishful or incredibly complex systems in everyone's mind.

    Start at the beginning. You have a weight on top of a mountain, how
    do you get it down the mountain?

    Throw it off and let it roll down if you can - simple and not too
    costly. Parachute? high wire? ground dragging, low wire?

    I'd have to see the mountain, but I'll bet there's an easier cheaper
    way to do it that doesn't involve a lot of technology or fuel.
  11. Invalid

    Invalid Guest

    I wouldn't want to go ANYWHERE NEAR a spring that contained that sort of
    stored energy. A big clock spring contains a few tens of foot-pounds of
    energy, and if it lets go in the wrong place at the wrong time can do
    enormous damage. You are talking about something with foot-tons of
    energy associated with a very thin metal "blade" many, many feet long.
    Riding the bike would be like riding a potential bomb.

    Sound like all you really need is an electric bicycle with regenerative
    braking. Down the mountain with the brakes on will charge the batteries,
    riding back up will discharge them.

    A quick Google got me One
    of those, or the core components (Motor, batteries and regenerative
    braking system) sounds a MUCH SAFER bet.
  12. There are various railway systems around the world that work on that
    principle: two cars linked to a cable, running up and down, sometimes
    on a single railway with a cleverly-engineered passing lane in the
    middle. If the weight of the payload is sufficient to overcome the
    friction in the system, little additional energy would be required.

    Careful attention must be paid to the need to stop the payload at the
  13. John S.

    John S. Guest

    Which product, how far up the mountain is this location and how steep
    is the climb.
    Doesn't seem to be viable at the outset.
    Assuming you can find a spring large enough to power 250 pounds of
    bicycle and rider up the hill you will have several kinds of losses.

    Winding the spring will take consume energy to spin the geared down
    winding train and slide the coils against one-another. Same losses
    apply going up the hill. The huge spring and gear train will weigh
    maybe 50 pounds and consume energy as it is moved around. Making this
    oversized clock mechamism will involve custom rolling for the spring
    and machine work for the spring housing and gear train. In short it
    will represent a considerable amount of up-front money.

    Consider enhancing the local economy and pay local boys by the bushel

    Alternatively you might think about a self-propelled hot air baloon.
    A capacitor????? How about a storage battery.
  14. Nonnymus

    Nonnymus Guest

    the scenario is: a slightly-valuable commodity originates at the top
    of a mountain. More or less a bushel at a time. there is an existing
    paved road. the commodity fetches a price, but not enough to pay for
    very much transport.

    the concept is to use a cargo bicycle, maybe with trailer, to carry
    the items down to the bottom of the mountain, "winding up the clock"
    on the spring-storage.

    at the bottom, the load is transferred to buyers. the now very-much-
    lighter bicycle is to be driven UP the mountain, using the stored

    I read the OP to mean that the item "grows" on the mountain top and thus
    originates there. Likewise, I read the OP to require the same transport
    mechanism (bicycle) to return to the mountain top. To me, this would
    eliminate the concept of just two pulleys with a rope loop to convey the
    item to the bottom of the mountain and have an empty bucket ready at the

    Along that same concept, though, there could be an axle for one of the
    pulleys that would wind a rope with an appropriate weight on it. As the
    load descends, it would wind the rope around the axle, raising the
    weight. When the bucket was emptied at the bottom of the mountain, the
    weight would then help power the bucket back to the mountain top.

    If you substitute a rope tied to the cargo bicycle for the bucket on a
    rope loop, then the descending bike would wind the rope around a common
    axle with the weight, raising it. At the bottom of the mountain, the
    bike would then gain the stored energy from the descending weight to
    help power it back to the top.

    For the clock folk, think of a bucket on the winding chain of a
    grandfather clock. When the weight is at the bottom of the clock case,
    it trips a valve that fills a bucket affixed to the other end of the
    chain- and at the top of the case. The filled bucket then descends,
    pulling the clock's weight upward. When the weight reaches the top, it
    trips a valve in the bucket, letting the water run out. This empties
    the bucket and the clock resumes normal function with a descending
    weight supplying the power as normal.

  15. whit3rd

    whit3rd Guest

    There's a traditional scheme (used in Virginia a century or two back)
    where the harvest was put aboard a barge (or raft?) and sent
    At the lowland dock, the grain was sold, the barge disassembled and
    sold as lumber, and the farmer/boatman took his cash home on foot.

    Best solution might be as simple as resigning oneself to walking the
    bike back
    up the hill. If the road isn't well-maintained, the rider is the
    mechanism to do that climb, and you can fuel the rider with the cash.
  16. Donald

    Donald Guest

    The OP had not made it clear how far is the "top on the mountain" source
    and the "place where it is sold" destination.

    There is just a poor reference to "not enough to pay for very much

    If the "existing paved road" is 2 miles, human transport is OK, 200
    miles (uphill) would cost a bunch.

    Technology will not solve this problem.

  17. Invalid

    Invalid Guest

    I did, believe me I did!!

  18. I'd recommend an electric bicycle with regenerative braking. Most of the
    other solutions are going to require quite a bit of R&D and investment.
    Electric bikes are (pretty much) off the shelf technology.

  19. I used to see bike motors with friction drive on the tire tread, and
    also a fancier power-wheel with engine built in.
    I see these fellows making a come back.

    I like the kei-trucks from Japan, and I also see some motor scooters
    designed Lambretta style - but without the fairings, right now.

    Brian Whatcott Altus OK
  20. Revision

    Revision Guest

    Start at the beginning. You have a weight on top of a mountain, how
    Yeah, maybe a track... stuff the goods in a ball and roll it down. Or a
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