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Author Topic: Self-powered machines  (Read 2468 times)

Orstio

  • Guest
Self-powered machines
« on: February 20, 2003, 05:43:00 PM »
Appliances that need no cables or batteries but operate purely on power generated from their surrounding vibrations could save manufacturers and consumers large sums of money, according to scientists at the University of Southampton.

Professor Neil White and his colleagues at the University's Department of Electronics and Computer Science realised three years ago that sensors were being used in increasingly diverse application areas where physical connections to the outside world were difficult. For example, if a sensor was embedded within a structure or appliance, routine maintenance such as changing batteries could cause significant problems and cost time and money in terms of downtime.

Professor White and his team set out to explore the possibility of a self-powered sensor. They explored two devices: a magnet and coil arrangement where relative movement between the coil and the poles of a permanent magnet generates electricity by electromagnetic induction; and a second device based on piezo-electric material to generate electrical energy from vibration-induced deformations. They adopted the former device in the development of their system. The power generated by the sensor is based on its vibrations, so they needed to find applications that vibrate in order to test its effectiveness.

'We initially thought of road bridges', comments Professor White, 'but modern-day bridges don't shake that well, apart from the Millennium bridge that is! This will work best if you have a sensor buried in a device that you cannot easily access. The ideal scenario is to have a device that will generate power from a vibration source which will in turn power the sensor.'

The team has tested the sensor on several applications. Having assessed car floors, jack-hammers and motor cycle handlebars, they have found that helicopter rotor blades and fitness cycle machines might also be suitable applications.

'A self-powered sensor could be used to power additional features on equipment', comments Professor White. 'For example, on a fitness cycle machine, the power generated could power the display panel. The big advantage is that it would reduce the need for batteries, cabling and downtime.'
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 04:00:00 PM by 1079251200 »

Zentrander

  • Guest
Re: Self-powered machines
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2003, 05:49:00 PM »
Quote
Quote:

'A self-powered sensor could be used to power additional features on equipment', comments Professor White. 'For example, on a fitness cycle machine, the power generated could power the display panel. The big advantage is that it would reduce the need for batteries, cabling and downtime.'



I believe I've seen excercise machines like that.

On another note, why not use fuel cells to breath in air and produce power?  That seems free enough to me!

I'm sure of it: one day all of our power will be acquired from fuel cells at every home.  No utilities costs!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 04:00:00 PM by 1079251200 »

Jacaranda3739

  • Guest
RE: self powered machines
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2003, 08:01:00 PM »
And what about photo electric cells? they are getting better and better. What would happen if you surrounded a light bulb with solar cells that produce enough energy from just one to keep the light going and the rest of them sent power out to other appliances? Think this may be possible?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 04:00:00 PM by 1079251200 »

Nizrak

  • Guest
Re: RE: self powered machines
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2003, 09:26:00 AM »
Earthling invader,

Photo-voltaic's (Solar Cells) will _never_ be able to do what you described.  What your asking for is free energy, and its just not possible.  The cells energy conversion is getting better and better but is still extremely low. 20% is the highest I've ever heard of, and I don't believe it.  

That means that only 20% of the energy in the light it absorbs is actually converted to electricity.  So even if you were to surround the bulb so that all of the light it produced was absorbed by the best solar cells imagineable, it would not produce enough electricity to power keep the light lit.  

You should look into the Laws of Thermodynamics.  can't ever get something for nothing.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 04:00:00 PM by 1079251200 »

Offline yales

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: RE: self powered machines
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2003, 11:18:00 AM »
Greater than 30% efficiency in a concentrating PV module is not particularly difficult.


You are correct about Jaca's self-powered lamp. It would be a perpetual motion machine and a serious no-no.

It would be the same as waving a fan into the sail of a ship.


yale
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 04:00:00 PM by 1079251200 »

Jacaranda3739

  • Guest
Re: RE: self powered machines
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2003, 05:06:00 PM »
Here's an interesting note about perpetual motion machines.
Anything you invent requires a drawing in order to obtain a patent. The only exception is a perpetual motion machine.
You have to have an actual working model to get a patent for one.
And what about the tesla coil?
Wasn't It was supposed to broadcast DC electricity and power appliances without any wire connections?
I guess it would have been hard to bill people.
Quote
Quote:
It would be the same as waving a fan into the sail of a ship

I don't know,..that seems to work in popeye cartoons.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 04:00:00 PM by 1079251200 »

 

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