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Alternatives: Wave to Ship to Power to Propulsion

Alternative method to generate energy from a ships motion to be utilized for propulsion

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Don't get me wrong, there are a number of projects in the professional world seriously working on the problem of generating energy from oceanic waves. There are dolphin fin shaped devices that can be used to create forward motion with every wave, generators utilize wave/tides, sailboats that generate electricity efficiently, I will make a literature review to share where i'm getting inspiration from. But as a man who really likes being on boats while also suffering from seasickness, I can't help but think there is more that can be done to generate energy which can be utilized into forward motion for a vessel. The automotive industry is experimenting a lot with flywheels and other tech to generate power for hybrid cars while they are breaking ect. so I want to explore the possibilities for generating more energy from the motion of ships and see what I can come up with to exploit the nausea inducing motion from the waves which have plagued me for so long. I'm calling you out "waves",

Intro: ------------------------------

Wubbo Ockels. Was a physicist and Astronaut from the Netherlands, who on his death bed, called a television studio and told them he had something important to say before he died. The studio rushed over not knowing what to expect. To their surprise he began giving a speech in english. He gave a speech that I included shed a tear when i heard it. He sais we have to take care of our only planet. When he was in space, he could see there was nothing else, nothing nearby, and realized that this planet was all we had. A unique perspective that the very few who have been to space and got to look at the whole planet can have.


This speech saddens you, yet inspires and motivates. Here is a link so you can hear it for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wdXtocGZXM

When me and my friends went to Egypt and saw the beautiful coral reefs, One of my friends who also dived there when he was a kid told me how the colors had faded and weren't nearly as pretty as the once were. I consider it a great loss i never got to see it, with its brightest colors and began to really realize the world is in more trouble then i had thought. One of the project Hugo Ockels worked on was to create a 0 emission ship to travel the oceans with. The ship he helped design and build is a sail ship which has propellers on the back that drag through the ocean, causing them to turn, which generates electricity.

There are a lot of projects to make transport more efficient. especially in the automotive industry. I want to contribute a little bit. That is why I started this project. To maybe make something useful, to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels or to at least learn more about it and what alternatives there are. It may, in the end (probably) just become a failed experiment whose sole purpose was to entertain me and make me learn some new things. But i consider myself learning to be exceptionally valuable. This will just be one project of many I will make and every time i do ill get better. Life is a marathon. So many things to see and learn.

*recent* post feb 25 2015----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The plan:

A plan has been made. (woot!) I have made a quick design as seen in the uploaded figure (see log day 3). Not every mechanism I want is on there, but it is enough to give a reasonable idea of what I want to create.

There is a spinning top mechanism acting as a kind of fly wheel. Inside of it are the electrical energy generating components. (aka magnets, copper spools ect...). Spools are stationary (on central rod) while the magnets turn with the spinning top. What creates the rotation is a downward spiraled shaft which, when itself not turning, forces the spinning top to turn. Everything is pretty straight forward so far.

The mechanism that is essential, is the part that will climb a toothed rail/ladder. Let me explain. In the image, on top of the spiraled rod, there is a spring loaded mechanism with a weight on the top. The bottom of this mechanism is essentially a little platform with two spring tensioned flippers (ala pinball flipper like) on either side. The very end of these flippers are resting against the toothed rail on either side. The way the flippers are set up is that you can move the whole mechanism up, but not down. Much like a tie wrap. You can pull it one way, but not the other way. On top of that little platform is a spring loaded mechanism with a weight on top. The idea is that when the ship/vessel is moving up and down due to the waves, the spring and metal tubes that slide together, compress turning some of that energy from the movement of the vessel into potential energy in the spring. When the potential energy is released (potentially at the at the apex of the wave,) the spring will release its potential energy pushing the weight up creating a slight shock on the loose and movable spiraled shaft. This will create a slight upwards force. This tiny hit the spiraled...

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  • 1 × will be filled in upon completion prototype_1

  • Day 3: Design 1

    Dash Row03/28/2015 at 19:23 0 comments

    Here is Design number 1. I call it number 1 because i'm sure there will be many changes on the way. Gonna make a nicer digitized version of this so its a bit easier to follow. For an explanation on it, please see the "Details" section of the project page for the full description

  • Day 2 pics

    Dash Row03/28/2015 at 19:18 0 comments

  • (research) Day 2

    Dash Row03/22/2015 at 21:43 0 comments

    I know it sais day 2 at the top, bet let me define the day counting system in the sense that its the days where I have some time to work on it. Since I'm working in the weekdays and I got a new house, I only got a bit of time in the weekend.

    That being said, here is an update of research day 2. I have been looking at some of the motion to electricity generating devices in my house. One of the more expensive ones, what I was expecting to have a nice little fly wheel system actually just had a mechanical 1 to 1 gear rotating system to move the magnet around the copper coils. I did find a nice little fly wheel system in a lantern designed for kids. I do kind of like the fly wheel design because of its simplicity. I don't have an SD card reader for my camera here today so I'll upload some pictures tomorrow.

    The inside edge of the fly wheel is teethed (see figure tommorow). In the middle there is a peace of plastic with two smaller hinged peaces on its end. When a force gets applied to the gear, the hinged pieces on the center arm will catch the teeth of the wheel and force it to rotate. When the force on the gear stops, the greased wheel will keep turning while the center arm stops. The hinged pieces will be forced down by the teeth hitting it from the other side, so the wheel can keep rotating. Very simple but that kinda why I like it.

    The problem with it like so many things is the amount of resistance/friction the flywheel gets from various surfaces, gears and other parts. Especially because of the simple design. I could see if i can purchase more professional systems, but I kinda want to keep a very simple design and do experiments to reduce the friction. Also I didn't get a change to go to the hardware store to buy some spools of copper wire. I should have plenty of batteries, magnets and rotary systems to get a start.

    One of the first things I want to try is to see if I can create a system that will exaggerate the effect of the movement of the vessel that is on the water. There are times when the vessel will have large side to side and up and down motion because of oceanic waves, but many times the movements will be much smaller. I will have to create a system that will exaggerate the small motions so I can apply more force. There are many challenges with this. One of the challenges is that I will need to create a system that only reacts/initializes when the ship has shifted/moved to the maximum point of its current motion, so that whatever force I'm trying to utilize will have the most potential energy.

    So this week I took a bunch of things apart to get some ideas flowing and get an inventory of the things I have. This coming week (I said I would do it last week but I spend my time just taking all manner of things apart.) I want to make some sketches for simple ways to reduce the resistance on the flywheel, a simple design for an idea I have to cause rotation of an objects from the ships movement and maybe a first test. Also I'll put some links in for articles and websites where I'm getting information and inspiration.

  • Day 1: To absolute basics

    Dash Row03/15/2015 at 16:46 0 comments

    I´m gonna do some very simple experiments to see what motions a vessel on the water will create and how I can exploit this to turn it into another form of energy. This I will then use to create a system to help in forward propulsion of the vessel.

    and when I say simple i mean basic as you can get. Look at this photo, does it look like I´m in a nice lab? Absolutely not. But lets have some fun with this stuff. I gonna order some more components online so I can start doing some things proper.


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  • 1
    Step 1

    The plan:

    A plan has been made. I have made a quick design as seen in the uploaded figure. Not every mechanism I want is on there, but it is enough to give a reasonable idea of what I want to create.

    There is a spinning top mechanism acting as a kind of fly wheel. Inside of it are the electrical energy generating components. (aka magnets, copper spools ect...). Spools are stationary (on central rod) while the magnets turn with the spinning top. What creates the rotation is a downward spiraled shaft which, when itself not turning, forces the spinning top to turn. Everything is pretty straight forward so far.

    The mechanism that is essential, is the part that will climb a toothed rail/ladder. Let me explain. In the image, on top of the spiraled rod, there is a spring loaded mechanism with a weight on the top. The bottom of this mechanism is essentially a little platform with two spring tensioned flippers (ala pinball flipper like) on either side. The very end of these flippers are resting against the toothed rail on either side. The way the flippers are set up is that you can move the whole mechanism up, but not down. Much like a tie wrap. You can pull it one way, but not the other way. On top of that little platform is a spring loaded mechanism with a weight on top. The idea is that when the ship/vessel is moving up and down due to the waves, the spring and metal tubes that slide together, compress turning some of that energy from the movement of the vessel into potential energy in the spring. When the potential energy is released (potentially at the at the apex of the wave,) the spring will release its potential energy pushing the weight up creating a slight shock on the loose and movable spiraled shaft. This will create a slight upwards force. This tiny hit the spiraled mechanism receives would hopefully be enough to move the spiraled shaft one tiny step up, or counter act the movement of the vessel going down on the wave (same effect essentially). This hooks the flippers on the small platform onto the next set of teeth on the rail. This turns a bit of the energy from the ships movements into potential energy, by raising the spiraled shaft(plunger) a little bit with every wave. When the spiraled shaft is fully extended, it hits a mechanism to move the teethed rail slightly away, so the entire spiraled shaft and mechanism are now freely falling. The spiraled shaft will force the spinning top to rotate, causing the rotation of the magnets around the copper spools. When the spiraled plunger is at the bottom it will trigger the mechanism to reset the toothed rail and the process will start again. Because the spinning top/ will keep on spinning it will continue to generate power until friction does its thing. But because the mechanism repeats again the spinning top should keep getting a push over and over again.

    This is what I'm going to build. I can already foresee a large set of problems that I will have to find solutions for. If a vessel would be sailing over choppy water, I'm confident the system will work. (maybe too well and it just needs a spring instead of a whole toothed rail system) But on smaller waves, with the ship just casually bobbing up and down, we will have to make the spring system efficient enough to still function just enough to reach the next tooth on the rail. (maybe I can find a better mechanism instead of a spring. Maybe there is a solution using the repulsion effect of magnets. I freaking love magnets. Any excuse to play with them). The angle of the ship as its moving up and down the waves could be another problem which we would have to compensate for. Another potential problem is to keep the spinning top turning while the mechanism is climbing again, we will have to make the spinning mechanism as efficient as possible and make sure part that creates a force on the spinning top doesn't cause it to slow down to much.

    If it functions correctly you could even have more toothed rail mechanism that assist the spinning top while the main spiral plunger is climbing again. Perhaps by pushing air against the sides of spinning top give it some extra energy.

    The most important is the climbing mechanism. If this works properly, the rest will follow.

    From the drawing and the explanation I am sure most of you realize by now. Yes, I will be modifying the wicked heck out of a children's "humming top" to see if this idea has potential.

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