We’re starting to see real progress in the renewable energy sector and one idea for an energy source is using gravity to store wind and solar energy. This system eliminates the need for expensive and environmentally unfriendly batteries that are currently used to store energy.
The system is quite simple really. It works by generating energy to lift a heavy object and then the energy can be retrieved later by using the weight of the lifted object to turn gears on its way back down. The gravity battery is considered full when the heavy object is lifted all the way to the top.
Mike Blakemore (hyperplanemike) of Santa Barbara has developed a cool 3D printed concept of this idea. He said “Energy is generated using a vertical wind turbine on the lefthand side. There is a movable battery section in the middle that can be adjusted left or right to charge or expend the gravity battery. On the right side, there is a fan that can be used to reproduce the summer breeze after it is caught and stored in the battery.”
When printing the model, Mike suggests using ABS filament with an infill of 30% and a layer height of 0.2mm. The rack gears however, are printed at 100% infill as they function as the battery weight. Additional weights can also be added to the gear to increase the torque.
Check out the project on Thingiverse to find out more.