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(11) Patent Number: KE 61

(45) Date of grant: 24/06/199

(12) PATENT

(51)Int.Cl.5: H 01R 13/46

(21) Application Number: 1997/000224

(22) Filling Date: 06/10/1997

(73) Owner: ERIC AGESA ESERE of P O BOX 919 NAKURU, NAKURU, RIFT VALLEY , Kenya

(72) Inventor: ERIC AGESA ESERE
 
 (54) Title: METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR HARNESSING GRAVITATIONAL POWER FOR ELECTRIC POWER GENERATED AND RELATED INDUSTRIAL AND SOCIAL APPLIAMCES (THE FREE WHEEL)

(57) Abstract:

 A method and apparatus for tapping energy mechanically from the gravitational pull experienced by a body mass for practical use in electrical power generation as well as other related industrial and social appliance has been disclosed. The mechanical apparatus , named " The Free Wheel" has been developed using laws of moments, Whereby , with the help of some weights from which the energy is tapered, and also beam balance and lever mechanism of the " small arms" (16) mounted onto the "big arms" (18) , the state of equilibrium of the free wheel is tampered with so as to make the wheel , mounted on the stand , to be permanently Unbalanced and thus to rotate continuously Mater or any other mechanical means of supporting the weights is used in this method to cause permanent imbalance.
 
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR HARNESSING GRAVITATIONAL POWER FOR ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION AND RELATED  INDUSTRIAL AND SOCIAL APPLIANCES  (THE FREE WHEEL)

APPLICATION
Apart from driving turbines for electrical power generation, this wheel provides ready mechanical power for industrial use instead of the present expensive method of deriving mechanical power from electricity. This wheel will also find use in the social arena e.g. driving fun-fair machines in play grounds. It actually replaces the electrical motor and might also be used in some cases instead of fuel engines.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One of the most discussed subjects in the world over the last 30 or so years has been that of natural resources. All over the world, economists, scientists, policy-makers and other experts are exchanging views and ideas and digging deeper in research to find ways of exploiting the natural resources to meet the ever-increasing demand for energy.

At the current trend, it seems that the available resources are not enough to meet the high demands especially in the developing nations of the world. Some of these resources are also dangerous to the environment while some other, for instance nuclear energy are risky and thus are not favored in most parts of the world.

The need for safer and more environment friendly methods of energy supply have led many experts to concentrate on solar-energy, hydro-energy, geothermal energy and wind-energy for the future world as there is a great concern for the current deteriorating state of the environment. It is quite clear that a lot is yet to be done if the future world is to be adequately supplied with energy and also the environment preserved.

There still remains a natural resource that has not been effectively exploited for energy supply and if tapped, can be very useful and adequate as it is environment-friendly and also in great abundance. This is the force of gravity.

This invention provides a relatively cheap and practical way of harnessing the gravitational power for economical use.

The inventor first conceived the initial idea for this invention after watching nursery school children playing on a see-saw machine, which is scientifically speaking, a beam balance. Gradual steps, over a period of seven years, in developing a beam balance into the present free-wheel were made on paper and in each case a study made on the moment of forces acting on it until eventually a method was found of creating permanent inequillibrium ('constant imbalance') on the machine. A mathematical study of the moment of forces reveals this state of inequillibrium.


The invention brings a solution to the problem of getting a reliable, adequate, safe and environment friendly energy supply for the present and future world because no fuel or exterior energy supply is needed for the wheel to work, apart from the remote power of gravity.

The force of gravity used in driving this wheel is that which is acting on some weights mounted on the wheel. In this particular machine, four equal weights are used and mounted in such a way that one of them at any one time is driving the machine by over-balancing it. As the machine rotates, the weights exchange positions and roles as over-balancers and counter-balancers after which a mechanical or hydraulic support is given to the counter-balancers to neutralize their effect on the wheel and thus, creating inequillibrium. The rotating free-wheel can then be used as a driving machine for various appliances.

When hydraulic means of support are used, the weights used have to be buoyant so that when dipped in the fluid used they become 'weightless' to the machine. In this case the energy tapped is limited to the volume of substance used as weight because the density of the substance has to be equal to water or the fluid used.

Mechanical means of support means that a railing has to be constructed for the weights to run upon when they are counter-balancing the machine. The shape and length of this railing will be determined by the ratio of the dimensions of the 'small arms' to the 'big arms'. The advantage in this case is that the energy tapped is limited to the density of the substance used and hence more power can be produced when a substance of higher density than water is used for the weights, assuming equality of volume of the weights in the two cases.
 
The dimensions of any part of this machine can be altered by the utilizing designer of this invention to 3 suits his needs and this makes it widely applicable.
 
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention was made using a principle of creating permanent imbalance on a balance machine. It is common knowledge that on any balanced beam that is mounted to rotate onto a certain pivot there exists two opposing and equal moments acting on the machine. If two equal weights are placed, one on each side of the beam-balance, then they must be equally distributed with an equal perpendicular distance from the fulcrum for the machine to balance.

The invention is actually a developed x-shaped balance whereby two equal weights on a horizontal beam are made to balance with different perpendicular distances from the fulcrum; one having a distance of about three-times the distance of the other. This unique fete is made possible by the additional vertical beam with two similar weights mounted on it in such a manner that they neutralize the imbalance created by the horizontal beam.

An external support is then given on these neutralizing weights so as to neutralize their effect on the wheel to leave the balance under the influence of the imbalance created by the horizontal beam.

To make this imbalance permanent, the unique balance, named 'free wheel' is made in such a manner that as it rotates each weight succeeds and assumes the role and effect of its fore-running weight. In this way the weights on the horizontal will always be creating imbalance and the weights on the vertical counter affecting this imbalance. A permanent support system is then used for one or both of the weight on the vertical beam and the wheel will then rotate continuously trying to attain the lost state of equilibrium which will never be retained unless
the support is removed.
 

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS


The mechanism of operation of the 'free wheel' can be further understood with the help of drawings, whereby:
 fig. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the 'free wheel' along line (ii) - (ii) of fig.2.

Fig. 2 is a front view of the 'free wheel'.

Fig. 3 is a partial isometric view of the mounting of the transmission gear (17) onto the middle -bar (7).

Fig. 4 is a description of the assembly of the weight by the 'cage' (25) and other machine parts onto fulcrum (s).

Fig. 5    is a graphical representation of the different forces acting on the free-wheel as a result of
weights 6D and 6B without the support system applied.

Fig. 6    is a graphical representation of the different forces acting on the 'free-wheel' as a result of weights 6A and 6C without the support system applied.

Fig. 7    is a graphical representation of the over-all force created on the 'free-wheel' by all of the
weights when a support system is applied onto the lower weight of the vertical beam for 90° of the rotation.

Fig. 8 is a partial isometric view of the mounting of the big arms (13) onto fulcrum (f), whereby 3 is a bearing.

Fig. 9 is a graphical representation of the different forces acting on the free-wheel as a result of weights 6D and 6B when support is given to the lower weight of the vertical beam for 90° of the rotation.

Fig. 10 is a graphical representation of the different forces acting on the free-wheel as a result of weights 6A and GC when support is given to the lower-weight of the vertical beam for
90° of the rotation.
 
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The free wheel comprises of a four-armed cross-like structure mounted on a stand (12) in such a manner that it is free to rotate in a vertical plane. At each end of the arms (13) is attached a 'small wheel' (2) which is also free to rotate but at a different plane to that of the wheel. A weight (6) is rigidly attached to this 'small wheel' through a 'small arm' (16) and each weight is positioned as shown (fig.1 and fig.2).

Transmission rods with gears attached to each end (17) driven by 'small-wheel' (2V) that is rigidly attached to the axle (15) will drive the 'small-wheels' and hence 'small arms' to rotate at the same angular velocity as 'free-wheel' but in the direction shown (14).

To ensure this, all five 'small-wheels' were made equal and so were the gears. As a result, after a 90° rotation, weight 6A assumes the same position of weight 6B which also assumes the position of weight 6C and so will be the case with weight 6D. In this way, the shape of the wheel is retained after every 90° rotation as each weight assumes the exact position, and more importantly the role, of its fore-runner.

 This arrangement gives the 'free-wheel' a vulnerable state of equilibrium which can easily
be tampered with permanently imbalance the wheel. The 'small-arms' that attach weights 6D and 6B to the 'big arms' (18) are 'rigid' at fulcrum (s) as far as vertical rotation is concerned and therefore, the  horizontal arms form a beam balance with weight 6D being about three times further from fulcrum (f) than weight 6B. Logically speaking, weight 6D can now balance three weights of its magnitude placed in the position of weight 6B. The positioning of weights 6A, 6B and 6C on the free-wheel gives the same effect as though all three are in the position of 6B and that is how the wheel balances.

Using laws of moments, where : q is the perpendicular distance of the centre of gravity point of the weight from fulcrum (s) measured in meters, and N is the downward force of one weight measured in Newton’s, then An anti-clockwise moment (M) will be experienced on the horizontal arms that is given by
M = 2 N q-------------(i)

On the other hand, the downward push of weights 6A and 6C is transmitted through the transmission gear in a 'pedaling' fashion to wheel 2V that is rigid and this force will push the 'free wheel' to rotate in the clockwise direction. The resultant clockwise moment (-M) caused by the two weights (6A and 6C) is-M = 2 N q; where N and q are given in (i) these two expressions reveal that the wheel is balanced.

This state of equilibrium is maintained throughout the rotation of the wheel because of the overall effect of all the weights. However, the effect of a particular weight on the wheel varies as the weight changes its position during the rotation. Fig. 5 shows; graphically, the effect of weights 6D and 6B that are initially on the horizontal beam. The imbalance effect (18) which causes the Anti-clockwise moment is maximum whenever the beam is horizontal and the pedaling effect (21) which causes the clockwise moment is maximum whenever the beam is vertical. The resultant force of the imbalance and pedaling effect (22) is indicated by the dotted graph. This graph reveals that between the 45° and 135° mark, the two weights have changed roles as contributors to the anti-clockwise moment into contributors to the clockwise moment. The same happens again between the 225° and 315° mark.

The fact that weights 6A and 6C are on the vertical beam when 6B and 6D are on the horizontal gives the graphical expression of the forces caused by these weights (fig.6) a 90° phase shift from the former graphical expression. The imbalance effect (19) is an exact reciprocal of the former (18) and so are the resultant over all forces of 6A and 6C (23) and their pedalling effect (20). The overall force of weights 6A and 6C therefore, neutralizes the overall force of weights 6D and 6E, as shown by adding 23 to 22.

This wheel, with buoyant weights, is then dipped in stagnant water so that the weight on the lower vertical beam is supported for 90° of it's rotation about fulcrum (f). This will have an effect on all the forces as it will reduce twice the imbalance effect (26) and the pedaling effect (27) of weights 6D and 6B between the 45° and 135° points and also between the 270° and 315° points of the rotation.

The same will be done to the forces of imbalance (28) and pedaling (29) of weights 6A and 6C between the 360° through 0 to 45° and also between the 135° and 225° points of their rotation.
The result of all this is the over-balancing effect (24) that now creates constant imbalance on the
free-wheel. The over-balancing effect will, therefore, have a maximum value that is less than 2 N q because of the pedaling effect of the unsupported weight on the upper vertical beam and also other factors such as water resistance and friction

These graphs were drawn with the assumption of ideal conditions. They therefore represent the ideal performances of the free-wheel and will be of great help in the construction of mechanical support systems for the wheel.

Modification can be done to this invention by the utilizer to further improve the torque and general performance of the free-wheel. The scope of this invention is, however, limited to the claims.
 
CLAIMS

1. The free-wheel that is made to rotate freely under the influence of gravity by means of creating on it a permanent state of inequillibrium by selectively altering the perpendicular distance of weights mounted on it from central turning point and at the same time selectively supporting some other weight(s) also mounted on it so as to neutralize their effect on the wheel by means of water or any other fluid.

2. A wheel of claim 1 that uses mechanical means of support by either railings made for the weights to run on when support is needed or by using a lever or a system of levers attached to the 'small arms', or any other form of support provided this support system is aimed at neutralizing the effect of these weights on the wheel to create a state of permanent inequillibrium on the wheel.

3. A wheel of claim 1, having more than four 'big arms' and consequently more than four weights used to achieve the same results.

4.  A wheel of claim 1, in which minimal outside energy of any form is supplied to assist in altering the perpendicular distance of the weights from the central point or to provide support for the selected weights to achieve the same results or to improve the performance of the wheel.


          5. A wheel of claim 1, incorporating either a single plane of rotation of two or three different planes of rotation of the machine parts used with the aim of achieving the same results or improving on the performance of the wheel.
 
ABSTRACT
 A method and apparatus for tapping energy mechanically from the gravitational pull experienced by a body mass for practical use in electrical power generation as well as other related industrial and social appliances has been disclosed. The mechanical apparatus, named 'The Free Wheel' has been developed using laws of moments. Whereby, with the help of some weights from which the energy is tapped, and also beam balance and lever mechanism of the 'small arms'(16) mounted onto the 'big arms' (18), the state of equilibrium of the free-wheel is tampered with so as to make the wheel, mounted on a stand, to be permanently imbalanced and thus to rotate continuously. Water or any other mechanical means of supporting the weights is used in this method to cause permanent imbalance.

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