GravityLight: Can We Use Gravity As A Source Of Energy?

What is the one phenomenon that influences every single inch of the Earth’s surface? What is free, infinite in supply and doesn’t require any mining operations?

Some might say the wind, rain or soil, but those aren’t nearly as prevalent or constant around the globe as the real star of today’s show: gravity.

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What is Gravity?

Anything with mass attracts and pulls everything else in the universe with mass. All the matter in the universe exerts this force.  The magnitude of this force is relative to the mass of the objects and the distance between them. The greater the mass, the greater the pull.

As you well know, gravity is what prevents you from getting flung into space, because the planet’s mass pulls your mass down towards it, keeping your feet securely on the ground.

Since it is a force that is present on the Earth at all times, scientists are fascinated with gravity’s energy-producing potential.

Energy from Gravity

The machine used to generate this energy uses a simple understanding of Kinetic Energy.

When an object is placed on a higher level ground, due to the gravitational force, it experiences a pull towards a lower level and gains kinetic energy. This energy can be utilized in a specific manner, in which it can be transformed into electrical energy.

To capture this seemingly endless well of energy, a UK-based company has come up with the concept of GravityLight.

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A sack of consisting of sand, gravel and other aggregates is hung on the device, which has an internal dynamo within it. The sack is lifted and then made to fall very slowly. This movement slowly rotates the rotors inside the device at a very high torque. The gear train inside the device converts the input into high-speed, low-torque output, which drives the dynamo at thousands of rpm.

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Source:Gravitylight.org

A mere 3 seconds of pull on the rotor can power an LED bulb for half an hour!
What’s perhaps most incredible is that the light produced by this device is brighter than the light produced by standard kerosene lamps.

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This could be a huge step forward in the renewable energy sector

This invention could be a huge boon to the 1.5 billion people who live off the electricity grid. It is cheaper than conventional energy sources, such as kerosene, firewood and even biogas. It is also more reliable than solar, wind and hydro energy.

What’s even more surprising is the fact that it only costs $10 (Rs 600) per lamp. Way to go humans!

If this technology and its properties of kinetic energy are tapped to their full potential, then energy problems could soon be eliminated completely!

References:

  1. Gravity Light – Wikipedia
  2. Gravity Light Foundation
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About the Author:

Ishan is a Mechanical Engineer from Mumbai University, India and is obsessed with science, food and all things football. He is a self proclaimed cyclist, runner and a professional procrastinator.

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