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New Article : Gravity Light

Texas Leaguer

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You're quite welcome Andrey. I know it is a departure from the usual diamond and jewelry specific content, but I believe many forum visitors and participants are socially conscious and will find this initiative to be very interesting and uplifting. I hope the topic generates some discussion and puts some attention on this very worthwhile project and the amazing folks who are behind it. The world desperately needs more of this kind of thing!

I highly recommend viewing the video that is linked at the bottom of the article.
 

VRBeauty

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What a great product! Thanks for sharing this video with us and promoting the concept to DDI.
 

Karl_K

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old concept and they have not solved the problem of light output and run time.
v1 is the same brightness and light area of a keychain flashlight with a 20min runtime.
v2 is brighter but is still a spot light and not wide area lighting.
Comparing it to a lantern in terms of light are apples and oranges at this point.
 

Texas Leaguer

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Karl_K|1445369694|3940342 said:
old concept and they have not solved the problem of light output and run time.
v1 is the same brightness and light area of a keychain flashlight with a 20min runtime.
v2 is brighter but is still a spot light and not wide area lighting.
Comparing it to a lantern in terms of light are apples and oranges at this point.
But the keychain flashlights are VERY bright these days! And V2 can now power "satellites" so you can string multiple lights together for wider area coverage.

I think the other issue is useable light. That is, a kerosene lamp (set aside for the moment all the negatives), produces alot of light but not in a particularly focused way for reading, cooking, or other types of indoor work.

I don't know the particulars, but it seems they have been doing some very high level research and they are getting alot of support from people and entities that want to be part of the solution.
 

kenny

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Fantastic project. :appl:

Thanks so much for posting about it Bryan!
 

Karl_K

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Texas Leaguer|1445370630|3940346 said:
I don't know the particulars, but it seems they have been doing some very high level research and they are getting alot of support from people and entities that want to be part of the solution.
I do somewhat as it is an area I am interested in and unfortunately the technology is not yet there but it is a start.
The technology is at the point that a gravity generator the size of dorm sized fridge using a 100 pound weight may produce useful household power for a hew hours with the right devices to power.
 

Texas Leaguer

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Karl_K|1445372775|3940359 said:
Texas Leaguer|1445370630|3940346 said:
I don't know the particulars, but it seems they have been doing some very high level research and they are getting alot of support from people and entities that want to be part of the solution.
I do somewhat as it is an area I am interested in and unfortunately the technology is not yet there but it is a start.
The technology is at the point that a gravity generator the size of dorm sized fridge using a 100 pound weight may produce useful household power for a hew hours with the right devices to power.
I think your last point is something else to take note of. The system can also be used to power other devices such as cell phones, battery chargers, etc. Those are things an improvised kerosene lamp cannot do. As the technology improves the performance and range of uses will only increase.

I also think you have to look at this in the context of the specific goal which is to develop an affordable alternative for kerosene for indoor lighting. Providing household power in the larger context is not within the scope of this particular initiative. Remember that the $6 threshold was deemed to be the tipping point here.
 

WinkHPD

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Wonderful article Texas Leaguer.

Most of us waste more than $6 per day. The concept of actually doing something meaningful for someone for less than that is stunning.

Especially if we can do it for so much less than they are spending on kerosene and removing that horrible health hazard from their homes and work places.

Wink
 

kenny

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Karl_K|1445372775|3940359 said:
I do somewhat as it is an area I am interested in and unfortunately the technology is not yet there but it is a start.
The technology is at the point that a gravity generator the size of dorm sized fridge using a 100 pound weight may produce useful household power for a hew hours with the right devices to power.

Useful household power? ... for an American household, or the home of one of the world's poorest?
Karl, 2 billion of the world's poorest people do not have electricity.
2 billion!

To light their homes they often use a kerosene lamp, which produce lots of highly toxic fumes for the very dim light they give off.
Kerosene is expensive for them; it consumes a huge amount of their tiny income, helping to keep them in poverty.
The toxic fumes inhaled in these homes are the equivalent of smoking 40 cigarettes a day.

Every year in India alone 1.5 million people are severely burned when kerosene lamps are knocked over.
Eliminating a couple billion open kerosene flames reduces CO2 emissions, so all us rich folks benefit too.
Source for claims I've posted: Brian's link to the 18-minute TED talk, and their website: http://gravitylight.org

I was clueless about this, and I'm so glad Bryan posted it.
I'd say this qualifies as one of mankind's biggest problems!
Unfortunately our system does not give a crap about poor people since nobody can make money off them. :nono:
That's why I'm thrilled to read about this.

An gravity-powered LED light (actually the energy comes from the food eaten by the person who lifts the weight) that produces much more light than a kerosene lamp is a brilliant step in the right direction, especially since the price, $6, buys only a few weeks of kerosene.
After a few weeks that precious money is freed up for food, education, etc.
Eliminating toxic kerosene fumes is like quitting a 2-pack a day smoking habit of the parents and the children and babies in the home.
No it can't power a refrigerator, air conditioner or a TV set, but that's way way not the point for a quarter of the earth's population.

Using gravity instead of batteries or solar cells was brilliant.
When mass is on the ground it has no potential energy.
But, lifting it up gives it potential energy because then it can fall ... IOW ... do work.
This has been powering those grandfather clocks for hundreds of years.

The weight (a bag holding 22 pounds of local rocks or dirt) hangs from plastic tape.
As the weight slowly falls notches in the tape turn gears which turn a generator.
You get light for the 30 minutes it takes for the weight to fall.

I am astonished anyone would take pot shots at this project.
Is it perfect?
What is?
Is it a worthy project?
Yes.
This is the most inspiring thing I've heard since 2004.
That's when I ran out to buy my first hybrid car because I found out they convert the kinetic energy of a ton of metal moving 60 MPH, to electricity, store it, then use it when the stop light turns green.

Often the smartest stuff is the simplest "Well DUH!" stuff.
 

Texas Leaguer

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kenny|1445373974|3940366 said:
Karl_K|1445372775|3940359 said:
Texas Leaguer|1445370630|3940346 said:
I don't know the particulars, but it seems they have been doing some very high level research and they are getting alot of support from people and entities that want to be part of the solution.
I do somewhat as it is an area I am interested in and unfortunately the technology is not yet there but it is a start.
The technology is at the point that a gravity generator the size of dorm sized fridge using a 100 pound weight may produce useful household power for a hew hours with the right devices to power.

Karl, 2 billion of the world's poorest people do not have electricity.
2 billion!

To light their homes they often use a kerosene lamp, which produce lots of highly toxic fumes for the very dim light they give off.
Kerosene is expensive for them; it consumes a huge amount of their tiny income, helping to keep them in poverty.
The toxic fumes inhaled in these homes are the equivalent of smoking 40 cigarettes a day.
Every year in India alone 1.5 million people are severely burned when these lamps are knocked over.
Eliminating a couple billion open kerosene flames reduces CO2 emissions, so all us rich folks benefit too.

I was clueless about this, and I'm so glad Bryan posted it.
I'd say this qualifies as one of mankind's biggest problems!
Unfortunately our system does not give a crap about poor people since nobody can make money off them. :nono:

An gravity-powered LED light (actually the energy comes from the food eaten by the person who lifts the weight) that produces much more light than a kerosene lamp is a brilliant step in the right direction, especially since the price, $6, buys only a few weeks of kerosene.
After a few weeks that precious money is freed up for food, education, etc.
Eliminating toxic kerosene fumes is like quitting a 2-pack a day smoking habit of the parents and the children and babies in the home.
No it can't power a refrigerator, air conditioner or a TV set, but that's way way not the point for a quarter of the earth's population.

Using gravity instead of batteries or solar cells was brilliant.
When mass is on the ground it has no potential energy.
But, lifting it up gives it potential energy because then it can fall ... IOW ... do work.
This has been powering those grandfather clocks for hundreds of years.
Often the smartest stuff is the simplest "Well DUH!" stuff.

The weight (a bag holding 22 pounds of local rocks or dirt) hangs from plastic tape.
As the weight slowly falls notches in the tape turn gears which turn a generator.
Since it takes about 30 minutes for the weight to fall that's 30 minutes of light.

I am astonished anyone could criticize this project.
Is it perfect?
What is?
Is it a worthy project?
Yes.
Kenny,
You may not be exagerating when you say this could be one of mankind's biggest problems when you consider the staggering numbers and the consequence of the status quo. However one views the severity of the problem, it clearly has a reachable technological solution and as such should be pursued.

As you say, the extremely poor usually do not have much R&D investment focused on them. But in this age of crowd funding, regular people can get involved with no incentive other than to see something good happen for their fellow man and their planet. And when a whole bunch of people pool their resources for a good cause, some wonderful things can result. Including perhaps some products that can be marketed to more afluent society for a nice profit!
 

Karl_K

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kenny|1445373974|3940366 said:
I am astonished anyone would take pot shots at this project.
Is it perfect?
What is?
Is it a worthy project?
Yes.
This is the most inspiring thing I've heard since 2004.
That's when I ran out to buy my first hybrid car because I found out they convert the kinetic energy of a ton of metal moving 60 MPH, to electricity, store it, then use it when the stop light turns green.

Often the smartest stuff is the simplest "Well DUH!" stuff.
Kenny, some of the first electrical systems experiments were powered by gravity powered generators in the lab.
What makes it a good start is being able to do something useful with .10w-.20W of power not the generator side of things.
EET is what my degree is in so I look at from an engineering perspective.
It is not a pot shot but an opinion on the tech not the cause,
 

kenny

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Texas Leaguer|1445374807|3940371 said:
As you say, the extremely poor usually do not have much R&D investment focused on them. But in this age of crowd funding, regular people can get involved with no incentive other than to see something good happen for their fellow man and their planet. And when a whole bunch of people pool their resources for a good cause, some wonderful things can result. Including perhaps some products that can be marketed to more afluent society for a nice profit!


Good point.
These units are perfect for preparing for power outages from hurricanes, earthquakes, & tornadoes, or having no money for your electric bill because you bought a $1,000 iPhone and pay thousands a year for your dumbphone addiction. :lol:
 

kenny

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Karl_K|1445375182|3940374 said:
kenny|1445373974|3940366 said:
I am astonished anyone would take pot shots at this project.
Is it perfect?
What is?
Is it a worthy project?
Yes.
This is the most inspiring thing I've heard since 2004.
That's when I ran out to buy my first hybrid car because I found out they convert the kinetic energy of a ton of metal moving 60 MPH, to electricity, store it, then use it when the stop light turns green.

Often the smartest stuff is the simplest "Well DUH!" stuff.
Kenny, some of the first electrical systems experiments were powered by gravity powered generators in the lab.
What makes it a good start is being able to do something useful with .10w-.20W of power not the generator side of things.
EET is what my degree is in so I look at from an engineering perspective.
It is not a pot shot but an opinion on the tech not the cause,

How much energy qualifies as "useful"?
Energy users vary so wouldn't the answer depend on how much energy various people are used to using?

I'd say the amount of energy/light that these units produce qualifies "useful" to these 2 billion users (who are very different from you and I) because ...

1. They produce more light than the kerosene lamps now used by 2 billion.
2. They raise the income of 2 billion of our poorest people 20 to 50%, per the links.
3. They stop the, effectively, 2-pack a day smoking habit of 2 billion.
4. They will prevent millions of severe burns every year.
5. 2 billion people matter.

I hope the engineer in you is not holding back the good heart I know you have.

Would a better unit be better?
Sure, and the revision following that one will be even better ... but that doesn't mean we should wait.
2 billion are suffering.
This unt, especially their improved version 2, is clearly a good enough problem solver to support rolling out NOW!
 
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