There is a new energy generating idea based on floating the buckets of a bucket elevator running backwards in a column of water. Its almost that simple. Add an air compressor to blow the water out of the buckets for the ride up and a generator connected to one of the elevator shafts and you about have it.
A group of Central Europeans organized as the “Global Association for Independent Energy and Altruism” (GAIA) has released and licensed their efforts to Rosch Innovations of Serbia, Germany and Switzerland. Rosch is said to be pursuing commercial sized generator sets and has re-licensed small unit production to a new start up firm called GAIA Energy.
The idea is based on the buoyancy of the air filled buckets riding up compared to their water filled weight coming down. That gravity to buoyancy is where the energy is. Getting the energy is a matter of efficiently emptying the bucket of water at the bottom, low speeds and an efficient generator engineered to harvest the shaft torque and make useful electrical power.
More simply, blow a bubble into the bucket at the bottom, get a series of these on a chain in a tall column of water and you can make a massive torque on the shaft. If you do the math, remember the bubble at the bottom of the water column gains volume as it rises.
This new technology almost sounds ridiculous. But its not a form of perpetual motion – no air compressor and its no go. The people developing this technology, however, say that its basis “is the use of the laws of buoyancy in conjunction with a special generator.”
What they do exploit is the energy differences between two systems. The question is, is there more energy invested in blowing the bubble or more energy to harvest in the stack of rising air filled buckets?
There are detailed descriptions, pictures, and videos of the system in operation on the Rosch Innovations AG website, when its working, for those interested in better understanding how this technology works.
GAIA Energy’s first of their 5 kW units has been demonstrated to the public near Cologne, Germany. Orders have already been received for 350 units at about $20,000 each. That’s a lot of money for a PVC pipe tank, a bucket elevator, an air compressor and a generator. Still, for early adopters if the math works out and the device in fact works, this is a deal.
The public demo lasted from April 25th to May 6th, attracted nearly 800 visitors, many of whom had already paid a deposit to purchase the device and wanted to see a buoyancy generator in action. During the demonstration the Internet sites covering the event went wild with naysayers and skeptics asserting that the demonstration that was streamed on live video, couldn’t possibly work as claimed and that the developers were perpetrating a giant scam.
Rosch held a “measurement day” during which visitors were allowed to use their own measuring devices, inspect the device and all its attachments closely, search for hidden wires to supply it outside energy, and measure the current flows coming from the generator, going into the air compressor and the load the generator was powering.
That should have cleared things up. But.
The hard core skeptics were still certain that there must be hidden wires coming through the floor or through the braces supporting the water tank. So Rosch held a “disassembly day,” that was streamed on the web and attended by ten outside observers who closely watched the device being lowered to the ground and taken apart. No hidden wires, motors, or anything else suggesting that the buoyancy energy generator was a fraud were found. Most skeptics either disappeared or had the grace to admit that the device seems to produce energy for as yet unexplained reasons.
GAIA Energy hopes to sell all 500 devices it has ordered parts for by the end of May and to start delivering them to customers for this summer’s installation. If the plan holds the first of these devices, producing about 5 kW each, will be operating this year.
For its part Rosch says (obviously) these devices can be scaled to produce far more than 5 kW and is already at work on larger units. A 20 kW generator has been moved to the site where the 5 kW demonstrations took place and should be operational soon. Parts for a 100 kW generator are also on site and will be assembled next. Rosch already has plans for commercial-scale power plants consisting of multiple water columns sunk into the ground and designed to be capable of generating up to 100 megawatts.
Well, they’re not lifting the water back up for each bucket, only displacing it with air. Hauling the water back up would not be a net energy gain.
We’ve seen a lot of odd ideas over the years, but this might just work. Soon we’ll have solid proof that it is a valid technology, or not.
Rosch Innovations says a demonstration project is planned to be set up in Texas in the fall – perhaps we can all go and see it.
I happen to have an unused well about 50 feet deep and three feet wide . . .
Thanks to Sterling Allan for keeping up with the unconventional and posting so much on his site PESN.