Dutch architect and inventor Janjaap Ruijssenaars has figured out a novel way to harness energy from gravity through a mix of 3 piezo-electric disks and a protruding rod.
Janjaap is better known for 3D printing the first house. His company Universal architecture also has 3 other projects with information available online
- a Landscape style glass house
- A funky box like Tetris house
- and a floating bed.
as well as one with “info to come” called “Scale Building”
Wind, rain, solar, or acoustic vibrations can destabilize the rod as it wobbles around in the middle of a 3 layered piezo-electric disk. After the initial force has subsided gravity works to restabilize the rod producing extra mechanical energy.
Their proof of concept has around 55% conversion efficiency, 10% more then wind and 30% more then solar. Projected efficiency after scaling is 80% though Janjaap thinks they could reach 90% as well. A great achievement in the world of renewables.
“The proof of principle showed that the input energy was turned into electricity with a very high efficiency, thanks to the use of gravity. 90% per cycle is within reach. Very little input is needed to make it work and the input can come from wind, rain, sun or other sources.
With engineers from VIRO, a graduate from Twente and thanks to the first Angel investors we just finished the first plug-in prototype that can be adapted to local available input energies; A small off-grid energy generator.” said Janjaap
The more piezo-electric a material is the more electric charge it can store from mechanical pressure. These materials include crystals (in particular quartz) as well as ceramics, bone and even DNA
Very little information is available on the exact technical details of the device though it does seem pretty simple
The project is backed by 4 investors.