Earth Energy Sources

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Earth energy sources

Is All The Energy We Will Ever Need Right Beneath Our Feet?

Saturday May 7, 2011

The era of large-scale fossil-fuel energy generation barely existed little more than 100 years ago.

The modern steam turbine was invented in 1884 by the Englishman Sir Charles Parsons (1854-1931).

By 1892 the power of his turbines had increased from the very first prototype of 4 kW in 1885 to a respectable 100 kW.

Even then there were still no buyers and no market.

It was only 1895 when the first electric street lighting scheme in Cambridge was turned on; powered by three 4-tonne 100 kW radial flow generators.

Electric power generation throughout the world has since almost exclusively adopted steam driven turbine generators.

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As the fossil-fuel era comes to an end, it is interesting to speculate how long it might be before nuclear, solar, wind and biomass energy sources are also replaced - if someone like Sir Charles Parsons finds a way to use an unimaginably vast energy source rotating right beneath our feet (24 hours a day - literally).

Rotational Kinetic Energy

This may seem a little like science-fiction but is mathematically sound.

What you need:

  1. A pair of oppositely rotating gyroscopes with frictionless magnetic bearings enclosed in a sealed evacuated container - to eliminate air resistance.
  2. Mounted to spin at right-angles to the Earth's axis, such that they maintain their position in space, rotating once every 24 hours relative to the earth's surface on a mounting axis parallel to the earth's axis.
  3. A gearing system to convert the once-daily rotation to drive a small electric generator.

The possible power output is limited by the inertia of the gyroscopes. Enormous forces on components for even a very small generator make it a challenge to build an affordable generator.

What if?

An Assessment of "Rotational Kinetic Energy"

Assume you live on a flywheel with the following size, mass and shape and that rotates about once every 24 hours.

radius = 6.00 x 106 metres

mass = 6.00 x 1024 kilograms

shape: sphere

Gradually Changing the Rotational Kinetic Energy of a Flywheel

Start flywheel kinetic energy, Ef = 1.899772 x 1031 Joules

End flywheel kinetic energy, Ef = 1.899728 x 1031 Joules

Change in flywheel kinetic energy, Ef = 4.40 x 1026 Joules

If the above change in flywheel rotational kinetic energy is made uniformly over 100,000 years:

Change per day = 1.20 x 1019 Joules

Change per hour = 5.02 x 1017 Joules

it is the equivalent to this many 1,000 MW power stations : 139,445

operating continuously, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for 100,000 years.

* Energy output of a 1,000 MW power station in 1 hour = 3.60 x 1012 Joules

Period of Flywheel Revolution at Start = 24 hours

ω = angular velocity (radians/second)

radians in one revolution = 57.29578

Revolution time = 86,400 seconds

ω = 6.631456 x 10-4 radians per second

Kinetic Energy at Start

Ef = flywheel kinetic energy = 1.899772 x 1031 Joules

Period of Flywheel Revolution at End = 24 hours plus 1 second

ω = angular velocity (rad/s)

radians in one revolution = 57.29578

Revolution time = 86,401 seconds

ω = 6.631379 x 10-4 radians per second

Kinetic Energy at End

Ef = flywheel kinetic energy = 1.899728 x 1031 Joules

Flywheel Energy Equations

The rotational kinetic energy of a flywheel can be expressed as

Ef = 1/2 I ω2 (1)


Ef = flywheel rotational kinetic energy (Joules)

I = moment of inertia (kg m2)

ω = angular velocity (radians/second)

* 1 rad = 360o / 2 π ≅ 57.29578o

Moment of Inertia

I = k m r2 (2)


k = inertial constant - depends on the shape of the flywheel

* solid sphere: k = 2/5

m = mass of flywheel (kilograms)

r = radius (metres)

How a gyroscope works

How a gyroscope works

By Cef (Terry) Pearson


"Years ago there was a news story about a man that used a gyro to produce more energy than was needed to keep the gyro spinning. He used a surplus ship's directional gyro. I think what he did was use the property of precession to run a generator.

If left undisturbed, a gyro on the surface of the Earth would turn 360 degrees once every 24 hours. The top of the gyro would normally go westward. But if the top axis were held so that it could not rotate from east to west, due to precession, the gyro will rotate in the north and south direction depending on the direction the rim is rotating. The gyro would turn due to precession until it reaches 90 degrees with it's axis pointing north and south. Then it would be in the same plane as the rotation of the Earth and gyroscopic precession would stop. To get the gyro out of the Earth's rotational plain a small force could be applied to the gyro axis and precession would put the axis back in the original position. The 90 degree precession rotation would be much faster than the once per 24 hours opposing forces rotation, but some gearing would probably still be needed to run a generator. The generator would be mechanically linked to the precession back and forth motion in one direction only so it will turn the same direction all the time. The amount of energy needed to keep the gyro's rim spinning and the energy needed to turn the gimbals back 90 degrees would determine the overall efficiency.

This is NOT a free energy thing. The energy comes from the rotation of the Earth and therefore the Earth rotational speed is slowed as energy is tapped from a gyro-generator type machine. If this method of generating energy is used to a great extent, days and nights would become longer.

If this should happen let me be the first credited to use the term rotation pollution or motion pollution."

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Page Modified April 25, 2012