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Directory:Dickson's Human Kinetic Energy Electrical Generator
kinetic energy electrical generator
Inventor, Rick Dickson, of Milwaukie, Oregon, has invented a patent pending mobile, kinetic electrical generator of very simple and robust design. The device harvests kinetic human energy from walking, or vibrating motion from the environment, and converts it to electricity.
The device is a round, pancake design with two variants: (1) a split rotor, consisting of a round, centrally mounted magnet, about which a free-moving permanent magnet rotor orbits by magnetic attraction only, sandwiched between two inter-connected stator face plates(third and fourth image above); and (2) a simpler design whereby the stator wire is wrapped around the fixed, round central permanent magnet core of the rotor, and the free-moving round magnet portion of the rotor, held by magnetic attraction only, freely rotates in a radial orbit about the fixed, round central portion of the rotor in response to ambient vibrations received from the external environment(first and second images above). The unique orbiting, round rotor makes this device very rugged, simple and cheap to manufacture. The prototype uses ceramic magnets of low Gauss rating, so power output is low (in millivolt range). However, by using smaller, more powerful rare earth magnets, power output can be increased, and size of the device greatly reduced to perhaps only 1" in diameter. Power output is also increased depending upon the speed of free-moving rotor orbit about the axis, which directly correlates to the strength and amplitude of vibrating motion in the external environment.
An interesting aspect of Dickson's design is that the device harnesses kinetic energy, no matter the attitude of the device itself relative to the horizontal plane. For example, if the device is mounted on a human leg, vertical to the horizontal plane (see first and third images above), the free-moving permanent magnetic section of the rotor hangs downward as a result of gravity and is attached to the round magnetic rotor core by magnetic polarity attraction only. However, ambient walking motion causes the free-moving round rotor to move back and forth, pendulum style, about the fixed aspect of the rotor and either across the stator or between the sandwiched stator faceplates(depending upon generator configuration). However, if the generator is mounted horizontal to the horizontal plane (i.e.,flat as shown in second and fourth images above), than the free-moving rotor can orbit completely around the central fixed aspect of the rotor, or back and forth, even erratically, as vibration motion vectors from different directions impact the device. Thus, no matter in which direction the rotor moves it generates electricity: an ingenious and elegant, yet simple solution to a complex engineering problem.
Dickson's unique, patent pending satellite rotor is a significant breakthrough in power generation technology. There is absolutely nothing like it anywhere. It is a completely unique and revolutionary concept. Its very simplicity and durability will one day make this device ubiquitous in a wide variety of portable electronic and medical implant device applications.
A smaller, lightweight portable version of Dickson's generator could be worn on the wrists or strapped around the legs with velcro and when coupled as a component to a small, built-in trickle charger could recharge NiCad batteries for portable electronic devices. This would allow consumers to harvest kinetic energy from walking or wrist movements to power their portable electronics (such as Ipods, CD players, radios, cell phones, etc.) Larger variants of the device could also be used to harvest kinetic energy from road vibrations and convert to electricity, if the devices were mounted near the shock absorbers of vehicles. Wind and wave/water current applications are also feasible, especially if linked in large arrays. The device could also be used on aircraft and ships.
The costs of Dickson's kinetic generator are fairly low due to the design, which utilizes few moving parts. The major cost factor is the type of permanent magnets used. Rare earth magnets, while more powerful, are much more expensive. Estimates of total cost to manufacture one small unit thus vary widely from as low as $15 to as high as $100, depending upon strength of the permanent magnetic materials, and size of the devices. Additionally, the cost of an integrated trickle-charge battery charger must be factored in. It is expected that the trickle charger would add another 25% to 33% to the cost. Yet, even so, the cost for Dickson's kinetic generator would still be low and competitive with similar, more complex kinetically powered electrical generators.
No official Website yet, other than here at PESWiki (posted by Richard Dickson)
Dec. 4, 2006:
Dickson's further experiments culminated in the small device shown above. This device generates millivolts from kinetic energy vibrations, and is about 1 inch in diameter. It utilizes a toroidal shaped stator around which the patent pending satellite rotor orbits. Dickson found that permanent rare earth magnets were so powerful that the resulting increased friction inhibited rotation of the free-moving satellite rotor. The problem was partially ameliorated by using a small round iron fixed rotor about which the magnetic, free-moving rotor rotates in orbit. However, the speed of rotation was still significantly less than with less powerful (lower Gauss strength) permanent magnets. As a result, Dickson concluded that more powerful rare earth magnets would be more applicable to applications where the external kinetic energy was extremely violent (e.g., airplanes, off-road vehicles, ships, or perhaps military applications). For commercial applications, such as use in small battery trickle cell chargers integrated into small, portable electronic devices, such as Ipods, CD players, radios, etc. which could be strapped to the leg or wrist, or as a component of a separate battery trickle cell charger strapped to the leg or wrist, the device would utilize less powerful (i.e., lower Gauss rated) magnets for the orbiting satellite rotor and fixed rotor components.
Dickson is forming an Oregon LLC to promote investment in the device; and has contacted several engineering development firms concerning possible license to develop and manufacture. It is hoped that one of the major Japanese electronics companies may eventually show interest.
October 14, 2006:
Dickson is attempting to interest Apple Corporation in the last interation of the human kinetic generator. Dickson believes that it could be readily incorporated into the Apple I-Pod as an onboard battery recharger.
Dickson also attempted to interest Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) in the device for use in medical implants to recharge lithium batteries, but was rebuffed. Apparently, OHSU only considers inventions from members of its faculty or from inventors, who are willing to pay OHSU to conduct further research.
Additionally, the device was profiled in an August edition of The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon newspaper) by columnist, Steve Duin.
MIT, Georgia Tech, and other universities have been contacted about the device, but so far show no interest.
Press releases were sent to newspapers outside of Oregon, including the Dallas Morning News, NY Times, etc.
Power Recovery Systems, LLC is Dickson's firm, which serves as an umbrella corporation for his passive power harvesting R&D efforts.
In the News
The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon's major newspaper, ran an article highlighting Dickson and his inventions during August, 2007. The columnist was Steve Duin.
3430 SE Harrison Street
Milwaukie, Oregon 97222