A Dutch inventor has successfully created a contraption that generates electricity from gravity – and it could revolutionize the future of renewable energy.
Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars, from Universe Architecture, has developed a method to generate free energy in a sustainable way at home. The patent-pending technique, whereby energy is released by perpetually unbalancing a weight, offers an alternative to solar and wind technology.
“Intuitively, I thought that gravity must have something to offer, given that everything is drawn to Earth,” explained Ruijssenaars. “By unbalancing a weight at the top that is only just stable, using little force, a large force is created at the bottom at a single point. The idea was that this should yield something.”
Ruijssenaars developed the invention alongside scientists Theo de Vries and Jan Holterman. According to de Vries, the use of gravity increases the energy yield from the so-called piezo method — which converts mechanical pressure into electrical energy — from 20 to 80%.
“Ruijssenaars literally turned the method on its head, as a result of which we, as scientists, have started to look at this method in a new light,” de Vries said. “Everything that is currently offered as mechanical energy will actually be useful, thanks to the invention.”
Professor Beatriz Noheda, from the University of Groningen, believes that piezoelectric energy harvesting is part of our future. She therefore welcomes this increase in efficiency, stating, “In situations where we cannot work sustainably with solar modules, we may well be able to use this new technique.”
De Vries and Holterman, both of whom work at engineering company VIRO, will be working with Ruijssenaars to find practical applications for the technique. Potential uses might include the manufacture of a sustainable phone charger, a generator for lighting in homes and much more.