Inclined Lifter

A Lifter, as already explained, is very configurable. It can be designed to travel up a vertical support and with only a minor change in the placement of the fulcrums, it can travel up an inclined plane as well.

Using an incline plane for a Lifters vertical support has the advantage of not having to build large vertical structures to support the Carriage. A disadvantage would be the increased real estate needed to create the vertical support on an incline.

In the first drawing, an overview is presented, showing the basic design of a Carriage with the fulcrum positions modified to operate on an incline. The normal action of the Carriage, when tilted, is to move left and right, keeping its center of gravity directly over and between the two fulcrum positions. As the drawing depicts in Figure 1 and Figure 2, this action can be modified by moving the fulcrums off center of the Carriage center of gravity. When a force to tilt is applied the Carriage it will swing in a circular motion on the active fulcrum and move up and away from the inactive fulcrum previous placement. Applying a repetitive tilting cycle to the Carriage will result in the Carriage "walking" up an incline. An incline is shown in Figure 3 with several Carriages. Each Carriage could be independently powered with motorized tilting assemblies. The incline, as shown in Figure 4, would or could be constructed with guides and landing areas for the fulcrums. This is very similar to the requirements of a vertical support and the fulcrums would either be passive or active in their interaction to the surface of the incline. On inclines set at a very low angle, the weight of the Carriage and its payload may be sufficient to allow the fulcrums to be held in position on the incline by friction only. Steeper inclines may require the fulcrums to be designed as pinions and the incline fabricated with rack positions, providing positioning and holding locations for the pinions/fulcrums. Figure 5 shows that the base of the Carriage may also be modified to enhance its movement up the incline.

The second drawing shows that this type of Lifter would be ideal for land and water based installations. There are many sites where hills rise up to a height suitable for storing the contents of a Carriage. Likewise, a shoreline sloping out to several hundred feet depth would work as well. The drawing shows just one ramp being used, but the number of ramps is entirely configurable based on the recharge rate needed for the Carousel and the delivery speed of the Carriages up the incline.

This Lifter design requires little, if any, additional effort to tilt the Carriage. The "walking" action of the Carriage is a byproduct of the tilting action. If an incline is at 11 degrees and the destination height is 200 feet, then the length of the ramp would be about 1000 feet. Even though the distance moved horizontally is greater than its vertical distance, each tilt will lift the Carriage vertically just as it does in a Lifter using only a vertical support structure.

For a Proof of Concept showing a Lifter moving up an incline see this: Lifter on Incline


Overview of a Lifter on an Incline

Off Axis Fulcrums-Lifter-Overview

Land and Water Based Lifter on an Incline

Off Axis Fulcrums-Lifter Hill

The swing distance of the Carriage is related to the incline angle and the tilt angle of the Carriage. A greater angle of tilt would require a greater incline angle and vice-versa. This would be expected since the height of the Carriage should match the next support point on the ramp.

Building Lifters to operate on an incline opens up the possibility of several methods to retrieve the energy stored. The drawing shows several rows of Lifters moving up an incline. Each Carriage, upon reaching the top of the incline, is placed in a storage area. From the storage area they are moved to a queue where they are staged to be moved onto the Carousel. In this example the Carousel is similar to a ski lift and each Carriage attached to the downward moving assembly contributes to the total energy being delivered to the generator at the bottom of the incline. Once the Carriage reaches the bottom of the incline it is detached from the Carousel and moved out to a staging area. In the staging area the Carriage is moved to the base of the incline and positioned for movement up the incline.

The use of a Carousel and Gravity Bank may be bypassed if one prefers to have a purely inertial system. Multiple Carriages would move up multiple ramps as explained, but would simply stack up at the top of each ramp. When energy stored in the system is needed, the Carriages would be allowed to descend back down the ramp from whatever position they are at on the ramp. This would be similar to tidal power production, where the tide water is used to produce power. This Moon-Earth energy source could be mimicked with a Sun-Wind cycle, positioning Carriages up inclines.

Note: See the example of an Off Shore Lifter for comparison. If the top of the hill was 2000 feet and the Block size and output time were the same, then, the number of ramps needed to reload would be the same as the number of Lifters in the example.