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Lord Kelvin Electrostatic Generator

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Presentation on theme: "Lord Kelvin Electrostatic Generator"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lord Kelvin Electrostatic Generator
Potential Alternative Energy Applications: Charging a battery, Providing energy for electrolysis (for Hydrogen Fuel Cell), Powering a Light or Motor. A Scorpacuda Presentation July 2007

2 This is Lord Kelvin’s Electrostatic Generator

3 What is it? A Lord Kelvin Electrostatic Generator is a very simple high-voltage generator which has no moving parts and is powered by the energy of falling water. Gravity provides the force to make the water move. Energy is needed to get the water to a height higher than the input. You can’t get energy from a system without doing work on the system.

4 How does it work? Water normally has zero net electrical charge because it contains a vast number equal and opposite charges. It is easy to create an imbalance of charges in water because water is full of movable electric charges (called ions). Water (H2O) has H+ and OH- ions. You can charge water by holding a charged object, such as a comb, near the water. That object will attract the "unlike" charges to the water's surface, and repel the "alike" charges away deeper into the water.

5 How does it work? A positively charged object will attracts the water's negative ions and repels the positive ions. The tip will hold an excess of negative ions and an equal amount of positive ions are repelled to the other end of the dripper. When the water drop detaches from the tip of the dripper, it carries a negative electric charge. The trapped negative charge in the falling water droplet leaves the dripper slightly positive. The container collecting the falling droplets becomes negatively charged. Ref:



8 Kelvin Water Dropper

9 Kelvin Water Dropper

10 Charging a Battery Can the Lord Kelvin electrostatic generator be used to charge a supercap 9V battery?

11 Electrolysis We used solar cells for electrolysis.  Hydrogen is separated from oxygen in water into different holding tanks.  The hydrogen is used by the hydrogen fuel cell.  The solar cell can't produce hydrogen as quickly as it is consumed.  It took 20 minutes with intense light and the solar cell to create enough hydrogen gas for 5 minutes of running the car. We are looking into other ways to make hydrogen 'on the fly'.  We might use the water from the hydrogen fuel cell to create electricity.  Lord Kelvin showed a way to make electricity from water and gravity. 

12 Cyclic Water Concept Process Flow Concept: How can we make this work?
H2 and O2 gases is created from a reservoir of water through the electrolysis process. H2 and O2 gas is used by the hydrogen fuel cell to produce water and energy. The water is used with gravity to generate electricity from the Lord Kelvin device. Charged water is dumped to a lower gravitational potential into tanks that create a net zero charge water. Water in these tanks undergoes electrolysis using electricity from the Lord Kelvin device. How can we make this work? How many nozzles do we need? Can we calculate the maximum rate of H2 we can produce? Can we keep the positive/negative electrodes consistent?

13 Powering a Light or Motor

14 Some References J2-02: KELVIN ELECTROSTATIC GENERATOR Hobart Mason, A text-book on Static Electricity, McGraw Publishing Co., New York, , (1904), 52. The Dropping Generator, pp C. Z. Van Doorn, Demonstration of Electrostatic Generator Principles, AJP 37, 225, (1969). Harry F. Weiners, Physics Demonstration Experiments, Electrostatics, Library of Congress No , Ronald Press Co., New York, , (1970). Menno Fast, Electrostatic Lobby Display, TPT 10, , (1972). Markus Zahn, Self-Excited ac High Voltage Generation Using Water Droplets, AJP 41, (1973). Lester Evans, J. Truman Stevens, Kelvin Water Dropper Revisited, TPT 15, , (1977). William Blunk, Doing Physics: Kelvin electrostatic generator workshop, TPT 20, (1982). Michael Sady, The Kelvin Water Dropper: An Elementary Experience, Phys Teach 22, 516, (1984). Joe Pizzo, "Ting-A-Ling" Machine, TPT 26, , (1988). A. D. Moore, Electrostatics, Doubleday & Co., New York, , Catalog Description of Apparatus, Cat. No Electrostatic Generator, Cenco Scientific Co. Instructions, Catalog No Electrostatic Generator, Cenco Scientific Co. Meiners, Physics Demonstation Experiment, Section , pp Paul Chagnon, Animated Displays VI: Electrostatic Motors and Water Dropper, TPT 34, (1996). Se-yuen Mak, The Kelvin Water-Drop Electrostatic Generator-An Improved Design, TPT 35, (1997). Gorazd Planinsic and Tomaz Prosen, Conducting rod on the axis of a charged ring: The Kelvin water drop generator, AJP 68, (2000).

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