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I believe that a 17.18 lb weight pushed off a 32ft ledge is one horsepower being that 550 foot pounds/ second is equal to 1hp and G is 32ft/s squared. Thus dropping 17.18 lbs for 32 feet equals 746 watts (one hp). Then if I was to use a pendulum escapement mechanism to control the duration of the fall to last 6 hours (this duration is only important in maintaining low temperature/ high efficiency and endurance of materials) to generate 2200 watts output for 6 hours, I would need to drop 310lbs from 32 ft. Or more realistically, 775lbs from 16feet. Since gravity is acceleration at T squared, I think that if I cut the distance in half the weight must increase by 2 plus half. Anticipating 10% loss in efficiency, I could run 2 gravity driven generators based on this configuration and produce 4Kw for 6 hours of use. Am I right on this? Should I put this in practice?

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  • $\begingroup$ have you looked at hydroelectric power? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroelectricity The water was at a high elevation from sun and wind and rainfall. How will you get your continuous falling weights? To get them to an elevation you would have to spend energy, to roll them to a drop too. $\endgroup$ – anna v Apr 17 '17 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ There is a good deal more to designing power generation stations than knowing how far you would have to drop a weight to get the required power. How would you connect the weights to a generator? What makes you think the losses would be 10%? $\endgroup$ – mmesser314 Apr 17 '17 at 4:52
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I believe that a 17.18 lb weight pushed off a 32ft ledge is one horsepower

Force multiplied by distance is a unit of energy, not power. You get power based on how quickly the energy is released. If that energy were released in a single second, it would be equivalent to 1 HP during that time.

Then if I was to use a pendulum escapement mechanism to control the duration of the fall to last 6 hours

Then you would release the same amount of energy (745 J), but at a much lower power. Instead of 1 second, it would take 21,600 seconds. This would then be (1/21600) of a horsepower or about 35 mW. Enough power to run a couple of LEDs.

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