HumaGen™ Human-Driven Energy Generators / Harvesters

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WindAge, LLC produces 3 patent pending Human Energy Harvesters that convert physical exercise to electrical energy. This energy can augment the energy produced by the TDWGs near overpasses or at Interstate rest stops. Users can be directly rebated for the energy they produce, or this energy can go towards recharging their hydrogen fuel cell or plug-in electric vehicles.

The Problem--
Exponentially increasing human population over finite areas of arable land, in conjunction with:

  • many persons using available food energy excessively and inefficiently due to corpulence and a lack of personal fitness
  • lack of fitness forming a direct relationship with burdensome healthcare costs, both for the individual and the larger society
  • current electrical energy production using polluting fossil fuels, and under-production from clean, renewable, alternate sources.

A Partial but Potentially Significant Solution--
Combine the need for the general populace to fight obesity and increase fitness with the organized harvesting and conversion of their physical energy through regular exercise on human-powered electrical generators (HumaGens)—AND PAY THEM FOR IT. This concept covers 3 separate, patent pending, human energy harvesting devices:

  1. Bicycle-and-Flywheel Energy Harvesters
  2. Capstan Human Energy Harvester
  3. Squirrel Cage Human Energy Harvester

HumaGen Device Intended Recipients:

  • the homeless
  • the unemployed
  • city dwellers who have no ready access to jogging trails or health clubs
  • those recuperating from illness or confinement to a bed
  • the chronically overweight
  • those who are already fit and wish to remain so
  • those who wish to contribute to clean electricity production and thus help the country to meet its clean air obligations
  • those who wish to use their physical energy to recharge their fuel cell or plug-in cars

HumaGen Concept of Operations

By law in most U.S. states, all electrical energy generated by alternative, non-fossil fuel sources MUST be bought by the local electric utility, and the producer of that energy compensated. Thus there is a consistent market, supported by legal mandate, which underpins the electricity produced by these alternate devices.

The User seeking to begin the HumaGen session and produce energy would swipe a card and / or enter a code to record the date and beginning time of the session; this information, in conjunction with an end time, would enable the calculation of a total output in watts.

At the end of a session the User would simply leave the device. The sudden lack of input would be sensed, stop the session electronically at that input point, and ready its sensors and calculations for a new User.

The User’s Personal Energy Account (PEA) would be produced and updated daily, and the balance made available over the Internet.

Users can access the devices 24/7.

Users would receive cash weekly at a cash point or have money automatically deposited electronically into their personal accounts. The rate of remuneration for human energy produced will be pegged to the average value of one watt charged by power companies in the state where the HumaGen device is sited.

Either utility companies or the respective State governments would pay for the construction and maintenance of these installations, subsidized by the Federal government, and plan and execute all work in conjunction with local power utilities and smart grid managers.

To the maximum possible extent, the devices will be built with recyclable materials, in factories operated with non-fossil fuel energy.

Benefits

Taken collectively, the 3 HumaGen devices provide a new, potentially massive source of clean, distributed energy that is simple to integrate with local existing grids. Each facility can contribute to an increased general health in its local area.

All Users will be paid for their contributions in a timely manner such that even the homeless and unemployed can have a dependable, if modest, income. As Users become healthier, they will be able to produce yet more energy, and thus receive more compensation for a given session.

A probable result of the implementation of these devices when considered en masse is the national reduction of health insurance rates and a similar reduction in illnesses associated with lack of exercise, such as diabetes and heart disease.

An important result is increased general employment from production, installation, and maintenance activities.

The devices use generally simple machinery with few moving parts, and thus require minimal maintenance; in addition, off-the-shelf technology is available for all major components—no new, unproven, or proprietary components or long lead times are necessary. However, an ongoing effort will be to make the devices more efficient, and cheaper to produce.

The HumaGen Park Concept

The devices would be collectively sited in semi-enclosed, well-ventilated areas to provide natural cooling and easy access; locating them in densely populated areas will ensure high throughput.

A distribution of the three devices handling 40 or more Users in a HumaGen Park setting would merit a Nurse with emergency oxygen, and a Security Officer. The devices will undergo both periodic safety checks and calibrations of their output measurements.

Each of the three devices works a different muscle group, so leaving one device after 30 minutes and going to another in a cluster after a short rest would offer the most complete workout.

To the maximum possible extent, entertainment in the form of digitized music and video will be available for all Users.

A restroom is sited in the center of the park, along with showers for men and women and a combined First Aid Station and Security Office. The playground, also located at the park center, enables parents who would otherwise have to secure a babysitter to also get a workout, all the while maintaining visual contact with their children.

Bicycle-and-Flywheel Human Energy Harvester Device Details

HumaGen Bicycle and Flywheel

Measurement of input pressure is at the individual bicycle unit, derived through pressure sensors at the foot pedals and arm stalks; this pressure is mathematically converted to wattage. The additional output from the large flywheel-generator units is divided equally among contributors at the time and figured into weekly personal energy rebates.

A water bottle holder is provided at each station, as well as a headphone jack to enable optional listening to a movie projected on the back wall, as done in commercial airplanes.

This device can be easily scaled up: the eleven current single-point input devices as shown can be expanded to 20 or more. The shaft joining all the generators is a hollow tube made of lightweight and strong carbon fiber in order to maximize efficiency by minimizing energy losses due to excess mass.

Two large flywheels on the ends of the central shaft rotate on magnetic bearings within large generators to capture maximum flywheel effect and significantly increase total output to the grid over the sum of just a series of individual units.

A small manual crank on the flywheel perimeter enables its rotation to be initiated from zero speed, when necessary.

Gearing and a clutch are adapted to the large flywheels to significantly increase their speed, since net electrical output is a function of rotational speed. Each user combines arm and leg physical inputs to get a comprehensive upper and lower body workout.

Capstan Human Energy Harvester Device Details

HumaGen CapstanSix Users form a normal crew. However, if the arms are extended, a total of twelve or more persons can be accommodated. A crew of less than the normal complement will have to push harder to compensate, but can still produce useful amounts of electrical energy.

Users can sign in at the hub input screen associated with each arm in order to receive proper credit for their sessions, as well as access a recharging point for personal audio devices. Energy to run such personal devices is measured and subtracted from their gross electrical outputs for that session. This hub area also contains a drink holder for each User.

Each arm adjusts into one of three positions to allow for efficient pushing for all statures, ideally from just below shoulder height. The arms are made of recycled, reinforced plastic.

The perimeter fence prevents Users from inadvertently sliding down the artificial "hill" produced by covering and protecting the gear assemblies below, and its handholds will facilitate exits. Keeping the device raised by approximately 8 feet will minimize the chance of ever flooding the internal operating mechanisms.

The above-ground central cylinder shown houses one slow-speed generator, and another generator set comprising a minimum of four will reside below ground, driven by various gearing or belting schemes. All generators in the device use magnetic bearings for maximum efficiency and minimal maintenance. A small, high-security door enables access to the lower assemblies for periodic gear lubrication and input-output metering and calibration.

Users will walk on a high-traction, cushioned walkway, and can leave at any moment, as a release of pressure on the arm will signal an electronic end to the session, clear the system for another User, and calculate and credit the energy registered via the sensors in the handle mounting structures.

These sensors activate and begin to register individual pressure upon sign in. The User can push from the outside arm end for maximum pressure on the sensor, but he or she will have to increase walking speed commensurately to maintain the same wattage output.

Squirrel Cage Human Energy Harvester Device Details

HumaGen Squirrel CageAfter the initial sign on and choice of audio accompaniment through the screen shown at the right, the single User jogs or sprints on the treadmill, and always has access to a handhold.

The User jogs on the inner surface of a large electrical rotor, kept separate from its accompanying stator through the use of magnetic bearings. These bearings are fed bleed electrical currents from batteries recharged through the device's normal gross output. These batteries are accessible behind the secure sign on screen. Similarly to the manner in which rails help align a train, the rotor is secured from side play with guiding rail(s).

The User can call for an end to the session and push a button to reverse rotor polarity for a quick stop, or maintain momentum and thereby enhance efficiency by maintaining rotor speed, and jump off onto a deeply cushioned exit area (not shown here). The next User will then be able to enter either slowly, with the cage at a full stop, or briskly, onto the moving treadmill. If the User does not call for an end to the session, a time out at 30 minutes will stop him or her getting further credit, "force" that User to take a rest, and allow the next User to log on.

When the User's weight is sensed to have been removed from the treadmill, the session ends electronically, a wattage output is registered and converted to a $ amount, this amount is made instantly apparent with the right access code, the recent User is credited, and sign-on access is provided for a new User.

Due to the use of an arrangement of magnetic bearings, this device will require almost no maintenance, and virtually no lubrication. In addition, these bearings will result in a maximum amount of electrical energy output with a minimum of human physical energy input.

This device is designed to be both weatherproof and impervious to vandalism. It must be moved into position with heavy machinery, as estimated weight is 4000 lbs. Once the top half is mated to the bottom section with large nuts, and the unit fully tested and certified, the nuts are welded to the threaded studs.

HumaGen Park Integration

WindAge TDWG Highway Overpass, Recharging and Humagen ApplicationThe Humagen Park concept can be combined with solar panels and overpass TDWGs in a clean energy suite that enables 3 separate sources of renewable energy to recharge the fuel cell and plug-in vehicles of the future. The cumulative output of all will help to compensate for the intermittent nature of each.

HumaGen ParksHumagen Parks enable parents to exercise while they keep close watch over their children. An audible signal sounding 30 minutes after sign-in will let each User know that his or her time limit is up; this will prevent overexertion as well as open up space for the next person. After this warning sound, the User will not be compensated for any energy produced, but can go to another of the 3 devices after a short rest.

Independently of highways, Humagen Parks can be sited deep within cities, allowing easy and quick access to pedestrians who wish to get exercise and get paid for it. Each device in the park allows for a different set of muscles to be exercised.