Angular Momentum and Power Generation

Every generator I’ve ever seen is housed in a fixed mount, and uses a rotating magnet in a column, powered by something like combustion, or wind, to generate a current through Faraday induction.

But if you have rotational motion, you get spin acceleration that is orthogonal to the original rotational motion “for free”:

I was wondering if there are generators that use floating columns to take advantage of this additional acceleration. If not, why? Is it not enough acceleration to justify the added complexity?

It’s a weird property as a general matter, and it depends upon the mass of the rotating object, even if less than all of the mass is rotating. E.g., if you hang a weight from a rotating wheel, the wheel spins faster, even though the weight isn’t adding to the rotation of the wheel at all.

It seems to me that, as a result, something like a gyroscopic cage for a generator would allow for significant additional acceleration.

Though generally unrelated, today is also Richard Feynman’s birthday, who I’ve always looked up to as a role model in terms of his delivery – compression is consideration, for otherwise you’re making your audience do the work of untangling your message.

 

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