A universal mechanical power source is one of the key components of the Global Village Construction Set – the set of building blocks for creating resilient communities. The basic concept is that instead of using a dedicated engine on a particular powered device – which means hundreds of engines required for a complete resilient community, you need one (or a few) power unit. If this single power unit can be coupled readily to the powered device of interest, then we have the possibility of this single power unit being interchangeable between an unlimited number of devices. Our implementation of this is the hydrauilic PowerCube – whose power can be tapped simply by attaching 2 hydraulic hoses to a device of interest. A 3/4″ hydraulic hose such as this
can transfer up to 100 horsepower in the form of usable hydraulic fluid flow.
You may have seen our prior report on PowerCube as the power source for MicroTrac. The question is – how flexible can the PowerCube be? We ask this question from the standpoint of the PowerCube’s suitability as an essential component for building resilient communities – or, how radically small can your infrastructure tool-set be, if your goal is creating a modern, high quality of life?
To shed some light on this question, we mounted the PowerCube on LifeTrac, our open source tractor – to demonstrate the radical interchangeability of parts. This radical modularity is the key to what we promote as the life-size Lego set for real technology. We mounted the PowerCube on the rear receiver of LifeTrac, and ran LifeTrac with it. Here are the results:
One conclusion is clear. The PowerCube concept of power unit interchangeability is sound. Read the rest of this entry »