From WILL - News Local/State -

New Gravity-Driven Generator Promised for Gilman Soy Processor

An advertisement from Incobrasa appeared in a Dec. 31, 2012 edition of the News-Gazette newspaper in Champaign.

An advertisement appeared in a Dec. 31, 2012 edition of the News-Gazette newspaper in Champaign. The News-Gazette

A Brazilian-based agribusiness company says its plant in the Iroquois town of Gilman will be home this coming fall to the first generator powered exclusively by gravity.

Incobrasa Industries says the generator, designed by RAR Energy, an affiliated company in Porto Alegre, Brazil, will channel energy contained in the earth’s gravity, into “mechanical movement that is continuous and eternal”.

The companies ran newspaper ads in central Illinois and Porto Alegre at the beginning of the year.

One blogger with a Brazilian radio station dismisses the project as an impossible perpetual motion machine. Even if it’s not quite that, University of Illinois Electrical Engineering Professor Peter Sauer said he’s never seen a gravity-driven device work without some additional energy input.

“When you get into the details, you find out there’s a constant injection of energy at certain levels,” said Sauer. “Maybe they’re small, but over time, they’re not zero.”

Sauer also has questions about the size of the demonstration generator which Incobrasa says it will install. The company says the generator will produce 30 kilowatts of electricity. Sauer says that’s only about three dollars of electricity an hour, at current rates. Still he concedes the technology is worth examining, if it’s proven to produce energy at a substantially lower cost.

“30 kilowatts is down in the almost noise level of production,” said Sauer. “But if someone can demonstrate 30 kilowatts for free, that sounds like an interesting concept that we should hear about.”

Officials at Incobrasa’s Gilman facility wouldn’t comment on the new generator. Emailing from Brazil, company president Renato Ribeiro gives few details, but says this sort of energy technology has been sought for centuries, so it’s natural that people are skeptical. He promises that the technology will surprise a lot of people, and that they’ve already applied for a patent.