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Great stuff Mike, tons of potential. I imagine you could use a small solar cell with a pair of motors with one-way clutches too, one to lift the weight and one to generate as it drops. That would replace a traditional lithium or lead acid battery, in theory, for a while if you could stabilize the speeds, gear ratios on both motors, and the voltage output. I'd use a 5v solar panel and 5v regulator with a 5v motor, and put a USB charging port on it. That way you could charge off of the USB for portable devices, and when it's not in use / has excess power, it'll store it in the gravity battery. You could save up energy for LED lighting at night this way. The solar panel would produce, and when it craps out, the generator side would start working.

Alternatively, that idea could be scaled up to higher voltages and uses. I just don't have a steady 12v load that needs intermittent or nocturnal power.

I gotta quit talking about this now or I will end up designing and building one, and I'm already building a wind tower and a pelton wheel generator. :)