Space Fountain

Created on 25 Sep 2019

A supportless alternative to the space elevator

The space elevator is not happening. The idea of a superstructure stretching miles into the sky has always been impossible, hindered by the lack of a material strong enough to hold itself up. The space fountain is a proposed 2-platform system that magnetically propels metal balls from a ground platform to a floating platform, which catches their kinetic energy and shoots them back down to the ground to generate lift. The benefit of the space fountain is that no super-strong structure is needed, meaning it can be done with existing technology. However, there has never been a proof-of-concept implementation of the space fountain. We would like to change that.

@akong

Andy Kong

@denisey

Denise Yang

@jdropkin

Jeremy Dropkin

Part Cost Quantity Total
Diodes $2.34 8 $18.72
Potential Diodes for Rectifier
Bridge Rectifier $17.17 1 $17.17
Making DC from AC
Better Diodes $1.02 10 $10.20
Diode for ensuring no reverse conduction
IGBT $10.66 2 $21.32
For creating an AC voltage
5/16" ball bearings $9.85 1 $9.85
Steel ball bearings for energy transfer
SCR 1200V 172A TO-94 TO-209AC $46.61 1 $46.61
Another high voltage switch
Capacitors $26.86 5 $134.30
Capacitor bank for energy storage
22 AWG, 750 ft spool of motor wire $41.75 1 $41.75
Wire for coiling the transformer
Project Totals: 29 $299.92
Track 2 Base Budget: $250.00
Preferred Vendor Budget Bonus: $50.00
Remaining Budget: $0.08
Andy Kong 14 Jan 2020, 1 a.m. EST
Jan 13, Monday: We have our parts now! Got our capacitors! When measured, they were 50% of the printed value >:(. We started crimping some connectors on to wire them in parallel for our capacitor bank. This means total voltage will be low and energy stored will increase linearly with the number of capacitors.
We also tried to source some transformers for the charging circuit. Trying to stay away from using the wall power!