A generator powered by gravity may sound like an impossible device akin to a perpetual motion machine, but the Brazilian soybean processor Incobrasa says it has such a technology. And it plans to install a demonstrator model at its processing plant in the Iroquois County town of Gilman this coming fall. Incobrasa ran newspaper ads about a month ago in both central Illinois and Porto Alegre, Brazil, where it says an affiliated company developed the generator. University of Illinois Electrical Engineering Professor Peter Sauer says he's skeptical, especially since the promised demonstration model will only produce about 30 kilowatts, or about 3 dollars of electricity per hour at current rates:
"30 kilowatts is down in the almost noise level of production. 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.
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