Project FLOATING A NEW ENERGY SOURCE

Rather than give his son the usual childhood toys, Aaron's father preferred to help him tear down and rebuild motors, appliances, and similar gadgets. From those early playthings, Aaron grew up with a love of mechanical systems and an instinctive sense of how they work.

goldin project
After thinking about how to build a wave-powered vehicle, he says, "I had a hunch about how we might convert the power of ocean waves into a practical technology for producing energy." It stemmed from Aaron's "deep concern for the damage we're doing by burning fossil fuels and my respect for the ocean's enormous and constant energy." His family has always lived near the sea.

Aaron's vision soon turned into the Gyro-Gen. It's a spinning gyroscope and power generator inside a floating buoy. As the buoy travels over a wave, it tilts, first one way and then the other--and this motion causes the gyro to perform a very peculiar trick, called precession. This stunt is difficult to believe until you've seen it, but basically what happens is that the gyro resists the rocking motion not by tilting in the opposite direction, but by turning along an axis that's at a 90-degree angle to the tilting force.

Aaron figured the gyro's axis-shifting action could be harnessed to move a crank that turns a generator. But could the setup produce surplus electricity--more than that needed to keep the gyro spinning? He built a prototype, and it does indeed generate excess power. Aaron has applied for a patent.

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COMMENTS On The Issues

Energy: We should not cling so much to the old economies. These policies paralyze us from taking the lead in alternative energy solutions. We must do the responsible thing--stop the damage to the planet from greenhouse gas emissions.

INTEL SCIENCE SEARCH FINALIST Aaron S. Goldin

Aaron S. Goldin


Encinitas, Calif.


Hobbies: Trombone--jazz and classical; improvisational piano composition, literature, environment, hiking


Ambition: Professor of physics or engineering