Livestock, Pets Harnessed As Important New Energy Resource
Wenatchee, Washington, June 29, 2013 -- A technological breakthrough developed by the Wenatchee, Washington-based startup group Cownetics United Development, Inc. (Nasdaq: CUD) promises to significantly ameliorate the nation's ongoing energy crisis with virtually no negative environmental consequences.
The patent-pending Cownetic Turbine converts kinetic energy generated through the natural movements of large animals such as cows, steers and dogs into copious quantities of "totally green" electrical current, potentially serving the power-generating needs of up to 60 million American households, according to a Cownetics spokesman.
"The Cownetic Turbine transfers the naturally occurring energy expended by cattle, goats and other livestock into electricity that can be used for lighting, powering equipment, running air conditioners, and so forth," Bertle Kettle, a Cownetics spokesman, said at a press conference held yesterday in conjunction with the Washington Bovine Electricity Board's annual meeting.
According to Mr. Kettle, the Cownetics device is a tube-shaped rotating turbine that generates electricity via the walking motion of cattle and other animals.
"A typical steer will walk up to 16 miles in a single day while grazing," Mr. Kettle said. "Our turbine collection tubes, which are roughly 22 feet in diameter, can therefore be turned over 3,840 revolutions per day by a single 2,000 pound head of cattle. That in turn will generate enough electricity to meet the complete power needs of between one to two single-family homes."
Mr. Kettle said if the entire 2013 estimated worldwide cattle population of 550 million head were wired into Cownetics turbines, about four terawatthours of electricity could be generated annually, enough to meet one fifth of the world's electricity needs and to replace the combined output of nearly 4,000 nuclear, coal and oil-powered plants.
According to Cownetics, the Cownetic Turbine takes advantage of the natural tendency of animals to want to move, something dairy cattle and many steers are currently not permitted to do in today's factory-like milk and beef production facilities.
"It's a really simple concept and one that's actually good for the well-being of domestic livestock," Mr. Kettle said. "The cows and steers, for example, are faced with a continually refilled tray of feed just within reach, but they have to keep moving forward to get at it. And if they stop unnecessarily, a small cattle prod aligned with their rumps will give them a little jolt to get them going again. The cattle prod itself is also charged via the Cownetic Turbine, so the whole system is power self-contained."
Cows can be wired individually or serial-linked in wide Cownetic Turbine tubes that can currently hold up to 100 head of cattle, Mr. Kettle said.
"A single-wired unit would be useful for a small family farmer who, say, just keeps one or two head of cattle around for milk," he said. "The large units are for industrial cattle production facilities, and are reminiscent of a small oil-powered electricity generating station. A single ranch with 50,000 head of cattle can power a mid-sized town."
According to the Cownetics brochure, cattle can be upshifted into "stampede" mode during electricity usage spikes simply by temporarily increasing the voltage on the cattle-prods. Cownetics also recommends that two units be used in tandem on a staggered generating schedule to allow the cattle time to rest.
"Animals need exercise," Mr. Kettle said, "and that's just what the Cownetic Turbine gives them. Our studies have shown that the result, aside from the electrical output, is sweeter milk in the case of dairy cattle, and leaner beef in the case of steers – that's good news for an increasingly obese beef-loving America."
A special Cownetics unit meets the specific activity requirements of goats, Mr. Kettle said. Goats tends to "leap and cavort" a lot more than cows. To maximize the energy production potential of bouncier animals, Cownetics has developed the "Goat Pad", a trampoline-like kinetic turbine that works using the up-and-down motion of goats in a manner similar to a wave-powered electrical generator. Cownetics offers a similar system, primarily targeting the Australian market, for kangaroos.
Smaller Cownetics units have also been developed for home use, Cownetics said. The Caninetic Turbine is suitable for a "medium-sized to large dog, such as a collie or a golden retriever" and can generate enough electricity to meet up to 20% of a typical pet-owners power needs.
"Overworked homeowners love the systems," Angie Polinnet, Vice President for domestic pet turbine development said. "If they don't have time to get out and walk the dog, they can just pop her into the Caninetic Turbine and let her go for a run indoors. Meanwhile, say goodbye to your air conditioning bills."
By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor
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