I was never terribly good at physics (although I wish I was), and I had this thought experiment. I was wondering if anyone could help me out with it. It goes as follows:
We have a square vertical shaft 3 m by 3 m and 100 m tall filled with water. At the base on one side there is a door. This door is attached to a basin that is 3 m by 3 m and 3 m tall. The top of this basin is covered by an identical door. Assuming the doors can withstand the pressure, either door could be open without the tank draining so long as at least one door is always closed. The adjacent basin will be full of water.
Suppose I run a line up the inside of the water tank out the top and back down the outside to the basin, through both doors and connected it to itself. I then attach standard steel drums full of isopentane or perhaps some safer liquid with low density. The drums are spaced every 5 m along the line. When the drums are in the water tank, they float up. When they are outside the water tank, they fall down. Both motions pull the line in the same direction. The water lock on the basin should allow the drums to pass from air to water. Assuming I pump the excess water (the drums will displace water when they enter the basin of water meaning each time the lock is used, the basin gains a drum’s volume of water) how well does this work if I use the movement of the line to generate electricity?