Saturday, August 19, 2006

Energy For All?

In today's news an Irish company challenges scientists to test 'free energy' technology.

I've been following such attempts for a few years now, and the most interesting thing about this one is the amount of media attention its been able to attract.

I've managed to dig out the patent, but haven't fully deciphered it yet.

Its at patent number WO2006035419

Here's the brief description from the preamble:

[0001] "Low Energy Magnetic Actuator"


[0003] The present invention relates to a magnetic actuating apparatus.


[0005] Electromagnets are commonly used where there is a requirement for a magnetic field to be actuated (turned on/off).

[0006] An electromagnet achieves this effect by providing (generating) a magnetic field while electrical current is applied to it. To turn off the field the current is no longer applied to the electromagnet.

[0007] The use of electromagnets to effectuate magnetic fields suffers from one major drawback - the electromagnet requires a relatively large amount of electrical energy to operate.

[0008] Many techniques are being used to reduce the amount of external energy that an electromagnet requires. Primarily these techniques relate to the efficiency of the electromagnet and its components.


[0010] A low energy magnet actuator allows magnetic fields to be turned on and off using a small amount of energy. The magnetic actuator according to the invention generally includes a base suitable for the support of a plurality of magnets. An actuatable shield is positioned in relation to the plurality of magnets so that it effectively blocks the magnetic field when it is positioned over at least one of the magnets. The magnetic fields of the plurality of magnets interact in a manner that allows low energy actuation of the shield. In one illustrative embodiment of an actuator according to the invention, the base supports a first magnet mounted to the base in a first position. A second magnet is supported by the base in a second position relative to the first magnet. A shield is positioned relative to the first and second magnets in a configuration that enables the movement of the shield between two known positions. In this illustrative embodiment, each magnet is of similar field strength and the field that radiates from the ends are of the same polarity. The shield is of a thickness that effectively blocks the emitted magnetic field when positioned over one or the other of the magnets. The magnetic fields of the two magnets interact in a manner that allows for the low- energy movement of the shield. The exposed magnetic field may be used to perform work (e.g. interact with other magnetic fields to move an object).

[0011] Advantages of the actuator according to the invention include low energy actuation of the shield in a manner that yields motion or actuation that is highly efficient. The highly efficient actuation of the shield results in movement that can perform work in a highly efficient manner.

Comments are welcomed.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

stand upon the shoulders of some people like:

Howard Johnson's spintronics

4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this basically a generator? I mean, they're just moving this shield thing (which is presumably metal) over a pair of magnets. That would tend to imply magnetic induction is occurring, in which case this is just an ordinary generator with the magnets unrolled.

Someone should tell them that Thomas Edison beat them to the punch.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard Johnson created a self runnung machine and was told he needed more energy output.

Jim Murray III created a machine with 1.8 overunity and was told he had to make it free running.

Many others have accomplished neither goal. Time will tell if this invention can meet either goal.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the way I read it this actuator is supposed to work by blocking the magnetic field of one magnet and alowing the field of the other magnet to radiate normally then slide off of the one magnet over top of the other one.

Kind of like letting them turn the magnets "On" and "Off" like electromagnets but presumably consuming less energy than electormagnets of similar strength.

Now of course there is no material that blocks magnetic fields. Something ferromagnetic would contain the field lines and redirect them back arround to the magnets other pole.

But wouldn't a ferromagnatic shield then become attracted to the magnet and resist attmpts to move it? Ultimately consuming more energy to move it than is implied here?

But Ah.. the second magnet is supposed to balance out that force. (and be negligable in its effects otherwise??)

Actually from what I see here they have completely ignored the interaction between the fields of the magnets. Or the interaction of their "Balance magnets" and whatever they were trying to interact with.

This seems to be another case of "trust me it works... just don't check my math"

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Looks to me like that supposedly the energy it takes to move the shield is less than the energy that is obtained from the magnet as the shield is removed.

In which case the magnets are probably wound with wire so that as the shield is removed, and the magnet's field expands, a current is induced in the coil.

Put the magnets on a wheel and spin them past the shield (or vice versa) and you have a generator - which is what Steorn supposedly has, a >100% efficient generator.

I emailed them that the easiest way to prove their device would be to use the generator to power a motor which runs the generator, thus creating a self-runner.

No response yet...

9:41 AM  

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