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Free Energy
Sixty-two-year-old Andrew Abolafia claims to have built a "Static Field Converter" that extracts hidden energy from magnets — thereby staying true to the general rule that free-energy inventions almost always involve magnets in some way.

Abolafia feels sure his invention will provide the solution to the world's need for energy, replacing our reliance on fossil fuels. But for some reason, the scientific community hasn't shown much interest. So Abolafia has been reduced to demonstrating his gizmo to local news reporters, hoping this will get the device the attention he believes it deserves. [wnyt.com]

Categories: Free Energy
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 19, 2013
Comments (3)
Irish company Steorn is back in the news with their perpetual motion machine. Having had their claims dismissed by a jury of scientists earlier this year, they're now appealing directly to the public by staging a demonstration of their machine in Dublin.

I still can't figure out if these guys really think they've developed a new, revolutionary technology, or if it's all a cynical publicity ploy.

Links: herald.ie, steorn.com/orbo



Related entries:
Categories: Free Energy, Technology
Posted by Alex on Wed Dec 16, 2009
Comments (9)
Back in August 2006, the Irish company Steorn declared it had developed "revolutionary free energy technology." To back up its claim, they ran an ad in the Economist inviting a jury of independent experts to scrutinize its claims.

It's been almost three years, but the jury has finally delivered its verdict.

The unanimous verdict of the Jury is that Steorn's attempts to demonstrate the claim have not shown the production of energy. The jury is therefore ceasing work.

So the whole thing was a big waste of time. The mystery is why Steorn even bothered. What did they think they were gaining from this elaborate charade?
Categories: Free Energy, Technology
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 30, 2009
Comments (11)
With the price of gas going through the roof, there's been a lot of interest in alternative fuel supplies. For instance, various schemes to use water as a fuel have been getting renewed interest. But a new idea (at least, new to me) is the Diesel Tree. This is a tree that directly produces diesel fuel. All you have to do is tap the tree (just as you would tap a maple tree for its syrup), then fill up your tank with the oil, and you're good to go. From treehugger.com:

the Brazilian Copaifera langsdorfii, to use its botanical name, can be tapped not unlike a rubber tree, but instead of yielding rubbery latex it gives up a natural diesel. According to the nurseryman selling the trees, one hectare will yield about 12,000 litres annually.
Once filtered—-no complex refining required, apparently—-it can be placed straight into a diesel tractor or truck. We read that a single Copaifera langsdorfii will continue to produce fuel oil for an impressive 70 years, with the only negative being that its particular form of diesel needs to be used within three months of extraction.

You can also check out this video on YouTube in which an Australian farmer who's growing Diesel Trees is interviewed. He admits it "sounds like a fanciful concept," but insists it's real. There are also articles in the Sydney Morning Herald and ABC.net.au.

As odd as the idea sounds, Diesel Trees do appear to be real. Here's the wikipedia article about them. They simply produce a plant oil pure enough that diesel engines can run on it. The Alaska Science Forum notes:
Though not likely to become a significant source of diesel fuel in temperate climates, in the tropics Cobaifera plantations might produce as much as 25 barrels of fuel per year. Still, Cobaifera relatives in the same genus, Euphorbia, are producing 10 barrels per acre in northern California.

It would be pretty cool to be able to fill up your car directly from a tree in your backyard.(via geoisla)
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Free Energy, Science
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 06, 2008
Comments (4)
Last month a lot of blogs posted about a "micro nuclear reactor" supposedly developed by Toshiba. It promised to provide dirt-cheap energy, and was also small enough to fit in a basement. The story was first posted on nextenergynews.com:

Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.

The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The new revolutionary technology uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The Lithium-6 reservoirs are connected to a vertical tube that fits into the reactor core. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.


The idea of everyone putting a nuclear reactor in their basement sounded a bit dicey, and a lot of people were suspicious. Sure enough, the story has turned out to be a hoax. Rod Adams, of the Atomic Insights Blog, contacted Toshiba, who confirmed that they're not building an apartment-sized nuclear reactor. However, it's not clear who was the source of the hoax. Next Energy News perhaps?
Categories: Free Energy, Technology
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 30, 2008
Comments (12)
The Mail on Sunday reports that a British company called Ecowatts claims to have created a device that seems to create energy from virtually nothing. It's a 12-inch tube that you plug into your electrical outlet. The device then creates more heat energy than the electrical energy put into it can account for. They hope to market this revolutionary tube as a home-heating device.

Sounds like another free-energy scam to me. If the device really did output more energy than is put into it, heating homes would be the least of its abilities. You could use these things to create limitless amounts of power at virtually no cost.

Jim Lyons, who works at the University of York, apparently tested the device and has given it his stamp of approval. If a real researcher from a respected University has okayed the device, then it must be for real. Or, maybe not. Here's Jim Lyons's bio from scimednet.org:
After an initial industrial career as a chartered engineer, I am currently in the academic world and have been at the University of York for the last twelve years. Following a period in the Department of Computer Science, I have become involved with the innovative process of engaging academia with the world of commerce, developing research, particularly into sustainable technologies.
The constraining perspective and narrowly defined disciplines of western academic life drove a need to engage with colleagues having a much wider vision of the world. The SMN offered the ideal vehicle. Involvement since the early 1990s with like minded people from diverse backgrounds with their `no blinkers` interdisciplinary approach now seems so natural and indeed the obvious way to progress.
My research area is in the field of non-locality of Consciousness. The emerging new models describing an active Aether can begin to account for many phenomena such as Healing, Synchronicity, Psychometry etc, currently not even considered in mainstream Science. The open mindedness implicit in the SMN philosophy is what Science should truly be about.
I'd wager that Ecowatts's miracle tube never makes it to market as a working device. (Thanks to Russell Jones for the link)
Categories: Free Energy
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 18, 2007
Comments (25)
Steorn is an Irish company which has announced that it's developed a "free energy" machine. "Free energy" is another name for "perpetual motion." As you may recall from high school physics, perpetual motion is theoretically impossible according to the known laws of physics. "Pshaw" says Steorn (figuratively, anyway).

So, time for the Big Unveiling came...and went. "Technical problems" says Steorn. Gee, you'd think that a company which has a paradigm-shattering technology would make sure that everything was ready to go before announcing a demo, wouldn't you? No worries, though, they're going to unveil it on the Fifth. I'm sure that every oil company executive will be anxiously sitting in front of his computer, terrified of the machine that will inevitably put him out of work. And then pigs will fly like 747's above the landscape.

Perpetual motion at long last?

UPDATE:

Per mo no go

UPDATE II:

Steorn device linked to Intelligent Design

MORE: Smirk as a Steorn exec "explains" their device's failure:

Schadenfreude

UPDATE: Let the lying begin!

Steorn CEO tries to explain

Gaze upon the Orbo, disbelievers!
Categories: Con Artists, Free Energy, Technology
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Thu Jul 05, 2007
Comments (13)
Inventor John Kanzius claims that he has discovered a way to make saltwater burn. This discovery could eventually lead, he suggests, to cars that run on saltwater. This suggestion places Kanzius in a long tradition of inventors (and con artists) who have claimed to have found ways to use water as fuel, reducing his credibility right away. But as always with these things, once is tempted to think that maybe this time the guy is really onto something.

Check out the video about his discovery on YouTube (below). Kanzius explains that he was originally searching for a way to cure cancer. He reasoned that if he injected tiny amounts of metal, such as gold, into cancer patients, that these metal bits would be attracted to the cancer cells, and he could then use radio waves to heat up the metal and destroy the cancer cells.

Fortuitously, Kanzius then discovered that these same radio waves would also heat saltwater and make it burn. He has yet to reveal the exact mechanism of his radio transmitter, but he has demonstrated the process.

Assuming the guy isn't totally lying (which is not necessarily a good assumption), then it would appear on the surface that Kanzius has discovered an interesting new phenomenon. But whether this phenomenon can be used to power vehicles is another question altogether. For instance, how much power is the radio transmitter using to ignite the saltwater? Somehow inventions like this always seem great at first, but they never seem to amount to anything.

There are more videos about Kanzius collected at magistrala.cz.

Categories: Free Energy
Posted by Alex on Thu May 31, 2007
Comments (33)
image An Irish company, Steorn, has been making some pretty bold claims lately. They claim to have developed "revolutionary free energy technology," and last week they published an ad in The Economist challenging the scientific community to test their technology. Their ad reads:
Imagine
A world with an infinite supply of pure energy.
Never having to recharge your phone.
Never having to refuel your car.

Welcome to our world
At Steorn we have developed a technology that produces free, clean and constant energy. Our technology has been independently validated by engineers and scientists--always behind closed doors, always off the record, always proven to work.

The Challenge
We are therefore issuing a challenge to the scientific community: test our technology and report your findings to the world.
We are seeking a jury of twelve--the most qualified and the most cynical.
My first reaction to this is that it's yet another perpetual-motion-machine fantasy. Often the inventors who dream up these devices truly believe they work. They want so badly to cheat the laws of physics that they convince themselves that they have. They remind me of gamblers who convince themselves that it's possible to beat the odds.

Steorn isn't being specific about exactly how their technology works, but Sean McCarthy, the CEO, gave this description of it on Ireland's RTE Radio:
"What we have developed is a way to construct magnetic fields so that when you travel round the magnetic fields, starting and stopping at the same position, you have gained energy. The energy isn't being converted from any other source such as the energy within the magnet. It's literally created. Once the technology operates, it provides a constant stream of clean energy."
So it's got something to do with magnets. Perpetual-motion fanatics love magnets!

The one unusual aspect of Steorn's claim is their active recruitment of independent scrutiny of their claims. They're probably going to end up wasting the time of everyone involved, but at least they're putting on a good show of wanting to be open and honest about the process. Though I'm wondering if this whole thing is an elaborate publicity stunt.
Categories: Free Energy
Posted by Alex on Sun Aug 20, 2006
Comments (28)
Status: Most likely a free energy scam
An article in the Guardian about Dr. Randall Mills, founder of Blacklight Power, has been generating a lot of debate in the blogosphere. For instance, there's discussion of the article over on Slashdot, and a link to it also got posted in the hoax forum. I wanted to add a few comments here because, although many people might be hearing about Mills for the first time (thanks to the Guardian article), the guy has actually been lurking around since the early 1990s, claiming to have discovered a limitless source of cheap energy. (I recognized Mills because he's discussed in Robert Park's book Voodoo Science, published in 2000.)

Mills's theories originally developed out of his interest in cold fusion, though he insists he's not proposing a rejiggered form of cold fusion. Instead, what Mills claims to have discovered is a way to get a hydrogen atom to move to an energy level below the ground state. The ground state is the lowest energy level a hydrogen atom can sink to (according to modern physics). But Mills is saying it can sink even lower (i.e. the electron can move even closer to the proton). When a hydrogen atom sinks to this sub-ground level, it supposedly emits an enormous amount of energy and transforms into what Mills calls a "hydrino". If Mills is right, pretty much all of modern physics is wrong. Which is why Mills probably isn't right.

Of course, Mills could be a genius whose theories are going to completely revolutionize modern science (and modern industry). That's what his supporters claim. But that's what the supporters of ALL free-energy schemers claim. The fact is that for almost fifteen years Mills has been promising that practical applications of his hydrino technology are just around the corner. But nothing ever materializes. And meanwhile he keeps luring in new investors with his wild promises of limitless energy. So it seems to me that Mills and his hydrinos match the familiar free-energy pattern of big promises, but no results.
Categories: Free Energy
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 08, 2005
Comments (28)
The GMC Holding Corporation sure isn't bashful about what it believes to be the potential market value of its new technology. According to this press release, its technology will solve the world's energy needs, providing pollution-free power to any kind of motorized product (car, boat, golf cart, etc.). And here's the best part: "The overall market value is expected to exceed a trillion dollars over the next 10 years and these estimates are more than likely to be low." Wow! A trillion dollars! I bet the stock value of the GMC Holding Corporation must be going through the roof after announcing a trillion-dollar product like that. Yup. It was up 20 cents yesterday, to end trading at $1.40. Obviously the market sees huge potential in this technology. But just what is this mysterious revolutionary technology? According to their website: "The prototype motor presented is a permanent magnet design, with the magnets suspended in an inner frame forming the rotor and multiple coils embedded in an outer frame forming the stator... The motor is designed on the known principals set forth by Nikola Tesla." Magnetic coils? Tesla? Oh, I understand now. It's another perpetual motion machine.
Categories: Free Energy
Posted by Alex on Thu Dec 09, 2004
Comments (32)
Shea Cockrum thinks that extracting water from air is the solution to the world's water shortage. Honestly, I'm not sure whether he's a nutcase, or if his theories could actually work. He claims that he was extracting one or two gallons of water an hour from an "air well" that he constructed in his backyard consisting of buried PVC pipe through which hot air was blown. One or two gallons of water an hour, if he was really getting this, isn't bad at all. And according to Cockrum, this was just the beginning. His new system is even better. Like I said, I have no idea if this could be done... though I do know that an incredible amount of dew collects in my yard every morning, which is the only reason I'm reluctant to dismiss his theory out of hand.
Categories: Free Energy
Posted by Alex on Mon Oct 04, 2004
Comments (43)
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