Free Energy Could Change The Lighting Industry – Overunity and Perpetual Motion Explained

Can you imagine a world where it cost nothing to have electricity?  Tesla did, and he died penniless and alone.  Why did the world allow that to happen?

manual-of-free-energy

Have you ever heard of Free Energy?  Have you ever even considered something as ever-present as power being free?  If we even had the concept of that word, we would never need to have the discussion about why tungsten and halogen must go, being replaced by LED and CFL.  It just wouldn’t matter.

It’s a concept that does not consider the profit margins of the Big Energy producers –  oil, coal, and natural gas, but it could completely change our world.  The idea of free energy could also completely change the stakes of the petro-dollar game we play every time we put on a show somewhere that has lighting – can you picture every device you put out there on a show having a locally placed free energy source that powers it instead of running multicables everywhere to provide electricity?  My imagination gives me pictures of little hard drive sized power generators that can be unloaded from a roadcase, added to a truss, and energized without the need for feeder cable, mults, long patch cables, and the like.  We are already as an industry getting behind the idea of wireless DMX and transmitting a DMX network across the airwaves.  Look up LumenRadio‘s work, it will blow your mind – and I mean really blow your mind.

Maybe more importantly…  can you imagine our world without the need to fight over energy?  Look at every war that has taken place over the last 100 years – every single one can been tied to fighting over resources, even if the tie that binds is hidden and disguised as policy.   Our world needs something to give, to break loose – and I think that free energy is the thing that can change our world.  What would the world do if there was no need for the hundreds of defense contractor companies that get worldwide money defending the one thing that we always see the need to blow people up over?  Can you imagine such a world where we could spend more money on something as comparatively mundane as Entertainment Lighting in order to give the world the kinds of mind-blowing productions that we could with the kinds of technologies used in warfare?

Obviously I’m just postulating.  But also postulating are the ideas behind free energy and devices that would potentially (get it?) be able to make some free energy.  I cannot let go of the thought of a color scroller sized power distribution unit that can power several fixtures, or dimmers, or anything that can save money on power by being free.  In my lifetime, I want to make this happen.

I love to spread ideas around our industry like free energy, because we work and live in a very creative industry absolutely full of people who can make stuff like this happen.  We are the industry that has invented wireless data, innovative power and signal distribution systems like the Series 400 stuff from PRG, we’ve improved the jacketing and conductive materials inside of our power distribution systems to work with the power that we get from the power companies, and we’ve invented devices to clean that power up and make it steady, stable, and usable for some of the sensitive equipment we use for our work.  I do worry that some of the people in our business are too centered around how much money that can be made from their technologies that they alienate the entire industry to a small knit group of providers that can afford the costs to harness such things like free energy.  Hopefully some of the more productive generators of free energy will put some free instructions and information out on the web for all of us to try, build, and improve upon for the good of all humans on Earth.

Readers, there are some terms that need to be researched on your part in order to understand some of the intricate details of terms like perpetual motion, zero-point energy, and overunity.  These aren’t difficult concepts and you don’t have to have a PhD in Physics and Electromagnetism to understand these terms.  Let’s start easy:

What is PERPETUAL MOTION, and how does it relate to our world of Light?

This, good people of Earth, is perpetual motion:

When talking about things that make electricity and energy, we have to look at what exactly happens to make energy.  It’s a simple thing – we use some form of simple fuel (like coal, gas, or oil) to turn a magnet inside of a closed-loop of copper wire, or a conductor.  As the magnet spins (albeit very fast), an electromagnetic field is produced from the spinning magnet’s kinetic energy into electricity.  Or, just as useful and still used today, some kind of closed loop of wire spinning between the poles of two magnets.  We can thank Mr. Faraday for this, but everyone has postulated on it in some form or another.

Perpetual motion is, on a whole, the idea of having some kind of electrical energy creation device that will spin on its own, requiring no energy to keep its spin and continuation of power generation.  Remember the Law of Conservation of Energy from high school?  It states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change from one form to another.  Because of this law of physics, called the 1st law of thermodynamics, the idea of a system of perpetual motion is completely irrelevant, or at least that is what science is debating right now, and has been for decades.  What we’re talking about here is being able to create energy – which goes against the principle of the Law of Conservation of Energy – and to create that energy without having any input to that creation cycle.  This means perpetual motion, or something moving forever on its own, is to generate electricity from the electromagnetic field from which it is derived without adding any energy to get energy.  If that isn’t clear enough, imagine your local power utility being able to use no coal, gas, or oil to make electricity but still being able to charge you whatever they want to use their power.

Let me say that one different way:  If you can figure out how to create a machine that creates energy without using any energy, you can power whatever you want, for free, forever.  Forever in petro-dollar terms is a long time, folks.  Can you imagine being able to live through the winter with all of the heat and electricity you want without the huge bills?  If the power companies patent this technology before its able to be utilized on a free, worldwide scale, we’ll at least have a lower or nonexistent use of oil, coal, and gas for power, but we’ll be paying them for pretty much nothing.  Also, we’ll be paying them forever.

Look at it another way, more directed towards the Entertainment Industry – can you imagine being able to power your show and have no bill?  The last show I designed had a combined wattage of 240,000W, which if we put to costs comes out somewhere in the neighborhood of 960kWh for 4 hours of power, or if you assume a commercial rate of $0.10 per kWh comes to about $100 bucks per 4 hours of the show, if it all were blasting at full at once, of course.  But if we take that 100 bucks a night and multiply by a week’s worth of shows, we’ve got $700 bucks for the week – and $2800 for the month.  See the costs adding up?

Now what if you could save that $2800 bucks for a month of electricity for shows and put it back into the production by having free sources of electricity?  This is why perpetual motion is important, and should be to you, especially if you’re in Light.  If we can solve the issues of a perpetually generating device, we could make them as large or as small as we need for any application.  In Entertainment, this would literally redefine our game.

What is OVERUNITY, and how does it relate to our world of Light?

Overunity is a very interesting concept that is often confused for being something that it is not:  Overunity is NOT a measurement of the efficiency of a system that generates power, it is simply the coefficient of performance (COP) that is derived from how much energy the person operating that specific generator.  The efficiency of a system like a power generator takes into consideration all of the energy put into that system to make it run, like electricity from the grid, environmental energy like wind or water.  A windmill, for example, doesn’t matter how efficient the system is, because there is plenty of energy to be transferred (you know, the wind?) to make the system run.  When we’re talking about overunity with respect to free power, we’re talking about the amount of energy needed to get it moving and keep it moving.

Efficiency is the ability for a system or something that makes power to do so based on the energy you put into it; the Coefficient of Performance is how effectively the energy used in the goal of what the system is doing, in this case, making electricity.  The Coefficient of Performance is how well the system uses the energy you put into it!  So if your system can be started up with no input from you, the COP is obviously greater than 1 – if you have a small battery of something of the sort that you use to energize the system, but the system then can lose the battery and run on its own, you have a device producing more energy you’re putting in, or overunity.  For example – with no conductors, no power sources, and no trickery, the person in this video below flings two magnets at each other while the magnetic fields around them propel them into a cyclic motion.  Watch this:

Is it a perfect explanation?  No, but without going into the depths of thermodynamics, it’ll have to do for now.  More on this subject later, I have a huge amount of interest in this topic – enough to make me want to redo some Calculus classes I should have paid a bit more attention in when I was younger…

Interested in reading DA Kelly’s Manual of Free Energy Devices and Systems?  You definitely should, since it’s free!

 

 

Happy BELATED Birthday, Frank J. Sprague!

There were a few birthdays over the weekend that I totally missed, and now I feel horrible!  Oh wait, both of these people are dead.

Hmm.

Yeah.

HEY, so HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, Frank J. Sprague!  Check out this proper lookin’ military-turned-mucker dude!

This is Frank J. Sprague and Rear Admiral S. S. Robinson (I told you he was military, he was Navy).  This particular photograph is actually kinda neat, a bunch of folks presented him with a six-volume set of letters and papers on his 75th birthday.  I think back in that time people expressed their pleasure for birthday gifts by taking pictures that look terribly uncomfortable, as you can see here.  Fads change, I suppose, I guess you had to be there.

Thomas Edison and Frank Sprague were friends through a business partner of Edison’s, a guy named EH Johnson.  Edison, in all of his wisdom, actually convinced Sprague to give up his Navy commission and come work in Menlo Park as a technical assistant.  From the Elevator Museum (I’ll explain that later):

Graduating seventh in a class of 36 in 1878, Sprague was assigned to the USS Richmond, flagship of the Asiatic Fleet, where he filled a notebook with detailed drawings and descriptions of devices that evidenced his urge for invention. Among these were a duplex telephone, quadruplex and octoplex telegraph systems, a motor and a means of transmitting pictures by wire. Later, Sprague was ordered to the USS Minnesota. While his ship was in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1881, Sprague invented the inverted type of dynamo. Also in 1881, Spraque transferred to the USS Lancaster, flagship of the European Squadron, on which he installed the first crude electrical call-bell system in the Navy.

Sprague took leave to attend the Paris Electrical Exhibition and the Crystal Palace Exhibition in Sydenham, England, where he served as the only American member and as secretary of the jury of awards for gas engines, dynamos and lamps.

Meanwhile, Sprague’s ideas about motors and lamps had so impressed E.H. Johnson, a business associate of Thomas A. Edison, that he convinced Sprague to resign from the Navy in 1883 to become a technical assistant to Edison. While on Edison’s staff, Sprague assisted in the installation and operation of Edison’s pioneer three-wire electric light systems. Sprague also revised and corrected the Edison system of mains and feeders for central station distribution and developed a formula for determining the ratio of wire size to current amperage.

Now, the weird thing about celebrating Frank J. Sprague is not necessarily due to his contributions to the electric light bulb or electric light in general; Sprague’s contributions were to the electrical systems and main busses in Edison’s laboratory, as well as some of the three-wire lighting systems.  Sprague did a lot of correcting of Edison’s power distribution mains and feeders, and he also did a lot of mathematical “updating” to Edison’s methods.  Sprague knew that if he could do some math beforehand, Edison’s Muckers would have to do a lot less “noodling” and “fooling around” in the lab which would save time.  Seems like pretty good sense, right?

Frank Sprague didn’t last very long at Edison Power and Light – about a year and change.  Edison’s main interest was in light and lighting, but Sprague was more of a motor guy.  So, in a move that I would have loved to see firsthand as it happened (as I have to believe there were some wonderful words exchanged), Sprague left Edison’s employ and went off to start the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company.  Suck on THAT, Edison.  What’s funny is that Edison actually DID suck on that, and he spoke very highly about Sprague’s electric motor to the world, and Sprague did pretty well.  From the NNDB archives:

After several years of theoretical work and experiments, it took Sprague and his men only about 90 days to plan the route, lay a dozen miles (19 km) of track, construct the 375 horsepower steam and electric plant, and motorize 40 formerly horse-drawn cars. The first test runs were made in November 1887, and regular service began on 2 February 1888. The first runs were not without difficulties, including frequent mechanical and electrical problems, the indignity of a horse reigned to the trolleys for the additional pulling power needed to climb the tracks’ steepest incline, and the further embarrassment of seeing broken-down trolleys towed away by mule. With some tinkering, though, the system was soon made reliable, and came to be seen as far superior to horse or horse-drawn transport.

Within two years, Sprague had contracts to construct 113 street rail systems, and the within a decade horse-drawn streetcars had virtually disappeared from America’s cities, replaced by an estimated 13,000 miles of urban streetcar tracks. He designed a multi-unit train control system in Chicago, where he built the first of the city’s elevated “L” electric railways. He engineered the electrification of New York’s Grand Central Station, and with William Wilgus he co-invented the “third rail” system of powering electric trains for the New York Central Railroad. Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company was eventually merged into Edison General Electric, which subsequently became General Electric.

Sprague’s talent lied in railways and motors, both electric, as well as a good bunch of other inventions.  One of my favorites is the elevator – yep, good ol’ Frank J. Sprague here invented the elevator.  I have to believe that he was sitting at a bar one day and realized that if he turned a train on its end and made it run vertically, BOOMelevator.  Done.

Bring me another ale, Bitterman.

Happy Birthday, Frank J. Sprague!  (Frank’s actual birthday is July 25.  Sorry, Frank!)

Thanks Wikipedia, The Elevator Museum, NNDB, the Edison Tech Center, and the Chapin Library!

RIP Google PowerMeter and Microsoft Hohm – Home Power Consumption Metering Products are Almost Dead

Much to my dismay, I have to report that Google and Microsoft are both discontinuing their home power consumption products, Google PowerMeter and Microsoft Hohm.

Personally, I think this sucks – but do you know the official reasons why?

Microsoft:
“…Due to the slow overall market adoption of the service, we are instead focusing our efforts on products and solutions more capable of supporting long-standing growth within this evolving market.”
Google:
“…Our efforts have not scaled as quickly as we would like, so we are retiring the service.”

So basically, Google and Microsoft put these products out there to give us the ability to literally monitor and evaluate our home power consumption to make us self-aware of the way we spend electricity.  Apparently, at the rate that we adopted these products, Google and Microsoft aren’t happy.  Bye-bye, home monitoring products.  This really sucks.

We could spend the whole day blaming people or departments or our generally care-less generation.  Were these products advertised well enough?  Did people stop watching Jersey Shore long enough to see the ads, or even care about the impact they have on the world?  Did the energy companies that didn’t sign up for either of these products just not want people trying to reduce their energy consumption?  Something my divorce taught me was that there is no reason to waste time to point a finger to the blame; instead, point the finger towards change and making yourself better.  We need to make this better.

How do we make this better, JimOnLight.com readers?  Together, we are one huge body of concerned and informed lighting lovers.  I believe in us!  How do we teach America and the world how important it is to be in touch with the impact we have on the planet?  Even more difficult, how do we teach the companies that make money on how much power that we use understand that it’s in their best interests for us to figure out how to better use our electricity?

Check out the Google announcement for the death of PowerMeter (and Google Health too, subsequently) and the announcement of Microsoft’s discontinuation of Microsoft Hohm.

Remembering Chernobyl, 25 Radiation-FIlled Years Later

As many of you know, today is the 25th anniversary of the nightmare scenario that occurred on April 26, 1986 in Pripyat, Ukraine.  The Chernobyl nuclear power plant performed an experiment that day that somehow caused massive catastrophic failure of critical systems which then caused a catastrophic explosion of the reactor and reactor complex.  Highly radioactive fallout then traveled all over Europe, Russia, Belarus, and other places in that region of the continent.

Look at that image below.  That must have been one unbelievably crazy explosion – I remember designing a play in undergraduate school called Wormwood, about the experience of the firefighters (who were called “Liquidators”) at Chernobyl (which means Wormwood, funny enough), fighting this crazy nuclear fire.  I think back on that point in my design career wondering if even knowing what I know now about design now if I could have ever made that fireman’s monologue creepier.  What a nightmare.

A nightmare.  Sound anything like what’s happening at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant damaged by the earthquake and tsunami a few short months ago?  Perhaps not on the same scale, and let me say that it’s not on the same scale YET, but the fallout and problems of Chernobyl are evident in the disaster that’s taking place at the Fukushima plant.  It really, truly is a nightmare.  Children of children who were exposed to radiation from Chernobyl are experiencing terrible symptoms and mutations, cancer and leukemia.  Thyroid cancers.  Bowel cancers.  Blood cancers.  Babies from people exposed to the radioactive fallout are born mutated, changed, with a short future.

This little guy is a victim of a nuclear power accident:

I find that I can’t look at that little guy without wondering to myself if his little life is really worth electricity for the rest of us from the damage of nuclear power.  You have to understand something – I am not completely against the use of nuclear power in total – there are many uses for it, from medical to science and engineering, and on a smaller scale, generating electricity and light.  The use of sustainable energy sources needs to have a larger slice of the energy grid worldwide so that we can depend less on nuclear power and more on sustainable technologies like solar, wind, wave, and geothermal systems.  Look at Japan right now – Fukushima 1 (dai-ichi means Number One) has been classified as some rating on a scale that we’ve made up to show the severity of nuclear disasters.  The Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster has been given a seven on this scale, which is called the INES Scale, or International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale.

There have only been two accidents worthy of being a seven on this INES scale – Chernobyl, and now Fukushima Dai-ichi.

This scale is a bit daunting.  The PDF of the INES rating scale is here, and it’s a PDF link.  I’ve grabbed some screenshots from it, but I recommend reading through it, as it isn’t a long read.

If you look at a “Major Accident” level event, or Level 7, you’ll notice the following:

Major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures.

Then, if you look at what some of the studies done by the UN have said about the grounds around Chernobyl, in Pripyat, and in the surrounding areas, you wouldn’t believe your eyes.  The radioactive products of the Chernobyl explosion were Iodine-131Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 – Strontium and Cesium have half lives that are around 29 years. That’s 29 years for the radiation to decrease by half.  Think of a large area of land that is pretty much uninhabitable – lots and lots of very negative things have come of Chernobyl:

  • Closed lake contamination in fish and other sea food for several decades at a minimum
  • Forest Food contamination (mushrooms, animals, nuts, berries, grains) for decades
  • Agricultural products (crops, cattle, grazing animals) contaminated for decades
  • Surface and ground water contamination
  • Once livable land rendered useless

Over 350,000 people were evacuated and resettled due to Chernobyl – and if you’ve looked at the map around Pripyat, the area wasn’t as populated as the area around the Fukushima Dai-ichi area is populated.  Have you placed Japan next to Russia?  There just isn’t a lot of land mass there to spare!  Can Japan afford to have a space that large unoccupied for that long?  There are 130 million people in Japan – where are a quarter to a half of those people going to go if the land is deemed uninhabitable?

 

I would be remiss if I did not admit that there are some serious issues to overcome with nuclear power generation, and even more remiss if I were to ignore the fact that right now it would take a pretty towering investment both in money and in land mass in order to switch Japan completely over to sustainable tech for its power generation.  The thing about nuclear is that it is pretty cheap up front, and in a very small dedicated space you can generate a lot of power, and 24/7 power, too – at some point, solar will stop charging for the day and you then rely on batteries, wind relies on – well – wind, and wave and tidal relies on the tides.  Geothermal power seems to be a very good opponent to nuclear; there is a whole lot of heat waiting for the taking for myriad uses under the ground – it could replace the need to generate heat with nuclear materials.

What’s the answer here?  Well, my answer is that I have no f***ing idea.  I know that we have a problem.  You know that we have a problem.  What are we going to do about it?  We need to be looking at energy storage technology, distribution technology, lighting technology, electrical technology, and somehow developing a way to tech around our energy problems.

Don’t you love how completely generalized that last statement was?  I know, but I also know that I wish in my heart that I could just sh** kilowatts for the world to have, too.

Some interesting links:

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s daily update page for the Fukushima Dai-ichi Power Plant Disaster

the Chernobyl Disaster

the UN’s Chernobyl page

the UN’s Assessment of the Chernobyl disaster

IAEA’s FAQ on Chernobyl


 

How It’s Made – Residential Load Centers (or Electrical Panels for the, uh, Normal Person)

Another installment for this week of the How It’s Made videos from the web that deal with lighting and electricity – electrical panels!  I’m sorry, I mean residential load centers.  *Ahem*

Yes, residential load centers.

Um – uh – yeah.

Cool video, check it: