Of Transformers, the Patent Office and Free Energy

One interesting thing I have found when looking at a number of patents for “Free Energy” is they show how little the patent office really knows about physics.

Something that is common among those patents is the mistaken notion that there is no such thing as “magnetic resistance”, which just means there is energy to be overcome to change the polarity of the magnetic field of a magnetic core. So most Free Energy patents just will not work on that basis alone.

Another concept, which has a great deal of bearing on audio circuits and power conversion is that of “saturation”. All that means is if you have a core that saturates at 2 amps of current, and say a potential of 10 volts- that is 20 Watts. If the core is saturated at that point- raising the potential or trying to push more current through the windings is pointless because energy transmission occurs with a collapsing magnetic field primarily, but energy transfer will occur with a rising field as well, so a ripple of current on a DC potential will transfer through a transformer that does not have a saturated core. Something similar can occur with a magenetic amplifier. With a magnetic amplifier as used in once upon a time in telegraphy- this was how signals were able to reach San Fransisco and points in between when sent from New York City.

The magnetic amplifier in concept is a coil of wire around a saturable core with enough energy to be just below the point of drawing a solenoid in or contacts down on a relay so that a faint signal that has travelled from another relay amplifier which would be barely audible with high impedance headphones in later years, and would by itself not be enough to draw down the telegraph sounder or relay arm. It is not unlike biasing input to a tube or a transistor. But with the magnetic amplifier system, that tiny signal is just enough to actuate the relay or the sounder. The cores of those relays would be “saturable” and the arm would draw down or in once the core saturated. Trying to add extra power on top of that is a waste of energy.

Back to the 20 Watt saturated core- if you have a secondary winding: a saturated core will only release that saturated energy which will be 90 degrees out of phase to the input. Trying to pump more energy into a satruated core transformer will not be efficient in energy transfer to the secondary. Sure, some energy may transfer- but not as much energy as a non-saturable core transformer could yield. Torroid cores reduce the phasing issue, and have a wide variety of permeability in the various core types available, but they are not as inexpensive to make as an “E” core transformer. The phasing issue is just something that “is” and is compensated for in designs, or taken advantage of in some amplifier and switching designs.

One of those “Free Energy” (FE) patents is supposedly able to self generate for long after it is momentarily applied to three phase power. The problem is the core material cited in the patent while not saturable- it still has magnetic resistance, especially with 2 other AC waveforms present within the core 120 degrees apart in phasing. It just does not work that way because the physics in our universe do not allow it. The reality is the magnetic resistance will disipate that applied energy quickly in the form of heat, not to mention the heating of the wires used. So even if superconductors could be had to produce such an item; the magnetic resistance: or the resistance to change or the resistance to the magnetism polarity is what makes such a concept unrealistic. By using copper wire- there is the issue of resistance of the wire itself. So even “if” it could work- it would not last for long because the wire resistance would disipate the energy quickly not to mention the magnetic reactance of the coils of the wires.

Now to be fair- if they wish to bring the unit to me so I can do independent test with it- I am open to that, and would openly publish the results right here- no matter what they happened to be. I would use as a 3 phase source- an automotive alternator. But I also know where I could plug in to a 3 phase outlet as well. The reason why I suggest they bring it here to me rather than U construct one is simple- If there’s works, it was assembled by them- if it does not work- it was assembled by them and it eliminates the chance of it being suggested I did something wrong in the assembly.

If you apply the notion of a saturated core to an audio transformer: the result would be the volume level could be raised to a point of say halfway on the control with an apparent correlation to the volume of what you hear, but beyond that point the percieved audio increase is negligible even though you may be pouring into that transformer 4 times the power that you did at midpoint. That excess is now being dissipated as heat in that transformer and any real increase in the output is from capacitive coupling to some extent, but more from the magnetic interaction between the coils themselves as if it were an air core transformer and that capacitive interaction is between the two closely placed coils of wire. While not a precise description of what would actually occur, I am merely trying to give a point of reference with minimal mathematics to explain the concept of what happens with a saturated core.

The other characteristic of non-saturable cores is they do not magnetize to any great extent. They will stick to a magnet, but you cannot continually add core leaves and expect them to hold onto many other core leaves, and once removed, they would have little residual magnetism. This is not to say there are not any uses for saturated cores. or magnetized cores as there are some by design. Those magnetized cores ar usually found in power conditioning circuits or sweep circuits in old CRT systems.

There is a wide range of magnetic permeability materials available as well for audio, RF and power applications. And to a limited extent a transformer with a 24 volt secondary with a 120 volt primary can sometimes be substituted for an audio output transformer in tube gear. The results will be acceptable for AM/MW/shortwave reception, but the best thing to do when in such a situation where you are perhaps replacing something in a high fidelity system is to swap the cores. A power transformer will approach saturation, whereas an audio transformer will not normally do so in an otherwise unmodified circuit from the original design.

This is key. If you are constructing a windmill or generator, you will want to have saturable cores or better yet nearly saturable cores in your windings. Additionally high permeability of the core material so the magnetic field can build and collapse as the magnet poles pass. Permeability is the ability of a magnetic field to build within the core. A screw driver has high permeability if it sticks to the magnet and is magnetized as a result. A ferrite core may or may not stick to a weaker magnet depending on it’s composition and iron ore pellets from a pelleting facility are usually not magnetic to anything but very strong magnetic fields.

So back to the three phase “FE” patent: the fact that there is also destructive phasing issues which when applied to a singls core as the patent shows, the actual AC waveform is merely a 180 Hertz on a 60 Cycle standard, and 150 Hz on a 50 Hz standard that amounts to hardly more than a ripple superimposed on a DC potential. Again, it is the collapse or rise of a magnetic field that induces the magnetic field changes that impose that magnetic energy upon the secondary.windings to induce EMF- or voltage and current. Straight DC will not induce current flow except initially while magnetic field builds and when interupted or shut off when the field collapses. If a capacitor is placed in parallel to the inductor, they will settle into resonance, which is how your “Weed burner” electric fence controlers work.

Another feature of modern power transformers is dual bobbin assembly. One winding on one side of a transformer and the second winding beside it- like a microwave oven transformer. This design is chosen for situations where the capacitive coupling that would occur over a single bobbin constructed transformer, does not occur in the multi-bobbin type of construction.

So in short- a patent means next to nothing in most cases of functionality. If you wish to read a good description of audio transformer design I highly suggest you follow this link to just such a conversation on the subject on the website of “Duncan Amps”. It is about laminations, of audio transformers primarily. but fully applicable here.

As for non ferrous metals that can be attracted to a certain magnet design- they do exist, but the attraction has more to do with the eddy currents across the face of the item that “sort of” makes for the attraction to that magnet type. The original papers were written up in the 1930’s and an updated version was available through Lindsay Publications a few years ago. This can be demonstrated with verious versions of the “Copper Disk Motor”, which has a variation used in your electromechanical energy meters the power companies use.

Now, I may have missed something, or forgot to tie up a few loose ends. If I did, I will try to correct them as they turn up.

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