Personal website of Jonathan Cannovan

Free energy?

Posted by: In: Random 29 Aug 2006 Comments: 0

I’ve just read an article in today’s Daily Mail about a small Irish company – Steorn, which has recently claimed that it has turned physics on its head and developed what it calls ‘free energy technology’. If proved true it will mean the end of the global energy crisis, the end of global warming. We will no longer be dependent on oil, gas and coal for our energy needs. A free energy machine could be used to power cars, lorries, ships and anything requiring motive power.

Claims to have discovered such a scientific breakthrough are actually rather common. Not a week goes by without some lunatic/conman announcing that that they have succeeded in developing free energy, perpetual motion, etc…

What sets Steorn apart from the loony brigade is that they have actually spent £75,000 on a full page advert in The Economist, challenging the world’s scientists to come foward and test what it admits are its ‘blasphemous’ claims.

A few years ago, Steorn was working on a novel CCTV syestem to spy on cashpoint machines. Instead of powering the cameras with batteries or from the mains, the cameras were to be powered from tiny wind-generators.

Steorn claims that when fiddling with these ‘microturbines’ that the engineers made a startling discovery: the magnets used in the turbines were behaving in a strange way and seemed to be generating more power than was put into them.

Basically, Steorn claims that by setting up a series of magnetic fields in a certain way, and moving a magnetic object through the field, you get an ‘energy kick’, apparently from nowhere.

There is no electrical input, and the magnets do not ‘run down’ like batteries. Once in motion the machine – effectively a magnetically powered motor – simply runs forever.

The next stage of the company’s plan involves selecting 12 scientists from thousands (so Steorn claims) who have written in since The Economist advert was run. This handpicked jury of boffins will be given access to the full plans for the Steorn machine and invited to test it to their hearts content.

The odds are it’s a load of complete and utter nonsense. Steorn’s claims are probably wrong or a lie or maybe even a PR stunt. All previous claims have been shown to be bogus and Steorn will most likely be another addition to the list. However, I hope I’m wrong – time will tell.

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