This post is about how we create Electricity and a new alternative way of doing just that as reported by the Wall Street Journal of all places. This is a realm considered bunk science because it violates the Law of Thermodynamics and if true, upends all current physics and most science as we know it. Let us start with basic Electricity. This is Wyoming-based Inductance Energy Corp.
Simply, we make electricity by spinning a generator with a turbine. We do this with steam, and mostly only steam. Yeah, that’s right, steam, just like it was 1898. Gas, Coal, Oil, and Nuclear fuels are used to heat water to spin a turbine which spins a generator and creates electricity. So, anything that can spin a generator, can generate electricity.
Electric motors takes that same electricity and uses it to spin a motor. A motor is exactly the same as a generator, only I uses electricity to spin the rotor where a generator spins the rotor to make electricity. This process is about 98% efficient in the use of power.
Renewables are not any different in most cases. Wind and Hydro use water or air to spin turbines. Photovoltaic is different in that is uses Light that it chemically transforms into electricity directly. That is, and should be, considered magical. It has an infinite, predictable, power source that is essentially free to anyone who owns a device that can create it. It is a ‘free energy device’.
About 80% of all electricity generated is never used. It is simply created as potential on the grid and the actual load of the grid is somewhere below that potential. This is true of all types of electric generation methods. The only difference is our ability to DIRECTLY control WHEN the energy is created and put on the grid to create the potential. A battery is like a bucket for electricity. Batteries change all that and allow use to store energy create now and use it later. This gives us direct control of when renewable energy is used. A battery can be anything that can store energy no matter what form it is in. That can be Kinetic, Chemical, Mechanical, or Electrical. The second law of Thermodynamics is that energy can not be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another. Batteries of any kind make the grid more efficient regardless of HOW the initial energy was created.
Now, you should ask, ‘how did the generator make electricity when the second law says it can’t make energy’. You can see how the motor/generator is converting motion (energy) to electricity and back into motion. The original motion occurred by Mechanical (wind, hydro) or Chemical (fire or light). The least efficient it the Chemical (fire) conversion. It converts a solid into heat, heat into steam, steam into motion, motion into Electricity. Very, very, very, inefficient, but in cave man sort of way, it works. We simply use as much brute force as we can muster. Me make fire! Nuclear energy is just the epitome of the cave man way of life.
We are basically using inventions and science from Isaac Newton, Maxwell, an Nikola Tesla that were discovered or invented in the 1700-1890 era.
Now we leave the main stream of the 19th century (the 20th century invented nothing new from an energy perspective other than PV).
This article in the WSJ, describes a man who has invented a device that creates electricity using magnets to spin a generator that creates electricity.
Ok. At first glance that matches what we know about HOW to generate electricity. Spin something. But if the magnet is the energy source, where did the magnet get its energy? Maxwell tells us that magnets do not have ‘energy’ in them as the positive and negative poles balance each other out in a 50/50 balance between pushing and pulling forces. But these guys have been using rare earth magnets of a different kind that are 85/15 positive to negative, then using them with a flywheel that they spin using an intricate balance between push and pull that extracts energy that is transformed into angular momentum, that spins a generator. Presto! Electricity without a fuel source. Wait! What? Where is the original energy coming from? Nobody knows and that’s a problem. But as the WSJ says, this is either an elaborate hoax or science is in trouble and that because this company makes money selling Kwh electricity (not generators) to customers it is getting it from somewhere. So in a real world economics sense, they are selling electricity no matter how it is being generated and it is up to science to explain what it is they are doing. Not the other way around. Watch this space.
The generation of electricity will become an important issue and is becoming more main stream as a topic of conversation. Nobody really talks about how electricity is made in polite society, as that is a solved problem in 99.99% of people’s minds. Climate change begins to open that door, but mostly on tribal terms and not Scientific or Mechanical terms. When we allow ourselves to observe and evaluate with an open mind, possibilities present themselves. Solar, Renewables, Batteries, Electric Cars are forcing us to have conversations. Climate change is not the ‘only’ reason, but reason enough.
We are on the brink of moving from the 19th century to the 21st. We are/will change the way we generate electricity and how we use it. We will go from using fire to light and maybe something else?. We will go from wires to wireless. We will go from connected to unconnected (batteries). We may even change the science as we go, but it is not required. We can already do it. Electric cars are just the beginning. Image a car that has a battery, a generator (of any kind), and an electric motor for motion. Just imagine that and how close we are to whatever it is you have in your mind. It is already here.