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Using Earth's magnetic field to generate electricity.

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by R.D. Heilman, Jul 4, 2006.

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  1. R.D. Heilman

    R.D. Heilman Guest

    Anyone know anything about N. Tesla's experiments using
    the earth's magnetic lines of force to generate electric power?


  2. I believe NASA has used this in experiments, but dropped it since it
    actually causes the Shuttle to loose forward energy. "The Space
    Tether Experiment?"


    tom @
  3. R.D. Heilman

    R.D. Heilman Guest

    I visited a museum in Serbia some twenty years ago & I remember seeing
    a section on Tesla's experiments. Evidently the US had turned over Tesla's
    papers to that government. I remember illustrations depicting
    his experiments where he had stretched miles of copper wire across the
    desert in New Mexico(?) intersecting the earth's force fields at the 90deg.
    angle as required. But he was "run out of town" before he was able to
    complete his experiment. However, the curator believed he had succeeded
    to a limited degree.
  4. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest


  5. Very true, I don't know how a stationary coil would cut enough lines
    of flux to generate enough energy to make it worth the time/money.


    tom @

  6. Ohhhhhh.......

    I remember something in school, a long time ago, about Telsa
    researching tranmitting power, througth the air. That sounded crazy,
    even with knowing about microwave energy. But this induce fluxuating
    Magnetic sphere, might have sold a few news articles.

    Good stuff.

  7. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

    I suggest that the foreman doesn't know what he is talking about, or, more
    likely is having a bit of fun with you. First of all, the voltage that can
    be induced from one end of the line to the other (not to ground) depends not
    only on the length of conductor but also on the strength of the magnetic
    field component which is perpendicular to the motion and the line -as well
    as the velocity of movement- the latter two are negligable. The fact that
    polarity reversed means nothing except that the miniscule signal which
    might be generated would be AC. Your comment about different sections being
    out of phase is on target.

    Two factors do exist.

    a) the pre-existing lines and inductive coupling to these lines can result
    in lethal voltages induced. One ground point is fine, but when somebody
    makes a second ground point, there is a problem. The procedure you mention
    is common when work is done on a "dead" line in the vicinity of live ones.

    b) ungrounded lines, just floating, even when not near any others, can pick
    up static charges from charged clouds moving about. No problem unless you
    are the path to ground.

    Oh yes, one can get an inductive coupling to a transmission line,
    preferrably a single phase rural line (polyphase lines tend to cancel their
    fields) and with a large enough loop closed at a far enough distance from
    the line, run a light bulb. However the output voltage isn't constant,
    and,depending on line current, you may have a dim bulb (say less than 50V)
    or have a problem with a bulb blowing up and the socket flashing over (at,
    say 1000V+), Of course if you escape being killed, you can end up in court
    with a charge of theft. Cheaper, safer and more reliable to simply connect
    to the grid legally.
  8. Tesla did in fact work very dilligently on that, building a massive
    (for the time) structiure called the Wycliff Tower in New Jersey. His
    idea was to transmitt power eventually to a duplicate tower in Europe.
    This came after his idea on the electricity transmission through the
    earth's magnetic field, partly because of the pressure he got to make
    something commercially profitable. He never finished it though, his
    backers pulled out before it could be proven. As it turns out, Tesla
    had grossly miscalculated the amount of energy that could be
    transmitted that way, and of course he never concerned himself with
    side effects.

    A side result of his experiments is what eventually lead to radio wave
    transmission, from which Marconi benefitted. Tesla sued him over the
    rights to claim the invention of the wireless transmitter, and won
    eventually, but the fact reamins that in Tesla's case it was somewhat
    accidental, Marconi actually set out specifically to transmit signals
    like a telegraph.
  9. Bud--

    Bud-- Guest

    It was Wardenclyffe, not that that matters.

    Long before the tower he demonstrated a model submarine remotely
    controlled by radio, a sensation at the time. My impression is that the
    patents included using resonant circuits to permit multiple chanel
    communication. I think the final patent battle was Marconi against the
    US government, and the US used Tesla's patents to defeat Marconi.

    Interesting person, in both positive and negative ways. When I was in
    school all I heard about was the Tesla coil, but he had all the basic
    patents on AC motors and a lot of other AC apparatus.


  10. One thing that impressed me about Telsa, he didn't like T. Edison. I
    was originally impressed with him, and glad to meet him, but later
    dispised him. It seems that in a conversation, Edison mentioned that
    he had some electrical differculties with power generation, and would
    give a large sum of money to the person who found the solution. Telsa,
    worked on the problems, and gave them to Edison. Edison was greatful,
    and gave no money, he told Telsa he should learn to understand
    American humor.

    For us, good thing they had a falling out. If Telsa became another
    cronnie of Edison, his creative personality might have been hindered.


    tom @
  11. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

    Tesla breakthroughs- the induction machine and polyphase AC were not given
    to Edison. Edison was fully wrapped up with his DC systems. Westinghouse got
    the benefit of Tesla's work at a royalty of $1 per KW and he gave this up
    when Westinghouse was in difficulty. Edison fought tooth and nail against
    AC, and managed to convince the NY state penal authority that AC was more
    lethal and shoould be used for the first electric chair. So goes the story.

  12. Imagine if DC got more entrenched if Telsa went to work for Edison? I
    only have documentries to go on since I'm not that old, but Edison was
    a tyrant to his workers.

    Edison got beat up early in life for getting zero bucks for his
    inventions, and then got 'refocused' into a meaner person over time.


  13. krw

    krw Guest

    I thought it was the opposite; NYS chose AC since it was more
    lethal and Edison said, "See!".
  14. Bud--

    Bud-- Guest

  15. Bud--

    Bud-- Guest

    Edison made his lab available to test electrocution of dogs and other
    assorted animals including horses. I think it has been shown the major
    proponent of AC for electrocution was paid, at least in part, by Edison.
    The first actual electrocution of a person was horribly botched.

    The 1st major success for AC was the 1893 Chicago World's Fair/Columbian
    Exposition. Westinghouse won the contract for major electrical using
    Tesla's AC system. It was a marvel - electric lights everywhere.
    Westinghouse had to invent a new relatively short life light bulb to
    avoid Edison's patents.

    The real major success, of course, was AC generation at Niagra Falls
    with high voltage transmission to Buffalo NY.

    Tesla said something to the effect of if Edison had a base in science
    knowledge he could have found a successful light bulb filament material
    a lot faster.

    A lot of Tesla's later ideas were somewhat bizarre. It would be nice to
    see a good scientific analysis of them (like Wardenclyffe and earth
    resonance). Some of them have been picked up by pseudoscience nuts.
    Substantially lost to history and engineering are Tesla's base patents
    for AC and radio.

  16. J. B. Wood

    J. B. Wood Guest

    Hello, all, and I just thought I would jump in here since I am employed by
    an activity that considers Edison a founding father. Edison's preference
    for a system of D.C. power generation and distribution is a matter of
    record and has already been discuseed in this thread. What we should
    remember is that Edison was an inventor that did not concentrate solely on
    power generation and distribution apparatus (even though many of his
    inventions required electric power). Tesla, OTOH and Westinghouse were
    specifically interested in this technology and Tesla in particular could
    be considered as much an electrical engineer as an inventor. Tesla's
    explanation of electromagnetic wave propagation, however, would indicate
    that he did not appreciate/comprehend the work of J.C. Maxwell.

    In the realm of electrical metrics named for experimentalists and
    inventors Edison has been ignored. Ditto for Benjamin Franklin. In the
    international system (SI) of units the "Tesla" is used for magnetic flux
    density and we also have the "bel" (after A.G. Bell) to denote power
    ratio. Sincerely,

    John Wood (Code 5550) e-mail:
    Naval Research Laboratory
    4555 Overlook Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20375-5337
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