Do you think this is a viable way to recharge 12v batteries? It interests me.

Thread Starter

Rolland B. Heiss

Joined Feb 4, 2015
236
I found this link today before work and plan to attempt to replicate the results in order to find out for myself if this will work or not. But before I do I'd like to garnish some input as to whether those of you who are much more learned than I feel that it is worth a try or whether you feel I might be wasting time attempting to charge a battery in this fashion.

http://www.nuenergy.org/emergency-power-from-atmospheric-static-electricity/
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,572
I found this link today before work and plan to attempt to replicate the results in order to find out for myself if this will work or not. But before I do I'd like to garnish some input as to whether those of you who are much more learned than I feel that it is worth a try or whether you feel I might be wasting time attempting to charge a battery in this fashion.

http://www.nuenergy.org/emergency-power-from-atmospheric-static-electricity/
Are you getting paid to link this crap?
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
10,246
It is a viable way to harvest energy, particularly if thunder clouds are overhead. The only experiment I previously read about this idea resulted in an LED flashing dimly at a low frequency, so maybe charging an auto battery in a couple of days is overly-optimistic.
 

blocco a spirale

Joined Jun 18, 2008
1,546
I found this link today before work and plan to attempt to replicate the results in order to find out for myself if this will work or not. But before I do I'd like to garnish some input as to whether those of you who are much more learned than I feel that it is worth a try or whether you feel I might be wasting time attempting to charge a battery in this fashion.

http://www.nuenergy.org/emergency-power-from-atmospheric-static-electricity/
I'm sure it will work, but first you must collect the parts from 8 ancient TV sets and ignore all advice given to you (by the "more learned") in your rather long and rambling thread about harvesting free energy.

Wait, you're ok, you already did all those things.


Seriously; the author does not understand that voltage does not equal power and neither do you, but by now, you should.

To quote the author: "try hooking a few more NE-2 bulbs in series to determine how much power your antenna wire can produce." and how much power is that?

"replicate the results", what results?
 
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Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
21,314
As to producing high voltage low current pulses there is not much argument. If you check the standard battery charging protocols that is not what they require. Can you make it work -- maybe. Can you avoid destroying your battery -- maybe. Do you want to risk it - - I wouldn't.

Charging a marine battery requires applying a voltage just a bit higher that the batteries open circuit voltage with a current profile that starts at a high current and progresses to a low current as the battery approaches full charge. Once the battery is charged your antenna could be connected to keep it topped off. A lightning hit to the antenna will of course destroy everything in its path. Have you ever seen the aftermath of a lightning hit?
 

PlasmaT

Joined Feb 19, 2015
61
I think this is not realistic for 2 reasons:

1. The LED bulb could be lit due to the induced static voltage developed between the earth and atmosphere. It would not last for long.

2. If a storm cloud approached, a large current can flow temporally, or a lightening strike can hit the antenna/probe.
 

tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
Or you could put a set of fan blades on a stepper motor add a few diodes stick it on your roof and get actual measurable 'free' electrical power from half a dozen junk parts and a bit of wind.

Add a joule thief circuit to it and as long as it's turning you will be able to charge your battery.
 

Lestraveled

Joined May 19, 2014
1,946
I view these kinds of articles as an abuse of science. They take a simple concept that is fundamentally true and blow it ludicrously out of proportion. Lets take your example. A well insulated antenna will indeed build up a static charge from a dry wild blowing across it. How much power is generated? My guess is somewhere between a micro-watt and a pico-watt (average.) Yet, this article leads you to believe that useable power is being generated.
 
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cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
8,287
Scientific American's Amateur Scientist column in its Oct 1974 issue discusses several types of motors that can be powered by the earth's atmospheric electric field. It also clarifies that they're mainly for toying around, and that no practical real power can be obtained from them.
And as @Papabravo just said, they can be dangerous if they're used under the wrong conditions.

Also, I'd suggest you check this collection of projects from Scientific American's Amateur Scientist column, I'd say it deserves a new thread by itself just to be discussed by those interested. It's worth a reading through and through.
 
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cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
8,287
Here's another avid SA reader from the 1950's on. Amateur Scientist and Martin Gardner were my two most favorite sections. John
When I was a kid, I always wanted to build one of those motors, and the CO2 laser...
Nowadays SA AS has become more kiddie-like... that's not necessarily a bad thing... but now it's almost dull and boring... guess they have to protect their butts against possible legal implications for use/misuse of their projects.
 

Thread Starter

Rolland B. Heiss

Joined Feb 4, 2015
236
Allow me to explain how I stumbled upon that article. I was at a website that spells out in very basic and easy to understand detail every aspect of how radios work. During the course of my reading I began to wonder what the best antennas might be and thus, opened a new browser window and searched for radio antennas. The link I shared came up in the search. It wasn't what I was looking for but it did get me curious. Please allow me to also state that I am not getting paid to post anything as was suggested by one of the fine members here. I also understand that there is no such thing as free energy but there is energy from sources such as the sun and radio waves we throw out there via work that is being lost. I'm interested in as much of a non throw away society as we can manage to achieve, not via force but rather through free will.

This morning before work I grabbed one of the telescopic antennas I had lying around in one of my part boxes and decided to test the potential. I also grabbed a very large capacitor and a copper coil I'd fashioned for a previous project. Now the capacitor had a slight charge in it which amounted to about 8 millivolts. I hooked up the positive side of the capacitor to the bottom end of the antenna and the negative side of the capacitor to the coil. Then I set it on the desk with 20 minutes remaining before I had to leave for work. Just before I left I tested the voltage in the cap and it had gone from 8 millivolts to 25.5 millivolts and I sat there a bit longer just to watch it go to 25.6. Then I unhooked everything and left because I was out of time. So I got a charge of 17.5 millivolts in 20 minutes negating the 8 millivolts the cap already contained when I started. It seems like something potentially useful was collected and could be collected continuously day and night. Granted, these aren't amps but the voltage seems to be all around us and it must be useful somehow if even on small scales. Or is it not useful for anything at all? I think about 3rd world countries or situations in which something (God forbid) should happen to the grid system. Is the voltage of no use at all? I'm learning (or desperately trying to) and still as curious about the world we live in as ever. That's why I am here. To learn and all of you have helped me a great deal and sparked even more ideas. It was MrChips who got me looking at how radios work and oddly enough that is, once again which I have now explained, how I stumbled upon the link I posted with my question in the first place as I searched for antennas.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
31,088
Hang a long enough wire in the air and you can easily pick up 50mV of RF signal from a radio station.

Is there enough energy there to charge any kind of battery? I would wager a nickel on it.
 

Thread Starter

Rolland B. Heiss

Joined Feb 4, 2015
236
Hang a long enough wire in the air and you can easily pick up 50mV of RF signal from a radio station.

Is there enough energy there to charge any kind of battery? I would wager a nickel on it.
Ok, no wagering. But what can I do with the voltage I'm getting the cap to store and can it be used for anything? In my way of thinking lots of people say voltage is mere potential energy and not useful for much of anything, yet many of those same people say that I better be careful with voltage because it can end my life if I store enough of it and touch it improperly. So does voltage contain power or not? From what I've figured out based upon comments voltage is like a rock waiting to be pushed off of a cliff in order to become kinetic. But if I touch the high voltage in the rock I'll die. I don't understand. Help me understand.
 
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