May 30, 2014
Don’t read this update unless you are familiar with the topic from my posts here and here. And be sure to read the comments as well.
Okay, if you are playing along at home, you know I asked the company to do two things to demonstrate the credibility of their claims:
1. Tell us how much wattage the device produces over X period of time.
2. Provide a video that is a continuous tracking shot of the working prototype from antenna to operating appliance, with no edits.
I’ll pause to remind you that 99% of claims “like this” turn out to be complete bullshit. I’m not backing the claims, just giving them their time in the sun to see what happens. I find this fascinating no matter the outcome.
I predicted that if this is a scam, the wattage estimates would be delayed or there would be some excuse for why they can’t be produced. And if this is a scam, I predicted that the video of the continuous tracking shot of the prototype would never arrive.
So how’d they do?
The company produced for me a video of the technology from antenna to capacitors but it included an edit break before the working appliance. I rejected that video as being exactly what a scammer would produce. They acknowledge my point and plan to reshoot without an edit. The reason given for the edit break is that the camera had to be put down because it takes two hands to start the appliance safely in the lab environment. They will shoot again with one camera person and one operating the appliance.
Keep in mind that a video would not show how long it took to charge the capacitors, and one could never be sure there are no hidden power cords or batteries. But if the company can’t produce a video showing the prototype working from antenna to appliance without an edit break, there’s nothing here.
The company also offered this video, taken this week by another hobbyist who visited their lab because he works on the same sort of stuff. This video doesn’t have the continuous shot either, but you’ll see a lot more detail about the company’s claims.
Next, I asked about the average wattage produced. Their lawyer, who has an electrical engineering background, produced what follows. I don’t understand any of it, and I’m intensely curious whether they would dare to publish complete bullshit about electronics on this particular blog. That would be the worst scam strategy of all time.
My personal bullshit filter says that anything this complicated is intended to confuse. But that’s just a bias based on pattern recognition. I’ll let you decide how real it is.
Here’s the LinkedIn profile of the lawyer/EE:
And here is his website.
And here is his wattage estimate analysis.
The Median Values Estimate, far bottom, is derived from calculations averaging a highly active ion harvesting period with a low active ion harvesting period to arrive at a Median Values Estimate.
Highly Active Ion Harvesting Period:
15 minutes to charge 75uF to 17.5kV. With those numbers:
We have charged 75uF of capacitance to 17.5kV in 15 minutes. To calculate the current it takes to charge the capacitors to that voltage in that time, we use the following formula:
I= 75×10^-6 x 17500 / 15(60) The factor of 60 is introduced because the formula uses seconds, so we multiple 15 minutes by 60 to get the amount of seconds.
To calculate the power available, then, we multiply 1.45mA by 17,500 and we get 25.4W from the single collector.
Multiplying this by 4 to get an hour, a single collector produces approximately 100Wh or 360,000 Joules.
Slow Ion Harvesting Period
In the case in which it took 2 hours to charge 75uF to 4kV:
We have charged 75uF of capacitance to 4kV in 2 hours. To calculate the current it takes to charge the capacitors to that voltage in that time, we use the following formula:
I= 75×10^-6 x 4000 / 120(60) The factor of 60 is introduced because the formula uses seconds, so we multiple 15 minutes by 60 to get the amount of seconds.
To calculate the power available, then, we multiply 41.7uA by 4000 and we get 167mW from the single collector.
Dividing this by 2 to get an hour, a single collector produces approximately 83mWh or 300 Joules.
Median Values Estimate:
So for median values, we have
I = 745uA with a /- 25% tolerance gives a range of 559uA to 931uA
P = 12.78W with a /- 25% tolerance gives a range of 9.59W to 15.98W
W= 50Wh or 180kJ with a /- 25% tolerance gives a range of 37.5Wh (135kJ) to 62.5Wh (225kJ)
Scalability and Economy of Scale:
A preliminary test indicates that 1 ion collector of determined length located at 300 feet altitude approximates similar output compared to the combined proof-of-concept harvesting towers at 130 feet altitude, subject to repeatability tests and confirmation. The “two balloon” experiment conducted in 2006 strongly suggests that this technology is scalable, subject to repeatability tests and confirmation.
The preferred method of determining an average output is through the use of a Data Logger/Recorder. In the absence of owning a Data/Logger Recorder, the above estimates have been substituted.
———— end ————
Did they answer my question of how much wattage is produced on average?
Some of you asked why they don’t just get a local university or other experts to take a look and validate their technology. I can confirm from my own experience trying to find an expert for that task that no one who answers to a boss knows how to get permission for this sort of thing. It looks like a career suicide mission.
So while failure to get an expert’s opinion fits the pattern of a scam, it also fits the pattern of an inventor with no credibility and a lab in a cow field.
I’ll remind you again that things “like this” turn out to be bullshit 99% of the time. Don’t lose that context. But let’s reject ideas based on data, not pattern.
My personal view comes down to this. The basic idea of getting energy from the air is proven science. You can see other experiments of this type on Youtube. The company’s claim is that they tried different antennae until they found one (graphite/graphene) that works far better than others. That seems plausible to me because it would be surprising if all antennae performed the same.
What we don’t know is whether the new antenna is so much better that it could make this technology economical. The inventor doesn’t know that either. He’s asking for money to find out.
The critics among you have pointed out that it is unlikely there is enough energy in the air to be harvested economically. I say that if the invention can (for example) collect ions for three hours and light a bulb for half an hour then that feels like something worth developing further. But the company hasn’t shown that it can do what I described in a way I find credible.
I’ll close by reminding you again that this sort of thing turns out to be bullshit 99% of the time. Skepticism is warranted.
What do you think now?
Co-founder of CalendarTree.com
Author of a great graduation present