C

closed circuit generator operation, the efficiency variation was expected to be minimal, though the efficiency itself was most likely less than 100%. (See Error Discussion section for more information.)

In one sample trial, with stripchart results shown in Fig. 5, at 1000 RPM, the open circuit voltage was measured to be 65 mV (bottom graph) while the drive motor power consumption was 249 watts, which yielded a torque calculation of 2.37 N-m. At the same speed, the short circuit current was measured to be 380 Amps (top graph), with the drive motor power consumption going up to 266 watts, yielding a torque calculation of 2.54 N-m. Taking the difference of the two torques, we find 0.16 N-m extra torque was needed to drive the generator during power output. Therefore, this is an indirect measure of the back torque of the generator. A digital tachometer was used to verify the speed, which was maintained at 16.7 Hz (1000 RPM).

In spite of this back torque, and the accuracy of the voltage and current measurements, the drive motor power consumption increased by only 17 watts while the generated power was 24 watts, with an estimated error of +/- 2 watts. This anomalous power output, often referred to as "free energy" [30], cannot be explained readily. The clear current output line of this trial shows good continuous conduction without the turbulence that plagued many further tests as the solder overheated. However, after teaching physics for several years and emphasizing error calculations, it becomes apparent that the relative errors in the three place accuracy of the power calculation become a source of the problem when the subtraction is made to obtain the difference in the motor power demand. The relative error is calculated to be at best +/- 6 watts and at worst, +/- 12 watts. Therefore, the 17 watts is really accurate to only one digit.

A second sample trial is shown where conduction through the liquid metal was hampered slightly and turbulence is apparent in the current output graph. Here the generator was operated at 600 RPM, with 45 mV and 240 A produced. Drive motor power consumption was 139 W open circuit and 150 W closed circuit, yielding a difference of 11 W.

closed circuit generator operation, the efficiency variation was expected to be minimal, though the efficiency itself was most likely less than 100%. (See Error Discussion section for more information.)

In one sample trial, with stripchart results shown in Fig. 5, at 1000 RPM, the open circuit voltage was measured to be 65 mV (bottom graph) while the drive motor power consumption was 249 watts, which yielded a torque calculation of 2.37 N-m. At the same speed, the short circuit current was measured to be 380 Amps (top graph), with the drive motor power consumption going up to 266 watts, yielding a torque calculation of 2.54 N-m. Taking the difference of the two torques, we find 0.16 N-m extra torque was needed to drive the generator during power output. Therefore, this is an indirect measure of the back torque of the generator. A digital tachometer was used to verify the speed, which was maintained at 16.7 Hz (1000 RPM).

In spite of this back torque, and the accuracy of the voltage and current measurements, the drive motor power consumption increased by only 17 watts while the generated power was 24 watts, with an estimated error of +/- 2 watts. This anomalous power output, often referred to as "free energy" [30], cannot be explained readily. The clear current output line of this trial shows good continuous conduction without the turbulence that plagued many further tests as the solder overheated. However, after teaching physics for several years and emphasizing error calculations, it becomes apparent that the relative errors in the three place accuracy of the power calculation become a source of the problem when the subtraction is made to obtain the difference in the motor power demand. The relative error is calculated to be at best +/- 6 watts and at worst, +/- 12 watts. Therefore, the 17 watts is really accurate to only one digit.

A second sample trial is shown where conduction through the liquid metal was hampered slightly and turbulence is apparent in the current output graph. Here the generator was operated at 600 RPM, with 45 mV and 240 A produced. Drive motor power consumption was 139 W open circuit and 150 W closed circuit, yielding a difference of 11 W.

. lJ.-j . [3So/rts.: :. .1 TP"'; '"iry^rf V: "' ■ [A';"

•■>■•: --' — ■ . -. , - - • r- I • • -: ~ i ■ ■■

T"

Proc. Intersoc. Energy Conver. Eng. Confer., 1991

Torque to the generator was 2.39 N-m open circuit and 2.21 N-m closed circuit, yielding 0.18 N-m difference which is again within 10% of the expected range, in spite of the relative error discussion above, which applies to torque measurement/calculations as well. In this case however, the power difference of 11 watts was almost exactly equal to the generated power of the OPFG. It may be possible that a loss was created in the erratic conduction through the brush, increasing the resistance of the brush and therefore, decreasing the current output. This would cause the generated power to drop as well. Fresh solder should probably be used for each trial since it oxidizes.

Comparing with the theoretical calculation of back torque (using I = J X B) from the point of view of the torque generated from the passage of generated current through the magnetic flux of the system T=BRI/2 (with the same definition of R as above), yields 0.164 N-m which is in close agreement with the torque difference method above. This calculation shows that back torque is really the same as a homopolar motor (HPM) effect, analogous to the back emf in motors. Researchers therefore try to maximize HPG effect while minimizing the HPM effect. Utilizing a 1) closed path magnetic field, as Trombly and Kahn, 2) a low reluctance disk (iron or steel), and 3) a spirally-segmented disk will all contribute to changing the balance of the unaltered or "natural" HPG and OPFG.

Testing Rotating Frame Voltage

A test of the reiativistic effect of a neutral electric environment in the rotating frame of the OPFG disk was performed, even in the presence of generated current. Using a modification of a previously designed voltage regulator which has an internal voltage reference [32], an LED voltmeter was placed on the rotating OPFG to look for the presence of any voltage surpassing an arbitrary 15 mV threshold. Tested in the laboratory rest frame, with the solder-soaked leads sliding on the shaft and periphery, the LED turned off almost immediately as the OPFG started turning, generating over 100 mV. Designing the LED voltmeter to turn off as it measured the vottage was of great value for the high speed rotor motion. Since the LED circuit becomes part of the generator as it is rotating, it has been suggested that it cannot function because it is a conductor itself. However, since the LED voltmeter is a 9 volt system, and stays lit, the electrons in the low voltage emf environment are not overpowered by the effective electric field within the rotating frame. The small circuit, about the size of the 9 volt battery that was used, is diagrammed in Fig. 6.

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