Introduction

The general homopolar generator (HPG) is one in which a disk or a drum is rotated adjacent to a magnet of the same size and shape. It has been suggested by DePalma that the one-piece Faraday generator (OPFG) may have the unusual possibility of the absence of back torque [1]. Subsequently, the author [2], Trombly [3], and Wilhelm [4] began three independent experiments to replicate DePalma's results. Only one of us claim success in that endeavor, while Wilhelm and the author experienced back torque which compensated for the generated power in most cases. All three of the above scientists used liquid metal brushes in their experiments (Trombly-NaK; Wilhelm-Hg; Valone-low temperature solder) to reduce contact resistance. It is agreed that Trombly's sodium-potassium, having the viscosity of water, was superior to the other two. A major problem affecting all liquid metal brushes is the MHD instability caused by electrical conduction and motion in the presence of the magnetic field. None of us have calculated the measurable effect due to MHD that may have contributed to our results but they are expected to be negligible [5]. Referred to as an electromagnetic pumping force [6], the liquid metal becomes turbulent when the Reynolds number exceeds 2000. Eddy current and MHD losses then occur [7].

Eddy currents in the solid conducting disk are not a contributing factor to losses since there is no changing magnetic field. However, the motion of the conductor through the magnetic field, which remains station-

is self-sustaining. "The crucial question is how the core liquid flows to act as a dynamo. Also a self-sustaining dynamo does not require a constant supply of magnetic field, it does require a constant supply of mechanical energy to keep the conducting material moving. In the case of the earth's core this means not only that the metallic fluid must flow in the right manner but also that some energy source must sustain the flow" [9]. Helical convection patterns called "rollers" created from conducting liquid metal are the best explanation of the mysterious secret of the earth's self-sustaining OPFG (SSOPFG).

In regards to the back torque of the earth's SSOPFG, Busse, Roberts, Lowes, and Wilkinson of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne are working on mechanical models of the earth's core to explain the changes in the fluid's speed and direction when the magnetic forces are large. A slightly different model that is being tested as well is the self-exciting OPFG (SEOPFG) which requires a spirally-segmented disk and/or external current-carrying coils as Tesla suggested. Since he noted that the armature current tends to demagnetize the field, in a normal solid disk configuration, Tesla felt that the subdivision of the disk would be an enhancement. In regards to these beneficial eddy currents, he writes, "The current, once started, may then be sufficient to maintain itself and even increase in strength, and then we have the case of Sir William Thomson's 'current accumulator'" [8].

A laboratory SEOPFG has been built by the Lowes and Wilkinson team [11]. Using metal rollers to simulate the earth's cylindrical eddy currents, the team found some interesting results after beginning with a few viscosity problems, "...a more efficient geometry was found, so efficient that the dynamo would self-excite in a completely homogeneous state (i.e. with no insulation) at a much lower rotor speed than was believed possible" [12]. Upon achieving this breakthrough, their next goal is to look into the stability of the dynamo mechanism, hoping to observe reversals of its magnetic field.

An illustration of a seff-excited Faraday generator (SEFG) is shown in Fig. 1, where the implication is that the model is a portion of the earth's

SEOPFG [13]. The concept of the SEFG is used in some applications when an electromagnet is desired [14]. It is possible to use dual SEFGs, each exciting the other, by cross-connecting the windings. Furthermore, by creating two independent windings on each machine, with the fluxes adding on one and subtracting on the other, one can obtain two-phase alternating current [15].The AC power output of the dual SEFGs has self-limited oscillation of the magnetic field polarities as well! Being a high current, low voltage device, the FG expands its range of applications with this AC improvement.

Through further study of the SEOPFG and the SSOPFG, we hope to strive toward Tesla's prediction of an energy accumulator or at least to approach the earth's amazing SSOPFG, (which is made entirely from molten metal). Whether the SEOPFG may become the free energy generator of the future, solving home electrical power needs, as Trombly and DePalma believe, remains to be seen. (More information about free energy can be found in the other article by this author, "Non-Conventional Energy and Propulsion Methods" published concurrently in this SECEC Proceedings.)

One very pleasing discover/, that has not been found in the literature, was made with an early model of the OPFG. The OPFG, even the presence of a generated current, does not diminish or depress the emf, as normal voltage supplies and batteries do when loaded. The HPG and OPFG behave exactly as a regulated voltage source does. When tested at a fixed speed, the voltage remains the same no matter how much current is drawn from the generator [19].

Effects of the Earth's Faraday Generator

Historically, Faraday looked for the effects of the earth's OPFG, thinking that the electromotive forces (emfs) could be measured on the rotat ing disk. He tried to measure these emfs in rivers and streams [16]. Other scientists have committed a similar mistake, notably Corson [17], not knowing that such emfs are equally cancelled within the rotating frame by a self-created electrostatic field oppositely directed by the charge displacement [18]. Because B is not changing in time, curl E = 0. Therefore, the electric field that is created must be irrotational, i.e. electrostatic. (A lab test of the electrically neutral environment in the rotating frame is summarized in the Laboratory section.)

Though the emf of the earth's SSOPFG is not measureable on the surface of the rotating earth, some scientists believe the emf effect is most noticeable in the aurora borealis [20]. In fact a few have calculated the voltage that should be measurable from the pole to the equator in the magnetosphere [21]. Furthermore, some have even attributed the same HPG effects to the electromagnetic fields of stars [22].

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