General Question

Afos22's avatar

Is it possible or practical to generate electricity utilizing the magnetic field of the earth?

Asked by Afos22 (3980points) November 29th, 2010

Could the earth ever be used as a giant generator?

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24 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

nope. not for us anyway. we’ve nothing to affix our velocity to.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies is correct. Good question, though.

Afos22's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Affix our velocity? Go on..

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

our spin isn’t attachable to anything.

filmfann's avatar

Didn’t Tesla show it could be done?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

we’d be better off with a moon gravity generator. its already powering the oceans.

perhaps an earth gravity generator could power a moon base.

ETpro's avatar

@filmfann If Tesla had something to say about generating electricity from the Earth’s electromagnetic field, I missed it. Not seeing it at that Wikipedia article either. Where is it?

The problem, as @RealEyesRealizeRealLies notes, to generate electricity, you either need a moving coil of wire moving through a stationary magnetic field, or vice versa. While the Earth and its field rotate, there is no stationary winding that can supply a winding that the electrical flow would be drawn from.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro You are correct. To rephrase though, you need a conductor, a magnetic field, and relative motion between the two. That basically means that you need a giant stationary ring around the Earth, and it would take more energy to keep such a thing in a stable orbit than it’s worth. I wont even get into the hassles and expense of building it in the first place.

If you want to build just a little thing that doesn’t move relative to the Earth then you will lack one of the three required things and fail.

cockswain's avatar

The magnetic field around the Earth is the result of the electricity generated by the Earth revolving around a (molten) iron core.

i think i said that right

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

yes you did say that right

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@jerv ”...a giant stationary ring…”

Saturn has rings. So would it work if the rocks they’re made of had an extremely high copper content? Does anyone know if Saturn spins independently of its rings?

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Unfortunately for our dreams of free energy, Saturn’s rings are made up of lots and lots of discrete chunks of rock and space junk, not a continuous coil or coils of copper wire. :-)

jerv's avatar

There is also the matter of keeping it in a stable orbit. As I recall, Saturn’s rings move about a bit, and not just in a revolving way.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv I believe they follow the planet’s rotation with some lag, and they also have ripples that flow through them due to the tidal forces of the massive planet they encircle. Rings such as the Titan ringlet, in close proximity to a moon (Titan, in its case) also exhibit disturbances due to the gravitational force of the nearby moon.

Paradox's avatar

@filmfann I think Tesla actually spent more time planning his wireless ac power transmission. I’ve actually made a small one of these (single wire transmission line) and yes they do work. This page goes into detail about Tesla’s very brilliant plan for wireless ac power transmission.

@Afos22 It would be a difficult and very expensive process. It would probally be better to eliminate any type of power grid and have everyone use their own seperate electrical power sources in inside of their own homes.

There was an inventor named Geoffrey Spence who demonstrated an actual working prototype he built on Sept 14th 2001 at a Green Party conference in Salisbury where a number of engineers and physicists were in attendence, this used a cylinder shaped vacuum tube with permanent magnets inside on each of the flat ends of the tube, with means for accelerating an electron beam emmited from a cathode in mostly a tangential direction. A central anode collected all the electrons emmitted from the cathode. Here is the actual patent for the device that is called a “Motionless Electromagnetic Generator”. Apparentely the output only generated around 35 watts and considering the cost of the parts used to build the device it didn’t seem feasible. It could set the stage for tapping energy out of the “zero point” that is in outer space or the “quantum vacuum”. I believe Tesla was working on a similar concept for tapping energy from the zero point.

There was apparantely another inventor (unable to find his name or links at this current time) who was working on a car powered by water subjected to vibration at an undisclosed critical frequency that dissociates into hydrogen and oxygen. Apparently the energy required to do this is claimed to be at a minute fraction of the energy required to the same thing by electrolysis. This inventor was suppositively poisoned and killed three days after his TV presentation had appeared. I will try to find more information on this one.

Here are some very cool links on other self-powered energy devices where actual demonstrations on YouTube are given.

Afos22's avatar

@Paradox This “Motionless Electromagnetic Generator” sounds suspiciously like free energy.

mattbrowne's avatar

The first law of thermodynamics helps too understanding this. Consider this

Turning this on, makes riding the bike a little harder. We don’t get the photons emitted by the bike lights for free, do we?

jerv's avatar

The way I see it, if that sort of free energy stuff really worked then power companies would have monetized it already in order to widen their profit margins.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Here’s some wild science I just heard about today, and it can be “monetized” for any community who wants to invest in it.

Geneticists are attempting to combine the genetic codes of light emitting animals such as fire flies into the genetic code of trees. A community could therefor turn off their city lights and opt to have a certain row of trees light up the neighborhood.

No links sorry. Just heard it on the news this morning.

Afos22's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I thought it was something to do with gold particles. Also, WOO Avatar jungle, here we come.

Paradox's avatar

@Afos22 This “Motionless Electromagnetic Generator” sounds suspiciously like free energy. Uhm did you actually investigate this before making a statement like that? This demonstration was done live in front of many people including physicists and engineers. It worked. It’s power output at 35 watts however didn’t seem impressive considering the cost of the parts for building the device. The whole point behind this is that in the future tapping energy from the zero point of outer space may be more feasible then using the earths own magnetic field.

@jerv Did you actually watch the links? The inline generator demonstration actually worked, there were no tricks that I’ve seen. This device needed booster power to start it up but then once the capacitors were fully charged he was able to disconnect the power source. This idea actually uses the earths magnetic field to work after the initial power source was removed. It’s at least interesting. Did you look at the motor in the other clips? It only used a booster charge (to charge the field) then it ran on its own power. This was fully demonstrated.

Investigate things fully before coming to conclusions. Don’t make decisions based on cognitive dissonance. This seems so common on here.

Afos22's avatar

@Paradox Oh boy,.Such devices never create more energy than it takes to create and ‘start it up’. It may have had an output of 35 watts when it was first started, but then it would slow down once the initial start up energy worked though the system. Unless this new device was different than the thousands of other attempts by utilizing antimatter or magic or even broke the laws of physics themselves, I can not believe it

jerv's avatar

@Paradox After a few decades of seeing that sort of thing, I’ve become quite adept at recognizing variations on a theme. I also notice that many such things seem to fall apart in the presence of anybody who has every actually studied electrical engineering; that might explain why the only “successful” demos I’ve seen have been internet videos as opposed to live demos.

Johemia's avatar

It is possible to harness energy from any living object. As a whole, with all particles and elements, vibrations, etc, the earth is already generating power and life. The tidal, wind or rotatition is not necessary. One can tap human energy through conductive garments. I would suggest the same is possible for the earth. They have just discovered that particles can move faster than light. Soon these discoveries will harness the power of gaia through trees or some such thing but it will never exist as a solitary planet able to gebnerate any damn thing without its orbitting family of planets and stars. I do fear the dangerous effect that too many satellites will have on the earth’s gravity and electromagnetic field. They will create a dangerous cloak that will interfere with natural universal conductivity and symbiosis.

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