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misstrikcy's avatar

Has anyone successfully built a 'Tesla Generator'?

Asked by misstrikcy (1257points) February 4th, 2011

My dad is thinking of buying plans from the internet to build a ‘Tesla Generator’ – with a view to generating our own electricity.

All the websites we have viewed so far insist on a payment before seeing any of the plans.
They dont seem that expensive, but of course we are always worried about paying for something you cant see first (my view is that these are very often a con), and if the plans are as good, and as useful as the adverts purport to be.
I’m wondering if any Fluthers have built a Tesla Generator or anything similar?
Did it work? Has it been worth it?
Where did you get your plans from?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated..

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18 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

My friend Jerry Larsen one of the Mastersof Lightning has. He says it is actually very easy to build, the hard part is tapping into the power source you need to have any real fun doing so!! XD

misstrikcy's avatar

Wow, never seen that dude before – that looks crazy – is he a Fluther?

Cruiser's avatar

@misstrikcy Don’t know and kinda doubt it. If he is a Jelly I’m sure he would answer this question.

LuckyGuy's avatar

If your dad is doing this because he thinks it will be fun and he can make sparks and lightning in the basement, that is fine. But if he is expecting to generate his own electricity to power the house and save money he will be disappointed.
Have him look here: Tesla Society of NY .

misstrikcy's avatar

@worriedguy Yes unfortunately he does want to power the house.
I’ll show him to the site when I get home. I dont want him to be ripped off or disappointed, so many thanks for this.

blueiiznh's avatar

I have built one as a learning project.
The costs on those are small and they won’t let you see the plans because it is a scam
It would be a pretty tall order to build something on the scale you mention and one that i doubt an individual would get approval to use.
Yes my build worked and was worth it from a learning perspective.

Tesla was an amazing inventor and his patents of AC motor and over the air broadcasting (radio) are still in use.

gasman's avatar

A tesla coil is used to produce high voltages at relatively high currents and frequencies, mainly to make dramatically long sparks to please an audience and look all “sciency” like in Frankenstein movies. It’s authentic and it’s fun but not terribly useful.

Googling “Tesla generator,” on the other hand, brings up all kinds of crazy and credulous something-for-nothing claims of free electrical power promising to take you off the grid. Get real. Ain’t gonna happen.

Buttonstc's avatar

If your Dad is seriously interested in finding an alternative source other than the electric company, there are far less “scammy” resources.

One method which people have ACTUALLY utilized successfuly in everything from running their cars, heating their farm buildings or homes to whatever is converting to BIODIESEL.

Some actually go around to restaurants collecting their used fryer oil and subsequently converting it chemically into Biodiesel.

Or others just use a very fine filtration system for this oil (abbreviated as WVO——Waste Vegetable Oil) and then use it in a diesel engine.

Mike Rowe even did an episode of his show, Dirty Jobs, where the guy showed how simple it was and took him through the whole process on camera. Basically he just used a fairly simple chemical process to convert the WVO into Biodiesel.

Unlike the Tesla scam, there are people all over the country who are doing this. Many of them power their cars entirely this way.

Willie Nelson and several other groups run their tour buses on Biodiesel.

And the bonus factor about finding the info about utilizing this method is that he doesn’t have to pay a scam artist for plans.

There are numerous places where all the info he needs is available for the princely sum of FREE. No need to pay anybody. All he needs to invest is his time (to do the research) and a minimal amount for either a filtering system or the equipment for chemical conversion.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@misstrikcy I was afraid you’d say that.
Do you have trees or wood available? You can heat your house with wood and reduce your electric/oil/gas bill. There are also steam powered electric generators that he can use to make electricity. Those ideas work. There are piezoelectric energy harvesters that collect energy from RF and vibration but they only generate a minuscule amount of power.
The laws of physics are hard to beat. You don’t get something for nothing.

The only way you can reduce your electric bill with a Tesla coil is by selling (freely available) plans for making a Tesla coil and paying your electric bill with the money.

mrentropy's avatar

Is this about a Tesla Coil, or one of his supposed “free energy” generator things?

YARNLADY's avatar

No one has yet harnessed the magnetic energy that Tesla spoke of.

jerv's avatar

I recall having a pretty heated “discussion” with someone here on Fluther who was trying to convince me that these things worked. Trust me, I know a little too much about electrical engineering to trust a device that mysteriously fails when scrutinized by someone with any skill as an actual electrician.

Electricity is generated by a conductor, a magnetic field, and relative motion between the two. I will not bore you with long-winded lectures about magnetic fields (in particular the magnetic field of the Earth) beyond saying that the Earth’s magnetic field is too weak to generate any useful amount of electricity, especially with any device much smaller than a football stadium. You can make more electricity scuffing your feet on the carpet.

As for the magnifying transmitter that the Tesla Generator claims to use to get free energy, it was actually designed to transmit electricity, not to generate it.

zzzpatzzz's avatar

in 1899 at Colorado Springs by transmitting 100 million volts of high-frequency Wireless Electricity over a distance of 26 miles at which he lit up a bank of 200 light bulbs and ran one electric motor! With this souped up version of his Tesla coil, Tesla claimed that only 5% of the transmitted energy was lost in the process. The method he would use to produce this Wireless Electricity was to employ the earth’s own resonance with its specific vibrational frequency to conduct AC electricity via a large electric oscillator. A Tesla coil is a special transformer that can take the 110 volt electricity from your house and convert it rapidly to a great deal of high-voltage, high-frequency, low-amperage power. The high-frequency Wireless Electricity output of even a small Tesla coil can light up fluorescent tubes held several feet away without any wire connections. Even a large number of spent or discarded fluorescent tubes (their burned out cathodes are irrelevant) will light up if hung near a long wire running from a Tesla coil while using less than 100 watts drawn by the coil itself when plugged into an electrical outlet!Since the Tesla coil steps up the voltage to such a high degree, the alternating oscillations achieve sufficient excitations within the tubes of gases to produce lighting at a minimal expense of original power! Fluorescent tubes can be held under high-tension wires to produce the same lighting up effect

blueiiznh's avatar

@zzzpatzzz yes, this is a correct statement of the event. You left out the fact that it also created spontaneous fires of houses and crop fields.

jerv's avatar

@blueiiznh Where do you think that the “lost” energy went?
Just as a large percentage of the gas in your car is used to heat the engine instead of turn the tires, wireless electricity generates waste heat in places you may not want. While we can tap the waste heat of a car engine to heat the passenger compartment, it’s kind of hard to harness and use the energy of a burning crop field.

misstrikcy's avatar

Thanks everyone for your advice.
I’ve passed the info onto my dad, and having done some digging about himself over the weekend, has sort of come to the same conclusions as you… it’s all a bit ‘pie in the sky.’
Of course he’s disappointed, but, he hasn’t wasted any money, and he seems to have moved on quite quickly. Now he’s talking about building a ‘solar panel….’ lol

blueiiznh's avatar

The solar panel is more doable. I admire his desire to be green. At least he is not going to try geothermal :D

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