Why has no research been given to magnetically generated energy?

I thought I was the first to think of it, until this afternoon.

In fact it has been more than thought of.

Scientists have said it's impossible to generate sustainable power with magnets (source: an article I read online, probably inaccurate). Yet I have seen videos on Youtube, along with a lot of other material, that shows there are people developing their own magnetic generators that offer power for less than 1 cent per kilowatt.

As I'm not an electrician, I don't know exactly what that means, but considering the context, I guess it means a lot of power for a tiny price.

And I wonder:

If this is happening, which it clearly is, why aren't world governments looking into ways to implement this almost free power, and quit digging up oil?

13 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Out where I live, we have great big magnetic generators called hydro-electric dams. Because they are so big and heavy, the magnets are hard to turn, so we use the force of dammed up water to push them and generate the electricity. That's the problem, to operate the generators, you need some kind of energy, whether it's gravity, a diesel engine or bicycle pedals. All you are doing is trading one form of energy for another, and losing some in the proces to friction. All magneto-electric generators work this way, large or small. the only difference is the power source.

    Some people think ethanol is a way to eliminate our dependence on oil, but you still need machines to grow, harvest and process the fuel. Electric cars require electricity, which as you can see, requires some other form of power to be generated. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

  • 1 decade ago

    Every bit of electricity (almost) that you use is generated magnetically.

    Generators work by moving a piece of wire through a magnetic field. When this happens, it generates a voltage on the wire. Every AC generator works on this principle, from nuclear to wind.

    What all of these systems have in common is that they take some moving medium (air, steam, water, etc) and use it to turn the armature of a generator, which moves either a wire through a magnetic field, or a magnetic field through a wire.

    Coal, Natural gas and oil fired generating stations heat water, generating steam, which is then used to turn a turbine which powers the generator. Many nuclear plants rely on the heat from a reactor which heats a primary liquid (radioactive), which then goes to a heat exchanger to generate steam, which powers the turbines.

    Hydroelectric power plants rely on the pressure of falling water to turn turbines, and wind power uses the motion of wind to turn the turbines.

    All of these are forms of using magnetism to generate electricity.

    Solar power is coming down in price, and directly converts light to electricity. In this system, photons of energy interact with the atoms in a substrate and free electrons which then move through the connected wires. This is more of a direct conversion and does not require any magnetism. The trouble with this sort of energy is that it needs to be converted from direct current to alternating current so that it can move along our transmission lines efficiently.

    Edit:

    I didn't realize that there was an entire pseudo-science built up around this. Apparently the concept is to somehow harness the magnetic fields of the Earth and Universe to produce useable power. Unfortunately this is simply not possible because at any given point on Earth, that field is simply not dense enough.

    Looking at a design of such a system, it's blatantly impossible. The idea that it's hidden because free energy would not be exploited, or it would be hindered because big businesses wouldn't make money is silly. Solar power disproves that. Solar panels are built and used widely. They power boats, road signs, camps and more.

    The truth is that if such a device could be built, and if it worked, it certainly would be. It doesn't work because it can't. The idea is simply that a rotating coil will extract energy from a magnetic field, and that the Earth's magnetic field will power the device.

    The simple law of physics is that a static magnetic field CANNOT generate power. Either the wire or the field has to be in motion. To produce useable amounts of power, it must be a very strong and dense field. The Earth's magnetic field, in a local area is neither strong nor dense.

    Such devices cannot work. Sorry.

    Source(s): I used to design build test equipment to test watthour meters. These meters worked on a principle similar to what is advanced for these devices, involving a rotating mechanism in a magnetic field. I know something about the production and measurement of electricity.
  • Kith D
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Quite a lot of research has been done into this field. The issue is getting enough electricity reliably from a small enough device to be usable.

    There is even a group trying to get funding for magnetically "enhanced" windmills.

    Of course there are 3 problems going on.

    1) Lots of the data has been faked.

    2) The risk of losing an "intellectual property" that is "worth millions", means no one is sharing the real data.

    3) It takes a lot of money and time to move from novelty gizmo to industrial application.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would guess that you should ask this in science.

    All the methods that I know to convert magnetic energy into electric involve the use of rotating a large amount of wire through the magnetic field, thus requiring an outside force - like water flowing through a dam.

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  • Atmo D
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I think you might have answered this question for yourself. If something is virtually free - I don't know if you've noticed this or not - it is not usually marketed, generally these inventions are patented and locked away somewhere so that they can't be used, as in the case of the everlasting lightbulb. Something which won't make money is of no use to the rich boys at the top and in this case, the market for oil etc, would just collapse and become virtually worthless. Need I say more!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Magnets don't create energy, they just make it move.

    If you look down the chain, you'll see that some sort of energy was required to power the magnetically "generated" energy.

    (I had a similar discussion with a professor when I was studying electronics. And he went to great lengths to explain this. It broke my heart, because I thought I was about to solve the world's energy crisis :)

  • 1 decade ago

    ehm... have you ever heard of induction?

    the process used in almost every generator on earth... spinning around a magnet in a coil. by use of a wind turbine, steam turbine, running water in a dam... ALLMOST ALL THE ELECTRICITY used on earth, is generated by induction... magnets.

    the problem is, to create induction, you need flux ( a moving magnetic field) the magnetic field itself is not a problem, you have a magnet. but where are you going to get the energy for the motion?

  • 1 decade ago

    The question is is it viable on a large scale? Experiments in laboratories are fine but if it isn't practical to construct large scale generators of this type then you can't expect money and time to be expended in studying it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Electric companies would be broken, that's why. Cleaner, cheaper forms of energy means less money for companies and governments live from them

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    you can't generate power with magnets only transfer it

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