Yes, you can get energy from an “Earth Battery” No, it ain’t free

April 29th, 2010
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I received a question today from someone who asked me if I “believe in” earth batteries and whether an earth battery can actually produce energy. Apparently they had read about it online or seen some of the Youtube videos out there. They may have also read the Wikipedia article, which is totally wrong.

An earth battery is pretty simple in principle. Two metal rods are driven into the ground, ideally in soil that is reasonably wet or at least moist and has a slightly acidic pH. The rods are made of dissimilar material, for example iron and zinc or carbon and zinc or copper and iron. If the rods are connected to a voltage meter, you will find that there is a small amount of electricity being produced. The voltage is generally low and the potential amperage is low as well, but if the conditions are descent you can use this current to drive a small load such as an LED or a digital watch.

In theory you could produce a lot more voltage and electrical power if you simply added more and more rods and connected them together. Just like any battery, when connected in series, multiple battery units will produce higher voltages. When connected in parallel, the voltage will remain the same, but the potential maximum amperage will be increased. Therefore, it would be possible to power your house with enough rods stuck in the ground.

However, here’s the big party killer: The electricity is not limitless, it’s not free (although some websites that sell the supplies claim it is) and it’s not even really coming from the ground, but rather from the metal rods. When the rods are placed in ground they undergo a simple chemical reaction – they begin to corrode. If the ground is fairly dry and composed of inert material like sand, then they will corrode slowly, but if it’s moist and composed of more reactive organic matter, they will corrode faster. As they corrode, they an electrical potential is produced. Because the two rods are made of different materials, they corrode at different rates and produce dissimilar electrical potential. When connected, voltage flows between the two. This is why more corrosive soil conditions lead to more electricity being produced.

The soil is just incidental to the reaction. In fact, soil is not a very efficient medium for producing the kind of reaction necessary to produce an electrical current. If you wanted this same setup to produce more electricity and do so more efficiently, you could replace the soil with something zinc chloride, which is basically how a zinc-carbon battery works. You could also replace it with an acid, which is how some other battery types work. These substances have better electrolytic properties.

Unfortunately, the effect is not going to last very long. As the metal rods corrode, the electricity produced will be reduced. This may be remedied (at least temporarily) by pulling the rods out of the ground and grinding off the layers of corrosion that build up on their outside. This will at least bring the raw metal back in contact with the soil and allow it to corrode quickly again, but it’s only a temporary fix, as before long the metal will all be gone and all that will be left is some worthless oxide.

Really, what you’re doing is just powering your stuff on a disposable battery, a very crude, very inefficient battery. You would not try to power your home on AA batteries because it would be astronomically expensive. Doing so with one of these things would be the same deal, only even worse!

There is, however, a practical use for this principle. In the environment, some metals (for example zinc) are more prone to oxidation than other metals (for example iron) and produce a greater electrical potential when they oxidize. By connecting a piece of zinc to an iron structure in a corrosive environment, the zinc will corrode and in the process, produce electrons which give the iron a negative electrical potential. This opposes the oxidation of the iron and acts to slow the rate at which it rusts. It is known as galvanic or cathodic protection.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 29th, 2010 at 9:57 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Good Science, media, Misc. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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89 Responses to “Yes, you can get energy from an “Earth Battery” No, it ain’t free”

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  1. 51
    Mauser 98K Says:

    well ya can blame spell checker for the moot thing..

    but i never said it was new tech. never said it was going to replace the power grid.. never said that people should get this setup either.. what chapped my pants was the expert saying that it was pointless and useless.

    but anyway.. i have succeeded in doing what he said is not possible. i just finished listening to a AM/FM/SW radio powered from the ground using only 3 small earth cells..

    but if you had done your research like i have DV82XL, you would have seen that they used these setups to power telegraph systems, alarm systems, and other systems back in the 1800s.. but the problem back then was that everything was mechanical and there were no electronics to speak of..

    back in the 1900s the power grid systems were getting better and when electronics did come along they were vacuum tube and required ungodly amounts of current to heat the filaments..

    most of the claims that caused people to stop using these batteries came from the power companies and folks back in the early 1900s.. b4 the rural electrification project everyone was using one form of independent energy of some kind.. like hit and miss engines. like temperature differential engines..

    but the powers that were could not have the arrogant farmers being self sufficient (yes FDR called the farmers arrogant) so the initiative to electrify the entire country was done to get them under one form of control or another.. if you do not think that they want you on the grind then i suggest you try and disconnect from the power grid.. people all over the country have gone to jail for trying to live off the grid.. violates city ordinances to live in a dwelling without the proper utilities they will say..

    a woman in Florida is being harassed for trying to live off the grid she had all the necessary things to live comfortably but the thugs in the local power company and government could not have that.. i mean how much crap do you need to live?

    google it, you’ll find out that there are many cases like hers where people are either arrested and even killed when they resist arrest.. arrested for what? BS

    they do not want you off the grid, they want you on it feeding their wallets and under their control..

    it is not that these energy systems do not work, it is that they do not want people to know that they do work.. i know they work. i am using one to power my radio and an LED light.. people in the 1800s knew they worked too and used them to power communications and other systems (1800s not after WW2 as DV82XL said)

    but every time someone comes up with a item that makes them totally independent from the local utilities they get harassed.. if thy do not go back the the energy whores and local government tits then they get evicted. if they resit the eviction the kings soldiers are sent in to forcefully remove them. if they resist they will kill them.. look it up. there are stories all over the country of this.. does this sound like a democracy? this is a monarchy is what this is.. you no longer have the right to be an individual, you are part of the collective. and that is communism..

    but the above comment is always the way it is… if they can’t destroy the facts or win the argument then they start attacking the messenger.. what this is called is “argumentum ad hominem” An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person.. i can run radios. i can run LED lights. i can run clocks.. i can run small fans.. etc…. so the question still stands.. did i get useful energy out of it or did i not?

    time and time gain i have bested you on the concept that you said could not be done. could not do work. was only a demonstration of an electrical potential and that was all it was good for.. went as far as calling it a silly scheme.. well….the folks in the 1800s sure put it to work as have i..

    so either answer the simple question of “did i make useful power to run things?” or go home and sulk in your own failures.. me ignorant? i think not..

    go do your history work and then come back..

    and the comment “What they seem to be doing is only looking at the facts as far as they support their ideas and not scratching down to the bottom” and your not?

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  2. 52
    BMS Says:

            Mauser 98K said:

    what this is called is “argumentum ad hominem” An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person..

    i can run radios. i can run LED lights. i can run clocks.. i can run small fans.. etc…. so the question still stands.. did i get useful energy out of it or did i not?

    If you’re so into logical fallacies, then you should learn about the Strawman Fallacy.

    So you ran an LED, so you ran a clock, so what?

    If you had actually read this article for comprehension, instead of spending all of your time whining like a child about how poorly you have been treated, you would have noticed that the article says the following about “Earth Batteries”:

    The voltage is generally low and the potential amperage is low as well, but if the conditions are descent you can use this current to drive a small load such as an LED or a digital watch.

    In theory you could produce a lot more voltage and electrical power if you simply added more and more rods and connected them together. … Therefore, it would be possible to power your house with enough rods stuck in the ground.

    So you have wasted your time “proving” what the article says upfront at its very beginning, and you have wasted at least twice as much time whining about it.

    The only other thing that I can say about your comments is that it appears that secondary schools aren’t teaching the fundamentals of grammar, such a punctuation and capitalization, any earlier than they are teaching basic chemistry. Please pay attention in your classes. You might eventually learn something.

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  3. 53
    DV82XL Says:

    Actually I have done the research, and like I wrote above, that doesn’t mean just looking until you find conformations of your preconceived notions. If you dig down deep enough into these stories of telegraph circuits powered by telluric currents a not so rosy picture emerges. To start off with, this phenomenon was only seen between certain stations, was often unreliable, and subject to power spikes such that communication was impossible for certain periods. Far from being seen as an exploitable source of electricity, major telegraph systems considered these an annoyance and had to install apparatus to isolate their systems from its influence.

    Yes you can play with these but the argument is that they cannot supply practical sources of electric energy that can do useful amounts of work, and that still holds. Nothing you have demonstrated is better that what can be obtained by off-the-shelf primary cell batteries for less cost. Which brings us back to the article’s original contention expressed in the title: Yes you can get energy from an earth battery – no it ain’t free.

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  4. 54
    DV82XL Says:

    Oh, and by the way, when I wrote that people have been trying to exploit since just after WWII I meant in terms of going ‘off grid’ as you seem to be trying to do, not that this is when the phenomenon was discovered.

    To recap: Earth batteries work by either by exploiting the galvanic potential between two dissimilar metals in which case one of those will be consumed or by exploiting a redox reaction with whatever electrolyte is present in the soil with non-depolarized electrodes. In the first case the real source of energy being tapped is that which was put into they system when the metals were refined, very much like what is occurring in a primary cell (like an alkaline battery) that themselves have a energy return of around 2%. In the latter case, they work by exploiting the local soil pH which will be exhausted and will not recover that quickly once it has been depleted. Furthermore, the chemistry of this process will eventually lead to the build up of so-called poisons which in higher concentrations will first reduce the overall efficiency, but also will lead to the formation of films on the anode that will reduce its conductivity. These are well known factors that have long been discovered in corrosion research which is a well developed engineering discipline that has long been concerned with the behavior of metals placed in the ground.

    The fact is there is nothing new to discover here and regardless of the large number of tinkerers that have been fooling around with this will never yield any meaningful, practical source of energy.

    Telluric currents, like other forms of naturally occurring energy, require far vaster arrays to tap into them than is practically feasible, and in any case are too variable and unreliable to exploit as a power source.

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  5. 55
    Mauser 98K Says:

    hey BMS… i also said radio there too… and this was no standard LED, it was the kind like you use for domestic lighting. you know the ones that replace incandescent light bulbs? i removed the circuit in them and lit the thing. not full brightness but close enough.. i can run 20 of the standard 5mm LEDs in series… and the clock was no digital watch, it was the large ones that go tick, tick, tick..

    i also got the voltage up on my circuit running off the ground to 70Vdc and .5A out of only 3 small earth cells that will fit in a backpack… so it blows the original thread you quoted where it said “the voltage was very low” out of the water.. im in the process of building a setup that will give me hundreds of volts out of my circuit and 3-5A+.. i already got a lineup on parts..

    can you run these things i ran with off the shelf stuff? yes.. better? maybe.. longer? no… i have been using the radio and LEDs for a week where as the off the shelf batteries would have been dead in less than half that time.. the plates in the battery still look like they did when i put them in the ground and the soil around them has not changed colors or shown signs of metallic transfer.. and if built correctly these batteries can last years, even decades if properly kept from what i have researched.. show me an off the shelf battery that does not cost as much as a BMW that can do that..

    as for time that it can run something, if you had to replace the batteries in an item every 36-72hrs of use, if you had to replace 4 or 8Dcell batteries, in one year you have more than paid for a large earth battery setup that will best the other batteries in endurance and power and last for years or a lifetime if kept properly.

    and as for price and cost.. i would have already bought the first cells parts with the money i would have spent on the first battery change for the radio.. and the parts are salvaged from landfills which means it was free.. i have not got a dime in this setup..

    everyone keeps thinking new this and new that.. why does it have to be new? a magnesium cement float makes great plates and so does copper flashing or copper tube that contractors rip out and haul for garbage.. so in fact i am helping the planet because not only am i recycling these things i am also not contributing to the pollution and toxic wastes from the battery manufacturing process and disposal of spent batteries..

    oh, and a good place that would not take up room in the yard and would be protected is to put the batteries under the structure to be powered.. with my reckoning, i should be able to get 1-2A from a space on the ground the size of a car hood or trunk lid with my modified earth cell batteries..already getting .5A out of a space the size of a spare tire..

    these you can hook in series and also in parallel without the effects of the shorting out of the damp ground that is common with most setups.. they are still in the ground where they are kept active but they are isolated from the ground at the same time.. it took hours of research and figuring to come up with that solution..

    and so BMS, you attack my spelling and punctuation? i guess you have won the debate then.. congratulations, your the smart cookie in the box..

    and DV82XL, your correct on the spacing of the plates for telluric current utilization.. i think the distance between stations to get any good voltage from the telluric currents is 1-5Km+.. it shows up as an AC voltage rather than a DC one from what i have witnessed.. i have tried these currents and all i was able to get from 2 stainless plates at a distance of 30m was like .136V and around 20uA.. but as with the soil here is sopping wet and shorts everything out… might be better in dry soils but living on the river makes the water table about 3-4ft below the surface of the ground here..

    so yes the setup i have is using a weak form of galvanic action. but the corrosion effect i have seen is so slow as to be not worth noting for a long while.. especially in the soil here that is mostly river bottom sand….

    but ill keep ya posted as to wither or not i can get an amp or two out of the things.. already half way to an amp so it wouldn’t be that difficult to get 2x the power output with a little tinkering….

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  6. 56
    BMS Says:

            Mauser 98K said:

    and so BMS, you attack my spelling and punctuation? i guess you have won the debate then.. congratulations, your the smart cookie in the box..

    It was merely a bit of advice. If you don’t want to be taken for a high-school sophomore, then you shouldn’t write like one.

    By the way, power is measured in watts and energy in joules. If you want to make a convincing case, then you should start measuring and calculating the amount of power that you are getting from your tinkertoys and the amount of usable energy you can harvest before they play out.

    Until you do that, you’re just babbling nonsense with an immature attitude, poor capitalization and punctuation, and a writing style that is reminiscent of a teenager’s text messages.

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  7. 57
    DV82XL Says:

            Mauser 98K said:

    i also got the voltage up on my circuit running off the ground to 70Vdc and .5A out of only 3 small earth cells that will fit in a backpack… so it blows the original thread you quoted where it said “the voltage was very low” out of the water…

    Frankly I find these numbers somewhat unbelievable, and rather than accuse you of mendacity, I suspect that something is wrong with the way you are making the measurements. Understand, that as I wrote above, galvanic coupling in ground-metal systems is a mature engineering discipline because of the need to protect structures from corrosion. As well the basic chemistry and physics involved has been known for over a century, and numbers like this do not show up in the literature that deals with this area. Given this I frankly doubt that you are harvesting that much power from the apparatus you describe. In particular the voltages you report are far too high for any three-cell electrochemical system given known redox potentials. Consult any standard half-reaction table and you can see what I mean.

    You might be seeing stray currents from some other source, or you might be reading your metering wrong – or you may be trying to blow smoke in our faces, but whatever the case is, these quantities just don’t hold up under scrutiny.

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  8. 58
    Anon Says:

            BMS said:

    Until you do that, you’re just babbling nonsense with an immature attitude, poor capitalization and punctuation, and a writing style that is reminiscent of a teenager’s text messages.

    Without the excuse of a 160 character limit or crappy mobile phone keypad.

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  9. 59
    Mauser 98K Says:

    go take a flying leap off a very tall building you tool.. you miserable ass who can’t make a argument so you have to attack their grammar and punctuation because you can’t bring anything to the argument..

    what does punctuation or terminology have to do with the situation or the argument? HOW DOES THAT DO ANYTHING BUT MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT CHILD? HOW DOES IT MAKE A CASE AGAINST ANYTHING? HOW DOES IT DISPROVE ANYTHING?

    if you knew half as much as you think you did then you would know that power can also be measured in amperes and watts. in fact you can convert the two back and forth.. i do this all the time with inverter applications..

    i can now see that some folks on this forum is just here to discredit and are a bunch of plants put in and paid for..

    if you had talked to me in person like you just did then id stuff you in a locker, you pencil necked imbecile..

    and DV82XL, i am not reading my meter wrong… see the part about the circuit? without the circuit i have it will not even run a single 5mm LED.. ill give you a picture of the thing working and prove it is giving out that much voltage..

    here it is b4 i rearranged my batteries and in its first incarnation running 12V worth of LEDs..

    here is the finished circuit as it is today..

    here is my 3 earth cells.. sorry for lack of light but it is dark here right now..

    and here it is for voltage output for the setup as it sits as of now…. this is the thing turned all the way up and running at 82.9Vdc output…

    now call me a liar..

    ill show it running a .3A draw radio if that will help my case..

    but the reason you’ll never see this capability in any literature is because it is a suppressed technology.. if it worked and everyone caught on then the power companies would lose millions..

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  10. 60
    Mauser 98K Says:

    but as i said in one of my earlier post.. the thing by itself is useless, but combine it with other technology and you have something capable of doing something..

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  11. 61
    Mauser 98K Says:

    give me a 3.7V Li-ion battery from a laptop and i can run a 120V compact fluorescent or LED light at full brightness for hours with this circuit design..

    i got a lantern and a flashlight with this circuit design in it.. the flashlight used to use 2 C-cell batteries but now only uses one.. i have not replaced the battery in it in almost a year now and the battery still shows 1.4Vdc, that is how efficient it is..

    to give you an idea of what this circuit is capable of i present the following picture… and yes that is a 40Watt incandescent refrigerator bulb running off those two little batteries.. so i do not need to boost the battery power far to run a tv or bigger..

    you can scale this thing up with a lot larger toroid and get lethal power out of lust a couple of AA batteries..

    and just think, the circuit has no secondary winding on the transformer and has only 5 main parts that you can get at any electronics supply..

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  12. 62
    BMS Says:

            DV82XL said:

    You might be seeing stray currents from some other source, or you might be reading your metering wrong …

    There’s another possibility: this kid just doesn’t understand how electricity works (see below).

            Mauser 98K said:

    if you knew half as much as you think you did then you would know that power can also be measured in amperes and watts. in fact you can convert the two back and forth..

    DV2XL – See what I mean? The kid doesn’t even know what power is. How could one expect him to know how to measure it?

    if you had talked to me in person like you just did then id stuff you in a locker, you pencil necked imbecile..

    Yes, I’m sure that there are plenty of lockers in your school for you to use for such purposes. That was quite an impressive rant, by the way — a splendid example of teen angst. With such obvious class, You must be a very popular student in your school.

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  13. 63
    DV82XL Says:

    Extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof and claims of being able to draw significant quantities of electric energy from such an apparatus are indeed extraordinary. However a few poor photos do not constitute proof. Science requires far more than that.

    On the other hand, you are manifesting two of the touchstones of an energy crank, first you demonstrate little understanding of the basic physics of electricity, almost always illustrated by misuse of the units of measurement, and second is the claim their ideas are ‘suppressed technology.’ The first is often exacerbated by a poor understanding of how the measuring equipment they are using works, and what its limitations might be.

    Electricity is not as intuitive as some might think, but unfortunately it appears to be when the basic concepts are initially taught. It is when the number of factors increase that things get a bit more complex and these simple explanations break down. If you haven’t been taught this, not realizing it is somewhat understandable.

    But what is risible are the claims of suppressed knowledge. Humans have been engineering with electricity for well over 150 years, and tens of thousands of people have been trained to work in this field. As well the fundamentals of electrochemistry have been known for twice that period, and again any number of industrial processes have been developed using every aspect of these phenomena, demonstrating that we have a deep understanding of the field shared by many. many people. Lastly galvanic corrosion, telluric currents, and soil chemistry have long histories of study and large bodies of academic publications demonstrating a broad grasp of these systems over the span of two centuries.

    Given these facts, how is it that some simple apparatus claiming to exploit the basic properties of the physics of all these fields could be suppressed? How is it that these phenomena have never shown up in any refereed paper? How is it that there is a conspiracy so powerful that it can silence every person working in these domains, yet it allows some peckerwood working in his parents garage to expose the truth?

    Finally, I suspect you would resort to violence in answer to criticism, as bullying dissenters into silence is the last resort of the deluded fraud. Real scientists let their results have the final word.

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  14. 64
    Mauser 98K Says:

    well i can see now that it does not matter what anyone does because no matter what you will believe what you want no matter the proof.. it is now clear that you are paid for by some outside interest?

    i mean what do you want? do you want me to draw you a diagram, connect all the little dots?

    and if you do not think it can be suppressed then i suggest you look up the “national secrecy act” or as it is also known “The Invention Secrecy Act”

    a quote from the page “The U.S. government has long sought to control the release of new technologies that might threaten the national defense and economic stability of the country” now what would happen if someone came up with a way to get rid of the electric grid? wouldn’t that mess with the economy because coal and other resources would not be needed for power generation?

    also if you think it would be on the tv and other media i suggest you look up “operation mockingbird”

    and as for bullying.. yall started on me.. calling me ignorant.. calling me names..ganging up on me. attacking my punctuation and other things..all i wanted was to show that power could come from these systems and show off some of my toys.. but then i get attacks on my character and punctuation among other things.. so yes, if i wanted i could have this page shut down by the authorities under the cyber bullying act.. but i chose not too because i though folks here had some sense.. i guess i was wrong..

    i try to let my item speak for itself.. but no matter what proof i give it still can’t happen.. i even went out and got pictures of it doing what i claim.. lot of good that did because now yall attack and bully even harder as if protecting something or someone..

    and im 32yr old BMS.. just shows how much you know about me.. but this is the way it is always done.. can’t disprove the technology so try to make the inventor look like a mad man by attacking and bringing up things not relevant to the debate..

    and now you have got the subject changed as i know you wanted..

    but im done arguing.. beating a dead horse here.. go live in your little world..

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  15. 65
    BMS Says:

            Mauser 98K said:

    and im 32yr old BMS..

    If that is true (and I doubt that it is), then I feel very sorry for you.

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  16. 66
    DV82XL Says:

    And that is the final element out – anyone that doesn’t buy into your fantasy is being payed off.

    Every bloody one of you is the same: you think research means looking for conformation of your beliefs while ignoring contrary information; you think that you are smart enough to have discovered something overlooked for decades (if not centuries) by literally tens of thousands of people with real credentials in the field. You believe that there is a widespread conspiracy to suppress knowledge that is so broad it involves millions of people all over the world, at every level, and of every political and ideological stripe, yet somehow they allow someone like you to post this carefully guarded information freely.

    And of course invoke The Invention Secrecy Act not explaining how the only ones that seem to be enforcing it are a few skeptics that point out the flaws in your arguments on random blogs, rather than with government agents knocking at your door.

    You have managed to fool yourself because you have no idea how reactive components (like inductors) can cause false readings in the sort of millimeters that you can afford, nor do you know how to calculate corrective factors that would give you a real idea what is happening. And this is only one of several areas where your shallow understanding is evident. The only person that is being fooled here is you, if you think that you have found anything not completely understood, or anything that has any practical use beyond whatever applications that are well known.

    You are certainly not an adult, because an adult would not be using highschool tropes like “stuff you in a locker,” or making hollow threats of reporting us for cyber bullying.

            Mauser 98K said:

    …all i wanted was to show that power could come from these systems and show off some of my toys..

    No. Like everyone else that comes to these pages, which are clearly put up to criticize these notions, you do so because it has begun to dawn on you that your ideas are probably wrong, and you have come here to see if you can blow them by the one group you know will give you an honest opinion. Your anger is not because we don’t believe your nonsense, it is because you no longer believe it yourself.

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  17. 67
    Mauser 98K Says:

    here is your proof my circuit works.. i already showed it producing 80 freaking volts from the earth battery that yall said was bogus.. now put this in your pipe and smoke it..

    video 1….

    this video shows that the circuit does work and can produce enough voltage from a 1.5 source to light ten 3V LEDs to brightness.. yes i know that the AA in the videos is not an earth battery. i used it to show that it can amplify the low voltages into higher voltages that can do work.. i also used it so there would be no other wires coming from it for you to call me a liar, like it was hooked to something else..

    this is not the only thing it can run and the circuit is adjustable for each load with the potentiometer.. this is just a demonstration

    ok now to video 2…..

    video 2 shows the same circuit and 1.5 volt source running a AM/FM stereo that would normally require 6 C-Cell batteries to run.. as b4 i used the 1.5 AA so there would be no wires that you could use to poo poo the entire thing…

    and now on to video 3…

    this is the same circuit design i use to light my house with during power outages.. the bulb is a standard 120V CFL light bulb… i also have a lantern with this circuit in it..

    this circuit shows everything, including the toroid that clearly shows only one main winding…

    there is the proof that i can do what i said i could… i don’t know what all the griping and hostility is all about here but if you want to get in a nasty argument then ill oblige in ripping you a new one..

    the part that ticked me off is that you came in here trying to discredit the entire thing when you are clueless to the situation.. i was nice to begin with till you started in on me..

    i have time and time again showed that what i said was to be the truth and you could not accept that you spent all that money on a piece of paper from a university that you should wipe with.. i have brought proof to the table, what have you brought but negative comments?

    and so your argument is that i don’t have a bunch of alphabets tacked onto my name so it must be bogus? Phd and these other things do not mean a thing other than you finished your education.. it is people like you that are the reason science has stood still in the energy department for the last decade..

    but your wrong on the reason i am here in this forum.. i did not come here because i had no faith in my works.. i came here because i seen the comments while i was researching that were poo pooing the entire notion of power can come from the ground..poo pooing things that i knew to be fact and have done.. i went on a mission to show it could be done.. i think i have succeeded in making my case that you just can’t stand because it interferes with your opinions and theories..

    i bet if i came in here dumping on the notion of a useful earth battery it would have been perfectly fine.. but because i came in and said it could be done and showed it could be done then i am the enemy and do not know anything because i did not do a bunch of fancy calculations or have a Phd behind my name..

    you know what Phd stands for? Post Hole Diggers.. you Phd minions always use that to dig yourselves deeper and deeper into holes when you try to make an argument on something your not educated in..

    when did you finish your education? i have never stopped mine, which is probably the reason im running things on AA and coin cells while your still tapped into the grid sucking off big energies tits..

    i have done these things i speak of. i have posted proof of what i speak while all you have done is to spew negativity toward the situation instead of telling me why what is working can’t work or why it should not.. you cannot tell me that it is bogus when i have done it and know it to be true..

    but im done arguing with you.. believe what you will. i don’t care anymore about what you think.. i have posted the proof. if you believe it then fine, don’t then ok..

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  18. 68
    Mauser 98K Says:

    but it is nice when people get their friends to come in and gang up on the messenger..

    it is reminiscent of the old lench mobs during the burning years where unknown numbers of people were burned as witches and heretics.. where if anyone said anything contrary to the current doctrine then they were burned or hung for hearsay..

    this is not the 1500 and 1600s and you are not the academy of science..

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  19. 69
    Mauser 98K Says:

    heresy, not hearsay.. dam auto correct..

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  20. 70
    Mauser 98K Says:

    i also guess the saying is true and applies very much to this situation…

    “never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you on experience”

    i have said my pieces. i have provided evidence. if whatever you say next can’t disprove a thing, it will not receive a comment back. because unless it provides undeniable evidence that what i posted is not doing what it is shown to do, then it is just babble of defeat..

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  21. 71
    Anon Says:

            Mauser 98K said:

    i also guess the saying is true and applies very much to this situation…

    “never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you on experience”

    There is a point there and maybe we shouldn’t have bothered arguing with you since you are dragging us down to your level and then beating us with your experience (or at least you think you’re beating us).

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  22. 72
    Shafe Says:

            Mauser 98K said:

    if whatever you say next can’t disprove a thing, it will not receive a comment back.

    Well, nothing to do now but just sit back and wait for my check from Big Coal.

    Seriously, if you want to prove that you have done what you say you have done, then internet discussions and videos won’t do. Anyone with the slightest bent of skepticism recognizes that the internet is a playground for frauds and charlatans. Instead, try to join up with a local club of electronics hobbyists and seek their feedback. I’m sure you’ll receive the same skepticism you get from us, but remain calm and don’t blow your fuse, definitely don’t stuff anyone in a locker. You come off on the internet as someone with a lot of hostility stemming, at least in part, from insecurity over a lack of formal education. When you meet people in person, try to come off as humbly seeking advice instead of being confrontational, and I’m sure someone will humor you enough to allow you to demonstrate. Give them free reign to dissect and test your systems. Chances are, they’ll be able to show you in detail the limits of your apparatus and any errors you made in your measurements or assumptions about scalability. They may teach you things like the difference between getting 1 amp out of a 12v system and getting 1 amp out of a 120v system.

    If you can’t find a hobbyists’ club, or don’t find the experience satisfactory, perhaps you could contact a faculty member in the physics or engineering department of a local college, or even a high school physics teacher. Perhaps a local electrician or electrical engineer. The point being, you should find someone local to you who has good working knowledge of electricity and circuits to demonstrate your claims to. Understand that any one of these people should be ready and able to burst your bubble, if they even entertain your arguments. That’s the gauntlet you’ll have to be able to run if you’re to prove yourself.

    But that’s just the beginning. The standard of proof accepted broadly by people like us is well-designed experimentation, properly documented, and published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal. You’ve got a long row to hoe to get to that point when you’re starting as a defensive internet crank. You’ll need the assistance of a someone who has published before. Of course, if you don’t want to go through all of that, you can just keep working on powering your house with earth batteries and novel circuitry, satisfied in your own sense of accomplishment, and unconcerned with the opinions of shills like us. Check back in when you’re running your washing machine or an air conditioner on earth batteries.

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  23. 73
    DV82XL Says:

    Various ‘energy amplifier’ schemes using toroidal transformers have been around since the Fifties and are a staple of energy cranks. They all appear to work for the same reason: those making them do not understand the impact back-EMF has on the measurements of potential and current if these are not done with the right equipment and the right techniques. There is nothing new about these and they have been thoroughly debunked over and over, but like all these notions, keep coming back to fool another round of fools that think they know more than they do.

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  24. 74
    Mauser 98K Says:

    no energy crank, it got no crank on it.. :P

    i know i come off as an ass.. that is a defense mechanism that just carries over into the keyboard realm. folks are less likely to pick on you when your crazy..

    but here is the schematic for one of the circuits i am using to light my house with if anyone wants to test it for themselves.. i did not come up with it, i simply rearranged it to do what i wanted it to. this one works on 1V all the way up to 12V depending on the resistor used. i myself use a potentiometer so i can tune it for whatever application i want it to do.. for running 120V application 3.7V or higher and a battery capable of delivering at least 1 amp is required, especially if you run a CFL…

    i personally use it on 6-12V deep cycle batteries to run 120V LED bulbs with.. the higher current devices like CFL bulbs require the transistor be on a heat sink, although it is a good idea to put it on one anyway.. while you can technically run an incandescent with the thing it is unadvised to do so because the transistor does not like it for any long periods of time..

    but i consider this circuit to just be a toy.. the newer circuit is based on this one and is a lot more efficient and works well with solar backup..

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  25. 75
    Mauser 98K Says:

    the new circuit is just like the one above with the additions of a germanium rectifier and germanium power transistor so it will lose less voltage on the output and will also run on a lot lower voltages..

    the windings are also different.. for the feed back i bumped them up to 35turns of very fine wire in the .010in diameter range..

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  26. 76
    Mauser 98K Says:

    on a side note.. it is one circuit per LED light bulb.. 3 bulbs require 3 circuits.. i get my parts from salvage so cost is not a problem..

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  27. 77
    Mauser 98K Says:

    oh and a bit of caution… for running a radio it is recommended to have the thing already on and hooked up b4 applying power to the circuit.. it is also recommended to not exceed 2AA or C-Cell input for smaller devices least you blow up the item.. ask me how i know this. lol. even if the device is 12V you can still kill it with a AA battery if you let the cap charge all the way up b4 hooking it to the device to be run..

    and under no circumstances touch the collector of the transistor and battery terminals even with a AA, it will give a tingle for the AA but bigger batteries will shock the crap out of you with the voltage spikes..

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  28. 78
    DV82XL Says:

    All you have here is a blocking oscillator of the Armstrong type, forming an unregulated voltage converter. The output voltage is increased alright but at the expense of higher current. All this is is a transisterized version of a classic Spark Coil, a device almost two centuries old. It works by allowing magnetic flux to build up in an inductor and collapsing the field quickly to generate a high back-EMF. There is nothing secret or suppressed about this – it used to be the basic workings of the ignition system of every car engine on the road.

    But the fundamental laws of the universe still hold: this device does not create energy – it just converts current into voltage working as an oscillator driven autotransformer.

    The point here is that there is nothing new, nothing special, and nothing that there is any application for that hasn’t been discovered long ago here. In fact these days, this sort of thing is usually done with capacitors as the reactive element because they can store far more energy for less mass, and can be switched much faster than an inductor, and are probably less expensive to make.

    Now even if you has a bit of the formal instruction that you have denigrated in your pathetic little ranting above, you would have learned this early on. Nor would you be clinging to the idea that this circuit is some sort of starting point for some ‘off-the-grid’ scheme using earth batteries, or RF energy harvesting, because you then would be able to “do a bunch of fancy calculations” that would clearly show you that this is not practical. That is why none of the other idiots have made these ‘joule thief’ devices work that way ether, despite their breathless (and largely mendacious) claims.

    Finally, whenever the situation calls for a practical application, there are far more stable, and sophisticated commercial power inverters that will do a far better job at this than this silly little device.

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  29. 79
    Mauser 98K Says:

    i know it works by the collapsing magnetic field creating a reverse spike in voltage, not telling me anything i don’t already know.. never said it did created energy or that it was new tech that i discovered, even said that i didn’t create it or invent it, just re-purposed it. all i said was it amplified the voltage to a degree, which it does..

    and yes i know about the inverters, i got a big Dimensions brand running my house during power outages with a battery bank the size of a small car. the problem with the inverter is that A: it is heavy. B: it is bulky. and C:the battery is all 3 of the above.. what i am doing with this allows me to run a small light where the heavy and bulky inverter/battery setup will not work (an example is a portable work light or light for a camp site). it also allows me to run these things off relatively low voltages like AAA/AA/C/D/6V/12V/24V batteries.. this lets me use any power source i got in the area meaning that i will always have light.. the added power adapter even lets me use it with 120V or 230V when connected to the grid.. inverters are not that versatile and are fixed in their power requirements…

    but as for silly and can’t,never could attitude.. i have people in India, Taiwan,Indonesia, and a few other countries who would normally not have any lights whatsoever running their lights with this setup.. i open sourced this for a reason.. like one guy i helped get lights in his house has to go to the corner store just to charge his phone…

    this thing might not be practical here in the States where everyone is on a grid of some sorts, but for places that have no real power grids it beats freaking dark.. and in these countries you can get the small components while the big inverter systems would cost more than they made in 10 years..

    some of these guys are electronics engineers themselves and think this thing is a neat device.. and i am part of electronics sites and clubs.. the guys who actually build the circuit to the above specs love it..

    it might be silly and dumb to you but it works non the less..

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  30. 80
    DV82XL Says:

    The name ‘Joule Thief’ was coined by Clive Mitchell and given to his version of a circuit published by Z. Kaparnik in the Nineties that itself was a variant of a class of devices going back to the Second Word War that provided high voltage for portable vacuum tube equipment. In fact there was a time something similar was in every car radio in the days when they used tubes. The implication that any of this was from ideas originating with is both false and clearly mendacious.

    As for any Third-world application, why would anyone use this type of circuit when both lighting and electronics can be operated directly from low voltage batteries that can be recharged with solar? Your attempt at self-aggrandizement is as pathetic as it is risible, and frankly insulting as it seems you still think we are fools despite the fact that we have consistently seen through your nonsense.

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  31. 81
    Mauser 98K Says:

    ok, now your getting nasty…

    have you been to these places or talked to the people? some live in a dirt floor house and **** in a hole.. you know how expensive a solar array and inverter setup for them would be? cost more than their entire house.. a proper solar backup system costs in the thousands of dollars US$.. you cannot salvage the components necessary to build a solar cell being it takes silicon and thousands of degree ovens to make the things…

    the parts for these little lighting circuits can be salvaged from trashed computer PSU, car radios, stereos and other sources from the local trash dump, so can the LEDs..

    this is all about working on a budget of limited income and doing what you can with what you have.. if you’d get out of your ivory tower mr money bags and look around you would see that everyone cannot afford some of the things you keep saying they should use.. not everyone has a million dollar budget like the aerospace industries and big labs you moron..

    and you keep saying you are seeing through my claims.. no.. you are just being an obnoxious ass showing that your clueless to reality.. i have time and time again showed it to work as i described.. i showed the thing doing work while all the while you said it was not and could not..

    i want to know what authority you are on this subject other than a talking head. what degree you have in electrical engineering and from what university.. metallurgy and chemistry in Canada does not make you an authority on this subject..

    and you keep saying im the one treating you like a dummy when in reality your acting like a stuck up arrogant moron.. acting like nobody knows what the hell is going on and have no education on the subject..

    with your last stuck up argument, where you were gloating like you just did an amazing feat of brain power, you just flip flopped again and reversed what you said in your earlier post where you said the circuit had no real world applications after you said it was used in tube radios for powering the tubes..

    you keep flip flopping like a dam fish out of water.. that tells me your just here to cause problems, and troll the forums, and pick on other people you think are dumb, so you can feel smart, when in reality your not educated enough on the subject to make a consistent argument..

    it started with the plates corrode and you have to grind it off.. later it was electropolishing and they would disappear.. then it was they would form a film and would not conduct anymore..

    with the circuit it was it did not work. then it was it had no real world applications. then it was they were used in radios for driving the HV portion of tubes, clearly flipping on the stance from it cannot work, no applications, and then to it having an application.. make up your dam mind.. like pick a script and stick with it..

    if you cannot keep up with the argument then i think we are done here..

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  32. 82
    DV82XL Says:

            Mauser 98K said:

    have you been to these places or talked to the people?

    Yes in fact I have travelled to those places, whereas you have not. If you had you would know that Taiwan for example, is a relatively wealthy country, on a par with Japan and Korea.

            Mauser 98K said:

    … metallurgy and chemistry in Canada does not make you an authority on this subject..

    In fact it does make me an expert in these matters compared to you. Strange though that you dismiss credentials up-thread as being useless, but now demand that they be presented. At any rate it is the facts that find you wrong, not the one who points these out.

            Mauser 98K said:

    clearly flipping on the stance from it cannot work, no applications, and then to it having an application..

    Apparently, along with an inability to write coherently, you cannot read for comprehension. These silly little Joule Thief apparatuses are useless, that doesn’t imply that self-oscillating voltage boosters have no applications.

            Mauser 98K said:

    if you cannot keep up with the argument then i think we are done here..

    You have done nothing except lie outright, prevaricate and make wild claims my boy and you have been caught. You are nothing but an arrogant kid with nothing to say, and nothing to contribute to this or any other topic. I suspect we will be treated to yet a final little fart of indignation from you, but in one area we agree – there are no grounds for continuing an exchange – you have forfeited that privilege.

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  33. 83
    Mauser 98K Says:

    and another thing Nelson.. i do not appreciate being called names or treated like a dumb ass..

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  34. 84
    Mauser 98K Says:

    and Nelson.. you contradicted yourself there..

    “These silly little Joule Thief apparatuses are useless, that doesn’t imply that self-oscillating voltage boosters have no applications. “

    what is a joule thief? it is a self oscillating voltage booster.. does it have a purpose or not.. can it be useless and have a purpose at the same time? im confused..

    you yourself admitted it was an Armstrong Oscillator or Blocking Oscillator.. you said that yourself.. now just calling it a different name does not negate the fact it is what it is and has purposes. it is bot a joule thief and a self oscillating voltage booster..

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  35. 85
    Mauser 98K Says:

    but Nelson.. can i call you that? you do not know me so do not infer anything because so far you are wrong about everything about me..

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  36. 86
    Shafe Says:

    You’ve taken a long, round-about path to get back to the point that you can use an earth battery to power an LED light. The title of this blog post begins with “Yes, You Can Get Energy From an Earth Battery,” and I conceded upthread that if powering an LED light in a remote location is useful to you, then sure, an earth batter is useful… to you. No one has said that earth batteries don’t work or that Joule Thieves don’t work. It’s still “Not Free,” even if scrap parts are low cost on your scale.

    In the context of this discussion, an earth battery is not useful in that it cannot improve upon the fossil-fueled grid power that almost everyone in the first world has access to. On a scale relevant to homes that can have an average power demand of 1-2 kW, peaking much higher than that, a homeowner cannot expect to install an earth battery array of sufficient size to displace grid power. The 9W required to run a CFL can be more cheaply added to your power bill than supplied with scrap metal and additional wiring. Nor is it practical to supply grid power with earth batteries.

    The discussion is similar to photovoltaic cells for home use. They’re too expensive to replace grid power in a typical home, or in the grid at large, but they have practical uses for low demands in remote areas (more so than earth batteries.) If you’ve got a pen-pal in India that can light his hut with an LED powered by an earth battery made of scrap metal, well, bully for him. But that’s really a red herring in this discussion.

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  37. 87
    DV82XL Says:

            Shafe said:

    If you’ve got a pen-pal in India that can light his hut with an LED powered by an earth battery made of scrap metal, well, bully for him.

    Given the way scrap metal is enthusiastically scavenged in India, I doubt even that is plausible. The off-grid poor would far more likely trade in the amount of metal required for this for the few coins it would get than commit it to such a project, and even if someone did they would just as likely lose it to thieves for the same reason.

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  38. 88
    Mauser 98K Says:

    Shafe, i like your comments.. they are to the point, easy to understand, and don’t insult..

    but your correct, replace the power grid the earth battery will not, for the obvious reasons that you cannot run your electric heat pump and clothes dryer with them.. that would most likely require a battery the size of Rhode Island.. but for small applications like running a small radio and light in a shack in the woods far from the power grid they work ok..

    and DV82XL.. that is definitely a problem with the thieves stealing your stuff.. it happens all the time here in the states.. people even ripping out others air conditioners while the owners are away at work to sell for scrap..

    but no the earth battery is not free. with the initial cost and being it produces far to little output for it to effectively pay for itself in the long run.. plus using the standard materials for the electrodes that will corrode if given enough time in the damp soil..

    but if ya happen to just want something to play with and see what you can run, i guess they are fine for that also..

    while they do work, they will not replace the power grid and can only run smallish loads like a small radio, LED lights, very small fans.. if your not too worried about having a TV or air conditioning then ya could just have some light and a little music powered by an earth battery.. they do work ok for the simple stuff..

    but i am sorry for going nucking futs on the comments…

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  39. 89
    Mauser 98K Says:

    and Shafe, i found a good place for cheep solar panels.. i have found the best thing is to use the solar garden lights people throw away.. you can peel the cell off the light and make a larger panel with them.. i actually have one that i use to charge Li-ion batteries with…

    these small solar lights are easy to find at most recycling operations or landfills..

    you can also keep an eye out where people are redoing their yards.. they will sometimes just give them to you if they are going to toss them out..

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