Energy capture from permanent magnets

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Background of the technology, including foundation of the science.

Magnetism, like gravity and atomic charge, is one of the basic forces of nature. Permanent magnets generate a force of attraction or repulsion similar to the force generated by the positive and negative charges on protons and electrons. Magnetic force has an effect on other natural magnets and substances such as steel attracts to magnets. The magnets and these substances feel magnetic force as a push away from the magnet or a pull towards the magnet. The spin of electrons generates this force and can cause a responsive object or magnet itself to move.

Nikola Tesla patented the Electro-Magnetic Motor on December 8, 1891.

There were many attempts to convert the repulsive/attractive force of permanent magnets into rotational movement and build a magnet motor.[1] Of all the "genres of exotic energy generation technology, "magnet motors" may be the most popular claim of free energy to be found on youtube. Examples like Perendev[2] and Yildiz[3] have garnered hundreds of thousands of views, with many others to be found[4][5][6][7]. Richard Willis of Magnacoaster illustrated just how popular the concept of an overunity magnet motor is when he was picked up by the Canadian Reality TV Show - The Dragons Den.[8]

The scientific foundation for the possibility of extracting energy through the use of permanent magnets has not yet been established. On the contrary, magnet motors are commonly classified as a hoax as the fundamental idea seems contrary to our current knowledge of the basic laws of physics.[9] Nevertheless, demonstrations of magnet motors keep popping up, and some might be useful candidates for participating in an Abundant Clean Energy X Prize.

Dr. Jorge Duarte has published some early thoughts on what the ultimate source of energy in magnet motors might be.[10]

The Howard Johnson Motor, Johnson who wrote a book Discovering Magnetism, is yet another example in this space. Tom Bearon, in his documentary, Energy From the Vacuum, describes the late Johnson as "the unofficial father of spintronics".[11] Edward Leedskalnin is another well known historical figure in this space, having made himself a mysterious cult legend through his life's work at Coral Castle in Florida, where to this day, how the modest in stature man came to construct the property is still a topic of much speculation. Today, Matt Emery keeps the Leedskalnin project going through the Magnetic Universe YouTube and Magnetic Universe online platforms where a simple and easy to demonstrate device, the Perpetual Motion Holder displays Leedskalnin's ability to challenge us into further exploring what's possible through magnetism.

In 2007, in a paper titled The Next Great Magnet, Dr. Peter Cambell[12] reported, "Research continues to be conducted in corporate and university laboratories throughout the world, the most prominent of which is reported at the International Workshop on Permanent Magnets[13], which is held every two years. But when the 19th meeting was held last year (2006) in Beijing, it was disappointing to note that the research effort is dwindling and that no papers were presented on developments that would lead to a new generation of commercial magnet material with properties superior to those of Neo (Neodymium). Perhaps the last significant introduction of a realistic permanent magnet material was the commercialization four years ago of a Chinese invention (US Patent 6,419,759) using a neodymium-iron nitrogen alloy.[14]

Tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) is a magnetoresistive effect that occurs in a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ), which is a component consisting of two ferromagnets separated by a thin insulator. If the insulating layer is thin enough (typically a few nanometers), electrons can tunnel from one ferromagnet into the other. Since this process is forbidden in classical physics, the tunnel magnetoresistance is a strictly quantum mechanical phenomenon (quantum tunneling).[15][16][17]

Current State of the Technology

One of the more serious researchers was the late Thomas Engel, who allegedly developed a small magnet motor at his home. Based on his impeccable credentials, including the prestigious Rudolf Diesel Medal for inventors[18], a Frankfurter Algemeine journalist set out to test and report on Dr. Engel's device[19][20], without formally being able to conclude its working.

In 2006, Steorn Ltd. claimed to have built an over-unity device based on rotating magnets, and took out an advertisement soliciting scientists to test their claims. The selection process for twelve scientists began in September 2006 and concluded in December 2006. The selected jury started investigating Steorn's claims. A public demonstration scheduled for July 4, 2007 was canceled due to "technical difficulties". In June 2009, the selected jury said the technology does not work.[21] Steorn filed for bankruptcy in December 2016.[22]

Another alternative, the Searl Effect, using the repulsion of magnets in a vacuum, "is based on magnetic waveforms that generates a continual motion of magnetized rollers around magnetized rings. Energy conversion while operating involves processing of random quantum fluctuations and kinetic energy within the atomic lattice into coherent currents of electron pairs formed between two-dimensional boundaries of different type materials."[23]

The inputs for the Searl Effect Generator "consists of three[24] fixed stator rings that are uniquely magnetized with patterns set up to generate continual motion of similarly magnetized cylindrical rotors. The magnetic rotors or rollers consist of eight segmented components made of the same four layers of concentric materials that make up the stators. The rollers have both the freedom of spin and rotation around the stator which generates both mechanical and electrical power."

There are few scientific publications on the subject. One example is the article "Experimental Research of the Magnetic-Gravity Effect" by Russian Academy of Sciences' Roschin & Godin: "In the present paper the results of the experimental research of magnetic-gravity effects are presented. Anomalous magnetic and thermal changes within a radius of 15 meters from the researched device were measured."[25]

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Los Alamos National Laboratory

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Los Alamos National Laboratory operates an international user program for research in high magnetic fields. This User Program is funded by the National Science Foundation, and access to all NHMFL magnets is open to all scientists via a competitive proposal process. Our pulsed magnets and experimental capabilities are unique in the world and our ability to produce cutting edge science is a major attraction for LANL visitors.[26]

Required inputs for energy generation

Judging from most current claims, there seems to be no need for an external energy input. Instead, the devices start turning as soon as magnets are correctly aligned [4]. There is of course some energy required to make the device (including the magnets), but no detailed EROEI[27] (Energy Return On Energy Invested) calculations have yet been attempted for this technology. In his paper, Duarte considers the possibility that the energy delivered by the motor might somehow be inherent energy from the magnets involved, and hence deplete with time[10].

The inputs for any energy generation process can be represented as shown in the System Representation. [28] The efficiency of the system is represented by the output energy divided by the input energy. Note that all energy inputs should be accounted for, including any internal energy storage within the prototype itself. This internal energy could be in any form, not just electrical energy. The magnetic force itself, like any other force, is not energy; it is just a force. Energy is derived when a force moves an object through a distance.

Organizations/researchers working with this technology

Researchers in this space tend to be "lone inventors", sometimes surrounded by a few friends. No international cooperation exists, although magnet motors tend to show up at "free energy" conferences such as GlobalBEM[29]. The following is a list of people claiming to have working technology (caution - by some estimates over 95% of claims in this space are invalid[30]). For reference, the list also contains some of the more publicised companies that have ceased activities recently.

SEGmagnetics inc.

SEG Magnetics, Inc. (SEGM), is "the world's leading Searl Effect Generator research and development center. The SEGM team is fully committed to rigorously verify and document the SEG from concept to product, as required by industry in preparation for mass production and global distribution. The SEG is a game-changing electrical generator, designed to operate without fuel costs, pollution, noise, machine wear and to operate 24/7 regardless of the weather conditions. It is scalable to power homes, any electrical transportation system, off-the-grid communities, and even industrial power plants as a World Class energy solution."[31]

SEG Magnetics seems to replace the previous company Searl Magnetics Inc.[32] Chief engineer, Fernando D. Morris, taking the helm as CEO.

Jason Verbelli over the last several years has been one of the more public figures within the Searl team, with videos of Jason talking through the technology on his YouTube Channel - The Real Verbz, under his John Searl Playlist.


The HMSB Magnetic Energy Machine, or "Magnetic Monopole Device", is an invention by Turkish inventor Muammer Yildiz. The magnets, positioned in a special geometrical distribution, provide continuous circular movement, to which a dynamo can be connected. The main point is to turn the potential energy of the magnets into kinetic energy: there is no fuel, no additional input for this energy. The energy is natural, there is no waste and there are no criteria for the working environment (i.e. it will work on earth as in space). The power of the product can be increased or decreased in direct proportion to its size. In this context, it will be possible to produce in all scales from Ship's propeller to mobile phone charger. [33]

Infinity SAV

"We are an international Team of young and ambitious engineers/inventors and people with other talents with more than 10 years of experience in engineering. Our Portfolio includes more than 20 inventions with 10 patents. All of our devices undergo quality control and independent third party testing. Currently we conduct development of devices that generate power using clean renewable resources from environment. Several devices are under development and acquisition, that will also be able to generate power. We are located in Seoul, South Korea"[34]

The company seems to be working on several devices, among which a rotating magnetic motor[35] and a ZPE device[36].


Steorn Ltd was a small, private technology development company based in Dublin, Ireland. [37] In August 2006, it announced that it had developed a technology to provide "free, clean, and constant energy" via an apparent perpetual motion machine. They claimed to have a magnetic generator called Orbo, validated by several scientists. However, in 2009 a jury selected by Steorn concluded the technology "did not work"[21]. Steorn later marketed two products, Orbo Cube and Orbo Phone, claiming they were "everlasting batteries" [38]. Steorn filed for bankruptcy in December 2016[22] and their website is no longer active.[39]

Wasif Kahloon

In 2014, Pakistani inventor Wasif Kahloon put out a message on dailymotion describing his claimed magnet motor. "This machine is being manufactured in 3, 5, 10, 20 Kilo Watts & 5 Mega Watts. The Magnets used in it are guaranteed not to lose their magnetism in 36,000 hours if used in the way they are adjusted in this machine. The total number of magnets are 182 which are closely spaced but do not come into direct contact with each other and therefore do not lose their magnetism in 36,000 hours. Associated electricity generating dynamo runs at 80 to 150 rpm to produce 3.5 KW. If increased to 300 to 750 rpm with a better dynamo, it can produce 5 MW using better copper, steel and magnets."[40]

Cycclone magnetic

Cycclone Magnetic Engines Inc. was a USA engine design and development company with operations in Australia. Formed in Nevada in 2004, they describe themselves as "one of the most controversial engine development companies on the planet. Cycclone Magnetic Engines Inc. is subject to court orders issued by the Supreme Court of Queensland, Australia."[41] They seem to have had a less-than-productive relationship with authorities.[42]

The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2014 "Micheal (or Michael) Peter Nugent, was forced into bankruptcy last week by the corporate regulator ASIC after failing to pay almost $300,000 in legal costs stemming from a case against him and his company Cycclone Magnetic Engines Inc in 2009."[43]

The company seems defunct, having been acquired by Loadstone Motor Corporation, a private engine development and technical diffusion company.[44] "Loadstone Motor Corporation, after extensive due diligence has decided to acquire Cycclone Magnetic Engines, Inc. a private USA corporation and has purchased all of the outstanding stock held by or in control of the founder, Micheal Nugent."[45] Loadstone's website no longer exists.

Gekkoo Energy (LMW9)

LMW9 was a startup company founded in 2014 by Ludovic Laurent (under the name Luc Besançon) in southern France[46], claiming to develop a magnet motor they call LLW9. The company has attracted significant on-line media attention[47] in France among others through their support from Michel-Paul Correa[48] of the IIDSRSI-institute (Institut International pour le Soutien à la Recherche Scientifique Innovante). They targeted to raise 250.000€[49] on crowdfunding platform happy-capital[50], but it is unclear whether the platform has allowed that to go through, as no trace can be found on their website. Likewise, a reference to LMW9 participating in national energy giant EDF's Pulse competition for startups, cannot be confirmed from the latter company's website[51].

LMW9 has subsequently been renamed to Gekkoo Energy, according to this article in Green News Info[52].

Gekkoo's team seems to have grown significantly to 14 people, with Michel-Paul Correa taking the CEO role and Ludovic Laurent its R&D manager[53]. The company continues to push for credibility through association with established structures such as Cap Energies.[54]

Transon Power units

Transon Power Units BV is a recent startup based in The Netherlands. "We started in 2014 building a "proof of principle" for a new clean energy generator. Our system is based on our patent from 2008[55] and we filed for new patents in 2014[56] and 2015. We hope to get our system validated in 2015 to get grants to take it to the next level and finally create a solution for global green energy. This system does not use fuel and it is scalable from mobile device up to decentralized utility power plants."[57]

Steve Ward - Ward Force / Energy-Ingenuity

Tests conducted on July 10, 2010 at the laboratories of Spectrum Engineering[58] found that efficiency was a maximum of 3.5%.

The testing determined that here is no doubt that the Ward Force effect is real in this Converter as shown on Charts I and Chart II but we were only able to measure this effect up to a 3.5% conversion efficiency. By analogy this effect is similar to having a negative resistance in a resistor or diode, which effect is also real but exists only over a limited range of the resistor characteristic. One possible avenue of investigation to understand this effect would be to find out where all the power is going in this device. That is, we measured 3.5% of the input power being transferred to the output, but we made no measurements as to where the other 96.5 % of the input power was actually going.

Negative resistance is a property of some where an increase in the current entering a port results in a decreased voltage across the same port. This is in contrast to a simple ohmic resistor, which exhibits an increase in voltage under the same conditions. Negative resistors are theoretical and do not exist as a discrete component. However, some types of diodes (e.g.,Esaki Diodes[59]) can be built that exhibit negative resistance in some part of their operating range.

The inventor sells a book on his website[60] : "The book provides a list of materials needed, where to get the materials, drawings, pictures, written instructions and all the information needed for building two different devices.  With these devices (which took approximately one day, and cost roughly $200), they allow to you to isolate Wardforce from the North and South Poles, know HOW TO use Magnets for generating energy, cause a greater change in amplitude, demonstrate Space Travel, duplicate Gravity and Anti-Gravity, etc.  One of these devices, which is still patent pending, is a generator, motor and transformer all in one."

The Takahashi motor

  • The device has also been referred to as the Takahashi Battery Doubler.[61][62]

Pulse Motor Generators

(Edited by Dr. Ted Loder and Bill Costantino at the Orion Project) Many over-unity researchers are attempting to harness the unique properties of pulsed motors. The Orion Project has started to conduct research on devices that will ultimately be able to self-power and provide enough additional electrical energy to cover all the requirements for an average home. A pulsed permanent magnetic motor/generator (PMG) is one such device.[63]

Reasons why the science and technology has not moved forward

In general terms, this field seems to be swamped by erroneous claims, and there is an absence of any serious collaboration between researchers. Many of the companies that have sprung up over time have ceased their activity (e.g. Terawatt Research LLC[64], Kohei Minato[65], Cycclone[41]) and are simply never heard of again. In one case, an inventor admits to having purposefully posted a deceiving video on Youtube[66], in other cases well-intentioned inventors only realise they are in error when confronted with external validators. A telling example is the following report of a group testing an Australian magnet motor which hit the news a few years ago[67] (the system used a battery for start-up): "We were about the 15th group of people to show up on their door step after they went public. We were the first people to bring our own test equipment. The inventors said that the first people to show up were the Russian Mafia. Our bottom line was 50 watts of DC power input, which resulted in 14 watts of rotary mechanical power output. I hope the inventors have improved their device from where we tested it so that it now matches their statements of it's performance."[68]

Perhaps the highest profile failure was Steorn, filing for bankruptcy late 2016, who were able "to raise €23 million in private funding since 2006 using almost nothing but unfounded claims and hype".[22]

In such a minefield, it may be difficult for legitimate inventions (if there are any) to get noticed.

Another reason for slow progress, across many of the exotic technologies, is the reluctance of some inventors to trust others with their invention. Indeed, if you are truly convinced you have found a breakthrough source of energy, it is easy to see the immense value of such technology and the potential for being duped by partners. |n such cases, inventors may have difficulty sharing their invention with partners, and the invention stays blocked for years.

Costs of facilities, production, now and projected future costs with improvements

Should a working magnet motor ever be produced, its cost (and therefore possible contribution to the Abundant Clean Energy challenge) would depend critically on the power-to-weight ratio. If large, heavy engines are needed to reap relatively low amounts of power, then the technology might be useful (and revolutionary) but would not necessarily score better than solar PV systems, which also reap "free energy".

Intellectual Property surrounding technology

  • (Nebula Energy, 2015) US 20160013687 A1[69] Electrical core element for a generator. Patent filed originally in 2015 and revised and granted in January of 2016. Permanent magnet electric generators and methods of generating electrical energy are provided. The generators include two rack assemblies each including concentric circular cylindrical cores having circular arrangements of permanent magnets and electrical conductors. The two rack assemblies are axially engaged wherein magnets of the concentric circular cylindrical cores repel adjacent magnets and thereby rotate the cylindrical cores. The rotation of the adjacent magnets in the cores induces an electric current within the electrical conductors, which can be extracted and used in a broad range of applications. Various mechanisms adapted to engage and disengage the two rack assemblies are provided, including the introduction of a vacuum into the generator housing. Methods of generating electrical energy and electrical cores having permanent magnets and conductors are also disclosed. Also US 20130257208 A1[70] Permanent magnet electrical generator and method of producing electrical energy
  • (Zenin, 2014) AU 2014240249 B1[71] Magnet engine "A radical solution would be to create a new method for converting the magnetic force into rotary motion and a different mechanism for carrying out this conversion. It is advisable to situate rotor and stator magnets face to face and keep a distance between them permanent during motor operation.  Whereupon the shortest distance in operating mode will give engine the greatest power. Magnet engine AU 2014240249 B1 meets these requirements. The main elements of the design in the engine, carrying out the conversion of the attractive/repulsive force in rotational motion are the rotor with multiple assemblies of magnets or flexible magnetic strips,dynamic stator, made of cylinders placed in the form of a torus with helical magnetic strips on its surface, and transmission for transmitting torque from the dynamic stator to the rotor's shaft. Toroidal mechanical construction never before used in engineering though has unique properties. The uniqueness lies in the fact that in the synchronous rotation of the cylinders, forming torus, magnetic strips on their surfaces create continuous endless magnetic pathway on the inner surface of the torus. As a result, rotor’s magnets move under the influence of the attractive/repulsive force along this path by staying always at the same distance from the magnetic strips of the stator. Changing this distance by using a simple mechanism in rotor, we can control the power of the engine[1]."
  • (Gleich, 2014) DE 102014017612 A1[72] Permanent magnet-driven power generator The invention relates to a power generator with no moving parts, which draws its power exclusively from the energy of a permanent magnet.
  • (JianQiang, 2013) CN 103647476 A[73] Energy-free energy generator The invention provides an energy-free energy generator. The energy-free energygenerator relates to a power tool which needs no fuel and no electric power supply, is light and rapid and has strong power and aims at saving the earth and eliminating haze. The energy-free energy generator is composed of a starting mechanism, a magnetic force speed increasing device and an output component. When starting the energy-free energy generator, a user only needs to quickly rotate a handle several circles and then stop the rotation, a small cam arranged on a bottom plate strikes a prohibitive large cam under the action of inertia force, a swing ball on a connecting rod of the small cam rapidly strikes a strong magnet anti-collision piece on a fixing seat, the wing ball instantaneously generates acceleration under the action of the strong magnetic force to enable the collision force to strike another wing ball through a steel ball and continues a collision dusk, the wing ball which is the first to complete the collision task automatically resets under the function of centripetal force, so that the energy-free energy generator achieves circulation and reciprocating, continuous working and long-time large kinetic energy output.
  • (Kanoo, 2013) WO 2015015506 A1[74] A permanent magnet engine This invention relates to a permanent magnet engine. The engine can be used as a prime mover to provide motion / movement to any machine / device, for example, vehicles, aero plane, power generation etc.
  • (Samuels, 2013) US 20130257208 A1[75] Permanent magnet electrical generator and method of producing electrical energy A permanent magnet electric generator and method of generating electrical energy is provided. The generator includes two rack assemblies each including concentric circular cylindrical cores having circular arrangements of permanent magnets and electrical conductors. The two rack assemblies are axially engaged wherein permanent magnets of the concentric circular cylindrical cores repel adjacent magnets and thereby might rotate the cylindrical cores. The supposed rotation of the adjacent permanent magnets in the cores might be able to induce an electric current within the electrical conductors, which can be extracted. Engaging and disengaging mechanisms of the two rack assemblies are provided and the generator housing might have a vacuum in order to reduce friction.
  • (Zhang, 2009) CN 101577478 A[76] Permanent magnetic independent generator A permanent magnetic independent generator comprises a shell, a rotor and a stator, wherein the stator is arranged at the center of the permanent magnetic independent generator; the rotor is arranged at the periphery of the stator, the periphery of the rotor is provided with an active cell, the active cell is formed by a plurality of active cell magnets and active cell fixing magnetic coils, and the rotor is formed by a plurality of rotor magnets and rotor fixing magnetic coils; the inner wall of the shell is provided with an active cell magnet sliding chute, the active cell magnet is sleeved into an active cell magnet fixing sleeve, the outer side of the active cell magnet fixing sleeve is provided with a sliding pin which is connected with the active cell magnet sliding chute in a sliding way, a groove of the active cell magnet is internally connected with a hydraulic jack through a connecting piece, the hydraulic jack is connected with a hydraulic total pump, a hydraulic starting device and a hydraulic arresting device through a hydraulic pipeline, and the position on the inner lateral wall of the shell, near the front end of the S pole of the active cell magnet, is provided with an elastic magnet isolating subassembly. The invention converts the repulsive force of same magnetic poles into rotary force so that the rotor rotates and then a stator coil generates current, thereby the purpose of power generation is achieved; in addition, the invention has the advantages of energy saving and good effect.
  • (Tran, 2008) US 20100264730 A1[55] Principles of the tran-energy machines "Principles of the Tran-energy machines are new methods of using:—The energy stored in the permanent magnets.—Magnetic interactions of different magnetic fields, combined with timing switching and electronic components in electric circuit(s) in order to:—Produce the free-magnetic force for higher coefficient of performance in producing kinetic energy.—Produce the induced voltages in different coils on the magnetic circuit(s) or coils along the permanent magnet(s) with separated cores.—Regain electric energy, supplied to the activated coils." Also (Transon Power, 2014) EP 2978119 A1[56] Transformer based switched power converter with switched capacitor auxiliary dc/dc converter.
  • (Zhang, 2007) CN 201038974 Y[77] Car magnetic pole engine The utility model relates to an oil free automotive magnetic pole engine. Cylinders, pistons, piston connecting rods and crankshafts are connected serially in an automotive engine, the cylinders are electromagnetic cylinders, the back part of each electromagnetic cylinder is an electromagnet, the front part is the piston, the piston is a rare earth permanent magnet, the two are contacted by same poles and N poles, and the electromagnetic cylinders are four cylinders. The utility model is additionally provided with a distributor, the distributor is a disk which buckles a rotating disk and a fixed disk, the rotating disk is connected with a power supply cable, the outer ring of the fixed disk has four equal parts, an electric connector is arranged at each equal part and is respectively connected with four electromagnetic cylinders. When the power supply is switched on and a motor drives the rotating disk to rotate, electric brushes of the outer ring of the rotating disk are serially in isometry communicated with the electromagnetic cylinders, then the electromagnets at the back parts can generate electromagnetic fields, thus forming the homopolar repulsion of the electromagnetic fields with the permanent magnets on the pistons, leading the pistons to push the crankshafts and the flywheels to rotate outward along the electromagnetic cylinders, further driving a transmission shaft and wheels to rotate, so the utility model can achieve the purpose of driving vehicles to go forward.
  • (Titus, 2009) US20100033049[78] Rotary engine The present invention relates to rotary motors in which the rotational motion of the motor is provided by the attractive (or repulsive) forces between a pair of cooperating magnets in response to tilting of the motor axle.
  • (Yildiz, 2008) WO 2009/019001 A2[79] Device having an arrangement of magnets The device  comprises a rotor and a stator disposed coaxially to an output shaft. The rotor comprises one or more first magnet sequences and the stator one or more second magnet sequences. The first and second magnet sequences each comprise two or more dipole magnets, the arrangement and orientation of which may vary. A prototype was demonstrated at the 41st International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva (April 10 - 12, 2013), it had around 1200 magnets and powered a fan.
  • (Wen, 2008) WO 2009052729 A1[80] Magnetic energy engine A magnetic energy engine comprises a casing and one or more groups of drive permanent magnets and moving permanent magnets whose magnetic pole faces are opposite in parallel.
  • (Shin, 2008) WO 2009/088144 A1[81] Engine using permanent magnet discloses an engine capable of obtaining a reciprocation operation by using only a magnetic force of permanent magnets even when a supply of an electric power disconnected except for the energy, which makes an initial engine start. In this invention, a rotation drum member and a crankshaft have a plurality of permanent magnets with their alternatively arranged poles. They installed in a frame, which support an apparatus. When the rotation drum member rotates, repulsive force and attraction force alternatively generates between the permanent magnets of the front end of the piston and the permanent magnets of the rotation drum member, so the piston reciprocates, and driving force obtains rotating the crankshaft.  This engine includes an electric power supply and cannot start running without it.
  • (Morio, 2007) JP2007074806 A[82] Piston Engine Problem to be solved : to provide a piston engine for eliminating a necessity of combustible fuel such as gasoline and hardly inducing an environmental problem due to exhaust gas. Solution: a permanent magnet is embedded at the end of a piston head. An electromagnet is provided at the end of a cylinder. The piston head is guided by the cylinder, and reciprocated by timely changing the direction of a current carried to the electromagnet and alternately implementing suction and repulsion between the permanent magnet and the electromagnet. Reciprocation movement can be converted into rotational movement through a crank mechanism.
  • (Jiaquan, 2007) CN 101145744 A[83] Piston permanent magnetic engine A piston type permanent magnetic generator is designed in the principle that copolar magnets repel and heteropolar magnets attract; and comprises a crank shaft, a connecting rod, a piston, a cylinder body, a rotor, a strong permanent magnet fixed on the rotor, gears, bearings, and other components. The attraction force and repulsion force generated by the permanent magnetic piston and the permanent magnetic rotor push the crank shaft and drive the rotation of the permanent magnetic rotor through the gears to make the permanent magnetic rotor to perform cyclical operation, so as to generate power to externally apply work. The permanent magnetic generator converts the magnetic energy of the permanent magnet to mechanical kinetic energy through reasonable mechanical devices. The invention has the advantages of no pollution, no noise, stable operation, simple structure, low cost, and low external influence.
  • (Diduck, 2007) US 20070296284 A1[84] Magnetic Motor A magnetic motor is disclosed and claimed having a magnetic drive assembly magnetically coupled to a magnetic slave assembly. The drive assembly has at least one drive magnetic. In one embodiment the drive magnet is mounted on a cowling. In another embodiment the drive magnet is mounted on a drive wheel. The slave assembly has at least one slave wheel mounted on a slave shaft. At least one slave magnetic is mounted on the slave wheel. In one embodiment slave magnets are mounted in grooves running diagonally across the face of the slave wheel. In another embodiment the slave magnets are mounted in notches cut into the slave wheel. The drive magnet is magnetically coupled to the slave magnet with their poles arranged in a like-faces-like orientation. The gap between the drive magnet and slave magnet can be adjusted in order to optimize the magnetic coupling therebetween. The slave wheel and its slave shaft are caused to rotate by the magnetic coupling between the drive magnet and the slave magnet. The slave shaft can be coupled to an output device such as an electric generator. Also (Diduck, 2007) : US 20070080596 A1[85]
  • (Togare, 2007) US 7,667,356 B2[86] Magnetic pistons engine The present invention relates to the “Magnetic pistons engine”, hereafter called “Maps engine” or “RAT engine” or “engine” that works on the principle of magnetism. It can be used to perform various tasks and functions that involve application of force or displacement of objects. This method provides an environmental friendly, very high efficiency engine that can complement or replace any engines that use fossil fuel, bio-fuel, solar power, wind power, hydro power, electricity, stored energy, or other energy sources.
  • (Ward, 2006) US7531930 B2[87] Energy producing magnetic converter An energy producing magnetic converter is provided that outputs both electrical and mechanical energy. The converter includes a controller assembly rotatably secured between a plurality of field coil assemblies and a plurality of magnets. During a rotation of the controller assembly between the plurality of field coil assemblies and the plurality of magnets, electric current is generated in wire coils of the field coil assemblies, and counter-magnetic fields are induced around the wire coils. A pole of each counter-magnetic field is formed on the controller assembly, and counterforce present between magnetic fields of the plurality of magnets and the counter-magnetic fields cause and maintain forward rotational motion in the energy producing magnetic converter. Accordingly, because the forward rotational motion is maintained in the presence of sufficient counterforce, the magnetic converter outputs torque in addition to the electric current, thereby increasing an efficiency of the magnetic converter.
  • (Zepp et al, 2006) US 7863789 B2[88] Brushless permanent magnet motor/generator with axial rotor decoupling to eliminate magnet induced torque losses "A permanent magnet motor/generator that includes a stator, a rotor provided with a plurality of permanent magnets at a peripheral surface thereof and having a central axis which coincides with the central axis of the stator, a rotatable shaft upon which the rotor is coupled, and an actuator for moving the rotor with respect to the stator axially along the rotatable shaft a sufficient distance to completely decouple the rotor from the stator so as to eliminate magnet induced torque drag."
  • (Brady, 2004) WO 2006/045333 A1[89] Permanent magnet machine The invention provides a magnet repulsive motor, which comprises a shaft rotatable about its longitudinal axis, a first set of magnets arranged about the shaft in a rotor for rotation with the shaft, and a second set of magnets arranged in a stator surrounding the rotor. The cylindrical magnets with axial magnetisation angled at an acute angle relative to the tangent to the circumference of the rotor and to the inner circumference of the stator.  The rotor and stator magnets also have a special arrangement.
  • (Yutang, 2003) CN 1472879 A[90] Persistant magnet engine The current invention concerns with a kind of new model permanent magnetic engine, the permanent magnetic is made up of non magnetic cylinder block, crankshaft, camshaft, permanent magnetic piston, permanent sliding cover, gear, starting device, due to utilizing of attraction between different polarity of the permanent magnet, make the permanent magnetic piston and permanent sliding cover to be staggered, attracting, attracting, being staggered, drive the crankshaft, camshaft to rotate and work. This engine has no noise and pollution, low cost of production, it can apply in the every kind of the machine as the power, is an ideal permanent magnetic engine.
  • (Hong, 2003) CN 1444333 A[91] Neodymium-iron-born permanent magnet magnetomotive machine "As the world's energy supply has become tighter, and rising environmental awareness earth, people eager to develop a new clean energy, in this case, I invented a magnetically powered neodymium iron boron permanent magnet motive, which continue to expand the development of magnetic motivation, it can be used as a generator and a power source for electrical and mechanical equipment."
  • (Shanghai Songyu, 2002) CN 1367571 A[92] Magnetic energy power equipment The present invention utilizes high permeability magnetic material to design a magnetic energy motor, a magnetic energy generator and a passive magnetic energy mechanism, of which the structure of magnetic energy motor is to build stator body with iron material and to inlay four permanent magnets of high permeability magnetic material in uniformity of 90 degree angle dround the internal circle ofstator with N pole in wards, S pole outward and permanent magnet periphery being isolated by sealing with magnetic isolation materia; to build rotation body also with iron material and to inlay threepermanent magnets of high permability magnetic material in uniformity of 120 degree angle shifting 30 degree angle from axle centre with N pole outwards, s pole in wards and three group of coils being wound in coiling slot at two sides of permanent magnet. The structure of magnetic energy generator and motive mechanism is simlar as abovesaid structure which makes push and pull work by mutual repelling at the time of face to face in rotating of permanent magnets between rotator and stator. They can be connected in series to obtain output power in dozens of times larger than input power.
  • (Patrick et al. 2000) US 6362718 B1[93] Motionless Electromagnetic Generator describes an electromagnetic generator without moving parts including a permanent magnet and a magnetic core including first and second magnetic paths. A first input coil and a first output coil extend around portions of the first magnetic path, while a second input coil and a second output coil extend around portions of the second magnetic path. The input coils are alternatively pulsed to provide induced current pulses in the output coils. Driving electrical current through each of the input coils reduces a level of flux from the permanent magnet within the magnet path around which the input coil extends. In an alternative embodiment of an electromagnetic generator, the magnetic core includes annular spaced-apart plates, with posts and permanent magnets extending in an alternating fashion between the plates. An output coil extends around each of these posts. Input coils extending around portions of the plates are pulsed to cause the induction of current within the output coils.
  • (Kawai, 1998) US 5917261 A[94] Motive power generating apparatus utilizing energy of permanent magnet "A motive power generating apparatus utilizing magnetic flux from permanent magnets providing higher efficiency and torque is disclosed."
  • (Hsu et al, 1997) US 5952756 A[95] Permanent magnet energy conversion machine with magnet mounting arrangement, "A hybrid permanent magnet dc motor includes three sets of permanent magnets supported by the rotor and three sets of corresponding stators fastened to the surrounding frame. One set of magnets operates across a radial gap with a surrounding radial gap stator, and the other two sets of magnets operate off the respective ends of the rotor across respective axial gaps."
  • (Imris, 1994) EP 0637120 A1[96] Device for the conversion of an energy stored in a magnetic field in kinetic energy The invention relates to a device for converting energy stored in a magnetic field into kinetic energy. According to the invention, this device is designed in such a manner that at least two non-magnetic holders are arranged, radially opposite one another, on a wheel which is mounted such that it can rotate, said holders acting as guides for in each case at least two permanent magnets which are mounted displaceably therein. A plate made of magnetic material is in each case arranged axially on both sides adjacent to the wheel, partially covering it. A compressible pressure element is arranged such that it acts on the permanent magnet which is located radially further outwards, or such that it acts between the two permanent magnets, depending on the pole orientation of the two poles (S, N), namely with similar poles or dissimilar poles pointing towards one another.
  • (Huachen Co Lt, 1993) CN 1103517 A[97] Permanent-magnet homopolar field combined power machine The combined power machine is composed of homopolar magnetic field combined stator with straightly arranged rings made of diamagnetic alloy and Nd-Fe-B or other permanent-magnet materials, and homopolar magnetic field combined rotor with obliquely arranged strips. The rotor consists of shaft, cover, internal block and front and rear clamping plates. The stator is composed of speed-change sleeve, external block, front and rear copper pressing plates and oil pump. Under external action of hydraulic pump, two homopolar magnetic fields are close to each other and generate rotary power because of mutual repellant.
  • (Minato, 1987) US 4751486 A[98] Magnetic rotation apparatus The magnetic rotation apparatus of the present invention has first and second rotors rotatably supported and juxtaposed. The first and second rotors are connected so as to be rotatable in opposite directions in a cooperating manner. A number of permanent magnets are arranged on a circumferential portion of the first rotor at regular intervals, and just as many permanent magnets are arranged on a circumferential portion of the second rotor at regular intervals.
  • (Kuroda, 1985) EP 0152252 A2[99] Permanent magnet prime mover A permanent magnet prime mover has a plurality of rotor permanent magnets which are mounted on the periphery of a rotor at a constant center angle, and a plurality of casing permanent magnets which are arranged on the interior periphery of a casing housing the rotor at a constant center angle to face to one another with the same polarity. By moving the casing magnets close to the rotor magnets in the radial direction in order, a rotation force is given to the rotor to rotate the rotor continuously by utilizing repulsive force of the magnets which is strong in proportion to the inverse square of the distance of the gap between the opposing magnets.
  • (Johnson, 1973) [100] US 4,151,431 A Permanent magnet motor. Howard Johnson's original patent: the invention is directed to the method of utilizing the unpaired electron spins in ferro magnetic and other materials as a source of magnetic fields for producing power without any electron flow as occurs in normal conductors, and to permanent magnet motors for utilizing this method to produce a power source.
  • US1724446 A (Aug 13, 1929) -, Harry L - Magnetic motor
  • GB2282708 (December, 4 1995) - Robert George Adams and Harold Aspden - ELECTRICAL MOTOR-GENERATOR - An electrodynamic motor-generator has a salient pole permanent magnet rotor interacting with salient stator poies to form a machine operating on the magnetic reluctance principle. The intrinsic ferromagnetic power of the magnets provides the drive torque by bringing the poles into register whilst current pulses demagnetize the stator poles as the poles separate. In as much as less power is needed for stator demagnetization than is fed into the reluctance drive by the thermodynamic system powering the ferromagnetic state, the machine operates regeneratively by virtue of stator winding interconnection with unequal number of rotor and stator poles. A rotor construction is disclosed (Fig 6, 7). The current pulse may be such as to cause replusion of the rotor poles.

Ability to be scaled

This would depend on future developments of the technology. If based on rare earths like Neodymium[101] , then availability of resources might limit the ultimate amount of power to be reaped.

Caution should be applied on this topic because magnets provide a force, which is not the same as energy.

Be mindful of the risks associated with a perpetual motion machine [their promised unlimited sources of energy violate a law of physics: conservation of energy].

The energy generation process can be represented as shown in the System Representation. For this technology to be scaled up consideration needs to be given to the logistics of scaling up of the input energy and/or input materials, and to the environmental impact arising from pollutants, waste, and land use. Given that the magnet represents just one component of the proposed prototype, it is difficult to comment on its ability to be scaled. The first priority might be to determine if the specific prototype actually works.

Environmental impact

Little is known about the potential environmental impact at this stage. In terms of resource use, today's prototypes use the rare earth Neodymium magnets which might be difficult to come by. The motors do not show emissions, but the strong magnetic fields involved may restrict the environments in which such motors might operate.

Energy technologies can be broadly categorised using the Sustainability Scale.[102] This takes into account all aspects of the technologies life-cycle, including its dependencies.

Risks associated with a prize in this space

Magnets provide a magnetic force, which in itself is not energy. To get energy work has to be done by moving an object with a force. Proposals using magnets might fall into the category of the mythical perpetual motion machines. [Scientific scrutiny is advised. To date, the law of conservation of energy still holds true.]

Risks are associated with all radical innovations, and that can be due to several factors. A good technology might not succeed in the marketplace due to poor marketing and promotion. The perceived safety and environmental impact of a technology is also important to successful adoption. [103] [104] [105] Poor implementation of a technology can also prevent successful adoption of a good technology. These are risks that come into effect after the awarding of an energy technology prize, but perhaps the associated challenge can provide post award support to ensure that these risks are reduced. In addition, of course, there can be risks associated with the technical efficacy of the technology itself, and the logistics surrounding its development, operation and decommissioning.

The biggest risk to this category of technology though is that it might not work. Nevertheless, it should be relatively easy to expose technologies that don't work, provided they are evaluated under strict laboratory conditions by independent experts. The risk to the XPRIZE could be the drain on resources if there are a lot of submissions in this category; a smart filtering mechanism prior to testing might be required.

Positive energy tests to evaluate this technology

This type of technology would actually be rather easy to validate. If a standalone magnetic motor delivers power (as measured with a dynamometer[106]) for a sufficiently long period under strictly controlled conditions, then it may be concluded that the motor taps into a hitherto unknown source of energy.

Watch out for perpetual motion type machines. Caution should be applied on this topic because magnets provide a force, which is not the same as energy. Energy is derived (or "work is done") when a force moves something through a distance.

Basic physics: work done, energy and forces. [107] [108] [109]

The inputs and outputs for any energy generation process can be represented as shown in the System Representation. The efficiency of the system is represented by the output energy divided by the input energy. Note that all energy inputs should be accounted for, including any internal energy storage within the prototype itself. This internal energy could be in any form, not just electrical energy. That latter point might be particularly relevant to this category. Ensure that tests are carried out by independent experts under laboratory conditions. See also LENR testing for some potentially useful techniques.


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  104. Michael Siegrist, Heinz Gutscher & Timothy C. Earle (2006). Perception of risk: the influence of general trust, and general confidence, Journal of Risk Research: Volume 8, 2005 - Issue 2
  105. Linda Steg and Inge Sievers (2016). Cultural Theory and Individual Perceptions of Environmental Risks, Environment and Behavior: Vol 32, Issue 2, pp. 250 - 269, First published date: July-26-2016
  107. Work (Physics)
  108. Work done by a force
  109. Work Power and Energy