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Ecowatts Miracle Tube
The Mail on Sunday reports that a British company called Ecowatts claims to have created a device that seems to create energy from virtually nothing. It's a 12-inch tube that you plug into your electrical outlet. The device then creates more heat energy than the electrical energy put into it can account for. They hope to market this revolutionary tube as a home-heating device.

Sounds like another free-energy scam to me. If the device really did output more energy than is put into it, heating homes would be the least of its abilities. You could use these things to create limitless amounts of power at virtually no cost.

Jim Lyons, who works at the University of York, apparently tested the device and has given it his stamp of approval. If a real researcher from a respected University has okayed the device, then it must be for real. Or, maybe not. Here's Jim Lyons's bio from scimednet.org:
After an initial industrial career as a chartered engineer, I am currently in the academic world and have been at the University of York for the last twelve years. Following a period in the Department of Computer Science, I have become involved with the innovative process of engaging academia with the world of commerce, developing research, particularly into sustainable technologies.
The constraining perspective and narrowly defined disciplines of western academic life drove a need to engage with colleagues having a much wider vision of the world. The SMN offered the ideal vehicle. Involvement since the early 1990s with like minded people from diverse backgrounds with their `no blinkers` interdisciplinary approach now seems so natural and indeed the obvious way to progress.
My research area is in the field of non-locality of Consciousness. The emerging new models describing an active Aether can begin to account for many phenomena such as Healing, Synchronicity, Psychometry etc, currently not even considered in mainstream Science. The open mindedness implicit in the SMN philosophy is what Science should truly be about.
I'd wager that Ecowatts's miracle tube never makes it to market as a working device. (Thanks to Russell Jones for the link)
Free Energy
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 18, 2007
Apparently, "free energy" is just one of those things that people are going to chase endlessly, despite the fact that it violates the known laws of physics.

Every few years, it seems, someone comes along with some device that allegedly outputs more energy than it takes to operate. Eventually, they are all shown to not be counting some of the energy that goes into them, thereby invalidating their claims of producing "free" energy. Oops.

"Free energy" is the Philosopher's Stone of the 21st Century.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  05:07 AM
you can get more heat in your home than the energy used to heat your home - you use a heat pump to move heat from the ground outside your house into your house - a bit like a fridge in reverse. but this just sounds like another crackpot.

"Ideas not even considered by mainstream science" - Translation - "Ideas teenage science students would laugh out of court"
Posted by cthelmax  in  england  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  06:28 AM
Hang on - I think I see how this works. the secret is apparently that passing electricity through the mixture of water, potasium carbonate and a "secret catalyst" releases more heat than the electrical energy going in. Therefore, I think we can assume that passing electricity through this solution causes an exothermic reaction to occur, providing extra heat. If this is the case, the unit will stop working after a period, as the reactants are converted into products. It would be interesting to see whether any long term (several week long) tests have been carried out, or whether you are going to have to replace the solution every so often. It's a bit like selling an "electric fire" where. when you turn it on, the electricity is used to light a fuel supply inside the unit, thus "providing more heat out than electrical energy in"
Posted by cthelmax  in  england  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  06:36 AM
>>"you can get more heat in your home than the energy used to heat your home"<<

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH...

Here's some reading for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics#First_law
Posted by coit  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  09:47 AM
The Ecowatts you link is American, not British, and looks like a respectable manufacturer of power monitoring devices. You probably want this Ecowatts.
Posted by Adrian Cox  in  England  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  10:36 AM
when I said "you can get more heat in your home than the energy used to heat your home" I meant that, using a heat pump it is possible to obtain efficiencies of over 1000%. This means that for every watt of electricity used to power the heat pump, 10 watts of heat are delivered into your home. This does not violate thermodynamics - the heat comes from outside your house, but the total energy of the universe remains the same. This is how a fridge works.
Posted by cthelmax  in  England  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  01:08 PM
Thanks, Adrian. I lazily figured there could only be one company called Ecowatts.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  01:26 PM
BlackLight has invented a new primary energy source with applications to Heating, Central Power, Motive Power, and Micro-Distributed power generation. This relies on a new chemical process of releasing the latent energy of the hydrogen atom. In this process, the electron in an ordinary hydrogen atom is induced to move closer to the proton, below the prior-known ground state. Hydrogen gas derived from water serves as the fuel.
Posted by Igor  in  Bratislava  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  01:36 PM
"active Aether"? Wasn't that concept disproved at the end of the nineteenth century? And what sort of engineer was this guy before he entered the world of acedemia? Is there any connection between that world and the real one?
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  01:38 PM
See on http://www.blacklightpower.com/
or http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/permalink/blacklight_power_and_hydrinos/
Posted by Igor  in  Bratislava  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  01:44 PM
Gotta love the typical 'The constraining perspective and narrowly defined disciplines of western academic life drove a need to engage with colleagues having a much wider vision of the world.' statement.. We're too narrow-minded to discover such great things!

Next we'll be getting people with free-energy devices based on faith: They provide energy to the faithful because God wants them to have cheap electricity. If you're not getting juice out of it, it's because you don't believe enough.. Hmm.. I may have to patent that.

Notice how blacklight jumps in on this one too.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  05:56 PM
If perpetual motion or free energy was actually possible, there'd most likely be some example of it in nature; some celestial entity showing this property. There is no such example.

There have been quite a few VERY smart people throughout history; Gauss, Dirac, Carnot, Feynman, Einstein, & Newton to name but a few. If something could have been made to generate free energy, something possible out of household bits of junk, it would have been done long ago.
Posted by Whatever  on  Wed Sep 19, 2007  at  04:03 AM
If I ever figure out how to make free energy, I am not going to tell anyone. I am going to make a free energy machine and sell the extra energy to the power company. I will then use the money I make from that to make another free energy machine. Rinse and repeat until I am a multi-billionaire. Even something that is just 101% efficient would be sufficient.

The free energy sales pitches are just like the 'Make tons of money from your own home by doing nothing' sales pitches. The only ones who will make money off it are those who are foolish enough to buy into it.
Posted by Whatever  on  Wed Sep 19, 2007  at  04:17 AM
Hold on you commentors!!- No one has claimed violations of the laws of thermodynamics here. As mentioned by Ethelmax -There is no reason why the potasuim carbonate plus a secret ingredient can not be a fuel source is there? So what if this cell it stops working after a while and has to be recharged? The question that has to be addressed what is the mechanism for releasing the energy from the "fuel" and possibly how cheap and damaging to the enviroment is its production. There is no reason why there cannot be latent energy held within a compound ( as per hydrocarbon molecules) that can be released by involvement in another process.
We are all aware of the futility in the search for perpetual motion - but dont always assume that a "local" over unity energy production is a scam. It is only likely to be a scam if total energy in the universe has magically been increased!
The aether was required by classical physics to suport the propagation of e-m radaition through free space ( vacuum) much like air for sound waves. It dismissed by Einstien on the basis that if it could not be detected therefore it could not exsist. He postulated that the speed of light was constant for all observers and thereby eliminated any possible relative effects of a static medium (ie an aether). I note that modern string theory for the creation and exsistence of matter now requires that free space is only empty "on average" and is supposed to explain the observed phenomena of dark energy. -- May be the aether really does exsist -just not in the form we expected. No one has yet explained how energy propagates through empty space which has the measureable physical constants uE and uH - action at a distance etc etc - so is there such a thing as free space devoid of all matter and energy - and what do we mean by the expression "Free Space"?
Posted by Spanners  in  Newmarket ,suffolk.UK  on  Wed Sep 19, 2007  at  06:52 AM
Robin Bobcat said:

"Gotta love the typical 'The constraining perspective and narrowly defined disciplines of western academic life drove a need to engage with colleagues having a much wider vision of the world.' statement.. We're too narrow-minded to discover such great things!"

Oh, Robin! You are SO Western! You just need to get your chakras in line. Then your chi will open up your third eye and allow you to see how "free energy" works.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Sep 19, 2007  at  09:58 PM
>>If perpetual motion or free energy was actually possible, there'd most likely be some example of it in nature;<<

Well, there is the Big Bang, which according to some theories produced a whole lot of energy out of nothing.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Sep 20, 2007  at  03:20 AM
Well spotted Alex!! - Just goes to show that our understanding of the Universe is as limited as the models we create to explain it.Those models really are limited only by human logic and imagination. Perpetual energy? -it fills the Universe and will be there untill we no longer have a need for it - sounds pretty perpectual to me - we need to observe and scrutinise every aspect of our observations from many different viewpoints. The laws of thermodynamics have served us well - but they are still only models based on what we observer. We are getting in a real pickle when we look closely at the fundamentals of matter itself - these laws based on macroscopic observations seem to fail on the really microscopic scale inside the nucleus and beyound -or they just limit our imagination and violate our logic
Posted by Spanners  in  Newmarket ,suffolk.UK  on  Thu Sep 20, 2007  at  06:25 AM
I can't believe what arguments have errupted from this minor 'News Report'.
It just seems that ANY device that claims to be 'too good to be true' is either exonerated or annihilated before it has even been truly 'tried and tested'.
Yeah, the media always exagerate these things, but let's just see what happens.
C'mon 10-20 years ago most people wouldn't believe that you could run a diesel engine from waste vegetable oil. They do now.
Nor would they have believed that you could get the equivalent lumen output of a 60-100 watt light-bulb by only using <20 watt. They do now.
Technology is always moving forward, don't judge it before it has chance to blossom.
Even the skeptical scientists will accept that there is the potential in a square centimeter of vacuum to boil the earths oceans!
Be skeptical by all means, but don't just rip the s**t outta something for what is claimed in early development.
ALL R&D is relevant considering our current situation.
Here's to the future.
Posted by Balanced View  on  Sat Sep 22, 2007  at  09:53 PM
While it's OK for the Daily Mail to print garbage (which they have become expert at doing over the years) it another matter for a UK university to endorse this scam.

Does York want to be taken seriously as an academic institution any more? I suspect that they let their people take money in exchange for phoney endorsements using the excuse of 'academic freedom' but at the end of the day they are profiting from the scam in exactly the same way as the original hoaxers. It's a disgrace.
Posted by The Earl King  in  Cheddar  on  Sun Sep 23, 2007  at  02:56 PM
Earl King - You seem to know more about this claim than the rest of us. On what basis do you boldy claim this is a scam? If what you say is true then it would indeed be a disgrace that public money has knowingly been used to endorse a phoney product.
From my understanding Ecowatts have asked York University to investigate how an apparent "local" over unity of energy is being released by their cell. No one has claimed or needs to claim violations of the laws of theromdynamics "free energy" or perpectual motion - those have only come from forums such as this one!
As I stated before along with cthelmax, the most likely cause is the degeneration of the electrolyte as the "fuel source". Whether this phenomena has commercial value is for York to find out.On the face of it it seems highly unlikely that a new way of releasing energy from what appears to be a simple electrolytic process has been discovered. That is what our Universities are there to do. Brave of York to look into it I say - as it seems that many others will arrogantly dismiss this using the Therodynamics argument - perhaps saving us all time and money - but surely a truely acedemic establishment would at least be curious, unless they already know the answer? I have'nt seen any "authouritive" explaination dismissing this as a non starter -----???? So come on York doyour research and dont be embarrased by your findings - enlighten us all!!
Posted by Spanners  in  Newmarket ,suffolk.UK  on  Mon Sep 24, 2007  at  06:41 AM
OK all you "know it alls"...

Sorry, experiment trumps "theory".

The Ecowatts device, is HORRORS an practical

application of COLD FUSION!

http://jlnlabs.imars.com/cfr/nfrcnam/index.htm

Try this state of the art. Pity all this work has

to be done by "retired" or stipend workers as the

"science nazis" are ready to LYNCH anyone who

dares "try".

Signed:

Some who did this in 2001 in HIS basement...

JOE PAPP
Posted by JOE PAPP  in  Midwest US  on  Mon Oct 01, 2007  at  05:14 PM
I have not experimented with the devices mentioned by Joe Papp and therefore at a disadvantaged without my own observations.
Howver I have read the papers and articles presented on the net. The one thing that strikes me as an engineer is this:
Nowhere do I see a careful observation of the current and voltage waveforms to the so called fusion cells.
The "established" view of these experiments is that the experimenters do not account for ALL of the energy supplied to the cell. I am fairly sure that the current to such a cell wil not be constant - having seen the videos of the flashing and popping reaction of plasma under water. It is highly likely that the plasma is not constant and ignites and extinguishes ( only my view ) at a random rate as the point of arcing moves over the surface of the tungsten cathode. I have a feeling that although the power has be supplied by a "regulated DC supply" the current in the circuit will not constant - probably very spikey in reality. The current will therefore have a high harmonic content to which either the measuring device ( be it ammeter or Watt meter) may not be able to correctly respond. The net resulkt being that the indicated power per unit time ( energy) is less that that actually supplied. What must be used to measure the true energy value of the current in such a case is a "True RMS" device - With currents of the orde of 1 amp or so this could for simplicity sake be just a incandescent lamp by which some accurrate means of measuring its filiament temperature. Or simply a water calorimeter with a heating element in series with the cell supply. From the rise in temperature of the calorimeter's water the input energy can be derived.
I do not think it wise to use a n ammeter designed to read only DC for this purpose as appaears to be used in these experiments.
I am not in the least bit prejustice in my view on this matter - just following my instincts hardened by years of engineering!!
Posted by Spanners  in  Newmarket ,suffolk.UK  on  Tue Oct 02, 2007  at  10:30 AM
Spanners - you're spot on. Nothing will convince the Joe Papps of this world, but there's an excellent description of the effect you describe here: http://www.badscience.net/2007/11/free-energy/

It appeared in The Guardian today.

Ecowatts are just charlatans
Posted by brunonero  on  Sat Nov 10, 2007  at  04:47 AM
Alex - I think your website offers a good discusion platform for those who get drawn in by psuedo science. It can be enlightning to look at established theory and fundamental principles through the eyes of the ill informed - not meaning that in a patronising way.
There are many many subjects in which I have a very limited understanding of, as do many that I consider to be my "peers". I agree that convincing some "Free Engery" believers is difficult - because to them it is not about science it has become a religion! Unfortunately unlike religion, good science requires a very open, rigourous mind.
Must have a route about on your site for other free energy theories - the frustrating thing is that we of the technical persuasion know there is vast amounts of "cheap" energy about us -its just finding a practical way of harnessing it. I use the term "Cheap" - because nothing comes "Free" there is a cost associated with the harnessing of all energy.
Viva la museum des hoaxes!!
Posted by Spanners  in  Newmarket ,suffolk.UK  on  Mon Nov 12, 2007  at  02:28 PM
It supposidly goes to market in a year and a half.

If it does I will buy one.

I seriously doubt you will ever see one of these things in any house let alone mine.

I wish them all the luck in the universe.
Posted by Ed Wood  in  Michigan  on  Wed Mar 26, 2008  at  03:44 PM
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