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Author Topic: Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?  (Read 7277 times)

Airthumbs

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Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?
« on: 26/06/2011 21:45:51 »
I have seen lots of clips on youtube of people making these but no-one has been able to provide even simple instructions as to how to actually make one.

I would be very interested if someone could spell out how to make one and also explain how they work.

Spread the word, lets make a difference  ;D

Here is a link I found explaining some of the theory behind this natural power source but still does not provide a simple how too?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_battery

CliffordK

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Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?
« Reply #1 on: 27/06/2011 05:29:40 »
In life you never get something for nothing.  And, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

The idea of a sacrificial anode is the simplest form of an Earth Battery.  So, any Steel Ship Hull would have a sacrificial anode.  Also steel Hot Water heaters, and technically, every galvanized nail is a sacrificial anode.

The idea of the sacrificial anode is that zinc will slowly erode imparting a weak negative charge to an steel object so that the steel is less likely to oxidize.

But in doing so, the metallic zinc is converted to zinc ions, and is typically lost. 

Likewise, if you drove a zinc and an iron rod in the earth, the zinc rod would slowly deteriorate, creating a potential difference between the two.

Hmmm, thinking about the zinc a bit more, I assume you are forming zinc oxides and hydroxides.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc#Compounds
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc#Anti-corrosion_and_batteries

Airthumbs

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Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?
« Reply #2 on: 27/06/2011 13:47:09 »
In life you never get something for nothing.  And, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

How about this then...... To obtain the natural electricity, experimenters would thrust two metal plates into the ground at a certain distance from each other in the direction of a magnetic meridian, or astronomical meridian. The stronger currents flow from south to north. This phenomenon possesses a considerable uniformity of current strength and voltage. As the Earth currents flow from south to north, electrodes are positioned, beginning in the south and ending in the north, to increase the voltage at as large a distance as possible. ( Bryan, James C., "U.S. Patent 160152 Earth Battery". February 23, 1875. Page 1, Column 1, Lines 29-32.)

Maybe it is possible to get something for nothing, look at solar power for example?  ;D

damocles

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Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?
« Reply #3 on: 08/10/2011 23:05:31 »
How about this then...... To obtain the natural electricity, experimenters would thrust two metal plates into the ground at a certain distance from each other in the direction of a magnetic meridian, or astronomical meridian. The stronger currents flow from south to north. This phenomenon possesses a considerable uniformity of current strength and voltage. As the Earth currents flow from south to north, electrodes are positioned, beginning in the south and ending in the north, to increase the voltage at as large a distance as possible. ( Bryan, James C., "U.S. Patent 160152 Earth Battery". February 23, 1875. Page 1, Column 1, Lines 29-32.)

Maybe it is possible to get something for nothing, look at solar power for example?  ;D

Something is clearly wrong here! Perhaps the patent applicant has got his electricity and magnetism mixed up?

The only possible results of "As the Earth currents flow from south to north,..." would be an accumulation of positive ions at the North Pole and negative ions at the South Pole -- unpaired electric charges?! or completion of an electrical circuit at depth. It is hard to see the asymmetry between North and South that could possibly drive this.

An Earth current that regularly flowed from East to West (or West to East) seems a much more likely possibility. It could well be driven by the Earth's magnetic field, or tidal effects, or just the Earth's rotation per se. And it would naturally form a circuit without needing any return loop.

Geezer

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Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?
« Reply #4 on: 08/10/2011 23:21:23 »
The Wiki link says the electrodes are of "two dissimilar metals". That says there is a chemical reaction. If the energy was really a function of the "teluretic mumblespeak", there would be no reason for the electrodes to be dissimilar.

CliffordK

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Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?
« Reply #5 on: 01/12/2011 06:58:39 »
An antenna is essentially a similar type of device.  It will pick up electric power from the air (or a potential difference between air and ground).  However, the amount of power received is extremely small. 

You would likely need a quite a large antenna to power a single LED.

damocles

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Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?
« Reply #6 on: 01/12/2011 10:49:43 »
There is actually quite a large potential difference between ground and air a few tens of metres up. It can usually deliver a decent current too, but much more than you would be able to handle when a thunderstorm comes along..

(If the Ben Franklin and kite story is true, he was very lucky indeed to live as long as he did!)

Airthumbs

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Re: Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?
« Reply #7 on: 28/01/2012 02:18:39 »
So what would the plan be then for making one?  Is there anyway of testing this on a smaller scale?  That is an earth battery.......... I have a voltmeter  :)

damocles

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Re: Does anyone know how to make an earth battery?
« Reply #8 on: 29/01/2012 23:09:46 »
So what would the plan be then for making one?  Is there anyway of testing this on a smaller scale?  That is an earth battery.......... I have a voltmeter  :)

Take a fine day, with no electrical activity (thunderstorm) about. If still, you can use a lighter than air balloon. If there is a stiff breeze a kite also becomes an option. Affix a light metal disk to balloon or kite, and run a light copper wire down its tether. Place a voltmeter, perhaps in parallel with a LED or an array of them between the end of this wire and another wire that is soundly earthed.

And perhaps pray that you do not get into trouble? Might be a good idea to set it up on the ground and then feed out the balloon or kite with another light non-conducting line?

In my younger days I did a bit of bushwalking. On a breezy day I often heard consistent spark discharge at the trig points (metal pole with metal disks in stone cairn) that they set at significant hilltops here.

 

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