SS projects, solar hot water design - Sunsaver's tech stuff

sunsaver

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Ive been interested in earth batteries for some time now, but never got around to tying out. "Free" energy inventions is one of those things i'll serf the net for when i'm getting in my vodka time before bed. Some of the things are neat. My little LED lantern has a joule thief in it, and it will stay on for a month or longer off a set of aa batteries. Much of it B.S. just trying to sell some bogus plans to what are just step-up transformers. But ther are several earth battery patentsb from the 1800s, so i know there is something to it.
Well, today i was going through my tools, and i came upon my digital multimeter. The battery was still good, so i decided to make a simple earth battery and test it for myself. What i want to know is how to increase the voltage and current to a usable level for some practical purpose such as charging a laptop or LED garden lights. I used 6inch pieces of copper pipe left over from the solar water heater, and a couple of scrap pieces of angle iron. First i made one battery by driving both the pipe and iron strip into the ground in a north south alignment (like your supposed to) with the copper to north, and the iron to the south. I then put the copper over to the west, and got the same reading .8 volts. Then i made a row of them, north south, iron, copper, iron, copper, with a wire connecting the positive of one battery to the negative of the other. In a normal galvanic type of battery, the two cells should add up to 1.6 volts. However, the reading i got was .9 volts. and when i disconnected the wire between the middle of the two, the reading only dropped to 8.5 between the outermost copper pipe and iron bar. just adding the extra copper and iron in the ground seems to have added .05 volts and connecting them added another.05 volts. Thats very strange and i have know idea what's is going on in the ground that causes this. The ground is not just an electrolyte, because putting the poles closer together would have given a greater voltage if that were the case. It seemed that putting them farther apart actually increased the voltage.
Tomorrow i'm going to try four batteries, hooked together electrically
and not, and in different arrangements and soil types. I have some clay and silty areas, wooded or open ground. This really does seem to be some bizarre form of energy that modern science has neglected. Telluric currents? What ever it is, it does appear to be real.,P
 

SKR8PN

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SunSaver..............check the water/moisture content of the soil. See if making the ground wetter makes any more/less voltage...........
 

sunsaver

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Good point, skr8pn. The ground is pretty moist right now. Part of the set up tomorrow i will leave in place until the soil dries and then check the voltage readings again. Reports from others on the net who have tried this, said it didn't matter how wet or dry it is. This would make sense if it's not an electrolytic battery, which it does not seem to be. I read that surface area of the "electrodes" plays a big part. Supposedly, old telegraph stations in the west had very large copper and iron plates buried at different depths aligned to the magnetic declination. But if it's just a simple magnetic deflection of electrons that would be the Hall effect. I can't see getting any significant current out of that. In order to power a telegraph station, there must be more going on than what ive read so far. I'll post my test results here tomorrow.
 

thefluiddruid

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Hi,

This is Dragonlaurel's husband. She brought this subject up with me.

I had never heard of this before, so I had to do a little research.

From what I have read, I would like to make the following suggestions.
First of all if you have a way of measuring the electrical potential of various areas of your property I would take readings and then position the plates at the points that have the greatest difference of potential. Theoretically this would give you the largest flow of electrons. (Of course this doesn't take account of the resistance of the earth.)

Also according to info. I found on the telluric current, it oscillates (think low voltage AC). If so you may be connecting "batteries" that are on different parts of the osculation waveform. If so that might be fixed by using half or full wave rectifiers to cause the current to "sync up" and by becoming coherent act as DC. In this case you would treat the poles of the rectifier as the "battery poles" instead of the actual poles of the earth battery.
(If there are any HAM Radio operators on this forum they could probably explain the theory behind this better than I.)

I would be interested in hearing your results.

I am also curious as to what would happen if you had one pole in the ground and the other at an altitude, say on a kite during a clear day. I know that between the difference in potential between the ground and the atmosphere (even for something as low flying as a kite), and the static electricity that would build up on any type of wire stretched from ground to kite, should create a noticeable charge. However if you had your ground at a place with a large potential difference with your "kite pole" you should be able to at least power some small device such as an electrical push motor or an LED.

I also found out that telluric currents are used for geothermal exploration, mining exploration, petroleum exploration, mapping fault zones, ground water exploration and monitoring, investigating magma chambers, and investigating plate tectonic boundaries.

Hope this helps.

the Fluid Druid
 

sunsaver

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That's interesting, TFD. The rain is about to stop, so i'll go do some tests in a little while. I read that the earth battery voltage has an ac component more like dc spikes. A capacitor or a tuned notch filter could clean that up. If it was true ac, i would definitely have to use a bridge rectifier, or i could just use a step up transform to light a cfl light bulb, maybe.
I'm still very skeptical as to what a "telluric" current is. I've read about it on Wikipedia and a couple of other sites, without finding much of a rational explanation that a physicist would understand. I'd like to get some ham radio and electronics guys interested in this.
 

sunsaver

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I've seen that video before but i just watched it again. I think what he's made is just an electrolytic battery, with a dirt and saltwater electrolyte. Notice that the cells have to be physically separated in individual cells. In a real earth battery, all electrodes are in the same medium (the ground) and far enough apart, supposedly, to prevent electrolysis which would eventually destroy the electrodes.
 

sunsaver

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Experiment one: does polar alignment affect the voltage output? For this test i used the same copper pipe and steel bar for all tests to act as a control. I used my neighbor's lawn for the test site because it has very uniform soil, no trees, and uniform, weed free turf, also as a control. First i tested the typical north south alignment, with the copper pipe to the north and steel bar to the south, driven two thirds of the way into the soil, about one foot apart. The copper pipe is positive, and the difference in potential was measured at or near 800 millivolts at every area of the yard that i tested. Then i left the steel bar in place, and moved the copper pipe to the east, south, and west of the steel bar, at a distance of one foot. In every test the voltage was at or near 800 millivolts. I repeated this test several times at different locations. In every case the reading was about 800 millivolts. My conclusion is that, for small scale earth batteries, polar alignment does not affect voltage output.
 

thefluiddruid

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From what he says in the video he is just using dirt and water as his electrolyte. However I have no doubt that the mineral salts found in dirt can do the trick.. Of course this might also be the case with your above experiment.. I wonder if anyone had tried doing this experiment in a non-anhydrous bedrock (no soil or moisture). The fact that it is rock, with no water being present, would help to eliminate any possible electrolytic reaction.

You also might want to start with LEDs instead of an cfl bulb as a simple LED takes much less amperage.
 
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