© Harold Aspden, 1998

Research Note: 1/98: February 22, 1998

The reason I am writing this item in my web pages is the fact that on January 30, 1998 I received in my E-mail a letter which read:
I am a cross-examination debater at Ellison High School. The debate resolution that we argue this year is "Resolved: That Federal Government should mandate a policy to significantly increase the use of renewable energy in the United States." As a debater, we have to come up with a proposal that implements a type of renewable energy. I intend to propose the use of free energy/zero point energy and I need information regarding its benefits, potential, and how the government has been reluctant to use it. If you can provide this information, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for your time,
Anje Anderson

Well, I could ignore this communication, but I admire those who are willing to debate something important to mankind, but yet lack the in-depth knowledge that the more-informed person uses to argue for keeping the status-quo, meaning 'keep things as they are, rather that making a fool of yourself by venturing into the world of tomorrow'.

Surely, we will see new forms of energy generation in the 21st century. It would be stupid to take the gloomy view that we now know all there is to know about energy generation.

As someone well versed by academic and industrial training as an electrical engineer in the power industry, who then embarked on a professional career concerned with protecting inventions in that field, I note that before I entered the patent profession I did ask the question as to how I could be assured that enough inventions would be forthcoming during my lifespan to assure that I could remain active in my chosen profession.

I need not have worried. So long as there are creative thinkers in the engineering community and those in authority care about technological progress, then there will be inventions.

However, looking at the record of the last fifty years or so, I fear that the technology of the computer and the field of communication has tended to absorb brainpower which otherwise might have advanced us further into the era of 'new energy'. Indeed, I am a victim of that syndrome. My salary prospects were better with IBM than with the company in which I trained as an electrical engineer and so it was the scope for invention in the storage of data by magnetic techniques, rather than power generation by magnetic techniques, that captured my attention.

If I were to debate the issue of 'Renewable Energy' today, even with the hindsight of my years, I would not 'propose the use of free energy/zero point energy' based on data collected from an open enquiry for 'information regarding its benefits, potential, and how the government has been reluctant to use it'.

The government of any country has enough wisdom to take stock of available information on matters of importance. Advice of experts is solicited and action is taken based on that information. Sustaining the energy needs of a nation is of utmost importance, but there are economic factors, trade-offs between short-term and long-term aspects and the issue of global pollution that all need to be evaluated. A politician is likely to ask: "Where is this new energy technology that we are reluctant to use? Let me see a demonstration, some cost figures and the evidence that it can be relied upon before you accuse us of being reluctant to use it."

It must be assumed that many major corporations that will be affected by a breakthrough on the new energy front have already mounted a watch to keep an eye on developments. Exceptional though it may be, I am even aware of the interest being shown in this subject by a company in the specialist field of making anchors for oil rigs. You see, once the demand for oil drops owing to the onset of new energy revolution, there will be a drop in demand for new oil rigs. Forward planning in business implies trying to second-guess how one's customers might react to what is seen on the future horizon.

However, the essential issue here, unless you are talking about the modest scope for power derived from the wind or ocean waves, is new science and technology. You cannot trawl for information and canvas for reliable data on matters that are so technical in nature. You might just as well say that the time has come for the government to encourage the use of new inventions in the energy field and send out an enquiry as to whether such inventions exist as documented by granted patents.

Indeed, you might propose that, in the new energy field, the government should fund the attorney costs and patent fees of all innovators who have something to offer. That would be answered by the statement that all worthwhile inventions come from established industrial enterprises, if not universities, who are well able to fund their R&D and who may in any event benefit from government funding in some way. You are then left with that band of rebel activity involving the maverick inventor, the private individual who some might see as trying to follow in the footsteps of Isaac Newton by discovering a way to make gold. The 'gold' in this case is 'free energy'.

On this point the government voice could say that those who seek patents for 'perpetual motion' inventions waste their time; such inventions are outlawed. They could say that those who fund such research by crackpot individuals are wasting their money and that such activity should be discouraged. Popular support for such inventors by those who elect politicians to power and so could be a deciding factor long term would surely be lacking. Try telling your friends that you have invented a 'perpetual motion' machine and see how they react!

In summary, therefore, we have to face up to the inescapable fact that the ultimate breakthrough on the 'free energy' front will not come in an orderly way and be born from a normal 'pregnancy'. This 'free energy' field is in a state of chaos, but, yes, I can see that at this time there is a sign is of life in Mother Nature, in that we are passing through a pregnant phase awaiting a 'free energy' birth. It may occur in a garden shed, if not in a stable, but it is on the way. Indeed, we can hope for a multiple birth, but whether the arrival will be welcomed and whether the authorities will recognize it and issue Birth Certificates as endorsement remains to be seen.

Certainly, I would not encourage pointing an accusative finger at government and chiding them for not doing enough on the renewable energy front. Their experts are the ones who need to a wake-up call; they may be experts on what is known but there is no way in which they can deny that there is scope for new energy technology. They cannot predict future invention. They are not experts on the unknown. They have to abide by the one governing law in the energy field, namely the Law of Conservation of Energy, but they lack expert knowledge as to how to regenerate electricity from heat with the 100% efficiency that that law implies.

I will conclude these remarks here as I may otherwise venture into a field that is too technical for the reader to follow. However, for the reader versed in electrical science the brief footnote below will serve as a guide to those technicalities.


Virtually all the electricity generated in the world passes through a sequence of large power transformers. Yet it is a fact, which few experts on energy matters even know about, that in every large power transformer there is a process at work by which heat resulting from the electrical currents induced in the steel laminations of the transformer is reconverted into electricity in a way which increases those same currents and so produces additional loss. This is why that loss is, in fact, much greater than can be predicted theoretically. Commercially, in itself, this is not important, because the losses involved are small anyway in proportion to the power rating of the transformer. Technologically, however, by not understanding this phenomenon, electrical researchers have failed to see that Nature does have a way of converting ambient heat directly into electricity. One needs to get that heat to flow through a metal in the presence of a magnetic field and tap off the electrical power in a direction mutually orthogonal to the direction of heat flow and that magnetic field.

However, I stress that that is not a way of tapping 'zero-point' energy. There is no 'perpetual motion' feature involved; just compliance with the Law of Conservation of Energy (sometimes termed the First Law of Thermodynamics), but I fear that the power transformer, sadly for some of those who teach thermodynamics, does not oblige by complying with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Allowing for the ultimate and residual heat dissipation from the transformer, albeit one that is badly designed to accentuate the phenomenon, the regeneration of electricity from heat can be as high as 90% efficient, whereas the temperature differences in a transformer lamination correspond to a very much lower Carnot efficiency. All I can say is that here is a clue, a starting point for a young research-minded person to progress from in 'free energy' research. I only wish that I had discovered this when, some 48 years ago I embarked on my own Ph.D. research studying the anomalous loss experimentally. You see, in my educated youth, it never occurred to me to challenge the laws of science. Who was I to say that the Second Law of Thermodynamics can be faulted? Such thoughts were far from my mind. I am now older and wiser and I believe we are on track for that 'free energy' breakthrough, including accessing the 'zero-point' energy of the vacuum, the task ahead being to reeducate those experts! From my present retirement position and circumstances, it is easier for me to 'educate' than it is to prove my case by building demonstration rigs, which is why I am writing these Web pages. However, those experts do not want to be reeducated and so they will not heed what I say - but I will soldier on in my efforts.

Harold Aspden
February 22, 1998