Gravity-Powered Generator: Real or Fake?

gravGenRorF

You thought we forgot about your favorite Hackaday comment game, didn’t you? Well, not only is ‘Real or Fake?’ back with a new installment, but this time it concerns everybody’s favorite impossibility: perpetual motion machines! It’s likely that you’ve already seen the photos of Brazilian energy group RAR Energia’s generator “powered exclusively by gravity” (translated). If you’re rolling your eyes and exclaiming “this is so last year..” you might want to scroll down to the bottom of the page; they’re still building this monstrosity and they’ve included some diagram imagesPerhaps someone who reads Portuguese can better translate the claim that the devices are “demonstration models with capacity to generate 30kW.” Oh, didn’t you know? There are two of them now: one in Brazil that is presumably functioning, and a second under construction in Gilman, Illinois.

Now, before you all scream “Photoshopped,” take a gander at a FotoForensics analysis of one of the images, where ELA (error level analysis) seems to indicate consistent levels of compression. EXIF data shows the pictures were shot with a Sony DSC-WX5 and saved in PhotoScape. It may be simpler than that: you can easily recognize the same employees in different shots from different angles, and there are quite a lot of photos. RAR Energia’s most recent endeavor—a second machine in Gilman Illinois—seems to have been erected in the past two months. The Gilman warehouse is located on property belonging to bio-diesel manufacturing firm Incobrasa Industries (named a “Company of the [RAR Energia] group” on the RAR Energia site). Here’s a little internet sleuthing for your consideration: a photo of the completed warehouse and a Google maps link to the location in question (40.763176, -88.012706). Note the distinctly shaped building in the background (another view here, during construction), which can be found due south of the location indicated in the Google maps link. We’re not suggesting that you completely rule out image manipulation, but if it’s Photoshopped, it’s a damned elaborate job.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any videos demonstrating motion or any explanation for how the system works other than vagaries about perpetual energy. So, does this thing exist—and did this company really build two of them? Does it work…or, well, somehow do something?

Comments

  1. six677 says:

    Of course it doesnt work, friction will sap energy, rotation of the generator will sap energy, the energy required to lift the masses back up again ignoring any resistive force will be the same as you would gain in the first place

    • Greenaum says:

      It’s not friction. Friction is never why perpetual motion machines always fail. If a machine could produce more energy than it took in, even if it lost it to friction it would have created heat. So overall it would have increased the amount of energy (or mass-energy, but try keep the pedanticism to a minimum) in the Universe, which is impossible.

      But friction is just a conversion of energy, it doesn’t destroy it. Perpetual motion machines always fail due to misunderstandings on the part of the designer. They’re designed to run on slightly different principles than the ones the actual Universe runs on. Usually it’s a simple misunderstanding of mechanical forces, or of magnetism and the difference between force and energy. Annoyingly including the Old Faithful, “A magnet sticks to the side of a fridge for YEARS! If the magnet weighs 10 grams then that means etc etc!”, thinking it requires energy for something to stay where it is.

      http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/museum/themes/whynot.htm

      Is the best website I’ve seen on PM machines. I’d like everyone to have a quick look at this, or the relevant part to your argument, before they get into discussions on PM. Because it’s nearly all been said before. I’d be pleased to see a new argument actually. But treading over the same old nonsense, even if at the end a couple of people learn about magnets, drains the life right out of the Internet.

      Anyway – perpetual motion – impossible. Even if it’s a really big one from Brazil. So these guys are either fools and their machine doesn’t work, or liars, and it does work and there’s a hidden energy input somewhere. Or maybe smart guys who made an honest mistake, but there’s not many of them in P-M..

      • Mike says:

        No, no, no, you’ve got it all wrong.

        It works perfectly! Its powered by pink unicorns!

      • adcurtin says:

        Technically friction (and air resistance) are why you can’t have perpetual motion machines. Even if you made a perpetual motion machine, you wouldn’t be able to harvest energy from it, because you would be taking away some of the energy from the motion and it would eventually stop. But a perpetual motion machine doesn’t need to produce more energy then it uses.

        A magnet suspended above a superconductor in a perfect vacuum would be pretty close to a perpetual motion machine.

        • hap says:

          A perpetual non-motion machine. You mean a superconductor on a magnetic track, which also isn’t perpetual as the magnetic field is still slightly divergent. A current in a superconductor will stay in motion approximately forever, or at least until thermal noise/zero point energy breaks down the superconductor or its atoms just decay..

        • Greenaum says:

          A PM machine DOES need to produce more energy than it uses, or what use would it be? How else would it put the evil greedy oil companies out of business? If it didn’t, why would the oil companies send out so many saboteurs and assassins to hinder the work of science’s greatest geniuses?

          THAT is the type of PM machine we’re talking about, that is the type that this Brazilian contraption is. Merely preserving momentum is no trick at all, planets and stars do an almost-perfect job of that.

          This machine isn’t just intended as an executive desk-toy, it’s supposed to produce electricity, or drive factories, or whatever. Why else would anyone bother?!

          And the reason it doesn’t work, is because once the initial push it’s given is used up, it will find equilibrium and stop. The “unbalanced wheel” will find balance. Because the designer neglected to think the whole thing through, although this can often be quite a difficult thing to do.

          Read Don Simanek’s page, it’s really good.

          • LK says:

            You are confusing the terms here. Perpetuum mobile / perpetual motion by its name means a thing that moves forever. That could be nearly, but not completely accomplished by reducing friction to an extent where you wouldn’t notice losses of kinetic energy. Planets are such an example, based on a human lifespan, assuming there are no losses in their kinetic energy is a good approximation.
            A PM / overunity / whatever generator or something is a completely different thing.
            A perpetual motion device is something with an efficiency of 100%, which could to a certain extent be reached (like 99,99999%).
            Generating energy from a PM on the other hand is impossible. In order not to stop the PM, you would need more than 100% efficiency, which is not possible.

      • six677 says:

        I am well aware that energy cannot be created or destroyed. When I say loss of energy I meant loss of energy *from that system*, not from the universe. Friction is still going to prevent perpetual motion, sure enough by converting kinetic energy to heat energy, did i ever say this is not the case? Don’t go trying to correct a person yet regurgitate what they said in the first place

        • Greenaum says:

          That’s still not why PM machines don’t work! A PM machine GENERATES energy from mechanical principles that don’t work. Over-unity is the key word. Merely achieving 100% efficiency is not enough, they’re intended to do better. If a PM machine generated 50% more energy than it took in, it wouldn’t matter if it lost 10% as friction.

          THAT is what stops them working. The fact that they never even execute one turn under their own power. Not that friction saps it away. What you’re thinking of is preserving energy, not generating it.

          This is important cos if you’re going to argue with people who are claiming the impossible, you have to know WHY it’s impossible.

          • Ben says:

            Perpetual motion means >= 100% efficiency. Overunity means >100% efficiency. Something can be a perpetual motion machine without being an overunity machine (assuming you could remove friction etc). Overunity machines are definitely impossible. Perpetual motion machines… are still probably impossible, depending on your definition of “perpetual”. You can make something move for a long time, but eventually it will stop, although maybe not in a human lifetime. As someone said before, you can make something 99.9999 etc % efficient, which is close enough to 100% that people may accept it as perpetual motion. Whats being talked about here, though, *is* overunity. This is definitely impossible. Be aware though, many attempts at perpetual motion machines are not actually trying to extract energy from the movement. PM machines usually dont work because of friction. Overunity machines always dont work because its an impossible concept. There is a difference.

          • SATovey says:

            “THAT is what stops them working. The fact that they never even execute one turn under their own power.”

            That is incorrect.

            I built a magnetic motor back in the summer of 04 that did achieve one turn under it’s own power. The problem was that it could not achieve consecutive turns and do it consecutively enough to contineu spinning.

            What realy strikes me as odd, is that no matter how many people build magnetic motors and see them fail, that are unwilling to acknowledge that the devices as designed, have an inherent flaw that they are not addressing. A flaw that makes such motors unworkable. Yet the insanity lingers on.

            A magnetic motor has an inherent flaw that must be addressed in order for it to actually run. And guess what? Physics, gravity, friction, and all the arguments that are typically used to claim it’s not possible have nothing whatsoever to do with it. There is enough force in the magnetic gate to overcome those trite little issues, but the design itself, is inherently flawed. And that is mainly becasue the people working with them do not understand all the properties of magnetism.

          • six677 says:

            thats just elementary physics that a moron could understand.

            Sadly it appears that you cannot see my argument as for why a PM machine cant even preserve energy disproves why it cant generate energy.

          • Greenaum says:

            Because, six677, you are wrong. You don’t make an overunity machine by getting the efficiency up to 100% then adding to that. Frictional loss is irrelevant to an over-unity machine.

            The impossibility of achieving 100% efficiency is a different impossibility to achieving greater than 100%. Friction is not why over-unity machines fail. It is important to realise this, it is important to realise why a PM machine won’t work, if you’re arguing with someone who thinks he can build one.

            Your argument does not disprove over-unity machines. It disproves the irrelevant, pointless, energy-preserving machines that aren’t under discussion here, and that nobody tries to build.

            Glad to know I explained it simply enough to you, although you’ve still stubbornly stuck to your wrong point.

      • anonymous says:

        “I’d be pleased to see a new argument actually.”

        Of course, it doesn’t work. With one exception, you don’t even need physics to prove it. “Reductio ad absurdum” will suffice, except for very low speed devices. You need the laws of physics to positively exclude very low speed devices.

        Let’s start by assuming a false premise is true: a perpetual energy machine powered by gravity is possible. If that’s the case, then the machine will start spinning the moment construction is complete. In fact, it would attempt to spin prior to completion of it’s assembly and interfering with it. The only way to construct a device which automatically attempts to spin on it’s own is to have a brake applied to it to prevent rotation until construction is completed. None of the photographs of this machine have a brake. That’s sufficient to prove it’s a fake, unless it’s a very low speed device which wouldn’t need a brake. Without a brake on the machine, high-speed photography is the only way motion blur wouldn’t occur in the photographs of the machine, again excluding a very low speed device. Of course, it’s assumed to be true that high-speed photography wasn’t needed to capture ordinary construction photographs, and therefore wasn’t used for them. This leads to the conclusion that the machine is a fake, unless it happens to be a very low speed device.

        In fact, all perpetual energy machines based on gravity to date do not have a brake, are static (non-moving) upon completion, and require spin up or some motion to initiate operation.

        Oh, you meant a new argument _FOR_ PM, not against it. Sorry…

        • Greenaum says:

          Well, yeah, without a governor, all PM machines would accelerate quickly to the point they broke down. Since they’re still getting up to making one work at all, this is not something they worry about.

    • C141Clay says:

      Thoughts

      That is a lot of steel. Wow. A bunch of mass to get moving. Lots of moving joints, each one with it’s bit of friction. 16 arms on the main shaft, each section contributing to 22.5 degrees of rotation. All the arms and linkages do is translate vertical motion into rotational motion. Lots of internal friction and inertia to overcome just to move… Where are the up/down vertical forces going to come from to make this actually produce more energy than it takes to get it moving?

      As a power generating “perpetual motion” device, I think not. That leaves two (+-) options…
      A) It’s a hoax and the backer will be out big bucks.
      or
      B) It’s a real machine, designed and built to do something, But not in any power production sense. Input a shitload of horsepower at the shaft, and your return it vertical movement on the end arms. Not the best design to achieve such an action.

      I would love it to actually do what the builders are suggesting, but these photos only show a heavy, complicated Rube Goldberg machine. It will look very impressive when spun.

      Question. Why have they not painted it during the build? It will be a bitch to paint in it’s current state of build, and only get worse.

      • Greenaum says:

        Perhaps it’s unpainted to honestly show what it’s made of. I think the fact that they bothered to make it so big, means it’s a genuine investor-fleecing machine. So the design is more psychological than mechanical. It has to look like it’s worth throwing a few thousand dollars at. The expense of constructing it shows that the “inventor” has confidence in his machine, which just needs a little more money for some tweaking.

        For all we know he bought the metal on credit, and the owner of the factory that built it is one of the fooled investors.

      • twdarkflame says:

        I still think its B)….and something to do with testing something.

      • Will says:

        World’s largest bread kneader.

  2. rusty says:

    dollar says it is real and it just doesn’t work.

  3. Matt says:

    With all of the pictures they love posting on that site, where’s the video showing it in action (unless I missed it), and where’s the numbers? If this were real, why aren’t they pushing it out to us and shoving it down our throats, until it’s common? I have to call fake. I’m not saying that something somewhere couldn’t end up doing it some day in some fictional world, but it’s certainly not today, I don’t think.

  4. baobrien says:

    I think some free energy nut managed to convince his wealthy friend that it would work.

  5. Second law of thermodynamics says that if I boil a fish tank I get fish soup but if I cool down fish soup I won’t get a fish tank.

    That thing cannot work.

  6. Atropos says:

    So every bit of my understanding says this is impossible, but the money for that material that had to come from somewhere (let alone the cost of machine time for the links and cams).

    So either we are looking at an elaborate Contact style hoax involving someone with a few hundred grand to burn, or there is some random data that backs it up enough for them to get a grant.

    Either way I kind of still want to see it run.

  7. cgozzard says:

    Hey.. when is this on Kickstarter? I want in..

  8. dazzler says:

    I’m with rusty .. .some buffoon will build it and some buffoon will spend/waste the rest of his/her life ‘tweaking’ it to make it work.
    I’m not big on goodwill or charity, but even I wonder how many water pumps could have been made for Africa with the time and materials wasted on this and other contraptions like it.

  9. ColdTurkey says:

    Someone’s having a jolly good chuckle at this I bet!

  10. Atropos says:

    Just going to drop one more thing in here, 30kW is like 40 HP, that seems low for long term power generation.

    • Greenaum says:

      It would be a miracle if you could power a radio off it. A literal miracle. The fact it doesn’t work at all is more important.

      What’s annoying is it’s not even a novel idea! Seems to be more dicking about with weights, people in the time of Da Vinci got sick of trying those.

  11. cb88 says:

    Perpetual motion machines… without perpetual motion. Make me want to barf… its not a hack unless you consider it a hack on the ambitions of some wealthy gullible person.

    • schilcote says:

      Sure it’s a hack! They’re exploiting a known vulnerability in the control firmware of human beings, known in the human-hacking community as ‘wishful thinking’.

  12. Brian says:

    Could you make a gravity based generator? Yes. Would it be a perpetual motion machine? No, not in the second law violation kind of way.

    Gravity based generator could easily just be any tidal generator. Now this doesn’t appear to be that at all so its no doubt just junk. But if you had a gradient in time in the gravitational field you can collect power, tidal forces provide such a gradient.

    • Greenaum says:

      Technically a tidal generator would be using kinetic energy, from either the Earth’s rotation or the Moon’s orbit, probably a bit of both. It’s not gravity, it’s the motion of large objects transmitted through gravity.

      • Brian says:

        That kinetic energy is caused by gravity. Tidal forces are gravitational. The transducer is a large fluid.

        • Up near where I live, the town of Wiscasset, Maine used to have an nuclear power plant. They still have all the power transmission infrastructure and are right on the coast so they’ve talked about taking advantage of that by building a sort of gravity fed energy reservoir to store energy at night by pumping and using wave action to capture a lot of water then during peak energy demand during the day letting the water drive turbines to feed the grid. The theory was that although it would be a net loss of energy — and a fairly significant one — the balance effect of using energy from the grid over night when demand is way down, then adding energy to the grid during the afternoon when demand is higher would make financial sense.

          I have no idea if they’ve scrapped the idea or not.

          • Michael says:

            Actually, we have that type of plant in Belgium:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coo-Trois-Ponts_Hydroelectric_Power_Station

          • Why! Who does not want a gigantic rechargeable battery?

          • Chris says:

            A “Gravity Generator” is is news? I thought we had been using gravity to capture energy since before the days of electricity?
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_wheel

          • Greenaum says:

            There’s a gigantic one of those in Wales somewhere. Two reservoirs, and a hydroelectric power plant designed so it can run backwards and pump the water back up again. Uses abundant night-time power to pump it up, and then runs forwards in peak day times.

            It wastes energy, but saves a lot of money. It matches supply with demand, and energy that nobody uses is wasted anyway. It helps with coal and nuclear plants, that have to run all day and can’t be easily switched off.

            The UK’s grid has, for the last few years, built many natural-gas fired plants which can start up in minutes. Also less polluting. Which is nice, as long as there’s still gas under the North Sea.

          • LK says:

            In Germany, we have quite a few of those plants. With the boom of renewable energies like wind or solar power, there comes the need to store that energy because especially the wind doesn’t care about times of high or low demand.

          • SomeDutchGuy says:

            As reaction on Greenaum’ “It wastes energy”: Well, it’s not wasting energy, it’s doing something more efficient. You can put a powerplant/generator which has not enouch load, in connection with a bunch of big resistors, to make sure the generator does not (free-run, and) damage other systems (due to changing load/speed of the gen). Or you can put the same ammount of energy into a few pumps.

            Heat the air, vs, pump some water that you can use on another point in time.

  13. I will say this, it’s a fantastic kinetic art installation. I bet once you put some energy into it, it’s very pretty to watch as it spins down.

  14. andygoth says:

    I think it’s supposed to be an elaborate pendulum.

  15. XOIIO says:

    LOL oh man…

    I’m not even going to start.

  16. d says:
  17. supershwa says:

    The fundamental laws of physics do not prohibit perpetual motion: the properties of physical objects do.

    Friction is the #1 enemy in this case: it is a dissipative process which converts orderly motion into disorderly motion, which is why we can’t get absolute energy efficiency from machines.

    The planet itself is seemingly a “perpetual motion” machine, but it actually depends on the sun’s gravity and rotation as kind of an astronomical “cam shaft”…even the sun will run out of fuel one day (but by then Earth will be sure to have been engulfed when the sun goes red giant.)

    This project appears to be real, but I’m with the others commenting here: some self-proclaimed “engineer” is wasting his [naive] investor’s money.

    • Greenaum says:

      No, it’s not friction, and the laws of thermodynamics state that in any conversion of energy, you come out with worse quality of energy. Or as they say, you can’t win, you can’t break even, you can’t stay out of the game.

      Friction’s easy to do away with compared to perpetual motion. Magnetic bearings for one thing, Teflon for another.

      The planet is not a perpetual motion machine even in quotes. It’s spinning because it was started spinning way back when. It’s slowing down, gradually. But there’s not a lot TO slow it down. It’s no different from one of those floating magnetic globes you can buy. Or even a spinning top. If you set them spinning, they’ll continue for a while, and they’re in a much thicker medium, and a squillion times less massive than the Earth.

      The point of perpetual motion is to produce more energy than it takes in. Not just to lose energy slowly, which is what the Earth does.

      • Megol says:

        Yes it’s friction. If one could construct a machine without friction it would be a perpetuum mobile in that when set in motion it would continue moving forever. It is of course impossible to construct a frictionless system.
        What you are describing is something that could be called an overunity machine (that’s the favorite quack term) – one that produces more energy than it uses. An overunity machine could be a perpetuum mobile if the produced power could overcome frictional losses. This ignores mechanical wear.

        It’s important to understand the differences between those kinds of machines as the first AFAIK doesn’t violate the laws of thermodynamics while the second does.

        Both kinds are however impossible to make in the real world.

        Observe though that there are no theoretical hard blocks in making a system of the first kind that is perpetual in a practical sense, a system that have so low losses that it will continue working after e.g. humans are extinct.

        • Greenaum says:

          The type of perpetual motion machine that this is, is the overunity type. The other type has no practical use, and is not something anyone would bother building at any sort of size.

          I’m talking about the kind of machine that the Brazilians have built. It is not friction that defeats these, it is the fact they run on impossible principles. If a machine produced 50% more power than it took in, and lost 10% to friction, it would still be very useful.

  18. Toby says:

    well… if it worked, it might have to slow down the movement of our planet, would’t it?

    • C141Clay says:

      Yep, just as wind turbines slow the wind that turns their blades, minutely taking energy out of weather patterns. Wave machines slowly causing the ocean to still.

      everything has tiny, tiny effects, but they exist, and thus should be complained about.

  19. vonskippy says:

    So where is the neutron star fuel tank?

  20. Greenaum says:

    I think the brown weights on picture #54 are a version of the “overbalanced wheel”, the other 90% just being an elaborate and large crankshaft to convert linear to rotating motion.

    As to “why’s it so big?”, I imagine that’s to draw real money out of investors. It’s more convincing to have a great big thing that “just needs a few final adjustments” than it is to be a crazy man waving manuscripts about and e-begging on Youtube. The North American one is presumably cos that’s where there’s large pockets of money and ignorance to be found, the combination of both being the best source of what perpetual-motion inventors run on. Well, that and bullshit, no shortage of that in the USA either.

    • AussieTech says:

      @Greenaum is right on the money here (no pun intended).

      “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice” – attributed to Albert Einstein.

      I have no doubts that these are real builds, and they are far from the first such mega builds e.g.;
      http://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/permalink/1920s_perpetual_motion_machine/

      It appears to be a particularly complex (or obfuscated?) version of a “mass leverage” or “overbalanced wheel” device dating from at least the 12th century (Bhaskara II).

      While the outboard weights appear to be fixed the inboard weights are in different positions with linkages.

      I must remark that it’s amazing how massive the whole machine is for such a pathetic claimed power, 16 stations producing a mere 2kW each for 30kW (40H.P.) total. A typical machine of this scale, a marine engine for example, would have an output in the megawatt region, not mere kilowatts.

      Nonsense – on a breathtaking scale, but still nonsense. Thanks for the laugh.

  21. I´m from Brazil and they put a big advertising in the local newspaper. I think it´doesn´t work.

  22. Sven says:

    The force of gravity on an object is basically potential energy, no energy conversion can be made unless you have a change in potential energy. A gravity powered generator would therefore have to be powered by chages in the gravitational field which are tiny.

    There are such generators in use today, we call them tidal generators. Maybe there is a way of building something mechanical that can turn a wheel from pure tidal forces, but you could never take any significant energy out of the system without making it absolutely enormous, the size of a small ocean.

    • AP² says:

      Am I missing something? Because mechanically turning a wheel using tidal forces is exactly what a tide mill does, and they’re certainly not massive.

      • Sven says:

        If we are going to speak of an enclosed machine like in the pictures you would have to include everything.

        The point i was making was that you would need to include the ocean connected to the tide mill, or some other similarly enormous mass to temporarily store the energy gained from the weak changes in perceived gravitational force.

      • Michael Chen says:

        Strictly speaking, the water is part of the machine as it is vital for it to work. In here, there is no such reservoir. If they are trying to capture energy from the difference in gravitational field caused by the moon (which is possible), they would need something much bigger.

  23. koolman says:

    Well, could it just be a hoax?
    The machine looks real enough but it could be some heavy specific machineries.
    The fact that there is no video presenting the build is suspect, the one page Internet site smells hoax.

  24. Toby says:

    what is interesting is, that they have about ten crankshafts for one rotation, BUT: it’s more than one rotation…

  25. I don’t see any magnets, return springs or Tesla Coils. My conclusion is that it will not work.

  26. jerz1101 says:

    Not the first time I’ve seen a man with more money than brains.

  27. dALE says:

    Wow, What a huge piece of scrap. I mean, could people really be dumb enough to waste money on garbage like this thing?

  28. Neuntoter says:

    I don’t doubt that it exists or that there are two of them.
    I don’t doubt that it works, in the mechanical way.
    I don’t even doubt that it generates power.
    What it doesn’t and of course never will do is generate more power than it uses. Even if it ran frictionless, because it is using the force of gravity the best it could do I believe is break even. Equal force of gravity forces it down as what would be required to push it up.

    • vonskippy says:

      “I don’t doubt that it exists or that there are two of them.”

      What’s that quote from the movie “Contact” – “First rule of government contracting – why build one when you can build two for twice the money” (or something like that).

  29. Hans says:

    Even more funny.. only day dreaming here: if this machine would work.
    What would be the energy ‘payback’ time? I mean, melting all that steel must take TONS of energy to create. I bet with the claimed power output, it would take several decennia before it will be efficient.
    Even nothing said about the moneywell this has been.

    E.g. Creating a 1MW windmill is not ‘hard’. Just put a large steel structure up with some blades and required gearboxes & generator. Making it with the minimum amount of metal (thus energy put into construction) is a whole different story.

  30. Les-M says:

    The construction of this “thing”, sadly, is just another contribution to the the planet’s greenhouse emissions. At the same time, it’s just another way to turn so much perfectly good steel into an equivalent amount of scrap, without it first providing a substantial benefit.

  31. Adam says:

    “Does it work…or, well, somehow do something?”

    No.

    It’s about time those of us who understand and appreciate real science stop acknowledging perpetual motion machines. They’re not even worth mentioning.

    • Josh Marsh says:

      What baffles me is that–as far as I can tell–it looks like this thing has actually been constructed. I doubt anyone who visits this even lends the smallest modicum of credibility to these kind of machines. It’s worth mentioning if only to illustrate the sheer scale of this thing and how much has been invested in it, to remind us that these kinds of projects are only getting more elaborate, regardless of how doomed they are.

    • twdarkflame says:

      perpetual motion machines are a pretty useful to explain many science concepts. As long as you never brush them of with “friction”, but instead use them to show why an equilibrium would be reached, they are pretty good learning tools imho.

    • Agree, they are not worth mentioning except to show that “it cannot work, whathever you try, will fail”. If it will not fail it means that, everything we know and we discovered is totally wrong, so, if someone build such a machine, expect a lot of suicides in the scientific world. LOL. Save a scientist, don’t build a perpetual motion machine!

  32. jerz1101 says:

    Apparently Hack-A-Day didn’t do their research. I tried to go to their website http://www.rarenergia.com.br/ and was completely amazed when it was up and gone. Pfffff.

  33. Solenoid says:

    To all the naysayers here: gravity isn’t a constant, so maybe they’re generating something from the delta.

    But in all seriousness: lol.

  34. Wiljan says:

    The arms sticking out will move as a wave it the machine are rotated.
    So the other way around if they stick into water and you apply “wawes” it might rotate
    Just a thought

  35. Dan says:

    Portuguese is from Portugal
    Brazilian is from Brazil
    Don’t mix the two because they are different languages.

  36. Rincewind says:

    You can make a generator powered by gravity. Just drop a heavy weight on a cable that turns an electrical generator. Once the weight is down you’ll have to find another weight that’s already at the high point. Once you fill up the chasm you’re dropping them into you’ll have to find another. It doesn’t sound effective.

    I don’t think I see them doing that here. I think I see someone who got funding from the scientifically illiterate.

  37. sneakypoo says:

    The answer to this question is always the same when it comes to these machines. IF it actually worked the whole damn world would be buzzing about it.

  38. Bob Shaw says:

    I, for one, wish to be among the first to welcome our new overlords!

  39. Chirpinchuckthehumanduck says:

    Dumb investors:..? Well I think we need to keep this in perspective. I agree with “most” of whats been said above but I would rather see a “dumb investor” spend the money on a dream like this instead of cocaine/hookers/gambling. There are far worse things to waste money on and cocaine/hookers/gambling have an even worse change of producing anything worthwhile.
    Ok now you can proceed to the “cocaine/hookers/gambling” is funner/smarter money. HEEHhe

  40. Uri says:

    P. T. Barnum got it right.

  41. Json says:

    I think spending it cocaine, hookers, gambling, would be better suited.
    Those cocaine people always coming up with ingenious ways of doing things that work
    Hookers just provide a service. And they spend money on cocaine.
    Gambling funds hookers and cocaine.
    Maybe we should get the cocaine makers to make us an energy machine, after all they seam to produce this stuff in the jungles (I watch tv) where do they get power?

  42. Uri says:

    I am sure SSA James West is nearby to bollix up the works . . .

  43. pusalieth says:

    Well my first thought is, we don’t have the technology for this. Gravity is acceleration, acceleration with mass is force, a force moving something is work. To get from Gravity to work I don’t think is impossible, and some type of perpetual energy, but more like an extremely sophisticated piece of technology the manipulates the laws physics, in extremely complicated, yet geniusly simple ways. The problem with an gravity machine, is its not accelerating, obviously its just sitting there, and anything whether its huge as this thing or as small as atoms, only has potential energy not energy that can do work, until moves, when it moves though all the energy is lost that was stored, therefore consuming the gravitational potential energy. Maybe if you had some type of device that went all the way through the earth and it went back and forth, you might be able to extract a lot of energy before its potential energy is consumed, or something like most inventions, I have no idea what it may be, may even be some type of Star Trek type device that uses Sub-space, extra-dimensions, Dark Energy, or Dark matter to decrease the mass or something, and then lasts 1 year before you have to (charge it) again. But utimately 100% energy conversion means no work can be extracted, matter collided with anti-matter is 100% energy conersion, but if you use some of that energy, you just consumed energy from the system, therefore to get the same amount as before you have to add energy/matter from something.

    • Slartibart says:

      Gravity machine, aka hydroelectricity is quite well known and widely deplyed. To get “stuff” to do the gravitational work however we need help from nature.

      • pusalieth says:

        That’s true, I haven’t really thought about a Dam as being gravity powered, but I guess the underlying reason there is force and is moving, is because the mass is traveling down a slope, which travels because of gravity, then because the cyclic motion of water to high elevation through weather replenashes that energy…..Interesting

    • twdarkflame says:

      You need a *change* in order to extract energy.
      Thats the problem here, the gravitational field remains the same. This is the same as having a vehicle under constant acceleration….your in the vehicle, and theres a vacuum outside. Theres no way you can “get” that energy from your motion.

      • Correct. The only thing they can do is to use the variation of gravitational field caused by the sun or the moon. The sun is not possible, there is not enough change in the gravitational field in our rotation around the sun. The moon is possible to use, but it requires a lot of water, it means, lakes or oceans :) a small device in a basement does not have enough mass.

      • pusalieth says:

        I’m not sure to what your saying, regenerative braking is harvesting that energy, you don’t need “change”, otherwise that would imply you could harvest energy from time as time is just (change in) or delta. What you need is a moving force, W(work)=f(force)*d(distance), its in the efficiency that tells you how much you need to charge, refill, etc. the potential energy. Gravity is providing a constant work thats why you fall when you jump, and why when something is dropped it can break, you converted the gravitational potential energy into kinetic, W=g(acceleration of local gravity)*m(mass)*(delta)y.

        • Slartibart says:

          Regenerative braking is harvesting energy from change in velocity (the word “braking” should be a hint).

        • Tane says:

          In regenerative braking, the “change” is the change in velocity of the vehicle that is being braked. Time itself changing doesn’t count, because time is just what we use to measure changes. Gravity provides a constant *force* but it only does *work* when objects move while under the influence of that force.

  44. stucknguay says:

    You’re all aware that gravity powered generators already exist. Most people call them hydroelectric dams. Not perpetual though.

    • ar0cketman says:

      Hydroelectric dams are actually solar powered. The sun evaporates water from the ocean, which is picked up by solar driven wind currents and deposited in mountains, where it runs downhill to be captured by dams to drive turbines on its way back down to the ocean.

      • denis says:

        Actually the water is often pumped back up in off peak times so the dam acts as an instant on storage bank for peak demands. Certainly the case in the uk.

        • ar0cketman says:

          Any idea on the efficiency of this method? Seems the pumping losses would exceed the off-peak power savings.

          • LK says:

            well, it has to be sufficiently efficient (lol), because this technology has been used here in Germany for many years. Plus, today those Pumpspeicherkraftwerke are needed to store the power of renewable energies like wind power which sadly don’t respect the demand times.

          • It doesn’t have to be that efficient… available power comes in chunks called “Electrical Power Plants.” You have to add these chunks of power in 100MWatt units of power that take years to build and become operational and cost a crap-ton of money to run. You could lose 90% of the power the hydroelectric dam stores, but as long as it kept you from having to build one more electrical plant, then it could save hundreds of millions of dollars.

  45. Scott says:

    Having been at one time employed by one of these “dumb investors”, seeing something like this makes me angry (if it is indeed real). I got suckered into working for this guy to help him do the “tweaking”. I should’ve seen a red flag when they couldn’t/wouldn’t answer my questions about exactly how their product worked, but hey, the money was good. So after about 6 months of good faith effort, I tell the guy that I’m pretty sure your concept is fundamentally flawed. Only then does it come to light that he got the idea from some new-age crystal-rubber who’s been milking him for money the whole time. A lot of people lost what they thought were decent jobs because this fool had too much money and not enough sense. The thing is, he honestly believed in his product, but only because he know nothing about the field he was getting into. More money than sense.

    • Greenaum says:

      At least you got paid. I suppose you don’t get the satisfaction of a job well done out of it. But if the money’s good…

      Actually you make a good point. With all the bullshitting and baffling, people of good faith can be led along into nonsense like this. If you’d been in on it from the start you’d probably have worked it out quickly. At least they didn’t get away with promising to pay you out of the endless dividends!

      It also proves that just because someone has money, it doesn’t mean they know shit about anything.

  46. Looks like some sort of testing machine to me.
    I am 95% sure its a real machine -of some sort-. So either its specifically built to do nothing. Or its built to do something else (join testing? hydrolic testing?) then missused or just claimed to do something else.

    • Josh Marsh says:

      I believe that’s the intention as stated by the company, at least. For them it’s a proof of concept (though my use of “proof” here is accompanied with a chuckle).

    • Quads says:

      Look at the pics on their site. The one they are building in IL, in the background is a concrete outfit. The only place I’ve ever seen those tall, blocky looking buildings. Found it on google earth in about two seconds. So either it is something they can use at this Redi-Mix plant, or it is the owners pet project. I guess we could call and ask?

  47. agtrier says:

    Water mills harvest gravitation energy since milenia. And tidal forces are entirely gravitational (mostly the moon’s gravity in this case), so a tidal power plant harvests gravitation power as well…

    But as long as they don’t explain how this is supposed to work, It appears to me as if there’s a certain element of deceit in this…

  48. pod says:

    This is not a hoax, just a case of bad translation from portuguese!
    These guys are building the biggest, baddest, heaviest strandbeast ever,
    And since it is too heavy to move around they bolted it to the floor.
    True story!

  49. Andy says:

    It’s most likely not a fake, that it is a real machine made of steel, except it won’t work the way these guys intend it to. And please guys & girls if an idea was dreamed by many who failed, then it might not work for real. Do we need to go over and over those things again, because it was topic countless times, and till now NONE worked (the way intended)

    The only gravity to energy converter that works is a basin connected to the ocean storing tide and releasing it, however due to the 2-3m difference you need a REALLY big basin because height = potential energy.

    Question: Why building a big big demonstrator, if the principle works, than a small thingy would work too.

    Answer: They just started out big and did not do a demonstrator. And showing that working, without the fan or the 1000W lamp or the magnet or the air pressure(sound dubbed) would bust those as free energy nuts.

    Yes, there are scaling effects except, in this case the scaling works against efficiency, because “FRICTION FORCE” will rise when ortogonal FORCE rises.

  50. Quads says:

    It’s probably real and it will fail. I’d like to find the guy who is backing this project, I have some bridges for sale.

    In all seriousness, I hope whoever the backer is doesn’t think he is getting into a free energy machine here. Hopefully it is something else and they are just having some fun posting pictures of it online.

    • Paul says:

      • Josh Marsh says:

        Unfortunately, this and the other handful of videos online are just photo montages of images from the website linked in the article, without any original footage. I searched endlessly and came up with nothing.

        • First of all, you cannot escape the Laws of Thermodynamics. Who claims to do that, is most likely a fool or a liar. A field alone cannot create energy. A change in the field can create energy. For example, you cannot generate energy out of a static magnetic field, but, you can use motion to convert kinetic energy into an alternated current through a moving inductor in a static magnetic field. This is how a dynamo works. That’s all. You cannot use a field to generate energy without an external source of energy. Really, you can’t. If it would be possible, nothing that we know would be correct, every law of physics we discovered would be false and wrong, and really, this is likely not possible. Only at the quantum level some processes violates the laws of conservation of energy (see for example the Casimir Effect), but is also shown that is not really possible to use these local violations in such a way we can make energy out of nothing in the macro world. So this must be scam, one of the worst, and I am surprised that hackaday gives spaces to this stuff :) Exif file and image processing does not help, here we are talking about physics, it does not worth to spend energy to see if the images are real or not :D

        • kristian says:

          There can never be a video, because it will never run!

          Unless they fudge it, of course. At the very least, it’ll make a very impressive kinetic sculpture.

          Or maybe it’s like a giant perpetual guillotine for idiot engineers and investors… that would actually do a lot of good!

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