Bulked Up MHD Drive Makes Waves While Standing Still

Looking back through the archives, we actually haven’t seen much in the way of homebrew magnetohydrodynamic drives (MHDs) — which is somewhat surprising, as the core concept isn’t nearly as complicated as its syllable-laden name might indicate. You can see results with little more than a magnet, a couple of electrodes, and a bench power supply. The trick is turning these base components into something that might actually have practical value.

That’s where we find [Jay Bowles], who has gone down a bit of a MHD rabbit hole these last few months. His latest MHD unit is a considerable improvement over its predecessor by all practical metrics, and as an added bonus, really nails the look of a futuristic propulsion unit. Even though the all-electric thruster hasn’t gone on a mission to anywhere more exotic than a table-top aquarium, you could easily imagine a pair of them slung under some top secret stealth watercraft.

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A Magnetohydrodynamic Drive In The Kitchen Sink

The magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) drive certainly sounds like something out of science fiction — using an array of magnets and electrodes, this high-tech propulsion technology promises to silently propel a craft through the water without any moving parts. As long as you can provide it with a constant supply of electricity, anyway.

Of course, as is often the case, the devil is in the details. Even with the obvious scientific and military applications of such a propulsion unit, scaling MHD technology up has proven difficult. But as [Jay Bowles] of Plasma Channel shows in his latest video, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with the concept at home. Even better, getting verifiable results is much easier than you’d think.

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