The funniest thing about this whole Steorn/Orbo business is that my dad essentially built the same thing last year with a bike wheel, some paper clips, and some fridge magnets. This “revolution for energy production” is repeatedly pooh-poohed by the community, though they are denounced by Steorn as being closed-minded for being so. Really? Maybe they just see how incredibly limited this technology really is — and no amount of fund-raising and talk-giving will change that.
If I understand it correctly (their doubletalk “How does it work” page is uninformative), what’s essentially happening is there is a mostly frictionless spinning element with a magnet on the outer end, constantly propelled by magnets embedded in the edge which push it along. Technically, that is a “clean and constant supply of energy,” but the amount it produces is so unbelievably small that you’d probably have to have 10 of the paperback-sized units to power a small light bulb.
You see, the amount of energy that can be harvested from something that size must be less than the total amount of “push” provided by the magnets spinning the center element. That’s a simple matter of physics — there are no other forces at work here to create energy. Technically the magnets would eventually wear each other out and align with one another, but that’s a minor concern compared with the fact that this system simply isn’t practical for creating a useful amount of power. And no matter how they try to obscure that simple truth, that’s a limitation of the physics they’ve decided to get behind. And if that wasn’t enough, the fact that their company is giving talks in Dubai instead of issuing peer-reviewed papers is enough for me to dismiss them outright.
Move on, internet. Nothing to see here.