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POSSIBILITY OF LIBERATING SOLAR ENERGY VIA WATER ARC EXPLOSIONS

George Hathaway
Hathaway Consulting Services
39 Kendal Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5R 1 L 5
Canada
Phone 416-929-9059; Fax 416-929-9059

Peter Graneau
Center for Electromagnetics Research
Northeastern University
Boston, M A 02115
Phone 508-369-7936; Fax 508-369-7936

ABSTRACT (Azevedo e t al, 1986). Not until 1993 was it


This paper reports progress in an realized that the water arc liberated energy
experimental investigation, started in the f r o m another source than the capacitor input
Hathaway laboratory in 1994, which deals energy. It caused Hathaway Consulting
with the liberation of intermolecular bonding Services to resume experimentation with
energy from ordinary water by means of an water arcs. T h e present paper presents a
arc discharge. A new fog accelerator is series of experiments which forms part of a
described and a table of results of the kinetic continuing research program.
energies of fog jets is included. T h e energy T h e principal discovery made in the
of liquid cohesion i s stored in water during past two years was that it is a collection of
condensation when the vapor molecules fog droplets in the water which explodes and
transform their kinetic energy t o potential not the liquid water itself. T h e term 'fog' is
energy. Since the kinetic energy of the vapor meant t o include not only the tiny droplets
was acquired by solar heating of the which float in air but also larger droplets
atmosphere, it is solar energy in concentrated which fall in the atmosphere and would be
form that is being liberated by water arc more correctly described a s 'mist'. T h e sole
explosions. explanation of the explosions so far put
forward contends that the intermolecular
INTRODUCTION bonding energy in fog is less than 540 callg,
Frungel (1948) discovered the working the latent heat of bulk water. T h e bonding
principle of water arc launchers. T h e arc was energy difference is then liberated i n a
established in a small cavity between a quantum j u m p when the f o g is formed i n
vertical rod electrode and a coaxial ring micro-seconds. It is difficult to determine
electrode by the discharge of a capacitor. the latent heat of fog, and n o published
T h e unusual strength of the explosions led t o measurements have been found.
the development of a new technology known T h e intermolecular bonding energy, that is
as electro-hydraulic metal forming (Gilchrist the energy of liquid cohesion, is stored in
and Crossland, 1967). It was clearly water during the process of condensation,
recognized from the start that water arcs were Vapor molecules give up their kinetic energy
relatively cold and no steam was raised. and exchange it for bonding energy. But the
Measurements of arc explosion forces were kinetic energy of the vapor in the clouds is
started at M I T (Graneau and Graneau, 1985) the result of solar heating. Liberating the
and continued at Northeastern University bonding energy is therefore a means of

1715 0-7803-3547-3-7116 $4.00 0 1996 IEEE


regaining concentrated solar energy.
Progress made in this research up to
October 1, 1995, has been reviewed in a
recently published book by Graneau and
Graneau (1996). Further information is CAPACITOR
contained in a paper which was presented at
the 1996 World Renewable Energy Congress
(Graneau, 1996).
In the reviewed experiments, the energy
delivered to small quantities of water, up to
1.5 c m 3 , was typically less than 50 J. T h i s
could not have increased the water I I
temperature by more than 10°K. Steam
explosions were out of the question because
n o liquid breakdown mechanism is known
which can channel a significant fraction of ULE
the current into a thin water filament. A AT
photocell measurement established that
ionization was completed in 0.8 ps and n o
current flowed around the circuit until after
this time. It has to be remembered that the
ionization process absorbs energy and does
not generate heat.
A s shown in the energy flow diagram of G
f i g . 1 , the energy Ez is discharged from the
)E12
capacitor (C) into a simple series circuit
comprising an arc switch (S), the inductance
( L ) , the short-circuit resistance RC and the
water filled cavity ( W ) . T h e discharge Fig. 1 Energy Flow Diagram
current i is of the form

obtained separately.
E7 must supply the surface tension
where IO is the intercept of the exponential energy increase required by f o g formation and
envelope on the current axis, T is the it may accelerate the droplets a little. This
damping time constant, o = 2 n f the ringing has to be done by electrodynamic Lorentz or
frequency, and t stands for time. From the Ampere forces. T h e Lorentz pinch force can
current oscillogram we can determine T and produce thrust in the direction of current
the damping factor R given by standard flow. Northrup (1907) proved that the pinch
circuit theory as thrust will be of the general electrodynamic
form
R = 2 L/T. (2)

R has two components


T h e value calculated by Northrup for the
R = Ro + eb/irms. (3) dimensionless k-factor was k=O. 5 , whatever
the diameter of the current cross-section.
RO i s the o h m i c resistance of the discharge E12 is the kinetic energy of the fog jet
circuit and eb is the induced back-e.m.f. in as it leaves the accelerator. T h e impulse this
the water which accounts for any mechanical jet exerts on an absorbing balsa wood
work (E7) which has to be done on the water secondary projectile has been measured
to generate cold fog. W e know of no way in (Graneau and Graneau, 1996) and is given by
which the components of e q u . ( 3 ) can be

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P2/P1 = v2/v1. (12)

where m is the mass of the fog and Uav its T h i s makes the ratio of final t o initial kinetic
average velocity. This should be compared energy
to the mechanical impulse received by the fog
droplets from the electrodynamic impulse P7. E2/E1 = % m vz2 / % m vi2 = (P2/Pd2, (13)
W e may write
which proves equ. (9).
P7 = JF7dt = (p0/4n) k Ji2dt. (6) For the impulse ratios of 50 - 100 of
the water arc experiments this implies E12 is
T h e action integral Ji2dt is available from the at least 1000 times larger than E7. W e
current oscillogram. T o compare P12 with P7 therefore claim that virtually all the kinetic
w e express Pi2 by energy of the fog jet leaving the water plasma
accelerator is derived from the internal water
P12 = (p0/4n) k’ Ji’dt, (7) energy contribution, Es.

where TYPE B ACCELERATOR RESULTS


T h e various accelerator designs used
k’ = 107 m uav/Ji2dt. (8) since 1983 were described by Graneau and
Graneau (1996). A new design, which has
T h e dimensionless factor k’ is now an been called the type B accelerator, is shown
experimentally determined quantity.
I
-
in f i g . 2 . - - - - - - - - -
I
As soon as water arc explosion forces
were measured ten years ago (Azevedo e t a l , I I BalsaWood
I
1986) it was found that k’>>k. This fact was
I
I , Secondary
confirmed in all subsequent experiments. I t I Projectile
left little doubt that the water arc explosions I
contained additional energy (E8) over and I
I
above E7. I Copper
When Ampere’s force law was used in
e q u . ( b ) , the k-values increased from 0.5 t o / barrel
-200 (Graneau and Graneau, 1996). This
was still far too small to deny the existence Water
of E8 and gave an impulse ratio P12/P7 of the Charge
order of 50 - 100. Newtonian mechanics then
requires that, provided the impulses act on Nylon
the s a m e mass (fog),
Insulation
E12/E7 = (P12/P7)’. (9) Sleeve

This can be proved as follows. If a mass m


is accelerated t o the velocity V I it requires an
Nylon
impulse of Secondary
Insulation
Pi = J F i d t = m v i . (10)

Let the s a m e mass acquire additional energy


in flight (E8) t o reach the velocity vz, then
the impulse becomes
Center Electrode

Pz = m v2. (11) Fig. 2 Type B Accelerator with


Sec0ndary ProjectiI e
Therefore the impulse ratio is

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T o determine the fog jet m o m e n t u m , a and equs.(lO) to (14). T h e table shows these
secondary projectile consisting of balsa wood energies to vary between 1 3 . 0 and 29.2 J .
stands on the accelerator barrel. T h e dry Take shot SP24 with the largest kinetic
mass of the projectile is labeled M while the energy output. For this shot the fog mass
f o g mass absorbed in the wood is denoted by was m=0.504 g and its average velocity c a m e
m. C=0.565 p F capacitance i s charged to the t o uav=306.4 m/s. This resulted in an
voltage VO and then discharged through the impulse exerted on the secondary projectile of
accelerator by closing the switch S . A n P ~ = m u a v = 0 . 1 5 4N s. T h e action integral of
oscilloscope records the discharge current i (t) . this shot was l i z d t = 1 2 0 . 5 A's. Then with the
T h e throw height h of the secondary
projectile is measured with a freeze-frame TABLE OF RESULTS
video camera. This defines the initial
velocity vo of the projectile as Shot VO E2 Min LOSS u a v E12
# kV J J mls J
vo = d ( 2 g h), (14)
SP12 10 28.3 24.4 258 21.0
where g is the acceleration due to gravity. SP13 9 22.9 22.4 273 21.5
Because of momentum conservation, the SP14 12 40.7 27.2 235 21.5
average velocity, U a v , of the f o g mass that SP15 12 40.7 27.2 244 17.8
penetrated deep into the balsa wood is given SP16 12 40.7 27.2 229 20.9
by
SP17 10 28.3 24.4 172 13.0
SP18 10 28.3 24.4 258 21.8
SP19 10 28.3 24.4 274 23.1
In s o m e shots not all the capacitor energy is SP20 10 28.3 24.4 218 17.8
discharged, leaving a residual voltage Vr on SP21 10 28.3 24.4 191 16.1
the capacitor terminals. Hence the energy
actually discharged into the circuit is SP22 10 28.3 24.4 251 19.7
SP23 12 39.8 27.2 243 22.3
SP24 12 39.8 27.2 306 29.2
SP25 12 39.8 27.2 275 28.5
The kinetic energy of the fog jet is
Ampere force factor k=200, equ.(6) gives
P7=2.41xlO 3 N s. T h e impulse and energy
ratios, therefore, are Piz/P7=63.9 and
Neither the mass distribution of the fog E12/E7=4083. Hence E7=7.15 m J , which is
droplets nor their velocity distribution are negligible compared to E12=29.2 J and
known. As on previous occasions, the demonstrates that virtually all the kinetic
simplifying assumption is made that the energy developed by t h e explosion must be
droplets are of equal size and their velocity internal water energy.
distribution is half a cycle of a sine wave. In spite of the gain in internal water
This results i n energy, the overall energy ratio, E12/E2 is less
than unity because of the five loss
components indicated i n fig. 1. Additional
losses occur because of electrolytic action i n
T h e table lists the results of 14 shots. In the water and the emission of light and sound
all cases the water charge was w = 1 . 5 c m 3 of from the arc. W e have made a rough
distilled water at room temperature. estimate of the circuit losses. E3 is derived
from the short circuit resistance RC and the
DISCUSSION OF RESULTS action integrals of the water shots. E6 is
T h e kinetic energies of the f o g jets obtained from the water temperature rise of a
(E121 have been derived from the dry and wet f e w degrees measured with a thermocouple
weights of the balsa wood secondary projecting through t h e barrel into the water
projectile, M and M + m , the throw height h , cavity. T h e ionization energy is estimated by

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a method described by Graneau and Graneau
(1996). T h e s u m of the three loss
components is listed in the table under
minimum circuit loss. It varies between 67
and 94 percent of the input energy E2,
providing further confirmation that E12/E7>1.
To utilize the internal water energy for
electricity generation, large reductions in
circuit loss and barrel losses have to be
achieved. Our objective has been to prove
t h e liberation of internal water energy. We
have made n o effort to optimize the process.

REFERENCES
Azevedo, R . , Graneau, P . , Millet, C .
and Graneau, N . , 1986, "Powerful Water-
Plasma Explosions", Physics Letters A ,
Vo1.117, p.101.
Frungel, F . , 1948, " Z u m mechanischen
W i r ku n g s gr a d vo n F1u s si g k e i t s f u n ken , 0p t i k ,
Vo1.13, p.125.
Gilchrist, I . , and Crossland, B . , 1967,
"The Forming of Sheet Metal Using
Underwater Electrical Discharges", IEE
Conference Publication, No.38, p.92.
Graneau, P . , 1996, "Gaining Solar
Energy from Ordinary Water", Proceedings of
the World Renewable Energy Congress IV,
Denver, CO.
Graneau, P. and Graneau N . , 1985,
I'El e c t r o d y n a m i c Explosion s in Li qui ds ,
Applied Physics Letters, Vo1.46, p.468.
Graneau, P. and Graneau, N . , 1996,
Newtonian Electrodynamics, World
Scientific, New Jersey, pp.249-271.

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