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Author Richard A Edwards from an article published in Nexus New times magazine December 1994 -January 1995
Several decades ago a man took a bucketful of ilmenite, or similar, melted and compressed it into a solid block of monocrystal silicon and sliced the block into wafers. The wafers were square. Today they are square, round or any desired shape. Recent breakthroughs in solar electric technology have even allowed the silicon to be completely flexible.
On his workbench he placed a stack of the wafers and a sheet of glass (today, plastic is most commonly used). On each wafer he glued an aluminium conducting grid, leaving a tail north and south. He turned each wafer over, gluing them on the glass so that the conducting grid was between the glass and the wafers, arranging a panel of perhaps eighteen wafers in, say, rows of six. He solder-connected all the north tails to the south tails, making a continuous conducting grid. Over the lot he glued a laminate to weatherproof it all and hold it all together. On one of the remaining two tails he connected a diode to give direction flow.
He took the assembled panel out into the sunlight. He turned it over so that the glass was nearest the light, then the conducting grid, then the silicon. He connected the two tails to a battery and two meters one on volts, the other on amps. The meters began to register a flow of electricity. His theory was no longer a theory.
Light-a stream of particles called photons-shines through the glass (or today, plastic). Some photons dislodge some electrons off the silicon atom at an energy conversion rate so far achieved of some 14 per cent in the marketplace and 25 per cent in the laboratory. The freed electrons are captured by the conducting grid and fed into the battery for later use, or immediately used as controlled electricity.
Thus was born solar-to-electric conversion of energy, used and known throughout the world today as the photovoltaic effect. You can see the evolution of the process on site and for sale in shops all around you today.
At its birth the photovoltaic man-made effect was hailed as the saviour of mankind. Limidess energy to herald a utopian future? No. It slowly and painfully became clear that this new energy source was far too meagre and had very limited application, though some diehards still doggedly assure the public that it is the energy source of the future.
I have spent some ten years researching and developing my concept of the energy source of the future. I offer it herewith.
The photovoltaic effect described above is man imitating and greatly improving upon nature. I firmly believe that man cannot do anything in the realm of physics if nature has not already done it. He just does it better mostly, and occasionally worse.
That photovoltaic effect happens all over the world wherever and whenever the Sun shines. All the surface of the Earth that is not biological (alive or dead), water or mineral is silicon-all the rock of the Earth, from mountains to hills, boulders to rocks, stones to pebbles, from sand to dust. All that silicon, plus most minerals, contribute free electrons into the air by the Sun's photovoltaic effect, in much less per-area quantity than the concentradon in a man-made panel but in an immeasurably larger worid-sized conglomerate.
My concept was and still is simplicity itsell We have to learn how to harvest those free electrons that fill the air all around us.
Before I could start experimenting with hardware, I had to think it fully through. That took me several years.
Here is that big think in summary.
That infinite source of free electrons must be the major source of natural electricity on Earth, from its obvious manifestation in lightning to its unseeable but measurable vastness in the ionosphere. I do not wish to lock horns with scientists who might hold an image of the ionosphere's shape and structure different from mine.
I will just report my hardware observations and inescapable conclusion-not necessarily in that order.
The ionosphere and the weather system together constitute to the Earth what storage is m a man-made battery. The charging is infinite. Literally infinite. The Sun shines on the Earth. The natural photovoltaic effect produces limitless, probably immeasurable amounts of free electrons. Those free electrons-ions if you like, same thing cannot travel of their own volition. They are subject to gravity, any local electromagnetic phenomenon, wind and, most importantly, the Earth's rotation. The Earth rotates, taking the day's makings into the night side. The effect at night of the ionosphere-its very presence, even-is well-documented and gratingly evident to receivers of an EMF wave, particularly in AM mode. That is the primary storage we are after, plus its daytime makings and its storage in the weather system. We can, according to my big think, take out more of that electricity than we can ever use without in any way upsetting the balance of nature.
The shape of the ionosphere, as my hardware experiments mapped it and so will yours, can only be more or less like a surfer's wet hair-long and trailing at the back. The dawn side. If it weren't trailing-the excess being drawn off by gravity into the Sun-the electrical charge on Earth would just keep building and life as we know it could never have begun on Earth.
That finished my big think. Righto. Anybody can theorise about anything. Hardware is what counts. So I began the practical bit. It has taken me four years and I have gone as far as I can go. Here is the summary.
First I needed an upside-down, naked photovoltaic panel. The silicon and conducting grid had to be in unimpeded, open contact with the air. The normal method of manufacture described above only harvests the tiny amount of electrons freed within. According to my big think, a naked upside-down job would harvest not only that tiny amount but also the free electrons naturally filling the air.
Okay. Whipped around the solar shops and factories in my home town,
Perth, and Sydney to find someone to make it. I didn't have to.
Found one ready to roll-BP Solar Supplies sell it. It's half the size of this page-A5. The model number is GM684-SP60-I2v. It is not a BP product. It states "Made in Hong Kong"-nothing else. Shy manufacturer. Not to worry. BP Solar Supplies sell it, their shops are all around Australia, and this magazine is sold throughout Australia.
Re panel cost AUD$49 full retail. I will be quoting costs from now on because the whole idea of this report is for you to take up where I left off. The total cost is tiny. I am not pursuing any intellectual property protection of any kind. I believe I might, just might have discovered Energy Utopia.
I further believe that my discoveries must be worked up and brought on line as quickly as possible if the world is in imminent danger of suffocating in a poisonous cloud of enviromnental filth spewed from our vehicle exhausts and factory chimneys.
Any and all of you-backyard enthusiasts, R&D scientists, schoolchildren and their teachers-can circumvent that. Anybody. Anywhere. Except me. I cannot ,you can. Help yourself. Don't do as I say-do as I did.
Re panel: you can see at a glance how to strip it naked. Unscrew the plastic case. Cut the binding glue off all the edges. Slide the panel out. Slip a Stanley or similar knife blade under a corner of the laminate, lifting an edge. Peel the laminate off, just a bit harder than peeling an onion. That's all there is to it. There is no other panel known to me with which you can do that.
All larger models are made as described above-impossible to separate the plastic sheet from the works. All the smaller models I have seen are lacquered, not laminated, and are equally useless for our purpose.
I am now going to report my discoveries with hardware during the past four years. Except for the panel, your equipment possibly will be different from mine, and your environment fluctuations certainly will be.
You can form your own theoretical.Conclusions. Have your own but of a think. I, will not be referring to my big think again, except to state now that during it I theorised that the Earth's magnetic field might play a major role; perhaps the electricity harvest can be accelerated. I was to be proven right.
In my backyard patio I set to work. The patio was ideal, being open on three sides. Full free-flow air contact.
I bought a digital multimeter, model number Q-I420. from Dick Smith's
You can pick it out on the shelf easily. It's bright yellow. It will be helpful for you to get one of that model yoursell its very cheap only AUD$29. More importantly it is dual purpose, unlike an other multimeters I have seen. You only have to twiddle the dial to switch from volts to amps or amps to volts. You don't have to unplug, replug, disconnect, reconnect or worry about series or parallel. Give analog meters a miss. A needle is nowhere near as clear as LCD numbers.
I placed the naked panel, the multimeter and a I2-volt battery on a table and
connected them in simple series. Note: your battery must be in good condition
but never full or you will have nowhere for the electricity to go, and therefore
amps won't register on the meter. Its exactly the same as when you turn on a
hot water tap in your house. Water runs out of the tank. Water runs into the
tank, registering on your frontyard meter, and water runs out of the dam miles away.
The only difference in this case is that the dam is not miles away. We are surrounded by its vast ocean of electricity in which the Earth continually floats.
Being aware that any light, natural or artificial, produces the photovoltaic effect, I decided to use a fluorescent tube light source. It is well documented that fluorescence is better than incandescence-your everyday light bulb-for the former is a diffuse fight source while the latter is focal. For about AUD$20
I bought one of those standard I2-volt car trouble-lights available in auto accessories shops, service stations and variety stores everywhere. I removed the plastic lid (it just clips off), turned the light upside down and positioned it over the panel, setting it permanently in position simply by'resting it on a cigarette packet-sized bit of wood each end. The light would now bathe the naked panel. I connected the light to the battery in a different, separate circuit.
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