Friday, 27 December 2013

How big would Bessler's Wheel have to be to supply all the heat and light required for one home?

From time to time the possible uses for a Bessler wheel have been discussed, and much debate has centred on the potential power it might be able to generate.  I may be wrong, but I have got the impression that many people think that it will lack sufficient power to be of any practical use.  Mostly it has been thought that a wheel capable of generating enough electricity for single home's requirements would have to be too big to be of any economical benefit and might cost more to build than the cost currently experienced in paying power companies for their electricity (pardon the pun!).

But I have been following the news about the machine being built on behalf of Ribeiro brothers and information about it can be found at  Looking at the photos I estimate that it must be at least 30 foot long by maybe 20 foot high.  I have no idea if this thing will work as claimed, but I can imagine the power output from a Bessler wheel of similar dimensions and it isn't small by any means. Bessler suggested that a wheel of 20 foot diameter could be built and this was a single wheel, imagine a series of them on one shaft covering 30 feet in length (like the Ribeiro brother's one ) and yet still 20 foot in diameter.

Most of the electricity in this country and elsewhere is generated by Alstom steam turbines.  There are different modules for differing requirements in output, but on average they measure at the very least 30 foot in length and over 15 foot in height and some are several times larger.  Admittedly these operate at a much higher speed than Bessler wheel could ever achieve, unless it was able to apply sufficient force to the right gearing, but that is an engineering problem and not impossible.  The point I am making is that these huge machines are designed to supply heat and light to thousands of homes, but something smaller than Ribeiro's machine in the form of Bessler's wheel might supply sufficient electricity to power maybe a street of homes - and how big for just one home?




  1. The importance of Bessler's wheel is that it demonstrates energy can be obtained from gravity on a continuous basis from a simple mechanical machine.

    The amount of energy it can generate is unimportant at this point in time. Historically it is analogous to the Newcomen engine.

    It can be expected to displace all other forms of primary energy generation. It will also represent a huge tipping point in our understanding of physics. It is the Black Swan to end all black swans.

  2. Thank you Frank. As you say, the proof of the principle is the most important thing for a start. Machines can always be made bigger and more powerful.


    1. Moreover, if you think about it for a moment, there is a scale effect in operation. The mass of the weights increases in accordance with a cube law whereas the mass of all the linkage gubbins only increases in accordance with a square.

      That would explain why he made it so ruddy large.

  3. Hi John and Frank,

    I have often given this subject some thought. The first thing one should consider is to determine the peak power your house can draw at any given time. Appliances like an electric stove, hot water geyser, heaters et cetera can all be running at once and this should be brought into the calculation of the size and power our Bessler wheel must be able to turn out.

    The problem that arises is that we run the risk of overcompensating here for large power loads and that the wheel will run for relatively long periods with a light load. One solution that I have worked out is to have some kind of intelligent circuit connected to a load like the mentioned hot water geyser. This circuit will have some sort of microprocessor that can detect if the Bessler wheel is running at its peak power (and thus there will be a slight dip in the supplied voltage). If it senses that the voltage has dropped below the nominal value (less than 230 volts AC for us here in South Africa) the circuit disconnects the geyser from the supply and activates a random time delay, say, anything from a minute to 20 minutes or so. Since the start of the heating process is not very time-critical we can delay it until another load drops and the circuit can have another go at connecting it back on line.

    Another option is to design your wheel with a number of households or similar loads in mind, say for instance, in one neighbourhood. In this case your load graph tends to flatten out with smaller maximums and minimums. I believe it will still be advisable to use the aforementioned circuitry to switch off non-critical loads in such a setup. Footing the bill for this neighbourhood wheel is something else, it just came up in my mind that we will never really have free energy in that sense of the word !

    1. "it just came up in my mind that we will never really have free energy in that sense of the word"

      ....because the government would tax it to the point the market would bear.

    2. Maybe,but I can see all sorts of problems for them. DIY projects could make it extremely difficult to keep tabs on what could be a massive home-grown industry. Electricity generators sold specifically to attach Bessler's wheels to for the home enthusiast. Drastic fall off in accounts with the big Power companies as people go for their own power supplies either house by house or street by street. Maybe a big fall in electricity costs as demand falls. But you're right Frank,, they will get their hands on it one way or the other.


  4. I thoroughly object !....No government can tax you for energy you create for yourself. Even if you sold it off cheap to others, they ought to be grateful that you are helping the economy.

    1. If they can prevent you from "generating" your own whiskey they can certainly prevent you from generating your own electricity. Nowadays you can't even rewire your own house without getting it officially approved.

    2. In the US you now need a minimum of health coverage (ObamaCare) whether you want it or not. The government is thinking about taxing electric car owners because they are not paying enough gas taxes (they claim to support the roadway infrastructure). The same will happen with home generators.

  5. You can object if you wish, Trevor. I'm sure they couldn't possibly comment!


  6. Bessler gives us a tantalising hint that the energy density depends upon the ratio of angular increment of rotation of the net system per each internally dropped weight.

    This is made clear when he states that, were God to grant him enough time, he could construct a wheel that turned very slowly, yet with great force.

    This tells us two useful things - it'd take more time because it'd be more complex, and also that the rotation-drop ratio isn't a limited value.

    So for example a 10 cm drop could drive 60° of rotation, or 0.6, for a constant given drop speed.

    Having many individual drops per cycle, the per-cycle energy density increases, even though it's actually turning slower.

    He also tells us, in the same paragraph, that he could make a 6 ell wheel that had the same power as a 12 ell wheel... obviously, he's talking not simply about increasing its axial width, but of increasing the number of drops per cycle.

    However this time-consuming complexity would be a doddle for modern mass-production facilities. Most of the hard work would be automated.

    So that's the basic point i wanted to make.. energy density is intertwined with the drive power ratio. A slow output shaft could run a gearbox to much higher speeds that the wheel itself could reach while still producing useful power... ie. if a 60 rpm wheel produced 10 Joules per cycle, then we increased the number of internal mechanisms per angle of rotation by a factor of two, the resulting 30 rpm wheel would be making 20 J/cycle... assuming gravity remains a constant, a faster wheel is making less energy per cycle, so couldn't do much useful work. A slower one however, though more complex, could drive a much higher load...

  7. Excellent point Vibe. I hadn't worked through the way he might have effected differing power/speed rotation, but you've put your finger on it.

    I am pleased that you have suggested slow and powerful as an option because that supports my contention that slow speed, and not high speed rotation, as in steam turbines, might not be a limiting factor.


  8. Cheers, i'd been hung up on that quote for a few weeks now; there as obviously a big clue there but i hadn't quite grasped it until reading this blog last night.. Obviously this is a type of leverage (which he elsewhere implicates as the form of "excess impetus"), and a power ratio was implied. However a falling weight has the same PE regardless of its drop speed - it can't fall faster than gravity's acceleration upon it, and if it fell slower than the output power would be lower.

    Hence, the resolution of this little poser can only be the ratio of angular displacement per given unit of GPE. I'm glad that gels with what you have in mind, and hope everyone else has understood this too - this really helps narrow the focus of potential mechanisms...

  9. Might Bessler have been talking about a more powerful wheel , turning slow due to a heavy load attached?

  10. IIRC the quote comes from AP, in a passage responding to Wagner's excuse re. the slow speed of his turnspit mock-up. Elsewhere he says he can design his wheels to produce a precisely calculated torque, multiplied up as much as fourfold (ambiguous, but he's being deliberately coy.) So taking him at his word that he could build a 6 ell wheel with the power of a 12 ell wheel, he could likewise build one with the equivalent power of a 24 ell wheel, or even increase the power of that 24 ell wheel, up 4x to that of an 84 ell wheel.

    He makes clear that power is a function of diameter, but is also strongly intimating that there is another route to raising the power density.

    So no, he's not talking about a wheel turning slowly due to a burden - he's specifically describing a wheel that turns very slowly but with very high torque, albeit one that would take a long time to construct, and this is in response to Wagner's increasingly specious criticisms.

    Page 343 in AP:

    "XXXVII (b) Here Wagner apologises for the fact that his
    turnspit cannot revolve as fast as my wheel, but adds that it
    doesn't need to.

    See Wagner's childish nonsense. He says that my Mobile turns
    too quickly. It should be different, and not go at such a fast,
    regular clip. No Mobile should revolve so fast! Wagner, don't
    take it amiss, but where, in your Bible, (or whatever other book
    you read instead) does it say this? [...] But this I dare to claim -
    if God allowed me a long enough life I could make my wheel go
    really slowly, with a gentle rhythm, and it would still be able to
    raise even greater weights! Then what would you say, Wagner?
    I could write more, but I must press on to the finish. It's no matter
    - I don't wish to go into the details here of how suddenly the excess
    weight is caused to rise. You can't comprehend these matters, or see
    how true craftsmanship can rise above innate lowly tendencies (as
    does a weight above the point of application of a lever)"

    So here's a big clue - whether it's slipped out under duress, as it appears, or is rather placed more carefully and deliberately, he's clearly talking about power ratios. And if the turning force increases inversely to speed, as claimed here, then the rates of motion of the internal mechanisms must be independent of the outward speed of the wheel. To put it another way, if the output shaft of a gearbox is turning slowly with a high force, then the input shaft must be spinning quickly, albeit with less force. However, instead of extra teeth on a larger cog, we have extra mechanisms, or extensions to them, which increases the mechanical complexity but also the efficiency and thus power density.

    The only other possible interpretation (besides more internal mechanisms per angular increment) would be a faster internal counter-rotation or co-rotation of a set number of mechanisms - this too would raise the number of GPE interactions per angular increment, and thus power density accordingly. However this scheme would come up against the limit of the gravitational acceleration - multiplying the power up as much as fourfold this way would end up throwing the weights downwards, rather than letting them fall, and besides, this wouldn't account for the time-consuming construction alluded to.

    Hence for a constant given G, the only way to raise the force inversely to speed is to increase the physical number of mechanisms, or sub-sections of those mechanisms, (or whatever (?)) that are responsible for generating the torque, for a given degree of rotation of the net system.

  11. Again, this is another counter-intuitive consequence of a stator-less system - if it was instead pushing against a stator, then such a power ratio would be unsurprising. But with everything going around together, one would expect the driving weights in a slowly-turning wheel to be falling more slowly too, along with the wheel they're attached to. And since GPE is independent of time - a slowly-falling weight has the same energy as a full-speed drop, for a given mass and height - the output force of such a wheel would thus have to decrease along with the rate of fall of the internally moving masses.

    Hence a slower wheel with greater force yet no external stator simply MUST be utilising more GPE interactions per cycle, than a faster, lower force wheel. It's axiomatic...

  12. Happy New Year to you John, and the ones remaining. Still working on it ,looks promising.


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