I’m 79 today and I’ve been studying the legend of Bessler’s wheel for about 65 years! Well, about 35 years of serious research.
Not quite there yet, but confidence is high. I’m building yet another a model of his wheel based on the latest information I have obtained from various pieces of text and some drawings he left for us. This will probably be my last build and it takes time to build a device which is only sketchily described, but I’m giving it one more go. This doesn’t mean I will then give up! I shall continue to study Johann Bessler’s books and share anything I believe is important. because he intended to give the secret of his machine to posterity, but he didn’t want to give it away until after his death. Consequently he left numerous clues which had to be invisible to his followers, disciples and those curious to know how his machine worked. But he did leave comments which indicated there was information available if you looked for it.
Although I’m working on a small model relating to Bessler’s first exhibition model which was only four inches thick and 4.6 feet in diameter, mine is even smaller being only 3 feet wide and 2 inches in thickness, but it only needs to demonstrate the concept and verify its potential. Mine will only be able to turn in one direction unlike Bessler’s later models which were able to turn both ways.
The interesting detail of the first two wheels was that they were always out of balance, and had to have a brake applied to keep them stationary. This is a necessary feature of the these so-called perpetual motion devices. The two way models remained stationary until they were given a gentle push in one direction of the other, once the sound of a single weight falling and landing on the falling side of the wheel was heard, then the wheel began to accelerate.
These later two wheels were each 12 feet in diameter and the Merseburg one was capable of reaching a speed of more than 50 RPM. The last version, the Kassel wheel, turned at 26 RPM, but this slower speed was a deliberate design feature because it was meant to undergo to an endurance test and was only stopped after 54 days of non-stop rotation. A slower rate of turn meant it had a better chance of surviving the test without braking down early.
To gain some idea of the impressive power of the Merseburg wheel, consider this. At 12 feet diameter, the circumference measured 37 feet and 8 inches. At 50 rpm, the speed at the circumference would be 21 miles per hour. If, as was recorded more than once, that it’s the rotation speed was sometimes recorded more than 50 rpm, it’s not a big step to calculate its speed at 60 rpm, turning once every second and that would give a speed at the circumference of just over 25 mph. You could certainly feel the 25 mile an hour wind being generated off the edge of the wheel, or cycling at 25 mph on a windless day.
A report on the slower Kassel wheel which ran at 26 rpm, commented that if a man tried to stop the wheel suddenly by hanging on to it, it would lift him off the ground. These kind of subjective impressions are very convincing about the inherent power in these machines and we should not be too quick to dismiss their potential use as electricity generators.
They were single wheels on one axle but if, for instance we were to mount ten wheels on a single axle, we would increase their power potential ten fold. That ignores potential extra weights, improved mechanisms and smaller but more complex mechanisms.
I will posting some pictures on this blog, once I’ve completed the model, but please allow a little more time before I do that, because it’s my birthday today, and I’m beginning to work more slowly!