There was a brief discussion about the Prime Mover in Bessler’s wheel on the Besslerwheel forum recently and I came away still unsure of exactly how we can define it.

Some people argued that since the wheel had to be Out Of Balance (OOB) in order to turn, the OOB arrangement of weights meant that that was the prime mover. Others said it was what ever made the weights OOB was actually the prime mover.

A prime mover can refer to tthe device which extracts mechanical energy from an energy source or it can mean the engine which pulls the train.

Bessler's wheel was a prime mover because it extracted power from falling weights, but really I would like to say gravity!.

But within Bessler's wheel there must also be a prime mover which gets the wheel moving in the first instant. What part converts the source energy into mechanical energy? It must be the OOB weights. The wheel will rotate some amount as long as it is OOB, but the weight-lifter part of the mechanism won’t directly effect rotation, that effect only takes place after is has lifted the weights.

Bessler's wheel was a prime mover because it extracted power from falling weights, but really I would like to say gravity!.

But within Bessler's wheel there must also be a prime mover which gets the wheel moving in the first instant. What part converts the source energy into mechanical energy? It must be the OOB weights. The wheel will rotate some amount as long as it is OOB, but the weight-lifter part of the mechanism won’t directly effect rotation, that effect only takes place after is has lifted the weights.

On the other hand, ovyyus made a good point when he said, “Bessler’s first two wheels remained always OOB, even when held stationary. These wheels contained something (a prime mover) capable of lifting weights prior to any wheel rotation...”

So when the wheel was held stationary, the OOB weights were already in position to overbalance the wheel and we know that the biggest problem we all face is how to lift the weights. Somehow something within the mechanism lifted the weights BEFORE the wheel could rotate.

But although I think the mechanism which lifted the weights was a vital part of the machine, it did not of itself, drive the machine around. That was due to the overbalancing due to the OOB weights, so which one was the prime mover?

Is the weight lifter the prime mover, or is it the OOB weights? You can’t have one without the other - not if you want a continuously rotating wheel.

JC