|Thursday, 24 January 2002|
Irish inventor says cracks world's energy needs
by Kevin Smith
DUBLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - It has been a pipe-dream of inventors since Leonardo da Vinci, but has the secret of free energy now been found in Ireland?
A cold stone outhouse on a windswept Irish hillside may seem an unlikely setting for the birthplace of such an epoch-making discovery, but it is here that an Irish inventor says he has developed a machine that will do no less than change the world.
The 58-year-old electrical engineer, who lives in the Irish republic and intends - for "security and publicity-avoidance reasons" - to keep his identity a secret, has spent 23 years perfecting the Jasker Power System.
It is an electro-mechanical device he says is capable of nothing less than replenishing its own energy source.
The Irishman is not alone in making such assertions. The Internet is awash with speculation about free or "zero point" energy, with many claiming to have cracked the problem using magnets, coils, and even crystals.
"These claims come along every 10 years or so and nothing ever comes of them. They're all cases of 'voodoo science'," said Robert Park, professor of physics at the University of Maryland in the United States. The makers of the Jasker - a name derived from family abbreviations - say it can be built to scale using off-the-shelf components and can power anything that requires a motor.
"The Jasker produces emission-free energy at no cost apart from the installation. It is quite possibly the most significant invention since the wheel," Tom Hedrick, the only person involved with the machine willing to give his name, told Reuters.
Hedrick, chief executive of a company set up with a view to licensing the device in the United States, said the technology shattered preconceived laws of science.
"It's a giant leap forward. The uses of this are almost beyond imagination."
RED HOT WITH CONTROVERSY
Not surprisingly, this topic is red hot with controversy - sharply dividing a world scientific community still on its guard after the "Cold Fusion" fiasco of 1989 when a group of Utah researchers scandalised the scientific world with claims - quickly found to be unsupported - that the long-sought answer to the problem of Cold Fusion had been discovered.
Experts contacted by Reuters were wary, citing the first law of thermodynamics which, in layman's terms, states that you can't get more energy out than you put in. "I don't believe this. It goes against fundamentals which have not yet been disproved," said William Beattie, senior lecturer in electrical engineering at Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
"These people (Jasker) are either Nobel prize-winners or they don't know what they're dealing with. The energy has to come from somewhere."
Undaunted, the inventor says that once powered-up, his device can run indefinitely - or at least until the parts wear out, adding that he has supplied all his own domestic power needs free for 17 months.
But he is keen to head off the notion that he has tapped into the age-old myth of perpetual motion.
"Perpetual motion is impossible. This is a self-sustaining unit which at the same time provides surplus electrical energy."
THE SIZE OF A DISHWASHER
In a demonstration for Reuters, a prototype - roughly the size of a dish-washer - was run for around 10 minutes using four 12-volt car batteries as an initial power source.
Emitting a steady motorised hum, the machine powered three 100-watt light bulbs for the duration.
A multimeter reading of the batteries' voltage before the device started up showed a total of 48.9 volts.
Produced by Lake House