There is a new energy generating idea based on floating the buckets of a bucket elevator running backwards in a column of water. Its almost that simple. Add an air compressor to blow the water out of the buckets for the ride up and a generator connected to one of the elevator shafts and you about have it.

Image Source: screen grab from Livestream and labels by Sterling D. Allan on May 2, 2015.  Click image for the largest view.

Image Source: screen grab from Livestream and labels by Sterling D. Allan on May 2, 2015. Click image for the largest view.

A group of Central Europeans organized as the “Global Association for Independent Energy and Altruism” (GAIA) has released and licensed their efforts to Rosch Innovations of Serbia, Germany and Switzerland. Rosch is said to be pursuing commercial sized generator sets and has re-licensed small unit production to a new start up firm called GAIA Energy.

The idea is based on the buoyancy of the air filled buckets riding up compared to their water filled weight coming down. That gravity to buoyancy is where the energy is. Getting the energy is a matter of efficiently emptying the bucket of water at the bottom, low speeds and an efficient generator engineered to harvest the shaft torque and make useful electrical power.

More simply, blow a bubble into the bucket at the bottom, get a series of these on a chain in a tall column of water and you can make a massive torque on the shaft.  If you do the math, remember the bubble at the bottom of the water column gains volume as it rises.

This new technology almost sounds ridiculous. But its not a form of perpetual motion – no air compressor and its no go. The people developing this technology, however, say that its basis “is the use of the laws of buoyancy in conjunction with a special generator.”

What they do exploit is the energy differences between two systems. The question is, is there more energy invested in blowing the bubble or more energy to harvest in the stack of rising air filled buckets?

There are detailed descriptions, pictures, and videos of the system in operation on the Rosch Innovations AG website, when its working, for those interested in better understanding how this technology works.

GAIA Energy’s first of their 5 kW units has been demonstrated to the public near Cologne, Germany. Orders have already been received for 350 units at about $20,000 each. That’s a lot of money for a PVC pipe tank, a bucket elevator, an air compressor and a generator. Still, for early adopters if the math works out and the device in fact works, this is a deal.

The public demo lasted from April 25th to May 6th, attracted nearly 800 visitors, many of whom had already paid a deposit to purchase the device and wanted to see a buoyancy generator in action. During the demonstration the Internet sites covering the event went wild with naysayers and skeptics asserting that the demonstration that was streamed on live video, couldn’t possibly work as claimed and that the developers were perpetrating a giant scam.


Rosch held a “measurement day” during which visitors were allowed to use their own measuring devices, inspect the device and all its attachments closely, search for hidden wires to supply it outside energy, and measure the current flows coming from the generator, going into the air compressor and the load the generator was powering.

That should have cleared things up. But.

The hard core skeptics were still certain that there must be hidden wires coming through the floor or through the braces supporting the water tank. So Rosch held a “disassembly day,” that was streamed on the web and attended by ten outside observers who closely watched the device being lowered to the ground and taken apart. No hidden wires, motors, or anything else suggesting that the buoyancy energy generator was a fraud were found. Most skeptics either disappeared or had the grace to admit that the device seems to produce energy for as yet unexplained reasons.

GAIA Energy hopes to sell all 500 devices it has ordered parts for by the end of May and to start delivering them to customers for this summer’s installation. If the plan holds the first of these devices, producing about 5 kW each, will be operating this year.

For its part Rosch says (obviously) these devices can be scaled to produce far more than 5 kW and is already at work on larger units. A 20 kW generator has been moved to the site where the 5 kW demonstrations took place and should be operational soon. Parts for a 100 kW generator are also on site and will be assembled next. Rosch already has plans for commercial-scale power plants consisting of multiple water columns sunk into the ground and designed to be capable of generating up to 100 megawatts.

Well, they’re not lifting the water back up for each bucket, only displacing it with air. Hauling the water back up would not be a net energy gain.

We’ve seen a lot of odd ideas over the years, but this might just work. Soon we’ll have solid proof that it is a valid technology, or not.

Rosch Innovations says a demonstration project is planned to be set up in Texas in the fall – perhaps we can all go and see it.

I happen to have an unused well about 50 feet deep and three feet wide . . .

Thanks to Sterling Allan for keeping up with the unconventional and posting so much on his site PESN.


21 Comments so far

  1. B Fast on May 28, 2015 3:38 PM

    “But its not a form of perpetual motion – no air compressor and its no go.”

    What part of perpetual motion do we not seem to understand? If sufficient power is generated to compress the air, with power left over — voom, perpetual motion.

    That said, I haven’t found the error in this strategy yet.

  2. Matt Musson on May 29, 2015 8:26 AM

    But the power does not come from uncompressing the air. The power comes from air pulling the cable toward the surface. If the tower were twice as tall – that motion would be twice as powerful. And – filling the container with water also pulls the cable downward for more power.

    I am not saying it produces net gain. I am just saying it

  3. B Fast on May 30, 2015 12:14 AM

    Matt Musson, it is true that if the tower were twice as tall, the motion would be twice as powerful. What is also true is that the air would have to be twice as compressed. Twice the energy out, but twice the energy in.

  4. Craig B on May 30, 2015 3:05 AM

    Yes, I can’t see that this is perpetual motion. But if it’s a common or garden pneumatic-hydraulic machine, is it supplying more energy than it receives as input, or is it simply more efficient than other such machines? The article doesn’t make that clear.

    But if it’s overunity it’s a scam. If it’s an “unconventional” device promoted by Sterling Allan then it’s either complete lunacy or a scam. Time will tell. Just as time has told on the Rossi affair.

  5. zvibenyosef on June 1, 2015 7:40 PM

    The energy generated can never be more than the energy required to compress the gas. However this apparatus could used to generate electricity from waste heat. Rather than compressing the gas, the waste heat would be used to expand the gas and force it into the bottom of the generator.

  6. B Fast on June 1, 2015 8:15 PM

    zvibwenyosef, profound! Maybe.

  7. Matt Musson on June 2, 2015 9:14 AM

    I think you guys are wrong.

    In Lake Michigan they are recovering a huge pile of century old logs from the bottom. They insert a large screw and attach a balloon. Then – they partially fill the balloon with air and that lifts the balloon toward the surface. As the balloon rises – the balloon expands creating more lift.

    What is the formula for WORK?
    WORK = F x D.

    So – if the same amount of air lifts the cable twice the DISTANCE then WORK has doubled.

    And, NO, you do not need twice the amount of compressed air because air expands as it gets to the surface – creating more FORCE.

  8. Matt Musson on June 2, 2015 9:24 AM

    Okay – I was wrong about having more force as you approach the surface because according to Archimedies – Boyancy is a function of the weight of the fluid displaced. In this case air expands as it moves toward the surface but the boyancy is the same and the amount of FORCE is the same. But – I stand by my assertion that WORK doubles everytime you double the distance.

  9. Graham on June 2, 2015 10:05 AM

    I’m not entirely sure that I understand the embodiment of this idea, but here’s my take on it. To enable the bubble to enter at the bottom of the column requires an air pressure that must overcome (i.e. be greater than) the water pressure created by the height of the water column, which is also slightly more than could possibly be recovered from the bubble’s buoyancy. [The weight of the buckets is balanced on the way up and the way down, and is irrelevant.] Given the inefficiencies of pulleys, compressors, water-drag and energy conversion I don’t understand how this can be of any use to anyone. I wish I did. Why not just pump water into a high-level storage tank then generate energy when it is needed by letting the water out again under gravity? Why not just pump up an air/water pressure accumulator? The inefficiencies will always get you! At least the other techniques help storage by providing time-separation between energy availability and energy demand, but I can’t see how the bubble idea will help achieve anything of use, although I would love to be wrong. Isn’t physics a wonderfully devious devil?

  10. B Fast on June 2, 2015 4:28 PM

    Matt Musson, “But – I stand by my assertion that WORK doubles everytime you double the distance.”

    Yes, work doubles every time you double the distance. Because the required pressure is greater, the amount of work required to compress the air also doubles. Balance is achieved, and perpetual motion fails again.

  11. Steve on June 2, 2015 5:22 PM

    Yet, funny enough, it very much does seem to work. Assume no outright fraud, and it looks as if physics might not be nearly as well understood as the “scientists” would have you believe. The evidence for the Rossi effect mounts daily with successful replication yet the high priests keep insisting that it cannot work.. Go figure eh

  12. Matt Musson on June 3, 2015 8:12 AM

    Archimedies laws of buoyancy states that buoyancy is a function of how much water is displaced AND the weight of the water.

    So – displacing half the water at two atmospheres results in the same buoyancy as displacing all the water at one atmosphere. So – while you do have to double the amount of air pressue at two atmospheres – you only have to use half as much for the same buoyancy.

  13. Graham on June 4, 2015 5:19 AM

    … but the reason its only half as much air is because you’ve doubled the pressure – Boyles Law.

  14. zvibenyosef on June 4, 2015 10:44 AM

    Steve, our current knowledge of Physics physics is certainly incomplete, but you are comparing two quite different things. Solid state nuclear reactions have yet to be studied systematically. Certainly with Rossi’s E-cat, and LENR in general, there are unexpected findings including anomalous heat, and changes in the ratio of isotopes, which clearly indicate some type of nuclear reaction is taking place.
    The physics of bouyancy and gas pressure has been studied and well understood for some time. This apparatus cannot produce more energy than goes in

  15. John Harland on June 10, 2015 12:05 AM

    Although it won’t generate more energy than is put into it, the device may provide efficient transduction of one form of energy into another.

    If you have a ready source of compressed air, such as from a wave-energy harvester offshore, this might be more efficient than a turbine in converting that energy to electricity. No certainty to it, though.

  16. Craig B on June 10, 2015 12:13 AM

    John, you seem to be stating the same as I was proposing earlier, that the device is not supplying more energy than it receives as input, but is simply more efficient than other such machines. Of course the article gives no clear data that could be used to verify such a judgement, but it certainly contains nothing that might indicate “perpetual motion”

  17. Dan B on March 6, 2016 9:30 AM

    Steve – “yet funny enough” people seem to accept the most absurd assertions with no critical thinking. Equating this with Rossi’s is appropriate – they both fall in the same bucket and are ooh’d and ahhh’s at by the same people who manage the feat of simultaneously sneering at science and math while desperately trying to use the same to justify why their current pet dream works.

  18. John P on May 2, 2016 8:57 AM

    Hey folks, I’m a registered professional engineer (mechanical) with 27 years experience.
    Watched the video on youtube. What is supposed to be a generator, is actually the motor driving the thing. I am guessing that batteries are hidden in the compressor tank. I know this is fraud because I mathematically modeled the device, and for a similar sized machine, the HP output would be 0.16 hp. To fill the buckets with air (total buoyancy force without the reduced volume near the bottom) is 350 lbf. The power required to run the compressor is over 1 hp for the quantity and pressure of the air. It is fraud. To make the device even more efficient, the buckets would not leave the water (as they do in the video). Scam Scam Scam! Let’s see one working at an “Installed” location. I would put my money in an escrow with a guarantee to their claims first.

  19. Vladimir Nachev on July 20, 2016 9:02 PM

    What if we just electrolyze the water molecules to split them I heard that they have machines that produce 1m3 of HHO for the cost of 2kw which is a lot gas, i doubt it that electrolysis will be affected from the pressure of the deep waters

  20. Pierre Ordinaire on August 20, 2016 6:54 PM

    Well, this is it. Gaia has admitted that the Buoyancy Generator does not work, and that they don’t have the money to refund the marks…err… I mean the well-intentioned customers.

    Score: skeptics one, believers nil.

  21. Mark G on September 29, 2016 8:30 AM

    It should work. The energy doesn’t come from uncompressing air, it comes from the difference of gravitational force exerted on the water and air, as the gravity pulls both the water and air the down, but pulls the water down more, thus compressing it and the air rises. If there was no gravity it would not work as the water would be floating around in the air.

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