Hold that thought, we’re in for a rush whether it’s a guffaw of derision, the wonder of amazement or a simple jolt of curiosity – this is a significant post.

Thane Heins of Almonte, Canada, a former student of electronics found himself pondering now magnets could be used to improve generators. Twenty-one years and a lot of unpleasant history later his minor, or some say just plain obsession got out of control. He was testing and had rigged an experimental generator to an induction motor in his basement “research laboratory” with the idea that as the induction motor spun the generator the magnet assembly he’d set up would pass by a wire coil and generate electrical energy, a simple generator. The voltage was there so to get some amps he set up a load.

Thane Heins by Sean Kilpatrick - Toronto Star

Set up again the he applied load and instead of getting a slowing and an amp reading the rotor motor assembly rapidly accelerated. The magnets started flying off and Heins ducked for cover from the now magnet projectiles.

All of us are thinking he was right – the load should have caused the wound coil to build up a large electromagnetic field we know as the “Back EMF.” We’re all counting on Lenz’s law of conservation to cause the load to pull down the motor. But the opposite happened. Lenz’s law can be thought of as electron friction, as the electrons must be moved and kept moving. Later Heins came to think that the steel of the rotor he built for his magnets and connected to the motor conducted the magnetic resistance away from the coil and back into the midst of the motor. He was figuring the Back EMF was boosting the motor fields since the motor runs by converting electrical energy in rotating electric fields.

Whoa now, you would have a positive feedback loop and as the motor accelerated the electromagnetic field gets larger the motor would go faster and faster. But to be certain of the effect, Heins tried the connection between the rotor and motor with a plastic connection. No acceleration, which means the ferrous steel of the connected shafts is having a role. Something exciting is going on. Now you can rush that adrenaline.

What we have here is an unexplained phenomenon. Who would have thought to connect an electric motor to a homemade electric generator and do the connection with a ferrous metal and then introduce a load? Sheer serendipity and maybe some good fortune for Mr. Heins and everyone else is the result. At the minimum, it seems that the apparatus has recovered or stored some of the available energy that the motor consumes and reintroduces it back as more speed and momentum. That will be quite useful. Off at the outer edge some allege that that native electromagnetic force of the magnets is coming into play. Whatever the case, it’s mighty interesting.

Even more instructive is the success that Mr. Heins is having in getting those with expertise to look into his mystery. With little fanfare and less publicity he has shown his work and done demonstrations at such places as The University of Virginia, Michigan State University, the University of Toronto, Queens University, University of Ottawa and most recently by MIT’s professor Markus Zahn. Yes, there is a puzzle here. One might want to get on his calendar.

On January 28th Mr. Heins did his demonstration for MIT. A few hours later the report of the thoughts of Professor Zahn were “Its an unusual phenomena I wouldn’t have predicted in advance. But I saw it. Its real. Now I’m just trying to figure it out.”

Meanwhile, a stride has been made to improve the output of induction motors, which is a very worthwhile thing as we move more into handling more our energy with electrical tools.

To quote Professor Zahn again with his thoughts that strongly seized my attention, “To my mind this is unexpected and new, and it’s worth exploring all the possible advantages once you’re convinced it’s a real effect,” he added. “There are an infinite number of induction machines in people’s homes and everywhere around the world. If you could make them more efficient, cumulatively, it could make a big difference.”

“A big difference” – music to me – that’s my adrenaline rush!

Video at YouTube, with poor audio. You can see a demo yourself!

Hat tip to Tyler Hamiton, Technology and CleanTech Columnist at the Toronto Star and blogger at Clean Break.


2 Comments so far

  1. An Electric Motor Efficiency Idea Update | New Energy and Fuel on March 5, 2009 1:13 AM

    […] Tyler Hamilton, a senior energy reporter and columnist for Canada’s largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star, has revisited Thane Heins. Heins has developed an electrical generator or motor that seems much more efficient. We looked at it too, just over a year ago and found the innovations simply fascinating. […]

  2. wpolscemamymocneseo on January 11, 2011 11:23 PM

    Thanks for another informative site. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal way? I’ve a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

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