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.


38 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.

  22. Bill on March 8, 2018 1:29 PM

    It could work if they just transported the air into the tanks. oh wait I lost the directions to the transporter? I am a little short on dilithium any way. Just reduce the energy required to fill the tanks, Your smart guys, figure it out, it’s simple.

  23. Denis on August 27, 2019 6:27 AM

    Suppose you blow 1 liter per second of air at a depth of 10 metres. The buoyant force from 1 liter of air is 10 Newtons applied over a distance of 10 metres so it makes 100 joules of energy At 1 liter per second this makes 100 watts of power and it would take about 60 watts to compress the air There is an energy gain but it would take a real big machine to generate 5 KW

  24. Nathan on February 11, 2020 12:32 PM

    It’s funny how people are so terrified to say free energy in this. Nobody wants to get hunted down, so I don’t blame ya, but if you spread the idea enough, they can’t do much.

  25. Kerstan park on November 12, 2020 11:50 PM

    Will somebody please try adding a long Tesla Valve* to the air injection… see if that improves compressor efficiency….
    a small auxilary combustion system could be added to boost gas pressure with check valve and tesla valve between compressor and tower…
    Maybe even using hydrolysis to extract some hydogen directly from the water to add to the combustion gas.

  26. Kerstan on November 13, 2020 1:02 AM

    Also…. as the engineer above stated, the cylinders really shouldn’t leave the water. As they rotate, submerged they release the air with less energy loss without resubmergence resistance. It doesn’t need to be direct drive to the torque shaft. That engineer thinks in mechanical quantifications, the electrical engineer* above is right… now add that fing tesla valve*..

    Akhams Razor is, cold system designes like this are still much better than the massivly poluting and wasteful heat driven systems we accept as todays standard. Even at 60%, that’s a whole world lot better than the staggeringly stupid 15-25% efficiency most power plants operate at now… and that’s considered good.. 35% is considered great, high efficiency,leading edge..!

    At the very least these systems could suppliment auxiliary power scrubbing to soak up some the efficiency losses of other current systems. I.e. excess heat. Or as someone else above stated, to provide passive auxiliary systems to manage load capacity issues.
    And even more, if you combine multi phase systems pairing a power source you can multiply generation so the system is not just some passive concept but can be a primary power source… like someone above said, find a renewable power source to supplimnet the energy needed to drive the air pressure requirements. By pairing existing systems together we can conceptualize multi phase systems that can easily overcome the so called perpetual motion problem.. why the f isn’t somebody coming up with this sh.. why would you throw out the whole system if all you need is supplimnet that tiny bit that it falls shy of to make it over that apex, instead of supplimenting that last bit with an auxiliary source, so that you can harvest the REST OF THE 85% free energy the incomplete perpetual motion system DOES PRODUCE.,!!! I don’t get it… by having multi phase systems “pass the batton” we could have systems with enormously better outputs. Or at the very least, scale the primitive systems down to a minimal to serve as that additional energy needed to feed that “perpetual motion wheel” so that we can harvest the Bulk… Duuuuhhhh..!!!!

  27. kerstan on November 16, 2020 2:21 PM

    For those who need examples.
    Instead of burning a whole sh,, load of coal or oil to make supersteam for turbines, and dealing with massive ammounts of co2… or wasting ludicrous levels of heat in nuclear plant cooling towers..;
    Any standard hot system such as a small generator, can be used to power a much larger cold* fluid air system. (Although its NOT necessary) Anyway; Thereby using a multi phase system to “step up” power production..

    The cold system can also serve as a means to soak up as much waste as possible, from the smaller hot system i.e. heat/co2 gasses to improve efficiency and help process the pollution..i.e. co2 scrubbing

    Current existing systems in today’s infrastructure could be used to power even more massive cold systems… Air pressure can be harvested in extremely light weight tanks from many different sources. And either piped directly to the power plant or shipped at very low cost due to the safety aspect and weight factor.. spring loaded pressure tanks offer an additional mechanical power storage aspect in providing steady resistance and output of pressure stored in such tanks…

    Now research that f-ing Tesla Valve*…

  28. kerstan on November 16, 2020 2:37 PM

    Oh one last thing…
    If you use an somme auxilary leverage torque system. Or however you do it… to improve efficiency, worm gear, whatever… you can compress the springs in the pressure tanks and lock them, prior to loading them with pressure so the initial source doesn’t need to overcome the spring resistance… energy gain happens in the mechanical advantage of the torque system used to preload the springs….

    Quantify Gains people… hope somebody can do something useful for the world with this sh..

  29. kerstan on November 17, 2020 4:46 AM

    To clarify my statement a few Columbus above….
    Because I was typing so fast my sh.. has a bunch of grammatical errors… enough to make me sound like I don’t have all that great command of the English language…. anyway…

    Perpetual Motion Wheel for example… doesn’t work because it loses that later bit of energy to make it over the top dead center at the end of its power cycle…. put a load on it and that decreases the duration of said power cycle right..!?

    So why is it not possible to suppliment the last bit of energy that is required to restart the cycle. With auxiliary power sources.. even if the system has a load put on it, the subsequent balance can still be augmented with auxiliary systems to finnish the power cycle… why discard the whole system if all it needs is the delta algebra energy to balance the cycle… as long as the power stroke output is greater. Is that not net gain..!?
    At the very least, the “Perpetual” part of the system can then be the primary drive, allowing the support system to be a much smaller standard wasteful system like we have now, so, say instead of your standard huge disel generator producing power to be used directly from it… A much smaller generator can be used to power the compression needed to run the larger fluid air phase* generating the same amount of power as the huge diesel, but at a fraction of the waste..

    Even your standard internal combustion engines have several cylinders to drive the first one in the sequence (passing the batton) over the energy requirement needed to achieve compression. In which proper ignition can be achieved…. which is what powers the system…. same thing…

    What were doing with today’s power generation systems is the equivalent of the primitive one cylinder combustion engines way back a the turn of the previous century…!

    With the wide range of dynamic capacity and applicable capabilities. A fluid air system can be adapted to nearly limitless potentialities across the world’s infrastructures ranging from the small personal use to the largest of scale needs..

  30. kerstan on November 17, 2020 4:53 AM

    One last thing.. why not baloons instead of solid cylinders… or maybe a combination unit cylinder baloon, cone, umbrella, whatever may lessen the drag* factor..

    K, that’s all….

  31. Aries on December 4, 2020 12:39 AM

    Real knowledge comes from practice. All theories must be put into practice to realize their value.

  32. libra on December 13, 2020 4:48 AM

    All the data we need for these theories to be put into “practice”, is already within our current scope of knowledge and engenuity… all the component elements involved have already been researched and cataloged. We have all the charts for every material and behavioral factor involved.

    It’s not a far theoretical leap to bridge the gap to useful applications. More like hopscotch.
    The only missing elements are the designs for connecting these multiple power train sourcing systems into a unified power array. Maybe hydrolic transmissions could help create soft synaptic linkages between static fluctuations..

    Buy really, it’s more like connecting a few dots of our preexisting, common knowledge.
    Just a 3D printer alone would expedite most of the prototype phase with small scale models. After that, we are limited only by the capacity of the materials we currently have available, and or the economic or sociatal feasability.

    There’s no good reason, why all of these theories have not already been exploited to their maximum potentialities. And then refined to the point of acedemic redundance. Or otherwise disproven into abysmaly absolute certainties…

  33. libra on December 14, 2020 12:10 AM

    And I did mean ingenuity when I said it; because we are at this point, lucky enough to afford the time and resource needed to explore these theories in the here and now, while we still sit comfortably within the hypo lap of resource luxury. We can still treat the ideas to broden the horizon as frivolous play, almost unnecessary, pointless even, if not to the immediate benefit of intrests vested… but this way of life we’ve become accustomed to, of heading toward a bigger and brighter future, may very well not last. It shouldn’t be taken for granted just because the arc of progress may bend beyond the scope perspective intrests… the theories should be tested now, with scaled prototype models. the practice” of real world applications, is a long way down the road. That shouldn’t be a reason not to take the first steps, especially when the first few are likely to be leaps and bounds…
    Heaven forbid the day we find humanity, truely desperate….

    America needs to feed Africa, with all that problematic Asian Carp….
    “Quantify Gains”….!
    Nature’s energy is found in abundance, we need to orchestrate what we do have; better…

  34. libra on December 14, 2020 12:19 AM

    Africa needs to feed to Everyone else, with its limitless solar potential.

  35. Glenn Stafford on April 1, 2021 2:56 PM

    Ancient thread I know, but what if you compressed air at the surface, sunk the tank to the bottom, releasing compressed air and filling a larger piston, bringing the piston and empty tank back to the surface? Then allow the piston to fill with water and and sink again. All the way, harvesting the gravity of the objects sinking, the buoyancy of them rising, plus at the surface harvesting the pressure differential between the bottom and surface. Combined harvested energy is used at surface to fill compressed air tank again.

    Similar to a heat engine, this would be a pressure differential engine, using opposing forces of gravity and buoyancy to move between the pressure differences. The advantage of water or liquid is the clear line of delineation between air and water where the buoyant and pressure forces can be harvested without adding extra energy to the system. Compressing air at the surface takes less effort than at depth (or does it?), and gravity delivers the compressed air to the bottom. Buoyancy provides the return trip along with additional upward lifting force. A full piston of released air at the bottom, normalized to bottom pressure, will have increased pressure at surface which can also be harvested.

    I know, I know, engineers will still say it can’t work and they are probably correct. Challenge: can you not only identify the flaw(s) but can anyone actually do the math to prove this will or won’t work?

  36. Kerstan park on May 23, 2021 8:14 AM

    Good thinking, that would likely boost the systems efficacy at the very least. And I’m thinking, by alot. I never thought of adding half of the systems working function above the waterline. It’s not impossible. With the advantages over modern wireless tech. Each “barrel” can also govern it’s own function with sensors and self actuating mechanisms. To expand or contract as needed to help improve any negative friction dynamics against being dragged through the water during the submersion phase of the cycle.
    This is the way everyone needs to be thinking to spearhead us into the bright prospective future.. much thanks to you friend. You are one of humanity’s heros..

  37. fan on May 26, 2021 9:10 PM

    It’s not a far theoretical leap to bridge the gap to useful applications. More like hopscotch.

  38. Beston on May 26, 2021 9:14 PM

    This is great Blog here my friend! Very informative

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