In 1975 the Chairman of the New Zealand Institute of Electrical Engineers, Robert Adams, filed for a patent on a new type of highly efficient motor / generator that utilized the power of permanent magnets.
However, his patent was denied, and he was subsequently pressured by the prime minister and several large companies to keep his invention to himself.
After 20 years of this, Adams, now in his seventies, felt he didn’t have much to lose, and so he decided to publish his invention in a 1994 edition of Nexus Magazine.
Since then, thousands of experimenters around the world have replicated Adams’ revolutionary device, some with incredible results.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation out there about the Adams Motor, which I aim to clear up in this article by mainly referring to the inventor’s own words.
What makes the Adams Motor so special?
In short, the Adams motor uses only a small amount of power to rotate permanent magnets, it then recaptures some of this power to keep its supply battery (partially) charged, and then uses generator coils to extract additional useful power to run loads.
These claims might seem ridiculous to some readers, but I have a working model running in my shed that does just this, and I only studied this stuff for two weeks before I built it!
It’s not rocket science, you just need an open mind and learn why it works, without violating any established laws of physics.
Now on to the detailed answer 🙂
But first, a short detour, as I need to clarify the term “back EMF” before we can continue, since even Robert Adams himself does not always use it in the clearest way.
Back EMF 101
It is important to know that there are 3 types of electromotive force, or EMF, present in an Adams Motor circuit:
- Supply EMF
The voltage supplied by a power supply or a battery.
- Counter EMF
A voltage induced in a motor coil by a moving magnet, opposing the supply voltage.
- Flyback EMF
A high voltage spike produced by a collapsing magnetic field.
As you can see I did not use the term “back EMF” in the list above, as some people use that term for #2, while others use it for #3 in the list, or both!
This is the source of a lot of confusion and misunderstanding.
That is why I use the wording from the 1954 Basic Electricity manual, which was used to teach army cadets about electricity and electric motors:
Here is an excerpt from that excellent book:
In a DC motor, as the armature rotates, the armature coils cut the magnetic field, inducing a voltage or electromotive force in these coils. Since this induced voltage opposes the applied terminal voltage, it is called the “counter electromotive force”, or “counter-emf.”
There you have it; counter EMF is induced in a coil when a magnet passes by, and is in opposite direction to the supply voltage.
This counter-emf depends on the same factors as the generated emf in a generator–the speed and direction of rotation, and the field strength. The stronger the field and the faster the rotating speed, the larger will be the counter-emf.
An electric motor is at the same time a generator, and the generator output of a motor is the counter EMF.
Now here comes the really interesting part that was an eye-opener for me:
What actually moves the armature current through the armature coils is the difference between the voltage applied to the motor (Ea) minus the counter-emf (Ec).
Ohm’s Law states that
current = voltage / resistance
But for DC motors, this is changed to
current = (supply voltage - counter EMF) / resistance
Since counter EMF increases as the motor speeds up, this explains why the current draw of an electric motor decreases with speed, which is further explained in the next section:
The internal resistance of the armature of a DC motor is very low, usually less than one ohm [10-20 ohm in an Adams motor]. If this resistance were all that limited the armature current, this current would be very high… However, the counter-emf is in opposition to the applied voltage and limits the value of the armature current that can flow.
And from another source:
As the motor turns faster and faster, the [counter] emf grows, always opposing the driving emf, and reduces the voltage across the coil and the amount of current it draws… if there is no mechanical load on the motor, it will increase its angular velocity ω until the [counter] emf is nearly equal to the driving emf. Then the motor uses only enough energy to overcome friction.Lumen Learning
Soooo, long story short: if you want to use the least amount of current to spin a rotor, you let it run at maximum speed, without a mechanical load, to maximize counter EMF.
Robert Adams had this to say about it:
For efficient running the [counter] E.M.F. must be nearly equal to the applied E.M.F.
So what then is the flyback EMF that others sometimes mistakenly call “back EMF”?
Well, when current flows through a coil, this current establishes a magnetic field around the coil.
If you then suddenly disconnect the coil, there will no longer be any current flowing to support the magnetic field, and so it rapidly collapses in on itself.
And we know that a changing magnetic field induces a voltage, and the formula it follows is
Voltage = Inductance / Rate of change of current
In other words, the faster you cut off the supply current, the higher the resulting voltage spike.
In a regular DC motor, this high voltage flyback EMF is being diverted using a flyback diode to protect the windings, essentially wasting this energy.
In an Adams Motor, the flyback EMF is instead “captured” in a capacitor, and then used to (partially) recharge the supply battery.
I hope it is now clear what the difference is between the three types of EMF present in an Adams Motor.
For more information on counter EMF, and how you can engineer an electric motor that does not generate any counter EMF, I highly recommend you check out Peter Lindemann’s brilliant Electric Motor Secrets presentations.
Features and advantages
In his publication “The Adams Pulsed Motor Generator Manual“, Adams mentions a long list of features and advantages of his device.
I will now quote these and add comments where needed.
In this case, back EMF refers to counter EMF.
Adams mentioned that “as Lenz’s Law states, the induced [counter] EMF is in such a direction as to oppose the rotation which is producing it.”
This is called Lenz drag, and results in wasted power.
An Adams Motor is pulsed at the exact right time so the Lenz drag is cancelled out, allowing the rotor to keep spinning freely.
In this case, back EMF refers to flyback EMF.
The flyback voltage spike pushes the magnet along, increasing torque.
The flyback EMF is also siphoned back to the supply battery, thereby decreasing net power input.
Conventional machines need drive coils around the entire rotor circumference to pull it through its full range of motion, while an Adams Motor only needs two or even just one drive coil.
This leaves room to place generator coils around the same rotor, removing the need for a second generator rotor.
Traditional electric motors use an alternating north-south magnet configuration, while in an Adams Motor all magnetic pole faces are of the same polarity.
While you are not restricted to using any particular wire gauge, there are in fact a couple of guidelines you should follow to create optimal drive coils, which I’ll discuss later.
Whether the gap between the coil core and the rotor magnet is 1mm or 2mm is not super important, “however reduction will increase torque and also increase input power in proportion.”
The motor and switching circuit run cool (~40º), because they use only a very small amount of current, applied during brief pulses.
The motor is ideally pulsed with a 25% duty cycle, which means no current flows for 75% of the time, while conventional electric motors have a current flowing continuously.
A lot to unpack here.
The high voltage flyback EMF is fed back to the supply battery, allowing it to (partially) recharge.
Magnetic drag is nullified by a perfectly timed pulse.
The small amount of current in the system allows the motor to run cooler.
Duty cycle is used to adjust speed, current, and torque of the motor.
This claim is a questionable one for several reasons.
First of all, the term “beyond unity” or “overunity” will immediately disqualify this invention in the minds of many, since nothing can be more than 100% efficient, and neither is the Adams Motor.
A better term to use would be “Coefficient of Performance” or “COP”, as this compares power input from the power supply with power output by the device.
Since some rotational energy comes from the permanent rotor magnets being attracted to the iron coil cores, energy which is not coming from the power supply, a properly constructed Adams Motor can actually achieve a COP > 1.
Since this energy comes from the magnets, the claim that energy is produced “from space” seems to be incorrect.
The vague term “electrostatic scalar potential” also seems to be unnecessary to explain the functioning of this device.
This statement confuses me a little, as in conventional machines it is in fact the case that slower speed equals higher torque, but also higher current draw in proportion.
I did notice that my most efficient Adams Motor ran at a slower speed, and used much less power, but I haven’t yet been able to measure if it had in fact greater torque.
Adams writes “there is no power factor loss because the Adams machine runs in a state of resonance.”
The phase angle of the voltage and current in a series resonant circuit is zero at the resonant frequency, and if phase angle is zero, power factor is unity, see: https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/accircuits/series-resonance.html
This same claim is made in a patent of another pulsed motor, called the Keppe Motor, and explains the reasoning behind it in a bit more detail:
“Zero hysteresis, since the feeding current is a direct and pulsed current, so there is no polarity alternation of the source. Minimized eddy currents, because… the magnetic fields created inside the coil –both during power supply and back energy supply are parallel to the body of the motor, thus yielding close-to-zero induced currents.”
Can be run without a load without running itself to destruction, due to the self-regulating effects of counter EMF vs speed.
Even a slowly spinning permanent magnet rotor is able to generate power, and the flyback EMF which recharges the source battery is also not dependent on rotational speed.
Adding properly designed generator coils to the Adams Motor allows extra power to be extracted, without much additional current draw.
All you need to do is tweak the pulse duration.
How does it work?
Now that we know why this motor is so special, let’s look at how it actually works.
In his patent application, Adams describes his devices as follows:
…a direct current electric motor… which draws current only when the most effective use can be made of it, thus allowing the motor to run very efficiently.Robert Adams, provisional patent application
The following series of drawings from Robert Adams’ patent application show a full cycle of the motor, which will help explain how it works:
Here is what Robert Adams had to say about these drawings (I will highlight some important parts in bold):
Figures 1 to 4 show, in diagrammatic form, a motor according to the present invention, the rotor being at a different stage of its revolution in each of the various figures, and
Figures 1a to 4a [the bottom left corner of each drawing] show a representation of the current flow in each of the stages shown in Figures 1 to 4.
The drawings show a form of motor according to the invention which has a rotor [A] comprising four permanent magnets, 1 to 4, and a stator [B] comprising of two coil windings. The motor can be operated when the coil windings are connected to an appropriate DC voltage source.
The voltage source can be a bench power supply, but most often rechargeable lead-acid batteries are used.
The rotor magnets can be of any type, but Adams said that “there will be much disappointment to a lot of people out there to learn that magnet energy product does not govern efficiency in any way whatsoever.”
Stronger magnets require more input power to achieve the same amount of rotation, and so efficiency remains the same, although torque increases.
So to start, build a 12-24V device, and use lower strength ferrite magnets before upgrading to higher voltages and neodymium magnets.
The supply of current to the windings is controlled by a current controller shown diagrammatically in the drawings as a switch [S]. The current controller is operated in synchronism with the rotation of the rotor [A], so that current is supplied to the stator windings [B] only when the magnets 1 to 4 have just past their central point of alignment with the stator windings.
While Robert Adams himself preferred to use a brush commutator as his current controller, he also included drawings for transistor switches triggered by, for example, photo interrupters, Hall sensors, or trigger windings.
I’ve seen many websites mention that you should only use MOSFETs for switching, as their internal body diode will create a path for the “back EMF” to flow back to the battery. This is WRONG, and another clear example of people not understanding the concept of counter EMF! You do NOT want the counter EMF to flow that way, you only want the flyback EMF to flow that way. None of Robert Adams’ drawings show MOSFETs, only regular transistors, although he does mention MOSFETs in an 2001 article written on his website.
As is shown in Figure 1 the stator windings are activated to produce a north magnetic pole adjacent the ends of the rotor magnet, 1 & 3. As indicated in Figure 1a, this is the point at which the current is first permitted to pass through the windings. Thus there is a magnetic field repulsion established between the stator and the rotor which causes the rotor to rotate in the direction indicated by the arrow. The magnetic repulsion is commenced when the rotor is at a small angle x degrees past the point of alignment with the stator windings.
Then, as shown in Figure 2, the current is maintained in the stator windings until the rotor has moved to an angle of y degrees past the point of alignment with the stator windings. Then at this point the current controller [S] cuts off the supply of current to the windings [B]. The resulting collapsing magnetic field now reverses magnetic polarity attracting on-coming rotor poles, thereby stator windings are pulsed again repeating the cycle.
You see that pulse timing is everything in this motor, in order to maximize the effect of the repulsion and attraction forces.
You need a way to precisely control the start time of the pulse, as well as its duty cycle, or your results will most likely not be very impressive.
This is why I decided to use a microcontroller to have direct control over the pulse timing and duty cycle.
Also, another force that is acting on the rotor, mentioned in another text, is the attraction of the approaching rotor magnet to the iron cores of the drive coils.
This attraction normally results in drag when the rotor magnets moves past the coils, but since that is the exact time the coils are pulsed, this nullifies the drag on the rotor, allowing it to continue to spin freely!
Figure 3 shows the motor with the rotor [A] having just past the position shown in Figure 2 and there is no supply electric current remaining in the stator windings [B]. The rotor is continuing to rotate under its angular momentum. This continues until the position shown in Figure 4 is reached. The pole 1 of the rotor is now at an angle of z degrees passed its point of alignment… Thus the pole 4 of the rotor [A] has almost reached the position of the pole 1 in Figure 1. In other words, the current controller [S] is just about to allow current to flow through the stator windings once more.
The cycle is then repeated, four times for each revolution of the rotor [A].
You’ll want the rotor to have a decent amount of mass, in order for it to act as a flywheel to maintain its angular momentum when the pulse is OFF.
Sooo, now that you know how the Adams Motor works, you can see why this motor is so efficient, as current is only applied “when the most effective use can be made of it”, just like when pushing someone on a swing, instead of being applied continuously, as in a regular DC motor.
But here is the biggest secret of this motor, in the words of Adams:
In all, the machine benefits from [three] different force actions per revolution and paying a minuscule toll fee for only one.
…the rotor magnet is mutually attracted to the stator (gets away without paying for that)
…from the repulsion pulse of the stator at point ‘x‘.
…the rotor is given a further pulse from the collapsing field (a few degrees after point ‘x‘)Adams Update
Now, the collapsing field is harnessed not just to give the rotor a boost, but also to recharge the supply battery, as Adams depicts in the following drawing (be sure to read the notes!):
All that seems to be needed is a diode and a capacitor!
(Still trying to figure out exactly how the above circuit works)
It’s an exceptionally ingenious device, yet no laws of physics are being broken.
Now, there is one more aspect of the drive coils that needs our attention:
Wind stators with a resistance in the range of ten to twenty ohms each for a small model.Robert Adams, The Revelation of the Century
It might seem crazy to the average electrical engineer to wind stator coils with such high resistance, but Adams said that using stator coils of low resistance is the main reason many experimenters see lousy results:
The cardinal mistake being made here is that most of these experimenters are concerned about I2R losses!IceStuff Adams Motor Guide
Our goal is an efficient motor, and so we want to draw as little current as possible, and so a higher resistance coil makes sense.
But less current equals a weaker magnetic field, and we need a strong magnetic field to achieve the greatest possible torque and RPM…
So what’s the solution?
Magnetomotive force (MMF) is measured in Ampere-Turns, which is based on the following observations:
- If the current is increased and the number of turns remains the same, the magnetic field strength is increased.
- If the number of turns of a coil is increased and the current remains the same, the magnetic field strength is increased.
Based on #2 above, we can see that if less current flows because our drive coil has a higher resistance, then we’d need to increase the number of turns to achieve our desired magnetic field strength.
A 10 Ω coil with many turns of thick wire will establish a much stronger magnetic field for the same amount of current draw than a 10 Ω coil with few turns of thin wire, and will result in a much stronger flyback EMF from the collapsing magnetic field, which we can use to (partially) recharge our battery.
So while the high-ohm drive coils suggested by Adams will reduce current draw, they also force you to use more copper, resulting in more energy being available to be recaptured.
Now this is all absolutely within the current laws of Physics.
But once I state it as “more energy being available” now that we have more copper involved, some people will start to feel uncomfortable.
“Where does this additional energy come from?!”
Not sure, but it is exactly what the well established Ampere-Turns rule predicts, so it shouldn’t be news to any electrical engineer.
It seems that only Joseph Newman, who became batshit crazy, but who had some brilliant original thoughts earlier in his life, has an explanation for it in his book “The Energy Machine of Joseph Newman“.
He postulates that:
Energy input to make a magnet has absolutely nothing to do with energy within a magnetic field — catalytic effect only.Joseph Newman, The Energy Machine of Joseph Newman
The facts further demonstrated that the strength of the magnetic field was observed to increase as more atoms within the material became aligned!Joseph Newman, The Energy Machine of Joseph Newman
So Newman says that the more atoms you can align, the stronger the magnetic field, and you only need a relatively small input current to achieve this, as it is purely a catalyst to force atoms into alignment.
From this it follows that having more copper in a coil gives us more atoms to align, and thus a stronger magnetic field results.
This is why his motor was HUGE, and had 90.000 (!!) turns of 5-gauge copper wire!
Was Newman correct?
I don’t know, but his is the only explanation I’ve found so far that makes any logical sense, and which completely fits the experimental evidence.
In our Adams motor, we don’t need an infinitely strong magnetic field.
It should just be strong enough to overcome the attraction of the rotor magnet to the stator core, and ideally provide enough flyback EMF to recharge our battery.
So we can use much, MUCH smaller coils than in the Newman motor 🙂
I’ve found that using 0.35 mm copper wire works very well, and based on some forum posts, this is also what Adams preferred to use for his low voltage machines, while he supposedly used 0.5 mm wire on his high power ones.
We have discussed the Adams “motor” in detail, but wasn’t there also a “generator” part to it?
There is indeed!
Luckily the generator is a lot simpler than the motor bit, although there are still a few things to keep in mind.
Here are some quotes by Robert Adams pertaining to the generator coils:
Ideal cores can be built cheaply and quickly by dismantling a spare power or audio transformer and utilizing the “I” section laminations, obtain winding former to fit same and it is ready for winding. Turns and gauge will depend on what voltage and current you choose. Remember, at this stage, you should only be building a demonstration model, so to speak.
After a few changes, corrections, and/or general modifications you will be ready to put a mechanical and/or electrical load on the machine. For an electrical load it is suggested you firstly wire up a bank of 6 – 12 LEDs. If everything is go, then switch over to torch lamps. Later on with a bigger machine – car lamps, or maybe household lamps and a mechanical load simultaneously.Robert Adams – The Adams Pulsed Motor Generator Manual, p.27
Adams clearly mentions here that he uses laminated cores for his generator coils, which makes sense, as these minimize eddy currents.
I plan to try these Dayton Audio crossover coils as generator coils, as they already have laminated cores.
We read before that Adams mentioned:
It does not require a separate motor in the motor/generator mode to produce electrical output energy
It utilizes one common rotor which runs the machine and generates output powerRobert Adams
In the drawing below, we see 2 slim drive coils, spaced 180º apart, and 4 fatter generator coils, spaced 90º apart, all placed around a single rotor.
The drawing notes mention a 1/2 scale, but what paper size was used?
New Zealand uses ISO standards, so it could realistically be either A4 or A3.
I started out by assuming it was A4, but the measurements were all a bit odd and random.
Then I read somewhere that Adams preferred to use 3/4 inch (20mm) magnets, and 0.35 mm wire.
When I scaled the image to A3, the magnets were indeed 10mm wide, and at a 1/2 scale, that means in actuality they were 20mm!
Since it would be easier to get the direct measurements instead of having to multiply everything by 2, I scaled the image again to an A2 size (which is 2x A3), and did the same for the other technical drawings from the manual.
Now I could directly read the dimensions of all the parts by drawing over them, and this is what I found:
Rotor: 20 cm diameter, 2 cm thick, very light materials used, tiny amount of spacing between rotor and stators.
Magnets: 20x20x80 mm magnets with N poles facing out, and rounded edges. This 4:1 length to width ratio for the magnets supports the hypothesis that Adams used Alnico magnets in this particular design:
Typical open circuit Alnico 5 applications require a long magnetic length to pole surface ratio (usually 4:1 or greater) to insure good magnetic performance.Adams Magnetic Products
Drive coils: 20 mm wide, 30 mm long, 10 mm solid iron core. If Adams used 0.35 mm wire, the coil would end up being ~10 Ohm, which is what he recommends, so this further solidifies these dimensions.
Generator coils: 30 mm wide, 30 mm long, 20 mm core with 15 mm of laminated core sticking out the back. ~15 Ohm if 0.35 mm wire is used, however, this resistance value seems unreasonably high, so you might want to experiment with generator coils with much thicker wire and lower ohmic resistance.
Shaft: 10 mm brass shaft, with 8mm ends for bearings (measurements differ slightly per drawing, so this is my best guess).
Structure: ~50 cm wide.
Switch: A custom star wheel commutator disk, 50mm wide.
A few additional things stand out from the drawing:
- The drive coil cores are 1/2 the width of the rotor magnet, while the generator cores have the same width as the rotor magnet
- The generator cores stick out about 50% further than the end of the coil
- The generator coils can be rotated around the rotor between 25º and 45º for finding the point of maximum power generation
- A switch to turn the current flow from the generator coils ON or OFF
Now, point #2 above requires some additional explanation.
Heel end slug
A core sticking out the back of a coil is called a “heel end slug”, and was used in relays like the GPO Relay 3000 to create a slower release.
A heel end slug affects the collapse of the magnetic field when the energising current is switched off. The collapsing field cuts the slug to produce an eddy current which in turn has its own magnetic field which opposes the collapse. ie It assists the field and attempts to maintain it around the complete magnetic circuit and therefore holds the armature in… The relay becomes practically normal to operate but slow to release.Dean Forest Railway Telecoms
In the case of a generator coil, its function is slightly different, yet significant.
When a rotor magnet approaches a generator coil, the coil effectively turns into an electromagnet, with a North and a South pole, and a neutral zone in the middle.
If we add a heel end by making the core longer than the coil, the neutral zone will still be in the middle of the core, and so will have moved further up the coil.
A heel ended generator coil will produce a much higher voltage for 2 reasons:
- More coil windings are exposed to the same magnetic polarity
- Higher inductance due to the additional iron
While this is a plausible explanation, Robert Adams never actually mentions this requirement, and it could just be that having the laminations stick out the back made it easier for him to mount the generator coils, as they have a bolt through them in the drawing.
Switching the generator coils
While the drawing appears to show a regular switch, Robert Adams may in fact have used a more advanced switching mechanism, as he used the same symbol in other drawings to represent various commutation methods.
Some experimenters claim that by precisely switching the generator coils, just like we did with the drive coils, magnetic drag can be minimized, and power output maximized.
Surprisingly, the output coils are switched Off for most of the time.
This sounds mad but it most definitely isn’t mad.
With the output coils disconnected, the approaching rotor magnets generate a voltage in the output coil windings but no current can flow.
As no current is flowing, no magnetic field is generated and so the rotor magnets just pull directly towards the output coil iron cores.
The maximum output coil voltage is when the rotor magnets are aligned with the output coil cores.
At that instant the output switch is closed and a strong pulse of current is drawn off and then the switch is opened again, cutting off the output current.
The output switch is closed for only three degrees or so of the rotor’s rotation and it is off again for the next eighty seven degrees, but the opening of the switch has a major effect.
The switch being opened cuts off the current flowing in the output coils and that causes a major reverse voltage spike causing a major magnetic field which pushes the rotor on its way.
That voltage spike is rectified and passed back to the battery.Patrick J. Kelly
Keep in mind that again, Robert Adams himself never mentioned the need to switch the generator coils to achieve his results.
In fact, it seems that a lot of people are convinced they need to try all sorts of esoteric “low-drag” generator coil setups, while Adams managed to make his motor so efficient that he could achieve his results with any old generator, as is evidenced from this excerpt from his UK patent GB2282708A:
It seems preferable to regard the machine as a motor and maximize its efficiency in that capacity whilst using a mechanical coupling to an alternator of conventional design for the electrical power generation function.Robert Adams & Harold Aspden – Patent GB2282708A, p. 24
The MOTOR is the invention.
However, the generator does have a clear function in demonstrating the peculiar properties of this device, as mentioned in the same patent:
The machine is able to demonstrate the excess power delivery from the ferromagnetic system by virtue of electrical power generation charging a battery at a greater rate than a supply battery is discharged.Robert Adams & Harold Aspden – Patent GB2282708A, p. 19
So this is how Adams tried to prove his motor displayed power in excess of that supplied by the source battery: by charging a second battery from the generator output at a rate faster than the source battery was discharged.
Source of excess energy
So where does this “excess energy” come from?
We’ll let Robert Adams describe it in his own words:
There is massive trapped energy in many natural materials, especially metals. Latent magnetic energy is ever present in these materials and this energy I describe within the structures of electric motors is found to play an important role together with that of the energy harnessed from the small air gap between the rotor and stator sections; this applies to both motors and generators alike.
Power source applied to electric motors expands the ever present covert electromagnetic flux of the metal materials, i.e., the iron core and copper windings. It is not the impressed energy applied to the motor that creates the inductive field, as taught in universities and colleges alike; the magnetic flux field “already” exists in its natural state within the stator system; the application of energy into the system simply “expands” the natural latent inherent inductive energy residing therein.
This expanded inductive energy, in conjunction with the energy harnessed at the air gap between the rotor and stators, provides the driving power of the motor.Robert Adams – Applied Modern 20th Century Aether Science
When Adams talks about “the energy in the air gap”, he means energy from the aether, or what quantum physicists nowadays call the zero-point field, which he strongly believed in.
As proof of this excess energy flowing into his air gap, he refers to a simple but fascinating experiment, both in his UK patent and in his book The Revelation of the Century, from The Principles of Electromagnetism (1955) by E.B. Moullin.
The first thing to remember is this:
The flux density in the gap represents the mechanically available energy.
Next, here’s what you do:
Take some transformer E laminations and wind a primary and a small secondary onto the middle as shown above in Fig. 1.
Use a variable AC power supply to adjust the input power supplied to the primary.
Use strips of cardboard or plastic between the E and I laminations to simulate an “air gap” of various thicknesses.
Now you want to measure both the amps that go into the primary, as well as the voltage in the secondary / search coil.
Each time you increase the gap by placing another strip of material in between, you adjust the power supply so that the voltage in the secondary remains the same, which means the flux density, or magnetic field strength on “the other side of the gap” remains constant, and thus the mechanical energy available remains constant.
Now here comes the kicker: if you plot the input current versus the gap size, you’ll clearly see it curves down!
Remember, we kept the voltage across the gap the same, so the same mechanical power is present, yet we need less and less current to establish that same amount of mechanical power the larger the gap becomes!
So where is that additional energy coming from?!
All we know is that it is clearly NOT coming from our power supply 🙂
This is why your air gap should not be too small, as that will limit this excess gap energy from being harnessed.
Adams mentions in several places that ideally the gap should be 1 to 1.25mm wide.
In this article you learned several things to keep in mind when trying to replicate this device, but Robert Adams was also kind enough to leave us a list of recommendations in his book The Revelation of the Century.
Some of his tips only apply if you use brush commutation, so I highlighted the parts I feel are most important, regardless of commutation method.
VALUABLE HINTS ON REPLICATION
- Use only pure iron for the stator/drive windings, not laminated steel core.
- Wind stators with a resistance in the range of ten to twenty ohms each for a small model.
- For 2) above, use voltages of between 12 and 36.
- For small machine make contactor star disk one inch maximum diameter.
- Keep wiring short and of low resistance.
- For small machine install fuse/holder 500m.a. to 1 amp.
- Install switch for convenience and safety.
- Use small bearings. Do not use sealed bearings as these are pre-packed with a dense grease which causes severe drag.
- Use only silver contacts for pulse switch.
- If using high-energy-product magnets, vibration becomes a serious problem if constructional materials and design are faulty.
- Air gap is not critical; however reduction will increase torque and also increase input power in proportion.
- For higher speed, lower current, series-connected stators recommended.
- a) If machine stator windings are of low resistance and drawing high current at higher input voltage, it is advisable to install a switching transistor which will completely eliminate sparking at points.
b) On calculating input power, however, the transistor switch burden must be subtracted from total input.
- a) Points tuning and pressure are vitally important; experiment will indicate optimum settings.
b) If, however, all electronic switching process is preferred, i.e., using photo, magnetic, hall effect, etc., then the above in a) is completely eliminated.
- If constructing a large model involving large super-power magnets, note the following:- The greater the magnetic energy product, the greater the power required to drive the machine, the greater the torque, the greater the vibration problem, greater copper content, greater cost etc.
Further tips were given by Adams, and again, I highlight the important points:
If contemplating the construction of a proving machine – note as follows :
1) Don’t purchase expensive powerful ‘neodymium’ or ‘samarium cobalt’ magnets without first having experience with cheap easy-to-get ‘alnico’ magnets, for if you commence with powerful magnets you will find yourself facing powerful problems. Using powerful magnets will not prove anything beyond what alnico will do. However, given this, if you feel you MUST choose powerful magnets, for whatever your reasons, take heed -great care is required in the handling of them to preclude personal injury.
2) For a proving machine do not use less than 10 ohms each for two stators at 180 degrees apart; recommend series mode for first attempt. Don’t be concerned about start windings initially and, remember, what can be achieved MICROscopically can be achieved MACROscopically and so I strongly suggest – walk before you run.
3) Should you experience any difficulty in designing and constructing the tapered disc contactor (machining, etc.) then use electronic switching, i.e. photo, Hall effect, or inductor effect, with switching current transistor, etc. The machine, correctly constructed, should still deliver a minimum 107% efficiency. The charging effect will, of course, be lost, and the input current to supply the electronic switching will raise the total input quite steeply. The point to be made here is that in using electronic switching, in a larger machine, the degree of loss due to this use of electronic switching is negligible.
However, for those who are seeking greater efficiency figures, it is advised to stay with the tapered disc contactor method and build a small wattage unit, i.e. 0.25 to 1 watt. This is the area of power rating within which you will gain quicker and better results which, in turn, will provide the necessary experience for designing and building a larger unit.
Once again the inventor cannot stress the importance enough, for those who wish to construct a successful device, to start at the bottom rung and listen to what the device is saying to you as you go along.
The above statements make it really clear that for the best results, don’t use transistors, but use a brush commutator instead.
Only once you’ve achieved good results with the contactor disk should you progress to transistors or other means of switching.
Other pulsed motors
Was Robert Adams the only person who thought about pulsing a motor?
Not really, although it seems he was the first!
Adams invented his pulsed electric motor generator in 1970, filed for a patent in 1975, but didn’t publish his work publicly until 1994.
Then there is the infamous Joseph Newman, who developed a pulsed motor of gigantic proportions to prove his theory and patent claims were valid.
Newman filed for a US patent titled “Energy Generation System Having Higher Energy Output Than Input” in 1980, and released a book titled “The Energy Machine of Joseph Newman” in 1984, in which he explains the theory behind his motor/generator in detail.
The general idea is that he pulsed a coil consisting of 90.000 turns of thick 5-gauge wire with just 9V (6 1.5V AA batteries), which then generated a very strong magnetic field, which in turn spun the heavy permanent magnet rotor around, and generated huge flyback currents when the pulse ceased, which he then used to power loads.
Newman was not granted a patent, so he went to court, grew more and more frustrated over the years, and slowly went crazy.
I recommend you watch this documentary to find out what happened exactly.
Newman, amongst others, inspired John Bedini, who successfully replicated the Newman motor, developed his own pulsed motors, and published his theories in a 1984 book titled “Bedini’s Free Energy Generator“.
But while Newman used a massive amount of copper in order to create a VERY strong magnetic field, the Bedini motor only needed a magnetic field strong enough to offset the attraction of the rotor magnet to the stator core, which is why the Bedini motor is a LOT smaller.
In 2001, John Bedini filed for a patent titled “Device and method for utilizing a monopole motor to create back EMF to charge batteries“, which was granted in 2003.
He helped a 10-year old girl create one of his motors for a school science project, and this circuit turned into the most replicated motor in the alternative energy community, called the Bedini SG (SG stands for School Girl).
So while Newman and Bedini published their ideas before Robert Adams did, we see that Adams already filed a patent years before that.
In 1999, the Australian duo Lou Brits and John Christie from the company Lutec, filed for a patent titled “System for controlling a rotary device“.
If you read the patent, you’ll soon find out that they use the exact same methods Robert Adams used, and Adams made it very clear he felt they were stealing his ideas.
There has been a lot of controversy around the Lutec 1000 motor, and the Australian Sceptics Society ripped them apart in their article “Free Energy? Not From Lutec“.
The last pulsed motor I want to discuss is a very interesting one, as it is the only one discussed here that has actually been implemented into a consumer product!
It is called the Keppe Motor.
The Keppe Motor is a highly efficient motor that uses the principle of electromagnetic resonance to optimize its efficiency. It was developed by three researchers, Carlos Cesar Soós, Alexandre Frascari and Roberto Heitor Frascari, based on the discoveries of the scientist Norberto da Rocha Keppe, set forth in his book “The New Physics Derived From A Disinverted Metaphysics,” first published in France, 1996.Keppe Motor Website
While their explanation of how the motor works seems a bit odd and metaphysical from time to time, the fact of the matter is that you can buy a table fan from their website which is just as powerful as a store-bought fan, but uses up to 80% less power to run and doesn’t heat up!
They also achieve this by pulsing the motor at the exact right time, although the details differ slightly from the Adams motor, as Adams used rotor magnets of identical polarity, while the Keppe motor uses both North and South poles.
In their FAQ they explain how the Keppe motor works:
Electric motors transform electric energy into mechanical energy, and electric generators do the opposite, i.e., transform mechanical energy into electric energy. The Keppe Motor comprises a motor feature (electricity being transformed into mechanical energy) and a generator feature (mechanical energy being transformed into electricity) in balance at the point of resonance of the system.
System’s highest efficiency is reached when the resonance between the two components of action (motor feature) and complementation (generator feature) takes place. The resonant point of this system includes the electric power supply (domestic grid or battery) and the load on the shaft.
The Keppe Motor contains a magnetic rotor with permanent magnets which rotates inside the stator coils. When the magnet is set in motion by the supply voltage applied to the coil (motor feature), it creates additional voltage in the coil terminals (generator feature), increasing the magnetic energy stored in it. This energy enters in resonance with the power grid’s energy through pulses of varying intervals determined by the Keppe Motor itself and this is the nature of its high efficiency. As consequence, one of the best advantages of the Keppe Motor is that it runs cold, which is an indication of its high efficiency and guarantee of durability.
Nevertheless, for all this to occur, it is not enough to make a motor with a different design – you must also change the power supply, otherwise, resonance cannot be achieved.
The best way to reach resonance is to let the motor interrupt its own power supply according to its own structure, without interfering with its operation. Because of that, the typical and necessary power supply of the Keppe Motor is PDC (Pulsed Direct Current), the only supply that allows the system to reach resonance. Depending on the motor design and parameters, such as wire gauge, presence or absence of an iron core, type of magnet, coil inductance, etc., the entire system will automatically search for its point of resonance for the load and voltage specified. At this point the electrical current decreases to the minimum necessary to perform the desired work. This minimum is always lower than that required by conventional direct or alternating current to perform the same task.
The Keppe team was granted a US patent in 2013, titled “Electromagnetic motor and equipment to generate work torque“.
This article was meant to clear up some confusion that exists among experimenters attempting to replicate Robert Adams’ device.
The idea was to use the words of Adams himself to explain what he was and wasn’t trying to do, and I hope you gained some clarity from this.
I also urge you to study the other pulsed motors I discussed in this article, as certain patterns will become clear to you, and a lot can be learned from them.
Especially study the Bedini motor, as there is a lot of educational material available for that one.
As for me, I’ve been working for months on perfecting my own Adams Motor / Generator replication (follow my progress on YouTube).
Right now, I’ve settled on a final design for the drive coils and drive circuit (check out my Arduino Pulsed Motor Driver on Github), and am now going to add the generator coils.
Once everything is working as advertised, I will create a PCB and make plans and kits available through this website.
My goal is to have this ready halfway through 2021.
Are you working on an Adams motor replication? Shoot me an email at [email protected], because I’d love to hear how it’s going!