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Why has nobody found a way to power a vehicle using magnetic energy? Answered

It seems like such a simple solution, yet nobody has attempted it yet. Why? The force put off by magnets is basically free energy, right?



Best Answer 9 years ago

"The force put off by magnets is basically free energy, right?"


You can move a conductor through a magnet's field to induce electricity. But that's not really harnessing energy from the magnet, that's harnessing energy from the motion. That's how generators, electric motors and mag-lev trains work.

The force of gravity that the Earth provides is totally free, too. That doesn't mean it's always useful. Something has to go from high to low before you can get any benefit from it. For starters, you might want to read up on the difference between "force" and "energy".

Now, theoretically, it is possible to use magnets in energy storage. For example, you could position two magnets so that they slowly came together and harness the resulting motion to power the wheels of your car. You would have the magnetic equivalent of a driving spring on a wind-up toy. Or, you could harness the motion that resulted from slowly destroying one of a pair of magnets. However, I can't imagine that either of these processes could be made efficient enough to power a car.

Hes not asking about floating cars. Hes asking about using the force to create energy. All it takes is using thr force in them to spin each other and you have a magnetic generator like a windmill. Ive seen tons online that produce way more than any car would need. No more gas. And if ya use the magnets to spin blades you can make an energy efficient helicopter that powers itself with its blades.

Forgive my ignorance. I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to such subjects, however, I am very creative, which makes for great conflict in my life because I come up with some awesome ideas, but over-simplified with no knowledge or education to back up those ideas and try to make them work. I was thinking on a more basic, mechanical level. Let me explain where I came up with this idea...I was playing with some magnets one day. They were small, but very powerful magnets. I think my ex got them from the mechanic shop he was working at. I noticed it took a large amount of force to push the opposite sides together, about a pound of pressure each. I started calculating (once again, not educated, but smart and creative) and figured out a mechanism to use this energy of magnets pushing against one another to drive a sort of "drive train" to power a small vehicle, like a golf cart. I just didn't know if there would be some kind of interference the large number of magnets and magnetic energy emanating from those magnets that would negatively effect the human body or any electrical systems. I also had an idea of using a magnetic device that, when engaged, would turn a generator to recharge batteries in an electric car, like when you drive it to work and it sits for eight hours. I don't know. Like I said, I'm not educated enough in such things to know if what I'm thinking is even feasible. Remember, I'm thinking very low tech and simplified right now. Just wanted to know if some more intelligent people than I would be able to say if it's even possible.

No, it doesn't work like that. But don't feel bad- many, many people smarter than you or I have wasted their life savings (and others' life savings) on building magnetic contraptions, before realizing that there is no such thing as a free lunch in physics.

I think part of the conceptual problem here is that magnetic forces seem so amazing and mysterious. To keep this from setting you off in the wrong direction, imagine a spring instead of a pair of opposing magnets. You squeeze the spring together and it pushes back. But if you don't touch it, it just sits there. Imagine slipping a compressed spring between a heavy object and the wall. The spring will push the object away as it expands. But this push won't be quite as strong as the push required to compress it in the first place. As you were compressing it, some of the energy leaked away as heat rather than being stored in the spring.

As I said, there are many theoretically possible ways to store energy using magnets. I think the best avenue of study for you would be wind-up toys. Buy several different types of wind-up toy on Ebay and take them apart. Figure out how the drive spring is wound, and how the gears release the stored energy at a gradual and even rate. Then you can try working on a system that stores energy in a system of magnets and gears. (FYI: You don't need to worry about the safety of these magnetic fields, just watch out for magnets shattering or pinching you. Also, AlNiCo magnets are easily demagnetized by opposing fields, while ceramic and NdFeB are slower to demagnetize. )

There is no free lunch, but perhaps you can find a way to keep a lunch fresh between the time it's made and the time it's eaten.

I do not see why using alternating magnetic fields to produce kinetic force, as in a rotational motor, could not be harnessed as electricity. In fact, here is a very basic but functioning model of a motor rotating solely and continually on magnetic configurations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvMbgGcHeEY

Thank you

Absolutely you can use torque to alternate magnetic fields to produce electricity, or electricity to alternate magnetic fields to produce torque. However, in both cases, some of the energy is lost as heat during each conversion. Eventually you will need additional energy from outside the system to keep it from slowing to a stop.

Also, if I were going to demonstrate a machine like the one in the video, I would use electric charges rather than magnetic fields.

So, what I'm not sure about here is, if stator magnets can be configured so that the rotor magnet they surround is kept spinning (as in the video) - why isn't this a free and clean energy source? Are you saying the magnetic fields that keep the rotor spinning would eventually weaken resulting in the stopping of the rotor? Are you saying magnetic energy is beign converted into kinetic energy and thus the magnets would eventually lose force? curious to know if that's the case...

(This would be much easier to fake than, say, those 'realistic' computer-generated UFO videos on Youtube. But for the sake of argument, I will assume this is not trick photography.)

There is some outside source of energy powering the device that is not obvious from the video. It could be a stream of air, a moving magnetic field, differences in temperature, etc. It could also be the initial nudge with a finger and push against the 'stator', though I think friction would have used up that energy after a few minutes.

I am not saying the video taker is purposefully trying to deceive (though you have to admit that is a possibility), but I am just pointing out that in this universe, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The search for the best bargain lunch is where you will find the benefit to humanity.

As for getting energy by 'using up' the magnets, it is an interesting thought, but I do not think that very likely to happen by accident. You could theoretically extract energy as they go from strong to weak. Without added energy, all permanent magnets do eventually slide toward having zero strength, and you might somehow catch the energy from the collapsing field. But under ordinary circumstances, you would have to wait decades to get much of anything. If you abused the magnets (by forcefully pushing a much stronger field against them or heating past the Curie point), you could demagnetize them quickly. However, I suspect that the energy used up in the abuse would be less than what you could extract from the weakening magnet.

I'd have to disagree with your claim of an outside source of energy. I've played around with magnets and while I haven't built a motor, I've been able to get a ballbearing to spin simply by holding a curved magnet over it. Nor does your assertion "no such thing as a free lunch" make much sense in physics - the earth itself is spinning on its axis and revolving the sun without any 'power source' other than existing principles.

Hydro electricity is a free lunch in that it simply utilizes existing principles of the relation of gravity and mass. The effect is harnessed and converted to electricity. There are of course costs associated with hydro - so its a bargain lunch - but you get the point. The existing principle - gravity - is not drained or used up by harnessing its effects - it remains a constant.

It's really no different with magnets. The field-effects can be harnessed and converted to electricity. The polar fields are not diminished though the objects they operate on may suffer slow degradation over time. therefore, magnetic motors are a clean, near-free, sustainable energy source that needs to be developed. I know of several such basic and advanced magnetic motors, but the energy mafia seem to have iron-grip control of the commercial energy business - so the motors never reach consumers.

Here again is a pretty clear-cut video of a basic magnetic motor. Anyone viewing the video can clearly see that the magnets are influencing the motion of the disc in attraction and repulsion. The motor picks up speed until it reaches an optimum speed where it seems to level out constant.


I think you need to revisit the distinction between force and energy.

A force is a push or a pull that could cause a mass to change speed or direction.

Energy can be described as a force acting through a distance- a force actually doing something. It is held in the potential of matter to move from high to low, from different temperatures to same temperatures, from voltage difference to voltage balance, from stretched to relaxed, from hard to describe to easy to describe, from unstable to stable, etc.

The ball bearing would not be moving from the magnet being over it, but from you putting the magnet over it and from your hand's ordinary muscle twitches.

The rotation of the earth and revolution about the sun are both powered by the energy in the initial formation of the solar system. According to ideal Newtonian physics, (that is, if nothing were taking energy out of the system) it would go on rotating and revolving forever under the influences of inertia and gravity. As you put it, there are 'existing principles' involved.

But the solar system is not ideal. Gas, dust, and rocks crashing into the earth steal energy from the revolution, which lowers the Earth's orbit around the Sun by a miniscule amount. Likewise, our giant moon is constantly dumping energy into the Earth by crumpling and shifting land and sea; its orbit is collapsing outward and the Earth's rotation is slowing by a measurable amount.

You are correct in saying hydropower does not 'use up' gravity. (And bringing up the degradation of the magnets was probably a red herring for this conversation.) Like magnetism, gravity is a force that can provide acceleration, but is not itself energy. The forces of gravity and magnetism provide the ability to distinguish high from low and far from near, but they do not create energy or even (by themselves) transfer it.

The energy in hydropower comes from a heavy mass of water moving from high to low. The water was up high in the first place because it evaporated from lower elevations. It evaporated because of heat energy. That heat energy came from solar rays. The energy in those rays came from the energy binding atomic nuclei together. And so on and so on...

So yes, while not identical, the behavior of gravity is a very good analogy for the behavior of the magnets.

I agree with the author of this description of overbalanced wheel 'engines' that the usual explanations of physics teachers are simply not adequate for most students to wrap their minds around the idea. I disagree with the author, though, when he says that modern would-be inventors ought to know better. You need to understand people's intuitive mental models of everyday physics before you can explain how these rules of thumb are leading the people astray. For example, when a physics teacher says that a thrown object would travel on forever in a straight line if not for outside forces, he or she had better have a powerfully convincing description of these "outside forces"; otherwise, students will be left with book learning that seems to hopelessly contradict experience.

i'm getting back to you a bit late, but its timely in a way because a.) here I will defeat your argument through logic, and b.) provide a link to a functioning magnetic energy system: b.) first:  Steorn is currently demonstrating its overunity magnetic device Orbo:   http://www.steorn.com/
to the public. 

a.) just as without gravity drawing mass towards it, we would have no hydro-electricity, we can say magnetic attraction and repulsion will cause certain types of mass to move. 

the advantage of magnetism is its omni-directional capability.  gravity pulls in one direction - requiring mass (such as water) to get back up (as for example through evaporation) in order to be pulled down again.

magnet arrays  can utilize more than one direction, thus keeping mass in motion continually without another intermediary (such as heat and evaporation) to get mass back into a position from where gravity can draw it in. 


a. Gravity does not pull only in one direction. Your body pulls on the Earth, the Earth pulls on your body. If you need evidence of the omni-directional nature of gravity, ask someone on the opposite side of the Earth from you. I didn't catch the part of what you said that involved logic.

b. Steorn is probably not an example you want to use. They claimed to have had working over-unity devices in 2003. They said (2006) that their device was strong enough to power all manner of electronic gadgets, then said it was so weak that studio lighting caused its bearings to seize up (2007), necessitating three years of redesign to remove this source of friction. They selected and provided funding (2007) to a jury of 22 scientists but admitted that they were having trouble getting the device to work reliably enough to provide the requested data to them. When the jury's two years were up (mid 2009), they hadn't been allowed to perform a single experiment.  (Oddly, the CEO says Steorn had stopped even giving the jury Steorn's own data by the end of 2008.)

As for their current demonstration, I would find it more convincing if this demo model on display used a small capacitor rather than a big D-cell battery.

You Sir or Madam, are a genius ! In that you take very advanced theory and write them so the average layman can understand them. The problem is a lot of people, still have the erroneous idea, of the free lunch. Some, no matter hat evidence is presented still hope for a breakthrough in "Perpetual Motion" . I would love it myself, It would be a great thing to have free energy forever. Unfortunately, the universe wasn't created that way. It is governed by laws, and they are never broken. I imagine they are bent from time to time, but that is probably just a perception error. Thank you for the info you provide, and the kind way you present it. I'm not as patient as you, :) Nothing negative was intended by my post toward anyone. Just commenting on what I see on a lot of Internet sites. People need to forget the idea of perpetual motion, and focus on the actual science. This is said in the nicest possible way, but has to be said. Hope I don't get banned for saying it, LOL. Cheers.

thyme3421says: @nobody When you say it doesn't work like that, are you referring to the first part of Ann's comment... or the 2nd part about a generator charging a battery? Why I ask is this... just a thought, and perhaps they've already started to incorporate this in some concept cars... But on each car/truck/whatever... there's 4 wheels... A generator creates electricity from the rotation of a magnet inside coils of wire. So with every revolution of a wheel, that could potentially rotate a magnet, generating electricity, stored in a battery. 4 generators (in my head) could generate a good amount of power at say... 15mph+ so in theory, the batteries would push the wheels and the wheels would charge the batteries. Of course energy is going to be lost in heat, friction, etc... otherwise we'd have a perpetual machine... So maybe then throw a duel layer (if they exist tri, or quad layer) solar panel on the roof to make up the difference. just a couple of thoughts furthermore... we all know of those flashlights that you shake for 30 seconds and get 30 minutes of light. On the same axle of the wheels, but deeper into the center of the car, a modified version of the flashlight generator could be set up to charge a 2nd set of batteries set strictly for starting the car, and getting it moving from a dead stop... disengaging these batteries once the car hits 15mph (or whatever would be most functional) just some ideas

I was referring to problems with both ideas.

Your thoughts are good ones, at least in part. In fact, there are generators powered by the car's motion currently in use, not just in concept cars but on some generally available electric vehicles.

Unfortunately there is a big catch, which is obvious from the name of the concept: regenerative braking. When you run the motors as motors, they turn electric current into torque. The battery gets drained and the car gets pushed. When you use the motors as generators (regenerative braking), they turn torque into electric current. The battery gets charged and the car gets slowed.

(Likewise your shake-powered flashlight would be a tiny tiny bit louder and easier to shake if you disconnected the coils from the charger circuit... Unless it was one of those cheap fake ones that did not contain a charger in the first place.)

Of course, the regenerative braking only recaptures a small fraction of the energy that the battery lost when running the motors, but the thought is that on an electric car, every little bit of extra battery life helps. Another nice thing about regenerative braking is that the braking takes place without any physical contact, as opposed to regular brake pads that gradually wear away as they are used.

Yes, you beat me to this answer! A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked why we didn't have little pinwheels on cars to act as windmills to generate small amounts of current. He didn't understand that the extra drag created from the wind would cost the car far more energy than the pinwheels could ever create. Regenerative breaking is a perfect example of using this concept in a good way, even if it doesn't produce as much energy as one might like!

I am testing my own tesla generator with my own personal changes if it worksout I plan to try to get ithe to operate an electric motor for a car

lenz law states that induced emf opposes the further emf inducing into the coil. this is the same thing will happen in providing the alternator to electric vehicle but there som,e other ways of getting used most efficiently the so called power is wastibng by some alterations. i am planning since long back but not yet finalised the thing. so soon it will get into it. i hope i will do some thing special and it should amazing

The technology exist, vibmasss, and no it is not profitable because it is a threat to all energy sources and energy storage devices so suppressed. Also, vibmasss last for years producing energy and once purchased no need for maintenance or to buy another so, a short limited profit window, unlike constant paying for electric utilities and or storage maintenance and replacements.

There is a way to rectify the magnetic force. Tesla faced the same conundrum with AC. The integration of magnetic force without outside influence yields 0. However, I have a prototype I'm sitting on that shifts critical point and allows an integration >0. From my studies, no one has applied tesla's method of multiple efforts to compliment and overcome a problematic issue. Just waiting on the right investor to sit down for a demo and chat to move to the next step of macro-engineering...sine waves are our past and future!


2 years ago

There will be a magnetic "<" around an axle. One side of the "<" will be a pushing magnet, and the other side will be a pulling magnet. The axle is a magnet, so it will turn in one direction. The closer the "<" is to the axle, the faster it will spin.

yes I'm aware but is it plausible for say charging phones or wireless earphones through say a WiFi charging system once stored. Honestly I want to prototype it in say a electric skateboard, or bike. Again not free energy but still if you could charge your phone wirelessly just by mechanical rotation that you are already doing you would be the generator. I skateboard up to 20 miles a day and I got the idea from led wheels, I looked inside to find a magnetic ring surrounded by metal fibers in the wheel housing and said hmmm why not just reverse that so instead of powering LEDs I am creating electricity that can be stored...

what about taking human force like pedaling a bicycle with magnets on the end of the spokes nearest the metal bearings to create a human powered generator that stores said energy in batteries for later use. Or even making bearings in conjunction with magnets. Thus storing a small percentage of the energy. expended just by rotating a magnetic field surrounded by copper coiled wheel housings. Granted not free energy, but a use for wasted energy

whoever does it will never have to work again

Can Nuclear be used in conjunction with Magnets to create useable long lasting clean energy source to power a Car or a Truck, Train ,Plane or Space vessel set up to handle such a power source and is it possible?

It has been done, or attempted till power & oil company owners found out abt it! easiest way of explaining it is 9v battery to a 9v motor..... it turns!! crank the shaft by hand other end of motor generates energy. well if you build a motor using magnetic energy, it acts like an inverter bc output is way higher tan input, add an alternator and then you have a car with one battery instead of 1000lb of lithium ion battery cells ~sarcasm~ . i know a guys who tried to make endless energy from mercury filled glass tubes back when you could use mercury..... power company burnt his house and car to the ground. the technology is out there, just everyone too afraid to try and market it.


7 years ago

I do electric vehicle conversions, and the most asked question is "why don't you attach an alternator to an axle to get power while your driving for free energy?" A couple of answers: The alternator or generator in discussion usually requires 5 hp or more of power to generate electricity. That 5 hp you lose from your drive motor, on top of the heat and power loss due to friction. So in that case you would lose more power than gained. Second answer I usually discuss, there are generators used in electric vehicles in this fashion. However they are used in regenerative braking, using that generator to slow down the car via the hp needed to activate the generator or alternator which results in charging the batteries. This uses that friction and heat loss as an advantage, since your brakes were doing that before. There may be many setups that claim to be free energy, but there is never a gain or enough gain to do anything with, like charging batteries or running other motors or devices. Hope this helped.

Brian - electric transport company

A lot of free energy information at below link.


From my understanding it is possible to build a car that runs on magnet power using this type of system
 as long as you have strong enough magnets and use not magnetic metals for all the gears. As to the question why has nobody done this: I don't know.

because if ur actually trying to move the car u have to have a big electromagnet turn on and off to move the wheels (or something else to power the wheels)with smaller magnets on it to use the opposing forces and if u dont ull just and up with one of the magnets attracting to the electromagnet.and electromagnets take alot of energy to power for so long and so powerful

Thanks for the insight. I knew it was too good to be true, I was just wondering why. Thanks everyone!

there is a usefull application of this idea, in pacemakers and other units imbedded in the human body where you don't want to have to cut the person open to change the batteries. instead the person goes to the hospital and lies or sits on a device that makes constantly reversing magnetic waves (like AC current) this induces a current in the device that charges the batteries. They also use this in bone replacement implants for kids so the replacement implant will "grow" just like the rest of thier bones are. but like was said before you loose power in making and then collapsing the field which is the only way to induce a voltage in a wire or cause a directional "push" like what happens inside a motor, or under a maglev train.

I stumbled upon this forum. I am not all educated in the theory of magnetics. I have however often wondered why someone has not developed a rotating series of magnetics that would move another series of magnetics to power a small car. I have seen a few posts about using a few magnets but it seems with the technology we have we can actually see the magnetic fields as they colide with each other. I think that a revolving series of magnetics reacting with a single or few magnets could result in movement sufficient to provide required force. Just my guess that the oil crises is just a crises of unimaginening people.

When I was really young (probably over 20 years ago), my cousin and I were playing with some stomper magnets and hot wheels. We noticed the two sides of the magnets repelled each other and we tried to figure out how we could make the car go by itself with the magnets... we taped a magnet to the hotwheel and held the other magnet over the car and it would move, but that was it... there was no way we could make it go by itself, so we quit. we didn't know anything about the mag trains or anything like that but it was fun trying to figure it out.