This is a summary of how to make a battery that theoretically can last forever, it apparently only consumes water (to be precise, it seems to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen, consumes the hydrogen & releases oxygen into the environment). This information comes from the DVDs from the Energy from the Vacuum Series which I can highly recommend, and feedback from members of The Energetic Forum. In this case the DVDs are numbers 27 and 29. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a rip-off in that the information they contain is virtually identical, just presented in different formats – the first is by Bedini in his lab, and the second a few weeks later by Bedini at a conference. I’d recommend saving your money and just getting #29. You can also order kits for $200 from R-Charge, but they have had a huge response & it’ll take a while to get one.
Anyway, what we have here is effectively a recipe; the ingredients are:
- A copper half-sphere (e.g. a hollow sphere cut in half)
- Alum granules
- A magnesium disk (preferably with rounded bottom to match rounding of copper half-sphere)
- Piece of white paper towel or coffee filter
- Water (normal, not sea water – doesn’t have to be distilled)
- Borax (for cleaning)
- Alcohol (for cleaning)
Further details on each:
- Bedini says the best copper half-spheres (constructed in this fashion) come from India, and are virtually pure copper. Apparently they have had some success with flat sheets, but not as much – presumably the spherical nature of the copper half-spheres “concentrates” the current towards the pickup point so it works better.
- Alum is used for pickling, so you can usually find it for sale in the spices/herbs section of the supermarket. Or you can purchase it much cheaper in bulk from a specialty spice company.
- You can get magnesium from “science shops”, but it’s much cheaper to buy in the form of a sacrificial anode (normally attached to piping) – these rods come with a thinner iron running up the centre; cut off a disk (preferably with a bit of rounding similar to the bottom of the sphere), and use a punch to knock the iron out. Then you can screw a stainless steel screw into this hole to attach a wire to in order to draw off current.
- Paper towel/coffee filter – you use this to separate the magnesium disk from the bottom of the copper half-sphere in order to avoid the circuit shorting out initially. This is soak in water an alum and eventually crystals grow through it, which serve a similar function
- Water – actually nearly all the water used by Bedini is water with alum dissolved in it. The amount doesn’t really matter (I’d saturate it as much as possible, myself, in order to promote crystal growth). There’s also some water used to dissolve the Borax for cleaning.
Some Stats – the half-spheres that Bedini was using were about 10-15 cm across, and each supplied (continuously when wet) about 1.0-1.5V at 0.5A. As such you need to link 2-4 in series to get the voltage necessary to light some LEDs, which are the best (and most efficient) circuit to attach. In addition to the semi-conductive red (“corpus”) copper layer, the crystals also effectively form semi-conductors – they have very small tubules running through them, which act as ion channels. Bedini has experimented with heaps of other crystals and these are the best for this purpose (and luckily pretty much the cheapest as well). The battery conducts as long as it is wet (even a bit if dry) – Bedini has had some going over 6 months straight, and others he had dried out on a shelf that he bought back to life just by adding some water.
- The most important step is to heat the copper half-sphere to the point required to form a red semi-conductive layer on the surface, what Bedini calls “corpus copper”. First of all, clean off the inside of the copper with alcohol, to get rid of any oils from fingers et al (we can handle the outside of the half-sphere). Then gradually heat up the copper on an electric coil (preferably outside or in well-ventilate area as gives of nasties) and/or with a small propane torch. As you do this the copper goes through a number of colour changes (copper, silver, gold, purple, bronze, red, black) – we want it to go all black. This is an oxidation layer (Cu2O3) that covers a special red semi-conductive layer (which is also photo-sensitive, so could be used in a solar cell), and takes 10 or so minutes to achieve.
- Mix up a bunch of borax flakes in water (probably fairly saturated is best) and dunk (using pliers to hold copper half-sphere, wearing gloves, goggles & apron et al) the black copper into the water/borax mix. With a “fizz” this should quickly cool and also clean the surface, taking of most of the black layer. You can gently rub more of the black stuff off with a (glove enclosed) index finger/paper towel – make sure to wash if exposed, and make sure you don’t rub off the thin red layer. Bedini says he usually repeats these two steps again to get the best layer. The point of this layer is that being a semi-conductor it only allows the transmission of electricity in one way, so stop galvanic action (i.e. electrolyte/conductor breakdown)
- Add a “fair whack” of alum powder to the bottom of the half-sphere, then mix this with a bit of (alum saturated) water. This will eventually grow into crystals.
- Put a piece of paper towel/coffee filter over the bottom of the half sphere – enough to separate the magnesium disk from the copper (and prevent shorting out). Crystals will eventually grow through this.
- Insert a steel screw into the magnesium disk to attach a wire to. Attach a wire to it.
- Lay the disk on top of the paper towel, add more alum and water on top of it (basically you want crystals totally surrounding the magnesium). Add more alum saturated water to this – it forms bubbles and tiny popping/cracking noises initially as the crystals form. Presumably the EMF in the circuit forces the tubules/ion channels to form running from the copper to the magnesium. Due to the small size and number of these ion channels the crystals also effectively act as a resistor, matching the impedance of any circuit attached to it. As such you only need a couple of wires & an LED to form a complete circuit.
The magnesium is negative, the copper bowl positive, so attach a wire from the copper bowl to the back of an LED, and a wire from the front to the magnesium (the LED is a diode, so doesn’t really matter if you get the circuit the wrong way around as there will be no current flow). You may need two bowls if the voltage to switch on the LED is too high (e.g. above about 1.5V). Bedini also combines LEDs in a “bus” format (in parallel) with a 100 ohm resistor in order to ensure multiple LEDs get the same wattage each (usually with 2-6 LEDs). The crystal battery can also be used in conjunction with an SG oscillator ciruit in order to charge normal batteries.
Update: 6th May 2012, 5.30 pm: OK, I finally got around to putting the kit together. It was a lot simpler than I thought; put the (already prepared) copper hemisphere in the plastic base, put insulated (plastic) ring in bottom of it, fill until just covered with some of the supplied alum, add a bit of water, attach the black wire with eyelid to the magnesium disk using the supplied screw, connect black & red connectors, and it’s already working! Add a bit more alum over the magnesium (so it grows the crystals around it) & I’m done. So, nice blue-white LED is pretty bright (decent nightlight), with no conventional power source (only water, effectively). I’ll update this page every so often when I remember to say how it’s still going (or if not when it failed).