Update: Quantum Generation Pty Ltd has responded to this post and I’ve provided detailed analysis of it here.
Even though I’ve got a very public email address the amount of spam I get is pretty minimal, likely due to the ruthless efficiency of Google’s spam filters. However there’s a special kind of spam that routinely gets through, that which is written by a human and sent to only a few people. The majority of this comes from manufacturers in China who make all sorts of weird and wonderful devices. Unfortunately none have fallen prey to my fake excitement and request for product samples, even though I have no idea what I’d do with an industrial air conditioner should they be able to provide it. One recent unsolicited email really caught my attention though and I’ve spent the better part of week researching it and the story I’ve uncovered is really something.
The original email came to me from someone by the name Arthur Fahy of Quantum Generation Pty Ltd. In that email he made some pretty extraordinary claims about having created a motor that was capable of over 100% efficiency, effectively creating an over-unity generator. Now any claim of this nature instantly triggers skepticism on my part (and I’m guessing anyone with a modicum of understand of science would to) and whilst I won’t reproduce the entire email here he’s helpfully posted much of the same information here:
After 14 years of R&D our Quantum electric motor/generator was tested at the University of NSW. The efficiency was measured to be 148% (free energy). It ran at this efficiency for five minutes before it seized, it was designed to be 170% efficient. The reading was put down as an error but an error could not be found.
What are the odds? Lenz’s law and Faraday’s laws are obeyed.
Where does the energy come from? NASA has just announced that it is getting energy from the quantum vacuum of space at their Eagleworks lab. “The lab will commission the facility with an existing Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster”, “a Q-thruster uses quantum vacuum fluctuations as the fuel source elimenating[sic] the need to carry propellant.”
As far as I could tell the email came to me because I wrote a post last year on quantum vacuum plasma thrusters which are a curious new technology that uses the vacuum of space as reaction mass. What they don’t do is extract energy from the vacuum of space, instead they still require a power source to produce thrust and are essentially using the stray photons in space to pull themselves along. Fahy claims to somehow be using this effect to extract energy from the vacuum of space which has led to his overunity motor which he also claims to have tested with two universities in Australia.
Figuring that if such a claim had any merit to it there should be some evidence with research papers or even some record of testing of this nature occurring at said universities. Researching both of the universities online returned no documents indicating that any research of this nature has taken place, nor of any devices like this being tested. With that in mind I sent back a semi-sarcastic reply that tore into how such a device simply could not work (since the principles he was claiming to use don’t support his idea) and asked if he had any evidence to back up his claims. I thought that would be the end of it since further research indicated he was looking for funding for his idea, something that sets off all kinds of alarm bells when it comes to these free energy ideas.
To my surprise he replied.
Manners would be a good place to start.
The Casimir effect is just one way to access energy from the vacuum (NASA). Lamb shift and others.
Every magnetic field, i.e. around a current carrying wire, changes the magnetic fields in the vacuum around it.
I have had motors tested at both uni’s, neither of them have a program as such. The state gov. paid Wollongong uni.
I have conversed with Hal Puthoff over the years, he offered to build and test a motor, he is backed with billions.
And so on …….:
What might you be able to do for me??
A quick Google will reveal that neither of those principles support the idea of generating energy from a vacuum and the second sentence seems to be a confused interpretation of electromagnetism. After receiving this email from him I pushed him further to provide contacts at both universities as even though I think this idea has absolutely no merit to it I’m still interested to see what testing was actually conducted and what people other than Fahey had to say about it. At time of writing these contacts have still yet to materialize but at this point I don’t think it would matter as by his own admission:
The possibility that it was an erroneous reading is high, the university dismissed it. We have not been able to get anywhere near this since, 78% efficiency is the best result to date. But still, the stakes are so high, we’ll keep trying.
Your run of the mill electric motor that you can pick up from your local electronics store has an efficiency of around 88% with high efficiency motors getting above that. Whatever this motor is doing it’s not doing it very well compared to traditional wire wound motors and, as Fahy himself states, the universities dismissed the overunity ratings as erroneous. You’d think that’d be the end of that but at this point I was genuinely interested in finding out just what the heck he had created and what impressions people had come away with after seeing it.
This is where things start to get interesting.
As it turns out Fahy is something of the inventor having 17 (all expired) patents directly to his name and one filed under his company Quantum Generation Pty Ltd. Further research through Google’s Patent search engine reveals that he also has several other patents for various mechanical gear systems lodged in the USA and, intriguingly one for a generator:
It looks like a variation on a Faraday’s Disc and if this is the device that supposedly derives energy then I can’t see how it would work, nor does it make any claim to that effect in the patent itself. Indeed I’d invite anyone who’s more inclined in power generation to take a look at it because I can’t really see what kind of advantage this tangled system would give over a traditional motor.
Indeed looking through all the patents that I can see attributed to his name the vast majority are for squeegees, washing apparatuses, stilts and a drinking lip for soda cans. Indeed none of them seem to support the idea that he’s been working on an over unity motor for 14 years as he claims unless you count the various gear systems lodged in the USA (the motor was lodged in 2002).
Stranger still was the utter lack of web presence of the company Quantum Generation Pty Ltd except for mentions in Fahy’s LinkedIn profile (where he’s the CEO and that’s the only company he’s worked at having no connections to anyone else) and on various angel investing and clean energy sites. Initial searches to try and verify the actual company (as claiming Pty Ltd status in Australia requires a bit of paperwork) didn’t turn up anything when searching for an ABN. Turns out that the company does in fact exist, it just doesn’t have an ABN which isn’t uncommon but is decidedly odd. However the company was listed for deregistration in October last year which means that ASIC has no reason to believe that it is actually conducting any business, research or otherwise.
It was clear from his emails that Fahy was attempting to locate sources of funding and somehow I fit into his idea of someone that could either a) give him money or b) find someone to give him money. Strangely enough in his emails he stated that he had talked Hal Puthoff who “…offered to build and test a motor, he is backed with billions.” which would seem to negate the need for additional funding. I mentioned this point to Fahy but did not receive a response nor have I recieved any further emails since he asked me about my experience in raising capital.
Suffice to say I do not believe that Fahy has a device that produces the results he claims to have seen. By the sounds of it the device may very well exist and it’s entirely possible that he had it tested at the universities in question but by his own admission they don’t give the results he’s claiming they do. Additionally whilst there’s some indication that he might have some experience in mechanical engineering there’s nothing to suggest that he has any experience in the fields required to produce a device that makes use of the principles he’s claiming to. He may genuinely believe that he’s building a revolutionary device but all signs point to that not being the case and I could not in good faith recommend anyone investing money with him.
I openly asked for contacts at the university multiple times during our engagements and not once were they forthcoming. I might be a sceptic at heart but I’m also one that’s open to be convinced otherwise, should the evidence be sufficient enough to do so. In this case however it appears that all Fahy was after was an investor and, based on the evidence I have gathered, I could not have any confidence in seeing any return on any capital invested in his idea. Should any evidence come to my attention to contradict my findings here I’ll will gladly post corrections detailing to that extent but in all honesty I can’t see that happening at any time in the near future.