Many new developments from Steorn today.
First, they've finally opened up their developers' club (the Steorn Knowledge Development Base — SKDB) to the public, and have reportedly released to club members more information on how to build and test Orbo devices. All of this comes for a price however; joining the SKDB costs €419.00 ($613.00).
Possibly the more interesting development is the reveal of a new, third type of Orbo device, the solid state Orbo (ssOrbo). This follows the original permanent magnet Orbo (pmOrbo, the failure of which caused the July 2007 demo to be canceled) and the the rotary electromagnetic Orbo (eOrbo) which was shown (flaunting its required, and controversial, D-cell battery) in the recent Waterways public demonstration.
Steorn's newly revealed solid state Orbo has no moving parts.
The ssOrbo is said to be based on the same principles as the other two Orbo implementations, but is potentially much more convenient both to develop and to package with products, because it involves no mechanical motion. Instead, it "gains energy via control of a material's inductance and domain rotation". Further development of the ssOrbo is described as the primary goal of the SKDB and its members.
Finally, Steorn released various papers and test results, including information on calorimetry testing of the eOrbo and a more detailed explanation of how the original pmOrbo works than any we (outside the SKDB) have received yet. According to this paper, what separates Orbo from other attempts at building magnet motors is what's called "asymmetric non-linear MH". The paper describes (and shows) exactly what this means in terms of how the magnets are arranged, and compares this type of configuration with other configurations that lack these properties (ie., that are either symmetric or have linear MH), showing test results that purport to demonstrate that only the combination of these properties results in the output of excess energy.
The effect underlying the original perpetual motion Orbo is said to require specific configurations of 3 magnets (of two different types).
It seems to me that this is the day that Steorn really introduces itself to the world. The Economist ad, as well as years of conversation, promises, demos and flashy videos, might as well have never happened. Today is when they make their case, and leave it up to independent developers to validate or disprove their claims. The events put into motion this April 1st will soon show us who's been played for fools: Steorn and the people who took them at their word, or the skeptics who've dismissed their claims out of hand. What happens — or fails to happen — in the coming weeks and months will either mean the end of the road for Steorn, or the beginning of a new road for humanity.
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