An invention that transfers electricity through the ground instead of by power lines is still struggling with investment.
But local supporter and ‘strategic architect’ Ric Richardson says he’s confident the idea has a future.
Gamma Power International Ltd director Keith Howard, who is based in Tumbi Umbi just north of Sydney, says he has lodged a patent for Wireless Power Transmission (WPT).
His invention utilises a transmitter and receiver, which transfer high voltage through the ground. His modelling suggests that a 200 MW power transmitter would be 70 metres high and use the same frequencies as lightning.
In his April 9 newsletter, Mr Howard claims the biggest problem he has been facing ‘has been the ability to legally raise funds, since the legal imposts on fundraising are unbelievable.’
‘If we had funds we could properly demonstrate the inventions.’
Ric agrees and told The Echo he has been approaching investors and universities, and one of the main issues is that investors want to see it independently built before any money is committed. But the cost of an operational model could run as high as $4 million, he says.‘I’ve spoken to a Queensland university, and so far we have some household name guys who say we need to do it in stages.’
The first stage, he says, is a 1km and then a 10km distance test, which requires a million volts. ‘That will be up to six figures for that. The commercial model will be seven figures.
The earth is very conductive, says Ric, and the invention just needs to prove in an ‘independent third party test environment’ that there is little power loss between transmitter and receiver. And that it’s safe.
Electrical engineer and renewable energy enthusiast Sapoty Brook told The Echo, ‘I personally don’t know of any reason why the concept should be considered implausible.
‘Considering the benefits of success it would be good to see a serious field test done. I think it should also be mentioned that Gamma’s main point of departure from Tesla [technology] is to make a capacitive connection to earth rather than a conductive connection.
‘This possibly has potential to create more resonance and better power transmission.’
Gamma’s online video claims the technology could supplant wires and poles, which can cause fires and be hazardous in natural disasters.
Ric added possible future applications could include transferring electricity from geothermal power stations in central Australia, where erecting poles and wires is currently cost prohibitive.
For more, see the video at http://bit.ly/Zd5vfE.