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   Undertoad  Wednesday May 23 07:56 AM

May 23, 2007: Richard Box's "Field"



xoB finds this item about a work of art consisting mainly of fluorescent light tubes around power lines.

Quote:
Richard Box, artist-in-residence at Bristol University's physics department, got the idea for Field (2004) -- 1,301 fluorescent tubes powered only by the electric fields generated by low overhead powerlines -- after a conversation with a friend. "He was telling me he used to play with a fluorescent tube under the pylons by his house," says the artist. "He said it lit up like a light sabre." Box decided to see if he could fill a field with tubes lit by the waste energy emanating from powerlines. Box denies that he aimed to draw attention to the potential dangers of powerlines, "For me, it was just the amazement of taking something that's invisible and making it visible," he says.



milkfish  Wednesday May 23 08:03 AM

Reminds me of The Lightning Field.



monster  Wednesday May 23 08:45 AM

Like it. Now I want to play with power lines.....



glatt  Wednesday May 23 08:59 AM

I like this a lot.

I heard of a similar art exhibit where you walk around while talking on your cellphone, and thousands of lights around this exhibit room would light up as you got closer to them with your microwave emitting phone. The stronger the signal, the brighter the light would get, so these pools of light would follow you around.



Shawnee123  Wednesday May 23 09:11 AM

A Hydro-field cuts through my neighborhood
Somehow that always just made me feel good
I can put a spare bulb in my hand
And light up my yard

--Barenaked Ladies



Kitsune  Wednesday May 23 09:37 AM

I tired this and was disappointed to find I couldn't get it to work. I wish I knew the trick.



Happy Monkey  Wednesday May 23 11:53 AM

It's not just waste energy. They are drawing more power from the lines than would be wasted otherwise.

Some people put a large induction coil of wire under their lawns below power lines, and draw power. Power companies can track down where the power drain is to detect the wire.



Kitsune  Wednesday May 23 12:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
Some people put a large induction coil of wire under their lawns below power lines, and draw power. Power companies can track down where the power drain is to detect the wire.
I've heard this story a dozen times, usually about a farmer that was stealing electricity by installing induction coils in the roof of a barn/along a fence that was under high voltage lines. There's never any source article.

Sounds like a bad urban legend to me.


Happy Monkey  Wednesday May 23 12:56 PM

Could be.



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday May 23 04:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune View Post
I tired this and was disappointed to find I couldn't get it to work. I wish I knew the trick.
Has to be low hanging, very high voltage lines over earth with good grounding properties(moisture content), methinks.


LabRat  Wednesday May 23 04:42 PM

Wow. "Cool!" was my first reaction, then "crap" because my favorite neighborhood running trail has powerlines that crisscross over it several times. Wonder if this works with the compact flourescents that 'they' keep telling us we should use to replace conventional lightbulbs. If so, I could carry a couple of those with me, and do a night run.



thecynicproject  Wednesday May 23 04:52 PM

I think Modern Marvels had a bit about electricity thievery. It was possible not practical if I remember correctly.



CharlieG  Wednesday May 23 06:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune View Post
I've heard this story a dozen times, usually about a farmer that was stealing electricity by installing induction coils in the roof of a barn/along a fence that was under high voltage lines. There's never any source article.

Sounds like a bad urban legend to me.
I know a power line engineer - he says it gets done every so often - but if it's enough to light say, a full barn, the power company can usually measure the loses, and they start loonking - he actually sent a link to an artile where someone was arrested to theft


rkzenrage  Wednesday May 23 06:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune View Post
I've heard this story a dozen times, usually about a farmer that was stealing electricity by installing induction coils in the roof of a barn/along a fence that was under high voltage lines. There's never any source article.

Sounds like a bad urban legend to me.
Penn & Teller did a Bullshit on it and could not get it to work.


Happy Monkey  Wednesday May 23 07:04 PM

That doesn't sound like a "Bullshit"ty topic. Are you sure it wasn't MythBusters?



richlevy  Wednesday May 23 10:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
Wow. "Cool!" was my first reaction, then "crap" because my favorite neighborhood running trail has powerlines that crisscross over it several times. Wonder if this works with the compact flourescents that 'they' keep telling us we should use to replace conventional lightbulbs. If so, I could carry a couple of those with me, and do a night run.
Get a couple of people together, put the bulbs in your mouths, and do an "Uncle Fester Night Run".


Weird Harold  Wednesday May 23 10:29 PM

How is it theft, if you are not hooked up to the lines, but just capturing the otherwise lost power?

It does look cool.



monster  Wednesday May 23 10:34 PM

.



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday May 23 11:09 PM

I'm not so sure it's the power being sent through the lines that's actually being drawn off and not just a field generated by the power passing along the lines?

I'd like to see that link CharlieG got from his friend.



zippyt  Wednesday May 23 11:13 PM

I have seen this sort of thing personaly , years ago I was an electrition , we were puttin in this HUGE distrabution center , there were High voltage wires running above a fence along one side of the property , one nite we were working late , I was sent to the supply trailer ( under the wires ) when I opened the door ALL the floresent tubes were lit up , it was cool enough for me to go get the rest of the crew , the boss was NOT amused !!
Also the customer would have truckers park next to the fence ( with the wires over head ) , if you were touching the trailer and touched the fence it would shock the HELL out of you !!!
They had us put a ground rod at EACH fence post ( but sir that will only make it WORSE ( just that much ground potential ) , 300+ 10' ground rods later , I was elected to test the voltage with a meter , there was so much bleed off voltage it BLEW apart a simpson 400 meter , there was SO much bleed off voltage we had to put a set of jumper cables between the fence and the man lift we were useing , you could hold your arms obove your head and the hairs on your arms would stand up !!!



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday May 23 11:23 PM

An article that includes one of the IOtD pictures.

Quote:
Another alternative energy researcher, Larry Rand, citing the work of Dr. Tom Bearden and John Bedini, urges West to not be so hasty to presume that the high-power line effect is due to his device tapping into the electricity being transmitted by those lines. "Perhaps in this case the power company lines and the device form somewhat of a resonant condition that allows some of the same 'power' from the universe that goes into the power company lines, to enter the device."

"According to conventional physics, there should be little power collected from the power company's transmission lines, unless huge coils are used, in fairly close proximity," says Rand.

Rand even goes so far as to suggest that what is actually happening is that the power grid's method of generating electricity absorbs the lines of aetheric energy away from areas where they would otherwise flow, thus inadvertently robbing everyone in the power line vicinity from equal access to this free energy source from the universe.

Taking this a step further, Electrical Engineer, Ken Rauen, points out that "aetheric energy flow that is redirected means natural energy flows are disrupted." He then asks, "what are the full ramifications on the environment and biological health?"

Inventor Hector D. Perez Torres of Advanced Research Knowledge asserts that "power company lines act as a sink for natural-occurring RF radiant energy waves in low to very low frequencies (LF/VLF) from 10 kHz to 535 kHz." He said the Power distribution entities know of some interactions between naturally occurring VLF frequencies emitted from the earth, and that "they invert lines at intervals and place filters and suppressors in line" to counteract these effects. "Utility companies expend millions in filtering geodesic 'noise' that affects their systems, like in solar storms."

If it is actually a case of tapping into the electricity in the transmission lines, and not aetheric energy being amplified by the lines, what West is most concerned about is that people will make these devices with the specific intent of stealing power from the grid, similar to unscrupulous pirating devices in the wireless world of entertainment.



tw  Thursday May 24 12:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
It's not just waste energy. They are drawing more power from the lines than would be wasted otherwise.
Not exactly. Energy does not flow entirely in those wires. In fact, energy would only flow in (hope I have remembered the number) about 1/4 inch inside the wire - called the surface effect. The rest is carried by fields outside wires.


xoxoxoBruce  Thursday May 24 12:35 AM

Right, super high voltage runs the surface. tw, you might know, do the fields this far from the wire actually draw off of what the power company is sending or is it a byproduct of that?



rkzenrage  Thursday May 24 02:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
That doesn't sound like a "Bullshit"ty topic. Are you sure it wasn't MythBusters?
You are correct.


SPUCK  Thursday May 24 07:07 AM

If work is being done(light) then energy is being drawn off.



Happy Monkey  Thursday May 24 03:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tw View Post
Not exactly. Energy does not flow entirely in those wires. In fact, energy would only flow in (hope I have remembered the number) about 1/4 inch inside the wire - called the surface effect. The rest is carried by fields outside wires.
You are correct, but I fail to see how it conflicts with what I said.

The bulbs are drawing power, not just using waste power. Less electricity is getting through than would if those bulbs weren't there, because they are tapping into the electromagnetic field you mentioned.


Happy Monkey  Thursday May 24 03:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
I'm not so sure it's the power being sent through the lines that's actually being drawn off and not just a field generated by the power passing along the lines?
Essentially the same thing. You can't affect one without affecting the other.


The Eschaton  Thursday May 24 04:00 PM

I would like to know if that picture is real or a trick. I submitted a questions to scops, i hope they investigate it.



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday May 24 06:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
Essentially the same thing. You can't affect one without affecting the other.
According to the article I linked in post 41, that might not be true.


Happy Monkey  Thursday May 24 06:51 PM

The article was about people trying to make free-energy machines using "aetheric energy". I'll stick with the science.



linknoid  Sunday Jun 3 08:17 AM

Electricity is an electromagnetic wave. There is an electrically charged component, and a magnetic component. The moving electrons induce a magnetic field, and the changing magnetic field induces an electric field, and this effect propogates energy through whatever medium is being used.

Now if you put something conductive near this electromagnetic field surrounding the power lines, part of the magnetic field that would have been inducing current into the power lines instead induces electric fields into the conductor, in this case flourescent bulbs. So the main conductor, the power line, has energy bled off of it.

The flourescent bulbs then turn that induced current into light. However, if there were nowhere for the energy to go, the electromagnetic field induced into an external object would be stored and returned to the power line when the current reverses direction, (60 times every seconds in the U.S., 50 in England). So in that case the energy isn't lost, it gets fed back into the power line. However, this effect does through the voltage and current out of sync with each other, which does bad things for efficiency if you don't correct for the problem by pushing them back in sync again.

This induction effect also means that we wouldn't get 100% efficient energy transfer by changing our power lines to superconductors. I once read that the main power line losses are through induction, not resistance, so even though superconductors have no resistance, we wouldn't really gain much savings by switching to them.

Hopefully this explanation wasn't too confusing to those who haven't studied physics/electrical engineering, and not too inaccurate for those who have



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 3 11:12 AM

Thanks linknoid, so the power that leaves the generation plant on the high tension lines, divides into two components for the journey. one is the electricity in/on the wire and the other the electromagnetic field surrounding the wire? Rather than the electromagnetic field being created out of thin air, as a side effect, of 100% of the power transmitted along the line?



richlevy  Sunday Jun 3 11:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
The article was about people trying to make free-energy machines using "aetheric energy". I'll stick with the science.
The web link was empty. Not a 404, but an empty page. This should make conspiracy theorists very happy.


TheMercenary  Sunday Jun 3 11:18 AM

Interesting, electricity is a simple concept with lots of variables. But let me ask, is the 'energy bled off" the high tension lines actually lost energy or merely a by-product of the movement of the electrons with no loss in total power? I always understood it to be the later.



Nikolai  Sunday Jun 3 07:48 PM

I believe it to be a by product, as that high power eletricity will cause a change in a magnetic field, so unless you do something major to disrupt that magnetic field there would be no total loss in power. This is based on the physics that I can remember from a few years ago, so please correct me if Im wrong



milkfish  Sunday Jun 3 08:16 PM

If the tubes are giving off energy in the form of light, that energy has to be coming from the lines. It is simply conservation of energy.

But 1301 tubes times 25 watts (or so) is pretty small compared to the many many megawatts going overhead.

[I used to teach undergrad physics]



TheMercenary  Sunday Jun 3 09:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by milkfish View Post
If the tubes are giving off energy in the form of light, that energy has to be coming from the lines. It is simply conservation of energy.

But 1301 tubes times 25 watts (or so) is pretty small compared to the many many megawatts going overhead.

[I used to teach undergrad physics]
now, are there some lines that this would work on better than others? I bet there is a relationship between total volts moving through the lines and the height of the lines from the gound as to wether or not this trick would work. I wonder how hard it would be to measure a magnetic field strength at any point directly under the lines? Which brings up the point, is there something to be said about the effects of living within and around that magnetic field? you see homes and neighborhoods with in, if not directly under such lines in many places.


SPUCK  Monday Jun 4 05:38 AM

There is no proof living under lines causes any medical problems. You need much higher levels as found in the air-gap of motors not under high tension wires.

linknoid; You are correct in the loss area BUT! There is a lot of energy lost to heat along those cables. They actually control the current thru the cables as related to this heat.

In the long term they want to run them below 600F because the wire will anneal and weaken greatly.

In the short term all transmission lines are designed so that at the maximum expected loading, on a hot day, they don't sag below a certain ground clearance. Many blackouts occur because the line is over loaded in hot, still weather, and the lines sag into trees.

A lot is lost thru induction via fences and metal structures. That's usually hard to prevent and in fact necessary as large metal structures that are under the lines and not grounded can pose a "touch hazard". So in grounding them the energy escapes to the earth. Just don't let the power company find you using any of this.

A farmer noticed that he'd get jolted touch his new fence in hot dry weather. (Poor grounding in dry soil.) He decided to hook his fence to a load. Then wasn't enough so modified his fence to better isolate it. Then he added to it to increase the "reception". They figured it out and he was taken to court.. I guess they take that as energy stealing.

If you look at fences around substations and under transmission lines you can find often find grounding rods tied to them.



linknoid  Monday Jun 4 09:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Thanks linknoid, so the power that leaves the generation plant on the high tension lines, divides into two components for the journey. one is the electricity in/on the wire and the other the electromagnetic field surrounding the wire? Rather than the electromagnetic field being created out of thin air, as a side effect, of 100% of the power transmitted along the line?
Sorry for taking so long to reply, I started writing a reply, and got distracted, and just got back to it now. Let me see if I can explain it a bit better.

Think of the electectromagnetic waves like waves in the ocean. It's just an analogy to illustrate a point. The waves themselves are not the water itself, the waves are the motion of the water. The water itself is just the medium that is transferring the energy.

It's the same way with electricity, the electrons are acting as the medium to guide the electromagnetic radiation.

Now in more detail. Imagine an electron sitting there, minding its own business. It has a negative charge, and suddenly along comes an electrical charge that starts pushing it. The energy that goes into the electron weakens the wave, because that energy was transferred to the electron in the form of motion. When an electron is accellerating, it generates a magnetic field, and a changing magnetic field causes other electrons to accelerate, releasing energy from the electron into the surrounding ones, so it decelerates. But now there are more electrons in the "ahead" direction than the "behind" direction, creating an electric field which causes the electrons in front of the wave to be pushed "forward", and the electrons behind to be "pulled" by the now positively charged area in front of them. And the energy propogates.

So now you have these expanding and collapsing waves of magnetism and electric charge. These waves reach far outside the confines of where the electrons are moving, it's just there are no free electrons to play along outside the conductor. If you put another conductor next to that one, the changing magnetic fields will make the electrons in this new conductor move in the same way, they're absorbing energy from that electromagnetic wave.

In fact, if you make the waves strong enough, and you have a something to conduct that electricity just right, you can induce these waves into the other conductor over incredible distances. This discovery led to the invention of the radio, and all the subsequent inventions based on it. Radios are designed to strongly amplify these waves at 1 frequency, and cancel out all the other frequencies. In an AM radio, the sound you here is transmitted by changing the strength of the wave over time (AM is short for Amplitude Modulation, which means it "modulates" the signal using the amplitude of the waves).

Metals tend to have a lot of electrons that are loosly bound, that are free to move around in response to voltages. Other materials tend to hold onto their electrons more closely, so they don't respond to the EM waves as effectively, and when they are forced to by a strong enough voltage, they tend to move in a much less organized manner and convert a lot more of the energy into heat.

However, these waves can travel even without having electrons around to carry them. How that is, I'm not really sure, but they can propogate on their own in complete vacuum. So what are these waves in? They are waves in nothing, that just happen to interact with all these electrically charged particles everything is made of when they get close.

I hope that all made sense.


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Jun 5 01:13 AM

Yes, very much so. Thanks for taking the time to explain that.



Happy Monkey  Tuesday Jun 5 11:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by richlevy View Post
The web link was empty. Not a 404, but an empty page. This should make conspiracy theorists very happy.
The page is back.


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