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DR. HAROLD ASPDEN
Acres High
Hadrian Way
Chilworth Southampton SO16 7HZ
England
Tel: +44-1703-769361
Fax: +44-1703-769830
February 13, 1996

OPINION ON CORREA INVENTION

ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM

 

SUMMARY

This opinion is to be read in conjunction with the accompanying Report which explains the nature of the energy source in scientific terms.

 

INTRODUCTION: (para. 1-7)
My role in providing this opinion and my general impression of Correa project; scientific basis of the energy source to be subject of separate report.

COMPETITIVE TECHNICAL BACKGROUND: (para. 8-19)
Spence; Chernetskii; my own earlier research.

PROSPECTIVE PRODUCT APPLICATION: (para. 20-24)
Initial product suggestions; heat generation to be focus of early development followed by light weight electric power drive applications.

PATENT EVALUATION: (para. 25-31)
Basic patent thrust of the three Correa inventions; motor applications; capacitor-shunt output (doubleported feature); extended electrode structure in discharge tube fabrication.

CONCLUDING SUMMARY: (para. 32-33)
The excellence of the Correa patent filing strategy; double-ported feature likened to discovery of fuelinjection internal combustion engine running on space energy.

APPENDIX:
Scientific papers of relevance to the Correa technology showing background scientific authority of the author of this opinion.

 

THE OPINION


  1. I have been requested (1) to comment on the invention as described and claimed in U. S. Patent No. 5,449,989 and related inventions which involve cold-cathode discharge phenomena, these being the inventions of Paulo N. Correa and Alexandra N. Correa.

  2. Although I have, during the past five years, concerned myself with much that is happening in the alternative energy field, I was not aware of any technical details concerning these Correa inventions until contacted on September 25th, 1995 by Dr. Paulo Correa, who offered to send me copies of U.S. Patent 5,449,989 (published September 12, 1995) and U.S. Patent 5,416,391 (published May 16, 1995). On October 17, 1995 Dr. Correa sent me a copy of a third U. S . Patent specification, which has been accepted by the U.S. Patent Office. On January 8, 1996 he sent me a copy of the specification of a 102 page International Patent application ( minus the claims) and I have, on February 5, 1996, received from him a set of claims on pages numbered 103 to 108, which I understand to be the patent claims applicable to cover sought outside USA.

  3. It is evident from the copious nature of these disclosures and their extensive record of experimental data that tests confirming the operability of the invention have been performed by him and his associate(s) over a long period. Indeed, the patent specifications constitute what in many respects can be said to be an academic thesis or dissertation as well as a full patent disclosure. This gives the patents sufficient body to withstand challenge on the grounds of an alleged inadequate disclosure of the essential technical features and thereby strengthens the patents by giving the fullest support to the claims. Furthermore, it means that, apart from witnessing a demonstration of the apparatus and performing tests over a protracted period to fully verify the data reported by Dr. Correa, there is little I can do at this stage other than provide this preliminary evaluation of the intrinsic merit of the inventions and comment on the value of the patent rights relying on reference to these patent disclosures.

  4. From the commercial viewpoint of a high technology enterprise wishing to pioneer the exploitation of a major breakthrough in the new energy field, the Correa project presents a unique opportunity. The reason is that its technical foundation has been kept secret right up to the point of disclosure in the form of granted U. S. patents. Though patents purporting to generate power, seemingly in breach of the principles of thermodynamics, are normally not allowed grant as U. S. Patents, the Correa inventions have won through on their merits. The fact that at the outset there are three basic U. S. Patents covering the technology means that predators are less likely to gamble investment on deliberate infringement tactics. It further means that there is less onus and uncertainty confronting a sponsoring organization that seeks to develop the Correa technology. Usually, there is concern as to whether or not the initial basic patent cover, that is essential to protect investment by providing exclusive rights at least in a U. S. market environment, can be fully secured. However, here we have a project that has progressed through its advanced research stage and is ready to be taken up by development engineers who can design the prototype product.

  5. Consistent with my experience, the scope of this opinion relates primarily to the perceived significance and value of the patent rights, which in turn depends upon the legal scope of the patents and the viability of the technology. The latter has two aspects, particularly the inevitable scientific concern as to the source of the energy augmenting the power output and the practicality of manufacture and use in relation to the potential range of suitable product applications.

  6. As to my opinion on the mystery source of energy, that is being documented separately in a non-confidential Report, an initial draft of which is being supplied with this opinion. That separate document will summarize my own description of the technical principles of operation of the Correa device. The publication of the Correa patents will trigger enormous interest in the possibility of tapping what is very clearly a new source of energy and, as the Correa discovery verifies certain scientific predictions I have made in my own published work, the scientific interest needs to be served as by my planned issuance of 'Energy Science Report No. 8' and which will be released generally in due course. I have issued earlier reports on the energy theme, but none directed at the plasma discharge topic. This new report is incomplete at this time but its relevant sections accompany this opinion in a draft form (2). As stated above that separate document provides an answer to that question: 'Where does the energy come from?'. From the viewpoint of commercial sponsor interests I submit that it is equally reassuring to have, as part of this opinion, a confirmatory answer to the question: 'Has a similar discovery ever been reported before?' A positive answer to this question can bring with it the assurance that the technology is reproducible by others and is sufficiently versatile to permit design variants. It further helps one to avoid the risk of feeling foolish by being seen to invest in a speculative venture based solely on technical input from one source. Furthermore it brings with it the need to answer discerning questions such as 'Why is the Correa invention superior to any such earlier-disclosed device?'

  7. This preliminary opinion therefore is divided into three sections, (a) competitive technical background, (b ) prospective product application and (c) the patent evaluation, the latter having primary emphasis in the limited scope of this initial assessment. Apart from a few remarks in the concluding section I cannot comment on the investment needed to bring an end product to market. That is a business issue for whichever corporate organization assumes the production role. It depends upon the production costs of the discharge tube and who is to manufacture that component. Nor can I advise on the cost of developing and presenting a working prototype, as for private inspection and test by a sponsor in that sponsor's laboratory. That is subject to Dr. Correa's determination and depends upon whether one of his existing test devices is deployed, whether a new one is made by Dr. Correa to the sponsor's order or whether a special discharge device is made by and in consultation with a firm or academic institution, expert in the fabrication of evacuated electronic discharge components. It would seem to me to be a better procedure to satisfy the sponsor's engineers that the invention really does work upon their visit to see a demonstration by Dr. Correa. Then at that time, or shortly thereafter, they can engage in discussion with a potential manufacturer of the plasma discharge unit to see if that manufacturer can, in consultation with Dr. Correa, undertake assembly of the prototype for incorporation in a test product to be engineered back at the sponsor's base. Such discussion would yield the data needed for immediate costing and long range estimation of product component costs. This assumes that the sponsor is not already equipped to manufacture the basic discharge component and would plan to buy that in and only market the product applications, but if the sponsor is so equipped and is in business making gas filled electronic discharge devices, such as lamps, in that case the costing of its fabrication should be a straightforward in-house matter.


Competitive Technical Background
  1. I remember that about five years ago I was approached from an enquiring source in U.S.A. asking me if I could help to trace information on an 'excess-energy-generating' electrical discharge device under test at an English university in the Brighton area. The fact that I had to plead ignorance can be taken as an indication that the invention is, or was at that time, a closely guarded secret, but the rumour was around that something of basic importance on the energy front was hidden behind closed doors.

  2. It is relevant to mention that my awareness of the alternative energy scene at that time had led me to accept the role as a Guest Editor for a Special Issue of a scientific periodical specifically addressing the then-current activity in energy techniques which break new ground and aim at solving the world's energy problems by what seem to be unorthodox means. That special issue did appear in December 1990 as No. 4 issue of Volume 13 of Speculations in Science and Technology. Previous special issues of that publication under other editorship had been in collaboration with IBM in England and covered the lectures which speakers, including Nobel prize winners, had presented at IBM sponsored scientific meetings.

  3. On pages 273-275 of volume 13 of that periodical I included, with the permission of the London Office of Novosti Press Agency a copy of a Novosti Press Release No. 03NTO-890717CM04 by Andrei Samokhin. It had the title 'Vacuum Energy - a Breakthrough?' and its abstract read: "A design model of a plasma generator which can convert physical-vacuum energy into electricity has been developed under Professor Aleksandr V. Chernetskii at the Moscow Georgi Plekhanov Institute of the National Economy. Such generators could lay the groundwork for a future environmentally- benign power industry. " That press release quoted Chernetskii as saying: "I knew electron drift begins in plasma and sought to deduce a combination of variables in which fluctuating plasma instability emerged in discharge. " Also, in describing how the breakthrough had arisen, it read: "Gas-discharge plasma was meant to serve as a powerful stimulator of electromagnetic nodes and, all of a sudden and in defiance of the law of conservation of energy, a strange energy imbalance was produced. Many experiments with different circuits proved that the energy output was always greater than the input in these cases. "

  4. The press release then explained that the mysterious discharge stimulating additional energy extraction was called the 'self-generating discharge (SGD)' and how one of the tests involved staging an experiment with a powerful plasma unit at the one megawatt substation of the Moscow Aviation Institute which burned out as the discharge reached 'criticality' and 'superstrong current was "born" in the generator and went back into the network' .

  5. Later in the press release one reads: "We have developed several circuit versions which can find application. In the latest experiment which had an input power of 700 watts, the generator produced three kilowatts for load resistance, or nearly five times as much. This is only the start and not the limit. "

  6. I can only express an opinion as to why the world of engineering has not already seen this technology develop. It is almost certainly because the claim seems incredible and because those elsewhere who could provide institutional research funding to replicate and verify the Chernetskii claims do not wish to appear foolish. We now have information that attempts were made by Dr. H. E. Puthoff of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, Texas, to get Chernetskii to move to USA to pursue his research there but, sadly, Chernetskii died and his research project has been left dormant. Dr. Puthoff was alert to the prospect of tapping energy from the vacuum and had contributed the first paper in that special issue mentioned above. It was entitled 'The energetic vacuum - implications for energy research'.

  7. Now, reverting to that enquiry I received about some tests at a British university (paragraph 8 above), I came later to realise that it concerned an invention by Geoffrey Spence who lived in the south of England, his U.S. Patent 4,772,816 having been issued on September 20, 1988. Note that this Spence patent is amongst those cited against the Correa patent 5,449,989. Had I been aware of the Spence invention I would, as Editor, have sought to include an article by Spence in that special issue, but my point in the context of this opinion is that the Spence invention had not been publicized in the so-called 'free energy' network, as otherwise I would probably have heard of Spence invention earlier.

  8. As I was an expert on patent matters and at least the theoretical technical issues I saw raised by the Spence invention, particularly concerning its anomalous electrodynamic features, I was in a rather unique position when I was later (five years ago) asked to provide an opinion on that Spence patent. Then, as now, I had to temper my remarks, bearing in mind that my enthusiastic interest in the subject has to be set against the practical world of my own past management experience. That was in relation to project development and the commercial and licence aspects attendant upon the introduction of many new breakthrough inventions, but these were almost invariably in-house developments within the company I worked for. For 19 years of my 23 years service with IBM, I was the Director heading IBM's Patent Operations in Europe and so was directly concerned with the issues of protecting and exploiting patents on technological advances and the competitive developments which could overtake and raise infringement problems. Not all inventions that we see as patents survive as commercial products and it is not so much a question of whether they are viable technically, but more a question of which inventions win over others on their commercial merits. Before my IBM service I was for 9 years with a major power engineering manufacturer in U. K. and involved in the patenting of technology in that field, armed also with my Ph. D. background in researching anomalous energy-related problems of an electromagnetic nature. The Spence invention took me personally by surprise, as will be understood if reference is made to a U. K. Patent Application which I myself filed on August 18th, 1977. It was published more than ten years ahead of the Spence invention, on February 28th 1979 as UK Patent Application Serial No. 2002953. My dedication to the scientific and technical implications of the invention I conceived will be understood if it is noted that I worked in a senior executive position for IBM and yet felt I should file for patent cover on the invention in my own right. In the event, I allowed those rights to be abandoned after notifying my intentions to higher management in IBM. The reason was that I did not have the experimental resource to test the invention and my plan had been to abandon that application once I had its publication as an official record of my theoretical research accomplishment. I had proposed ion acceleration in a device similar to that used years later by Spence, but I was aiming for an electromagnetic field drive with the prospect of generating anomalous excess heat output and had missed what Spence had the ingenuity to suggest, namely an electrical field drive coupled with scope for extracting the predicted excess power electrically. In the device I proposed, which also had a version with magnets acting on the discharge, the ions were spirally accelerated outwards, whereas the Spence invention requires that they should be spirally accelerated inwards. I was conscious of the scope for extracting energy from the ambient thermodynamic field background and so tapping into the hidden energy source of the quantum field background, but I had not the means for building and testing that invention and the real problem I saw in technical terms was that of extracting useful energy other than heat. It is partly with this earlier idea in mind that in my later experimental efforts I diverted my research to solid-state means by which to convert heat into electricity. It is important to note here that the ingenuity of the Spence invention was such that electrical power output was directly available and this suggested a very significant commercial value. We see this also in the Chernetskii device and now in the Correa results . My opinion on the Spence invention, one which applies equally to the Correa invention, noted at the time that, if one had to go through the intermediary of a heat generation phase, then that could double the capital expense and halve the power output capacity. By this I meant that, if the Spence invention really could generate output electricity with minimal heat energy surplus, then it had, in that respect, a four to one advantage over what might have emerged from my invention.

  9. My understanding of the Spence invention was that his apparatus had been replicated by a university Department of Electrical Engineering and had succeeded in delivering excess power on a substantial scale measured in kilowatts but that, typically, after some 14 or so hours of operation it failed, presumably owing to electrode erosion. That involved costly reassembly and rebuilding of the electrode structure and there was anyway a lack of inspiration as to how to overcome the problem. Although I have no update information, I heard that Spence, though having years of laboratory experience dealing with discharge apparatus, had become a recluse and was somewhat eccentric. It was my suspicion that Spence's sponsors did not persist in the effort to overcome those electrode erosion problems. Probably, the sponsors relied too heavily on Spence himself developing his device further, without mounting their own R & D to try alternative electrode structures and excitation techniques. Also, the project may have lacked viability (3) because of the size of the electromagnets needed to control the discharge, though if one is bold enough to look ahead to large power installations and contemplate using superconductivity to generate magnetic fields that aspect need not have been too great a problem. However, the essential point to keep in mind was that the Spence apparatus, when operating, did, according to the reports I heard, deliver substantial 'excess energy'. Spence went to the trouble and expense of securing his patent protection and registering the patents in the name of a charitable trust ('Energy Conversion Trust') he had formed in connection with his invention rights.

  10. The Spence patent, unlike the Correa patents, simply declares that energy is amplified without giving any performance data or describing a series of tests with variable parameters. The Spence technology, unlike the Correa or that of Chernetskii, did not involve pulsations. The magnet, which could be a permanent magnet, deflected the ions in the discharge so that they spiralled around the cathode. By trapping the ions, the positive heavy ions, in a close orbit around the central cathode electrode he built up a space charge at a high electric potential which transferred energy to the electrode by electrical induction. The output EMF was sustained in that way and power was bled off by the discharge current flowing into the cathode. Spence explained that the magnetic field imparted energy to the ions as they were in transit through the field but this was not a valid scientific argument. A magnet deflects charge in motion but adds no power. It seems Spence was not aware of my own earlier technical disclosures in which I explained the energy gain as a consequence of the direct electrodynamic action of the electron part-circuit current upon the heavy ion currents completing the circuit. He knew the device generated excess energy and stressed how it could be used to power ships and road vehicles but he did not understand the scientific basis of his discovery and his own explanation could never be accepted in academic circles. Under these circumstances, with no confidence in the theoretical understanding of that source of energy, the academics consulted declined further involvement and gave a 'thumbs down verdict' on the Spence device. Even so I understand that some commercial sponsorship interest did linger on and, for all I know, may still be alive.

  11. In summary, therefore, it would seem that the Spence invention has lapsed into limbo alongside the Chernetskii invention, even though both revealed an energy breakthrough that should have triggered vast R & D activity to supply our future energy needs. Chernetskii had recognized that the source of energy was connected with the quantum activity in the physical vacuum, and that press release stated 'virtual pairs begin to move in a definite direction, instead of chaotically'. This was a reference to the electron-positron activity of the quantum electrodynamic vacuum field. This, in essence, is the theoretical foundation of my own research, by which the thermodynamic properties of the electromagnetic field act regeneratively to feed magnetic inductance energy to a circuit back from a field by tapping the disordered state of charge reacting to that field condition, disorder we associate with heat, but which is energy seated partially in the sub-quantum vacuum field.

  12. This should suffice as general technical background on the 'competitive' state of the art for the purpose of this opinion, the point at issue being that the task addressed by the Correa invention is, of itself, not new, there being evidence of success in similar energy breakthroughs of record both in Russia and in U.K. However, the key question now is whether the Correa design is superior from a commercial viability viewpoint and from a patent viewpoint. The Correa project has the advantages of being already patented, being ongoing, being backed by extensive test results and being presently available for demonstration to interested developers of high corporate standing.


Prospective Product Application
  1. It is self evident that any device which can deliver more electrical power output than is consumed as electrical power input has far reaching industrial application potential provided its fabrication costs and operating costs per kilowatt hour delivered are commercially acceptable. The ultimate application potential is therefore nothing less than full primary power generation, possibly replacing the gas-fired, oil-fired, coal- fired and nuclear-powered generating stations . However, the more immediate practical application of the technology in question is the moderately sized power unit that can operate transportation vehicles that have no ground power supply connections, namely electric automobiles, ships and aircraft. Against, this one must cater for a phase of development where reliability of operation needs to be assured and this militates in favour of targeting products which can work alongside conventional power drives in situations where the stand-by backup facility is present. The prime candidate for initial development is therefore the use of the Correa apparatus as part of a battery powered electric road vehicle, where the energy saving gives also the benefit of extra range for the vehicle.

  2. Very early in the development phase one must weigh the factors involved in the current and voltage pulse profiles of the output power. The discharge, particularly if a single discharge tube with one main electrode pair is used, will dissipate power as waste heat either by heating the cathode or by the over-voltage heating the battery of cells being charged unless, of course, one can devise a method of matching the voltage and current output to the back EMF of a connected appliance doing useful work. Therefore one needs, for example, to contemplate the special design of electric motor circuits that are adapted to harness the energy from the Correa tube. Special effort here, however, should not be a factor holding up the initial exploitation of the invention in a revenue-earning product. Therefore, in staging initial development of the Correa invention, the application first chosen should not necessarily be a main and ultimate preferred application. With this in mind, it being important that the technology of the tube development should advance rapidly, regardless of the progressive evaluation of the range of potential product applications, I am inclined to suggest that one aims first at the simple objective of producing heat and harnessing that heat to regenerate motive or electrical power. There is no point in generating heat for room temperature heating, as standard heat pump technology serves that purpose. Instead, one needs to use to best advantage the heat that is generated by electrical power dissipation. This implies higher temperature, such as is needed to power electric furnaces or power plants operating on high temperature steam or even sodium installations. The intention of this use of heat is to put the design emphasis on optimizing the factor of merit or energy gain factor at its maximum value, regardless of those current and voltage profiles of the pulses produced by the Correa tubes. Note that a critic may argue that conventional heat pump technology will allow more heat output to be generated from a lower electrical power input, a seeming power gain, but such heat engine technology can never regenerate power to achieve what is a true overall power gain. The higher the output temperature, the lower the heat pump gain factor or coefficient of performance, owing to the Carnot limitations. However, if we have a way of bringing more heat into the system from the Correa tube, heat generated directly by electric current fed into a heating element kept at a high temperature, then one can contemplate a product that functions as a heat engine and delivers excess power on a commercial scale. The object of this application is to exploit the Correa device as if it is just a convenient non-polluting source of heat, a replacement for polluting fossil fuel, but a replacement offering no waste heat in flue gas exhausts. Standard technology can convert that heat directly into motive power or electricity and 70% and even 80% conversion efficiencies are possible using recycled fluid in a heat engine operating on the Rankine cycle. I submit, therefore, that it suffices in the first test prototypes to generate heat in a resistive load to get the full measure of the power gain potential and optimize tube design on that basis. Peripheral to this, one can aim to tap into the electric pulse output of the Correa tube to bleed off just enough electrical power at the right voltage level to provide the tube power input, but in an initial product application there is really no need to aim for the 100% self- generation. There is sufficient substance to the Correa energy breakthrough for a viable product to be an engine which is basically a heat engine running with a very substantial power gain but using electric mains-fed power input. In power gain terms, taking electrical power gain as being a factor of 5, which is a figure consistent with the Chernetskii and Spence situations as well as being in evidence in the Correa patent data, and accepting that some additional heat is produced anyway that is not included in this figure, the heat engine temperatures only need to exceed a low 20% Carnot efficiency to deliver excess power in a useful form. In practice one can easily aim for 60% and so plan for a three-to-one power gain.

  3. By building the initial product form as a generator incorporating a heat engine, whether a hot air engine or a an engine working on the Rankine fluid cycle, whilst concentrating on different discharge tube designs to be substituted in the product, the technology can be proved and then ultimately scaled up in size for power station generation applications. Meanwhile, once the tube operation has proved reliable and durable over long enough periods, then the technology can be adapted to the all-electric operation and to transport applications and mobile power generating appliances.

  4. The power to weight ratio, factored to account for the saving on fuel weight, is likely to prove to be a key advantage of the plasma tube over alternative 'excess energy' inventions, should the latter begin to emerge in the years ahead. The reason is that current research on those alternative technologies seems to involve water-filled cells or bulky and solid ferromagnetic systems that are necessarily heavy. The plasma tube is an evacuated housing containing gas at low pressure. Its weight is essentially that of the housing which has to be strong enough to withstand the external atmospheric pressure, but on weight to power output considerations, having regard to the currents and voltages evident from the Correa data, the plasma tube offers high promise. Its inclusion in a vehicle subject to vibration will require choice of tube housing material that has sufficient strength to withstand those vibrations but, with appropriate electrode mounting, the housing can even be of metal. The data in one of the Correa patents indicates that housing of a polycarbonate material have been tested and found satisfactory. Also, it is evident from the test dimensions given, including those for glass tube housings, that the device overall is quite light in weight. The overall weight of a prototype power generating unit then depends more upon the extent to which electrical storage cells are incorporated in the apparatus.

  5. I understand that Dr. Correa has operated some of his tubes with the power-on state summing to aggregate periods of several months with no deterioration problems, subject, of course, to avoiding overworking by ensuring that the peak current of the discharge pulses is not unduly excessive. However, to the extent that electrode erosion does prove to be a limiting factor, there is scope in some applications for adapting the technology to one involving a liquid cathode, which is necessarily selfreplenishing. This type of cathode featured in the mercury arc rectifiers developed in the first half of the 20th century which had very large energy ratings able, for example, to power the London underground system before the advent of solid-state electronics. One can, however, imagine reviving that mercury arc technology, even in small units, and using the teachings of the Correa patents together with solid-state electronic controls aimed at developing the pulsating discharge condition which yields the excess power.


The Patent Evaluation
  1. The key features of the Correa technology are the novel constructional features of the discharge tube and its mode of control by connected circuitry which extracts the energy output. There would seem to be no possibility of securing basic patent cover for the broad idea that an electric discharge can develop self-activated modes of oscillation. To think that one can generate more sustained electrical power output from an isolated circuit component than is supplied as input is contrary to orthodox scientific principles, but it is standard knowledge in physics that if the resistance property of an inductor- capacitor circuit combination were to be negative, then that circuit would sustain self- generated oscillations and could deliver power output to an external load circuit. It is also standard knowledge that certain electrical discharge devices exhibit a negative resistance characteristic. However, though the negative resistance of a plasma discharge can escalate current flow, even with diminishing voltage input, it has always been believed that the energy must all come from the power input source connected to the device. Evenso, given the discovery that the 'impossible' has become possible, the opportunity to secure really basic patent protection on the broad principle of using a plasma discharge tube to generate 'free energy' can then be limited by the following scientific prior art.

  2. It is a textbook fact that an electrical arc discharge can develop what is known as a 'negative resistance' and lead to oscillations. It has been assumed from observation that these oscillations are affected thermodynamically by virtue of the electrode temperature fluctuating in some mysterious way. The phenomenon is called the 'singing arc'. It dates back to 1900 and is named after Dudell. Also, it has been a matter of scientific curiosity for many decades and has been the subject of papers presented to the Royal Society in London that what is known as the 'cold cathode' arc discharge can impart anomalously high reaction forces owing to the high kinetic energy of ions driven into a cathode. The action, which is a function of current strength, can be a thousand times greater than conventional theory would predict. In more recent times it has come to be recognized that electrons in an ionized gas can transfer energy to heavy ions in some mysterious way, again by a factor of a thousand or more times the value which accepted theory predicts. This is evidenced by research related to nuclear fusion and charge containment in apparatus which triggers electric discharges through hydrogen plasma. The energy is assumed to be sourced in the electrons which take their power input from the supply source but, for all one knows, it could be the inductive energy of a field affected by, but not wholly powered by, those electrons. Also recently, there are reports of research on pulsed electrical discharges in pure water which have led to enormous explosive pressures, which are totally inexplicable having regard to the fact that the water is not appreciably heated in the process. All these circumstances point to an action by which the acceleration of a mixed ion population (heavy positive ions and electrons of much lower mass) in an electrically powered discharge is drawing in some way on a source of energy we cannot comprehend by normal physics.

  3. This presents an unusual background on which to build a patent position. We have on the one hand the accepted regime of physics which says such phenomena should not occur and yet experimental facts, some of long standing record, which prove the phenomena do occur. It is almost an unbelievable scenario to see that scientists have given up trying to understand something so important and that they do not choose to write about it in textbooks because, one must presume, they cannot couple it with an explanatory theory. This presents an enormous challenge and a major opportunity for invention provided one can (a) demonstrate the anomaly by generating useful output energy from the phenomena involved (b) explain the source of energy, as that can guide the design of the optimum embodiments of the invention, and (c) secure worthwhile patent protection for those embodiments. However, though really broad patent cover for the underlying discovery cannot be expected, one of the three Correa patents comes very close to that objective. The Correa patents provide adequate background information by way of references to those earlier anomalous findings and their theoretical interpretation to satisfy (b) above in any discussion of the merits of the patents. The disclosure in the patents concerning the many tests performed more than satisfies the requirement of (a). To determine whether (c) applies, we need to look at the main claim cover of each of the three patents.

  4. Correa U.S. Patent 5,416,391 has its claim cover directed to apparatus in which a cold-cathode vacuum discharge tube operates in a pulsed mode by exploiting that negative resistance characteristic mentioned above, but the restriction giving it patentability over the prior art is its connection through a capacitor to a parallel external circuit which includes an electromagnetic device providing an energy output and dependent upon the cyclical power pulses for its operation. Here we have a patent which aims directly at harnessing the pulsed current output in an electric motor. Now, this is particularly interesting because the Correa patent aims at powering the motor with a.c. output rather than unidirectional d.c. pulses. By taking the output power through two capacitors this limits one to a.c. but the role of the capacitors is to isolate the output from the d.c. circuit through the discharge. If the capacitors do not have an exceptionally low impedance and so function in a smoothing role then connection to a synchronous a.c. motor or even an induction motor affords the useful power drive as output. However, one may gain even more by segregating the positive going and negative going pulses through diodes to feed different phase windings on a magnetic reluctance motor. The latter form of motor runs on pulses of relatively short duration and can accept the non-sinusoidal variation of EMF during the pulse cycle. Such motors have high torque characteristics but are not as versatile as normal d.c. motors unless one can readily control and monitor smooth changes of the pulse frequency so as to keep synchronism. However, the Correa patent offers the promise of regulating the output signal frequency by controlling the pulse frequency of the tube. Therefore, the value of this patent depends upon the pulse frequency control and the phase-lock that can be set up between the tube and the motor. If, as the Correa data indicate, the speed control of a motor is readily assured by the control of the tube pulse frequency, then the patent has very substantial scope. However, in a worst case, if the Correa tube frequency control were not so versatile, suppose that it is connected to power a motor running normally at a very steady speed and synchronously in step with the pulsed output. An ideal application for this would then be as the power drive for a boat or ship, where long duration operation at a steady speed applies and rapid engine speed change is thwarted anyway by the inertial drag on the propellor. This should prove to be a very efficient application as measured in terms of power to weight ratio, given that the machine should be able to regenerate its input power needs and recharge starter batteries, besides providing an auxiliary electric power supply and feeding input power regeneratively to the discharge. This patent, therefore, in stressing the plasma tube combination with the motor application is quite basic in its scope. It has the further advantage in that the supporting patent claims cover the control of the pulse frequency by auxiliary electrode (grid) potentials so as to vary the speed of the motor. The claims are broad enough to cover connection of the pulsed output to other kinds of electromagnetic appliance, such as a transformer, but the application should preferably be one which uses the output power as if it were a resistive, as opposed to an inductive load. The magnetic reluctance motor is ideally suited to such application, because the input energy is fed into the inductive energy stored in the pole gaps. These close to convert the energy into mechanical power and the current pulse subsides before the pole gap reopens so that inductive energy fed back to the supply is minimal. Note further that the patent provides for this electromagnetic load application to operate in conjunction with a tube having a single anode and a multiple cathode structure which can deliver a sequence of pulses in phased relationship. In summary, US Patent 5,416,391 is important and potentially quite basic to any commercial project where an electric motor is powered directly by pulses delivering the excess power generated by a plasma discharge device.

  5. Correa US Patent 5,449,989 is the one giving broad cover to what one can say is the basic principle of the Correa technology. It puts its emphasis on the feature that the device generates pulsed emissions and is 'double ported'. This means that there are two circuits which share the circuit segment constituted by the discharge between the electrodes. It is here that one can confront a sensitive patent issue, should this patent come under challenge. One needs to ask whether all prior art cold cathode discharge devices put the load circuit in series with the power input circuit through the tube, meaning that they are 'single ported'. In the Spence device, the load circuit is in series with the discharge and the power input circuit is in series with only an initial portion of the discharge in which the ions are initially accelerated, but I could argue that the Spence circuit is 'double ported', because the input can be a high voltage input to what, in a sense, is a grid control, as if the device were a kind of triode valve. Alternatively one could say it is like a television tube containing a rarified gas, where the electron gun fires ions through an input port and the screen acts as cathode in a circuit that is in effect the second port. Does the grid connection and its maintained potential relative to the anode or cathode mean that it is 'double ported'? If it does, then, as I read the Spence patent specification, I can only point to one distinction in relation to the main claim 1 of the Correa Patent 5,449,989 and that concerns the reference to 'endogenous pulsatory cold cathode autoelectronic emissions'. The Spence device operates without involving current pulses. The word 'endogenous' simply means that the pulsations are formed inside the tube itself, rather that being developed by external action. However, note that the Spence patent was cited by the U.S. patent examiner and that the claims were granted over that art, so this gives strength to the Correa patent. The U. S. Patent Office file wrapper on that patent must contain the record that the examiner accepts that the Spence patent is not an anticipation. However, now let us ask whether the prior art discloses the 'double ported' feature together with an oscillatory condition. Here an opponent could point to the scientific literature pertaining to that 'singing arc' phenomenon discovered by Dudell. Quoting on that from a physics textbook in my personal possession: 'When an oscillatory circuit, consisting of an inductance and a capacity in series, is shunted across a continuous current arc, oscillations may occur; and, if the frequency is suitable, a carbon arc in air will emit an audible note. The electrical oscillations involve fluctuations in the current through the arc, and hence in the heating of the gases in and around the arc.' Now this is really telling us that a double ported configuration with current fed continuously through the arc via one port channel can, if the other port channel includes a capacitor-inductor path, set up oscillations in the main discharge at an acoustic frequency. Those oscillations are current pulsations. So how does the Correa Patent 5,449, 989 stand against that Duddell prior art? The answer is to be found in the last phrase of claim 1: '...and an output port connected to a current sink effective to absorb at least a substantial portion of electrical energy released by collapse of said emissions.' In the Dudell situation that physics textbook said 'In a cycle of oscillation, there is a net feed of energy from the mains into the system to maintain the oscillation. ' Now, this is very important because here, in discussing this experiment which dates from 1900, it was seen that those oscillations betrayed an effect which could have meant an anomalous source of input energy, but in that particular situation the finding was that the power input was feeding the oscillations. So, what is different about the Correa device to cause it to show an energy gain?' The answer to this is given in the review of prior art in column 1 of Patent 5,416,391 and the later description which explains in great detail the consequences of confining the discharge to the negative resistance region of the abnormal glow discharge region. This is the range EF in the current/voltage characteristic shown in Fig. 1 of Patent 5,416,391. By using suitable circuit parameters the discharge extinguishes itself before being triggered into the normal sustained arc discharge condition. Note particularly that the Correa device does not establish the oscillatory condition by using a capacitor inductor circuit having its own resonant frequency. In contrast with the Duddell situation, the frequency of oscillation depends upon the internal characteristics of the discharge. The mere provision of a load circuit conducive to setting up regulated oscillations at a predetermined frequency is little different from the use of an externally pulsed input. Also, the Correa device provides oscillation frequency control by monitoring the applied voltage.

  6. I am, in these latter remarks, looking at the scope for an attack by a patent attorney on the validity of Patent 5,449,989. The judicial interpretation of the meaning of the words expressed by the claim has to be clear of any prior art citations that can be presented. The emphasis placed on the 'double ported' feature invites attack because it is easy to understand what it means and prior art can be shown that has the two circuit paths. However, on balance, I believe that the patent can withstand such attack unless one really can bring forward evidence of a prior-known pulsating discharge device that did, in fact, deliver through a second port more output power than was supplied through the input port. In saying this I am mindful of the fact that I do not know what form of circuit configuration was used by Chernetskii to generate the oscillations in his plasma discharge apparatus or his means for extracting power. I note, however, some words from that press release already referenced: 'Classical physics cannot explain what happens when a plasma discharger placed in a Chernetskii circuit is started. For no apparent reason the ammeter pointer suddenly shows a triple strength of current increase and energy output several times more than input.' This could suggest that the current pulses through the single ported discharge tube suddenly escalate in strength as the self-generating pulsations override what might be a controlled pulsatory input. It could suggest that Chernetskii found a different way of limiting the current and holding the device in a pulsating mode, If so, the Chernetskii technique differs from that of Correa and it may be that Correa has found the practical solution to problems which Chernetskii could not overcome, in spite of his realization that he had demonstrated excess energy generation. However, in these circumstances, the technical advantage of the double-ported feature adopted by Correa must not be underestimated. By segregating the d.c. input path from the a.c. output path, the Correa technique segregates the d.c. priming power from the 'excess energy' a.c. output. This should afford better regulation of its operative state, especially if the load impedance might fluctuate.

  7. The third U.S. patent, which I understand is accepted for issue but has not yet been assigned its seven digit serial number (4), is specific to the discharge tube construction. This, and subsequent spin-off developments of this nature, will be where the scope for further invention is found. To have already secured acceptance of such a patent shows that Dr. Correa has valuable know-how at his disposal to back up his motor-application patent and his double-ported system patent. It has claims directed to the extended form of the cathode in relation to the anode. Instead of having the electrodes at separate ends of a tube, the cathode has a longitudinal extended form along the length of the tube. This has the advantage of spreading the incidence of discharge over an enlarged surface, with consequent reduction of heating and erosion effects. To the extent that this enlarged cathode surface allows the auto-electronic emission to occur at lower currents this patent also offers a functional advantage alongside structural electrode features. The importance of this particular patent to an investing party or potential manufacturer depends upon whether the discharge tube is to be manufactured in-house or whether the interest centres on exploiting the resulting energy system incorporating the component discharge tubes. Therefore the specifics of the tube design and construction, as judged from the scope of the patent, do not really warrant much comment at this stage, it being assumed that the primary interest centres on the prospect of generating power from a radically new technology. So far as the tube manufacture is concerned the merits of the invention stand or fall by operational performance of the tube as evident from test data. Clearly, it would seem that Dr. Correa has taken a bold step in enlarging the cathode area substantially whilst having the anode fairly close to the cathode, but it seems that, in taking that step, he has found that this is a winning feature, given that the current pulsations involve that recurrent collapse of the emissions. This third patent therefore adds significantly to the developing patent portfolio that covers the Correa technology. This third patent gives a copious account of tests on electrodes of varying sizes and composition and it is really for Dr. Correa or whoever is to engineer the prototype tube for eventual production to decide from that data which specification should be adopted, pending ongoing testing to determine even better designs. I would draw attention to the closing description in the specification of this third patent concerning 'typical expected lifetimes'. A tube using electrode plates of the order of 100 sq. cm, that is one that is much smaller in bulk than a 1 kw electric motor and only a small fraction of its weight, can be expected to deliver 40 Mwh before needing replacement. This is based on the data in evidence from Dr. Correa's research, but one can assume that, if eventual R & D does not take that figure higher in an ultimate product, it will at least match up to this estimated lifetime. Thus an electric land vehicle which uses n such tubes and runs on 40 kw at an average speed of 100 km/hr would have a range of n(100,000) km before needing tube replacement tube. Bearing in mind the fuel saving, not to mention the elimination of pollution, the economic significance of this possibility is overwhelming! The question, of course, is how many tubes are needed in such a vehicle or, rather, what power rating can apply to a single tube? The very interesting data documented in that third patent specification needs close study and much further consideration, in consultation with Dr. Correa, before reaching an opinion on this question. Guided by the data in Table 14 of that specification, 1 note with a measure of caution that 100 watts seems to be a feasible output rating norm, with power gain over input by a factor of 7, but the data show 400 watt output based on a power gain factor of 2. A prototype tube delivering 1 kw power would, I suggest, seem a feasible objective in the first stage of practical development, followed by a 5 kilowatt tube, a bank of which could then be mounted to operate in tandem as part of a 40 kw vehicle power unit.


Concluding Summary
  1. In presenting the Correa technology to higher management in a corporation interested in its development, I would describe it, in a notional sense, as a power unit in which vacuum tubes producing pulsating electric discharges replace the cylinders of a conventional combustion engine. The output feeds an electric motor. The system uses no chemical fuel and so is free from pollution risk. The electrical input, which can be selfgenerated, is augmented in a revolutionary way by tapping the thermodynamic energy background of the space environment. The scientific principle involves using the electrodynamic action of current pulses to crowd (that is, compress) positive ionized gas molecules into a cavity adjacent an electrode in each tube, where the positive charge builds up faster than it can feed current into the electrode across the electrode interface. This develops a field reaction effect in the positively charged cluster of ions which requires a radial electric charge displacement seated in the coextensive aether. This is a recipe for drawing in energy from the quantum activity in surrounding aether. As the pulse subsides the latter energy is released to supply current through a motor circuit connected across the tube. The Correa invention achieves what many physicists would say is impossible. It is a revolutionary breakthrough in energy technology and, as with any such revolutionary invention that works and can be demonstrated, it cannot be something that is obvious and predictable from existing scientific knowledge. Scientists have, for many decades, been trying to produce and contain transiently stable electrically ionized plasma balls in vacuum tubes with the object of tapping a new source of energy eg. the efforts of Russian Nobel Prizewinner Kapitza. The Correa invention, with its double-ported feature, is, in a sense, analogous to the discovery of the fuel-injection internal combustion engine. Current is fed in through one port, becomes subject to electrodynamic compression, and then energy fed from the thermodynamic activity in the aether itself is injected into the compressed charge region before the cyclic operation of the other port draws off current powered by that energy, after which the pulse cycle is repeated. The main difference is that the energy in the Correa invention is supplied freely by the quantum activity of what is often called the 'zero-point' energy background of the quantum field medium. The step of taking that power off through a separate channel in a controlled way is what distinguishes the Correa invention from earlier research in this field.

  2. What is collectively represented in the three U. S. patents in the possession of Dr. Correa and Mrs Correa is most unusual and quite outstanding. First and foremost the patents disclose detail far in excess of what is normal to sustain the grant of a patent. Secondly, the inventions as claimed indicate a patent strategy that is commendable in that the three patents complement one another in parallel rather than being serial developments based on after-thought improvements. They address a major application, a major principle of operation and a crucial feature of construction, respectively. Normally , in evaluating a patent, one is dealing with a competitive situation where the technical art is crowded by alternative proposals. One then has some basis for attacking validity when looking at them through the eyes of a potential infringer. The legal argument often goes claim by claim as the first claims are seen to be weak and everything then depends upon the scope of the subsequent claims. In this case we are virtually on virgin territory and the main product and process claims hold firm. I can see no reason for challenging their validity. However, such issues are unlikely to be raised except in a court of law and here the Correa position has the collective strength afforded by their initial portfolio of three granted U.S. patents. Looking at the U.S. situation, it would indeed need a very bold infringer to undertake non-licensed manufacture and challenge the Correa patents in court, given that the contest could involve all three of the patents. Such an action could not occur anyway unless the technology were to take off and prove itself to have enormous value. Looking at the situation outside U.S. and predator activity that might arise, there the value of the Correa position is mainly know-how to be backed by subsequent patents on future developments. Having secured grant of the U.S. patents by substantial disclosure of technical detail, there are still finer points that can help a would-be manufacturer plus other know-how not disclosed and this will provide substantial basis for negotiations secured, if necessary, under the umbrella of the patent cover in U.S. and elsewhere. Accordingly, as I judge these patents, they warrant respect from any would-be entrant into the plasma energy field opened up by the Correa research. It would be wrong to suggest that there is one simple product prototype that can be the basis of tooling for immediate production and exploitation. If there were such a product it would be the plasma tube, then to be marketed for inclusion in licensed applications to be conceived by the purchasing organisations, but all serving in their different ways to meet the need for a new non-polluting source of energy. Whichever sponsor takes the initiative in developing the Correa technology will be well placed to be at the forefront of the benefit of being part of a global activity based on this near-21st century breakthrough. The company boardroom issue to face by any prospective investor is simply to be sure that the Correa discharge device does deliver that substantial gain in energy, because, to be sure, modern technology in the relevant component field will rapidly overcome any practical development problems. Institutional professors will say that what is claimed is not possible, because they cannot understand why it should be possible. I say that the evidence of record from Spence in U. K., from Chernetskii in Russia and now from the Correas in Canada, more than suggests that those professors are all wrong. I go further in saying that the source of that energy has been explained but it takes proof of the phenomenon before those professors can bring themselves to read the scientific papers that offer that explanation. I see that proof in the Correa research findings and I trust that the preliminary opinion here expressed will justify onward commercial sponsorship. I have declared this to be a 'preliminary' opinion, inasmuch as I feel it will need supplementing in response to more specific questions to be raised by the reader. It also needs augmenting by further scientific assessment of some points raised towards the end of the third patent. I note that I have not appended hereto any copies of reference material that might facilitate an in-depth review of this opinion. However, that will so far as necessary to supplement what Dr. Correa has already provided, or can provide (presumably copies of the patents in question), be put with the final version of the accompanying draft Report. The latter explains, in scientific terms, my insight into the source of energy exploited by the Correa technology. Meanwhile, it may help the reader, if I now append an annoted list of some references to my own published work which bear specifically upon this subject.

 

 

APPENDIX

LIST OF SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS BY H. ASPDEN MAKING REFERENCE TO ANOMALIES IN ION ENERGY TRANSFER PROCESSES


  1. 'The Law of Electrodynamics', Journal of Franklin Institute, 287, 171-183 (1969).
    (See discussion on p. 183)
  2. 'Electrodynamic Anomalies in Arc Discharge Phenomena', IEEE Transactions of Plasma Science, PS-5, 159-163 (1977).
    (See the quoted text on p. 161 and the last five lines on p. 163, where the action was said to accelerate ions into the electrode for generating heat. )
  3. 'Ion Accelerators and Energy transfer Processes', UK Patent Application No. 2,002,953 published 28 February 1979.
    (This invention was aimed at tapping the zero-point field energy to produce 'excess energy' heat by electrodynamic ion discharge action which sustains a positive space charge, whereas the Correa invention is able to produce electrical power directly by discharging the positive charge in pulses drawn through a secondary output circuit. The energy source in both cases is the same as is the principle for setting up the positively ionized plasma and holding it transiently stable. )
  4. 'A New Perspective on the Law of Electrodynamics', Physics Letters, I l 1A, 22-24 (1985).
    (This refers to the incomprehensible enormous explosive effects found from pulsed ion discharges in pure water and points again to the reason advocated in the above papers. )
  5. 'Anomalous Electrodynamic Explosions in Liquids', IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, PS-14, 282-285 (1986).
    (This is a more detailed analysis of the incredibly high speed at which ions are driven into an electrode, in defiance of known physics. In the Correa invention there is a slowing down of these fast ions by causing them to transfer energy into the build-up of electric charge at the cathode, which can be drawn off as output electrical power, rather than heat. )
  6. 'The Thunderball - An electrostatic Phenomenon', paper presented at 'Electrostatics 1983' conference held at Oxford University, Inst. Phys. Conf. Series No. 66, pp. 179- 184.
    (The data for the Correa tubes operated at low pulse frequency indicates that energy in excess of 1,000 joules can be stored in the plasma of each discharge pulse. This implies an enormous capacitance and voltage gradients far in excess of those actually prevailing. This energy in a volume of plasma of the cubic em. order is an energy density of some 109 joules per cubic meter, which is of the same order as that known to exist in thunderballs produced by lightning discharges . The subject paper, explained how radial electric displacement (cf. the transverse displacement of Maxwell's theory) could induce 'vacuum spin' or aether rotation which would permit such energy densities to be stored in an electrically quasi-stable manner at low voltage gradients. The Correa technology does therefore rely on 'vacuum spin' for its storage function, whilst setting up the plasma by electrodynamic confinement in an axial sense, as opposed to the electromagnetic 'pinch' sense that features in fusion reactor research. However, though it succeeds in sustaining confinement for the pulse period, the Correa device it is not powered by a fusion process. Since this author presented the subject paper at the conference at Oxford University he has become aware of independent research in three countries on electromagnetic machines which overheat but draw energy anomalously from the 'aether' by setting up radial electric fields in a conductive disc spinning in a magnetic field. The Correa technology taps this same 'vacuum spin' source of energy and the subject paper published by the Institute of Physics in U.K. points to the aether phenomenon involved. )
  7. 'Space, Energy and Creation': privately published lecture paper, for use on occasion of lecture delivered at the University of Cardiff in 1977. Copies available from the author at Sabberton Publications, P. O. Box 35, Southampton S016 7RB, England.
    (This was a lecture delivered by the author as an invited speaker addressing students in the Physics Department at the University at Cardiff in Wales in 1977. It addressed the subject of anomalous electrodynamic acceleration of ions in plasma discharges and explained why this was relevant to the induction of 'vacuum spin' which was intimately linked with the energy and momentum aspects of creation of stars and planets, as well as thunderball and tornado phenomena. The basic physics of 'vacuum spin' are presented in a concise way for easy assimilation by students. The lecture paper also explains how 'vacuum spin' can stabilize the axial discharge and points to experimental work by Vonnegut on that subject. )

 

 

Harold Aspden
European Patent Attorney
PhD, BSc, FIEE, FIMechE, MInstP, C.Eng, C.Phys, Wh.Sc

 

 


 

EDITOR'S NOTES


Ed. Note 1.    Dr. Aspden wrote the present Opinion at the request of Mr. U. Soudak, for the Israel Aircraft Industries.

Ed. Note 2.    This publication has since been completed and is available at Dr. Aspden's website at http://www.energyscience.org.uk, as "The Correa Invention", Energy Science report No. 8.

Ed. Note 3.    In his upcoming Berlin Lecture, "Our future energy source - the vacuum!", Dr. Aspden reports that substantial progress has been made towards development of the Spence device into a self-sustaining unit capable of delivering power in the kilowattage range.

Ed. Note 4.    This patent has since issued as US patent #5,502,354.