Meanwhile, back on the SS Caroline

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Re: Meanwhile, back on the SS Caroline

Postby nate » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:00 am

fruitbat wrote:I measured around three grams of lift when I connected it up one way and a tiny, tiny figure when I connected it the other way, and when I mentioned this a number of people saw fit to tell me (In all caps on one occasion) that "it doesn't work that way". Given that I'd not only observed, but quanitifed how it obviously does "work that way" I've been quite puzzled for a while, why my work drew that observation by others. Basically I hadn't read about (or absorbed) self rectification of the effect, and was just seeing what actually happened when I explored the operation of the hardware.

Hi fruitbat. That sounds about right! In one of Townsend's descriptions of either his late-1950s 'canopy' fliers or the 'fan/speaker' (the fan being most like the Lifter, with a flat electrode and a wire), that the flow effect occurs in the same direction regardless of the polarity of the electric voltage - it's based entirely on the shape of the field - but that one polarity will give you more efficiency.

Ah, here it is. I believe the patent in question is US patent 3,018,094. 'Electrokinetic transducer'. Filed 1957, granted 1962. (PDF at ... 018394.pdf )

You can see from the diagrams in the PDF that it's very much the Lifter configuration: wire and flat electrode. Townsend describes this in his patent application as conventional 'ion momentum transfer', but it's clear from his notebook entries from around the same time that he personally thought something much more interesting ('dielectricity', for instance) was going on.

While the phenomenon just described has been observed and its existence confrmed by repeated experiment, the principles involved are not completely understood. It has been determined that the greatest forces are developed when the leading electrode is made positive with respect to the body 20, and it is accordingly thought that in the immediate vicinity of the electrode 21 where the potential gradient is very high, free electrons are stripped off of the atoms and molecules of the surrounding medium. These electrons migrate to the positive electrode 21 where they are collected. This removal of free electrons leaves the respective atoms and molecules positively charged and such charged atoms and molecules are accordingly repelled from the positive electrode 21 and attracted toward the negative electrode 20. The paths of movement of these positively charged particles appear to be of the nature represented by the lines 27 in FIGURE 2.

It appears that upon reaching or closely approaching the surface of the body 20, the positively charged atoms and molecules have their positive charges neutralized by the capture of electrons from the body 20 and in many cases, it may be that excess electrons are captured where by to give such atoms and molecules a negative charge so that they are actually repelled from the body 20. It will be appreciated that the mass of each of the individual electrons is approximately one two-thousandths the mass of the hydrogen atom and is accordingly negligible as compared with the mass of the atoms and molecules of the medium from which they are taken. The principal forces involved therefore are the forces involved in moving the charged atoms and molecules from the region of the positive electrode 21 to and beyond the negatively charged body 20. The force so exerted by the system on those atoms and molecules not only produces a flow of the medium relative to the apparatus, but, of course, results in a like force on the system tending to move the entire system in the opposite direction; that is, to the left as viewed in FIGURE 1 of the drawing.

Actual results have indicated that the wire electrode 21 may be of small diameter for low voltages, i.e. voltages below 125 kv but for voltages above this value, larger hollow pipe or rod-shaped electrodes should be employed.

Has anyone run a Lifter up to 125kv? I thought most hobbyists ran them around 20-30kv? Townsend, even in the Fan configuration, was obviously thinking about even higher voltages than this.

As an interesting little postscript, I see at least one version of one of the Townsend Brown patents (the 'Plasma Dynamic Loudspeaker' one from ) has a typo and shows this 1962 patent as 3,108,394 (not 3,018,394, the correct one). I looked at that wrong patent number ('Bubble Pipe' - ) and see at least one other person has made the same mistake. An Igor A. Krichtafovitch from 'Kronos AIr Technologies', 'Kronos Advanced Technologies' and 'Tessera, Inc' has lodged a series of Fan-like patents ('Electrostatic Fluid Accelerator' et al) referencing what's presumably Townsend's Fan, but with the wrong patent number - filing from 1999 to 2005, granted from 2003 to 2011 (and continuing, as Tessera, to 2013).

Krichtafovitch's first patent is and his last one directly referencing Townsend's Fan is . They seem to all have extensive citation sections referencing many inventors, and it's interesting that the 2011 patent still refers to the ozone production problem.

Krichtafovitch appears to have founded a company, this year Pacific Air Filtration, with the help of the University of Washington.
A better air filter: UW spinout raises $1.25M for new approach to electrostatic air filtration
by Nat Levy on June 22, 2016 at 12:00 am

A Seattle-based startup is developing a new air filter that it says will cost less than the alternatives, use less energy, filter out more harmful particulates and require less maintenance. The company, Pacific Air Filtration, has raised $1.25 million in seed funding as it prepares to bring its first product to market early next year.

Pacific Air Filtration is a spinoff of the University of Washington’s CoMotion innovation program. The company’s co-founders, Dr. Igor Krichtafovitch and Larry Rothenberg, point to the serious health risk posed by poor indoor air quality in large urban areas, and say current air filtration technology needs to be updated.

Most air systems use mesh filters to capture particulates and keep the air clean. Traditional electrostatic filters use metal plates instead. They are more energy efficient. But the plates get dirty quickly and need to be removed and cleaned frequently, otherwise the filters don’t work as well.

Pacific Air’s approach expands on electrostatic filtration by replacing the metal plates with disposable, inexpensive foam — sponge-like filters that are easier to manage and capture more particulates.

The company’s investors include members of the air filtration industry as well as Dr. Lon Bell, an expert in thermoelectric systems. Pacific Air is now looking for distribution partners for its future product.

“The mission is to fulfill the efficiency promise of electrostatic filtration in a way that’s actually workable and gets around the issues electrostatic has faced,” Rothenberg said.

Krichtafovitch has developed air filtration products for China, Russia and other international markets. He was working on air filtration issues with researchers at UW when he came up with the idea for what would become Pacific Air’s product. Rothenberg said CoMotion provided resources and intellectual property work to turn Krichtafovitch’s idea into a prototype and eventually a product.

The product is in the industrial design phase, and Rothenberg said Pacific Air wants to release it next February. Pacific Air will start by producing standalone units that clean a single room. Pacific Air wants to charge less than $500 for its product and get as close to $350 as possible. Rothenberg said competing products typically cost between $800 and $1,000.

Rothenberg said the company looked at producing larger units for HVAC systems in office buildings, but that would have been more complicated. Pacific Air wants to get its first product to market as soon as possible.

I'm not sure that Krichtafovitch is really referencing Townsend's work specifically - I think he just did a very thorough search of all existing patents, going back to the 1930s, of any kind of electrostatic air-moving device, and dumped that huge citation database into all his filings. But those cites are worth checking I think for some historical context of who was doing what when in EHD-type devices.

I think (but have not extensively checked) that almost every other inventor who has lodged a patent referencing Townsend's EHD work - with the possible exception of Bahnson - has been thinking entirely in terms of conventional ion flow and not Townsend's more unconventional ideas. Whether that body of patent work supports or contradicts Townsend's beliefs I don't know.

Regards, Nate
But on inspection of the dust
I came upon this thing called 'trust'
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Re: Meanwhile, back on the SS Caroline

Postby fruitbat » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:19 am

FWIW, everyone I know who tries using an ioniser for wellness purposes seemed to encounter an advanced rate of dust precipitation about their rooms..
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