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Piezoelectric Microtube Power Production via the Casimir Effect

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posted on Jun, 20 2014 @ 09:47 PM
Based on reports of OUTRAGEOUS Gas Prices WAAAY over $5.30 a gallon

Outrageous Gas Prices:

The above CBC News article from the neighbours up north (Canada)
indicate the ENTIRE world needs NEW sources of energy for our cars,
houses and workspaces ... AND and I think have found something NEW
that COULD fit the bill for CHEAP electrical power production!

Piezoelectric Microtube Power Production
via the Casimir Effect and van der Waals
force Manipulation:

See Piezoelectricity Background Info:

See Casimir Effect Background:

See van der Waals force Background:

There are a NUMBER of modern technologies that will be able
to replace automotive fuels within 10 years. And some of the
newer power production technologies have energy densities
far in excess of gasoline,diesel and other petroleum-based
products...AND...are small enough to put in place of the
engines now in many of today's cars and trucks.

My personal favorite is using the Casimir Effect where
two metal plates are bound so close together but NOT
touching, that it will then cause excess movement of
electromagnetic energy which can then be harnessed
and directed for piezoelectric power production
(i.e. induce mechanical movement in large-scale lattices
of piezoelectric microtubes for direct electrical power
production). One estimate I am aware of in terms of
measured energy production is on the MEGAWATT scale
(ONE MILLION WATTS !!!) in a unit about the size of
four refrigerators. At current Canada/USA power
usage rates for an average home now at about
1.7 Kilowatts, such a unit could power over 500 homes!

While each Piezo-Tubel produces only nano-level Amperage,
the power production equation of Watts = Volts x Amps allows
us to do some math indicating that ONE peizoelectic microtube
can do about:

0.000000001 Amps * 1000 Volts = 0.000001 Watts per unit.

And at CURRENTLY manufacturable sizes for a single
piezoelectric-microtube = 0.5mm long x 0.1mm diameter
(i.e. 5:1 length to diameter ratio microtube)

We can anticipate the following power production estimates of:

200 piezoelectric-microtubes per Cubic Millimetre x 0.000001 Watts of
power per piezoelectric-microtube =
0.0002 Watts per Cubic Millimetre = 0.2 Watts per Cubic Centimetre =
200,000 WATTS per cubic metre =
One Refrigerator-size power production unit =
2 cubic metres = 400,000 Watts per unit

4 units daisy chained together = 1.6 Megawatts =


While it is currently expensive to produce the large lattices
of thermodynamically and mechanically STABLE piezoelectric
microtubes which can take the punishment of producing
electricity via micro-mechanical movement, large-scale
scale manufacturing should bring the cost of production
for one cubic metre of piezoelectric microtubes
to about $500,000 Dollars (CAN) per Cubic Metre
at today's rates which can power 235 homes
for 25 Years (because of mechanical wear, the
piezoelectric microtubes will only last 25 years at
full 24 hours/7 days a week /365 days a year production rates)

This means at $500,000 per cubic metre of peizoelectric
power plant system at 25 years of electrical power
costs spread out over 235 homes = $85.11 per year
per home for the cost of electricity.


DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) has
investigated this type of technology since 2009, as have
Harvard University and Vrije University Amsterdam with
other large-scale initial research efforts.

DARPA has now funded Yale University, the University of
California, Riverside, and two U.S.-based national labs,
Argonne and Los Alamos to investigate larger-scale systems
for electrical power production at megawatt scales with
research funding now at over five million U.S. dollars per year.

Since October 2009, the two-year "Casimir Effect Enhancement Program"
has had a number of goals in terms of propulsive and power production
applications including ground vehicle power production and large field
deployable systems.

Current well known researchers into the Casimir Effect are Jeremy Munday,
a physicist at California Institute of Technology, Thomas Kenney (DARPA),
Hong Tang and his colleagues at Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science.

Here are some weblinks:

Introduction Piezoelectric Crystals:

Piezoelectric Nanotubes (2004)

Zinc Oxide coated Carbon Nanotubes as Piezoelectric Nanogenerators:

Zinc Oxide coated Carbon Nanotubes as Piezoelectric Nanogenerators
Author: Mason, Celeste
Abstract: Piezoelectric nanogenerators were created using two designs:
coating carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown on a silicon wafer substrate with a
thin film of zinc oxide (ZnO), coupled with an additional gold-coated CNT
grown wafer to act as an electrodes and coating carbon nanotubes (CNTs)
grown on carbon fiber with each type of coating to form flexible electrodes.
The CNTs on all samples were grown using a standard recipe, with thermally
evaporated iron as catalyst. ZnO deposition techniques such as RF sputtering
and ion-assisted deposition were used. Gold deposition was accomplished by
thermal evaporation and RF sputtering. Once electrodes were combined,
preliminary electrical testing resulted in measurement of current
densities of up to 4.2x10-7 A/cm3. Additional electrical measurements
indicated that the current generated was the result of piezoelectric
behavior of the ZnO coating. These values may be increased with better
penetration of both gold and ZnO coatings during deposition on the CNTs.
Improvement of film quality, such as gold adhesion and ZnO crystal
orientation, may also increase current generation.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Brent Carter - Faculty Mentor ; David W. Stollberg - Faculty Mentor ; Rosario Gerhardt - Committee Member/Second Reader


Enhanced Piezoelectric Properties of Electrospun Poly(vinylidene fluoride)/Multiwalled
Carbon Nanotube Composites Due to High β-Phase Formation in Poly(vinylidene fluoride)

Yongjin Ahn †, Jun Young Lim †, Soon Man Hong ‡, Jaerock Lee §,
Jongwook Ha §, Hyoung Jin Choi *, and Yongsok Seo *†
† Intellectual Textiles Research Center (ITRC) and RIAM School of
Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering,
‡ Hybrid Materials Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology,
§ Energy Materials Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology,
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Inha University

See Weblink:


Self-sensing and power harvesting carbon nanotube-composites
based on piezoelectric polymers

K.J. Loh, J. Kim & J.P. Lynch
University of Michigan, Department of
Civil & Environmental Engineering, Ann Arbor, USA

See Weblink:

edit on 2014/6/20 by StargateSG7 because: spelling fixes.

posted on Jun, 20 2014 @ 10:14 PM
i've proposed this for years here, and no one really ever discusses it yay or nay. But my idea is avoiding the casimir effect and focusing on piezoelectrics tuned into the Schumann frequency, or maybe turned to various noises. You could make building materials from this stuff, with it embedded in a carbon nanotube type of substrate, so that you have energy storage capacity between the generation and usage. essentially, you could make the system self regulate voltage/wattage/amperage by making the carbon nanotube substrate act more like a capacitor and voltage regulator, along with a "battery backup" system (all part of the nature of carbon nano's).

Absolutely piezoelectrics are the answer. The barium titanate nanoswitches are able to generate a significant amount of energy for a small generator. Put millions of them together to work, and let the natural rhythm of the Earth provide your clean energy.

posted on Jun, 20 2014 @ 11:24 PM
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

I would be more than willing to discuss it, but even after reading 5 times I am still lost. I have no clue what's going on. It's way above my pay grade I think. It sounds really intelligent though.

I am more than willing to admit I don't get it.

posted on Jun, 20 2014 @ 11:29 PM
a reply to: StargateSG7
The Casimir force pushes the plates together, but how do you get them apart again?
The reason hydroelectric power works with water flowing downhill is because solar energy evaporates the water, so you can do it all over again. Likewise, you'd need something to push the plates back apart again to generate more power, if you or your sources described how to do that, I missed it. Without that information the concept has the same flaw as this gravity machine, it won't work because the force is only one way:


originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
But my idea is avoiding the casimir effect and focusing on piezoelectrics tuned into the Schumann frequency, or maybe turned to various noises.
You lost me on the noises, what noises?

On the Schumann frequency, typically what's referred to is a reverberation of lightning, but the signals are pretty weak because the lightning is pretty far away usually, so you won't get much energy. Have you tried crunching the numbers?

You'd probably have better luck with going right to the source of that energy, the lightning, in places which have a high concentration of lightning. But that poses a vast number of engineering problems and it's not cost effective yet even if the engineering problems could be solved.

Back to the hydroelectric power, you'd probably have much better luck building elevated rain capture devices and harnessing the power of rain flowing downhill, there's far more energy to be had from the gravitational potential energy in catching the rain at elevation compared to the energy in the lightning or the echo of it in the Schumann resonance.

posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 06:04 AM
a reply to: Arbitrageur

"noises" refers to ambient noise.

Especially living in urban areas, there is always some amount of noise going on. Remember, you are gathering electricity from nanoswitches, of which billions could be present in building materials. So even weak vibrations will create a current.

I haven't tried crunching numbers because i am more of a dreamer than a tinkerer.

posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 11:44 AM
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan
Yes urban areas have noise. We've had the capability to convert this noise to electromagnetic energy as long as we've had microphones. I live in a pretty quiet neighborhood, but yes there are urban areas where the noise levels are substantial. So if we covered the outer walls of buildings in cities with tiny microphones, they could make some electrical energy, possibly, though I don't think such technology exists yet.

Here's an article about making energy from sound that mentions one of the difficulties with current tech trying to utilize random sound:

Could Sound Power Your Home?

It works via a very simple and well known process. If you take a source of heat and apply to any enclosed area, the air inside it will expand increasing the pressure inside. This pressurized air will then move through a filter or opening on one side, producing a simple clear sound at a standard frequency. That’s the key to the system. The more focused and directed the frequency is, the easier it is to extract energy from (which explains why rock and roll wouldn’t power your home, though it made for a nice intro). The sound waves then pass through “piezoelectric” devices which transform the sound into electricity when squeezed by sound.
It says this "explains why rock and roll wouldn’t power your home", inferring that instead of random sound, it uses sound apparently in a narrow frequency range which would be easier to convert to energy. Other than the conservation of energy concept which explains theoretically how heat can conceivably be converted to sound energy which can in turn be converted to electrical energy, I can't say I fully understand this concept.

But if it could convert the waste heat from my laptop to recharge the battery I could use it, I never seem to be able to get a laptop to last on a LA to NY flight, even after I bought a second battery. it still didn't quite make it because of the layover time on the connecting flight.

I don't infer that just because "rock and roll wouldn’t power your home" today that it never will (or random urban noise as you suggested), as it's within the realm of possibility, but what do you think you'd get from a building front at street level. Maybe 10 watts if you were lucky? That might power some signs or something on the exterior which would be cool, or maybe we could have noise powered signs. But if it turns out to be 10 watts I don't think that's very significant relative to the power requirements of the building.

posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 03:22 PM
a reply to: Arbitrageur

The Casimir Plates (you will need more than a few pairs!) are kept apart
in an isostatic manner which is technically a mechanical engineering
term which can apply not only to large engineered structures but
also to micro-structure ones.

See Wiki Definition of Statically Determinate structure:

This Term "Statically Determinate" means we can manufacture
Casimir plates in such a manner (all mechanical forces kept equal)
that they are both electrically isolated AND still kept close enough
together so that electromagnetic energy can be organized and
directed into large arrays of piezolectric microtubes that literally
vibrate along multiple axes and then output a weak electrical
signal that is then aggregated into a large output current via
an array of ultra-thin hollow tubes similar to Carbon Nanotubes
in structure which use the SKIN EFFECT:

See wiki entry on Skin Effect:

and by mitigating the PROXIMITY EFFECT:

See wiki entry on Proximity Effect:

which then uses the INTERIOR WALLS of the microtube wire as a
surface conductor rather than using a solid electrically conductive
material such as copper, aluminum or silver/gold wire.


The Casimir plates have a continuous effect in term of EM energy being output
so long as the plates are kept at a given distance apart. This means the plates
keep outputting EM energy so long the plates are kept at a specific distance
apart by mechanical (and electrically isolated!) means. The output is
extremely small so we CANNOT USE this force directly but it must be
aggregated and directed into larger-scale energy waves that are enough
to induce movement within arrays of piezoelectric materials.

A few Casimir plates can have their "EM waves" swept across the array
fast enough so that the individual or grouped-together piezeelectric
material can be used to form an AC current at a specific rate that
comprises a cycle of say 50hz or 60Hz usable for household current.

Since the EM energy production from the Casimir Plates still
generally follows the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics:

quantum electrodynamic vacuum:

Quantum electrodynamics:

Current Vacuum state:

The EM energy seen in the Casimir Effect PROBABLY comes from
virtual particle annihilation that aggregates into larger scale
EM energy that we can use. It does NOT violate or negate
any Energy out Of Nothing arguments since we are still
taking energy from an outside source and merely
transforming it and then aggregating it into
usable electrical current. (NO FREE ENERGY HERE!)

The key thing is that the underlying physics of the close-together
Casimir Plates creating an EM wave is not well understood (if at all!).
We only know that there is a continuous effect and that there are
ways to DIRECT the tiny, tiny amounts of EM coming out of the
Casimir Plate structure and aggregate/direct them enough that
we can induce mechanical motion in arrays of piezolectric microtubes.


These papers below indicate to me that not only can we use
the Casimir effect to create an oscillative driver system (much
like an audio speaker system can vibrate glass), we can use the
same effect to create quantum antennae systems for micro-chip
scale communications systems (i.e. REALLY CHEAP ultra-small
onboard cell phones and Ethernet-style network chips on CPU chips!)

The most difficult issue is keeping the two Casimir plates apart at
the designated distances on a microscale level, which is a mechanical
engineering issue not a physics issue. This means that power production
IS possible using a combination of Casimir Plates and Piezoelectric Microtubes.

There is also the issue of mechanical wear on the piezoelectric microtubes
which would usually be out of a ceramic that will eventually break down
from micro-cracking after a period of years (25 years at least!) due to the
constant internal torsion and flexion created by the piezoelectric effect.


Nonlinear Micromechanical Casimir Oscillator
H. B. Chan, V. A. Aksyuk, R. N. Kleiman, D. J. Bishop, Federico Capasso
(Submitted on 11 Sep 2001 (v1), last revised 21 Sep 2001 (this version, v2))

The Casimir force between uncharged metallic surfaces originates from quantum
mechanical zero point fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. We demonstrate
that this quantum electrodynamical effect has a profound influence on the
oscillatory behavior of microstructures when surfaces are in close proximity

posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 04:59 PM

originally posted by: StargateSG7
These papers below indicate to me that not only can we use
the Casimir effect to create an oscillative driver system (much
like an audio speaker system can vibrate glass), we can use the
same effect to create quantum antennae systems for micro-chip
scale communications systems (i.e. REALLY CHEAP ultra-small
onboard cell phones and Ethernet-style network chips on CPU chips!)...
We already have very common micro oscillating devices, like the one that regulates the frequency in the computer or phone you're using to post in this forum. A battery applies a voltage to a quartz crystal and yes it can oscillate but it consumes energy, it doesn't release energy (this is why digital watches need batteries, but they can last many years so it doesn't take much to excite the oscillator).

Similarly, this paper discusses an oscillator which is driven by a voltage, as in a digital watch:

We excite the torsional mode of oscillation by applying a driving voltage
The oscillation in this experiment requires power input, just like the digital watch oscillator.

Now back to gravity:
Gravity is a non-linear attractive force, which varies according to the inverse second power of the distance.
The Casimir effect is a non-linear attractive force, which varies according to the inverse fourth power of the distance.

The Casimir effect, for example, is the attractive pressure between two flat parallel plates of solids that arises from quantum fluctuations in the ground state of the electromagnetic field. The magnitude of this pressure varies as the inverse fourth power of the separation between the plates

So the force gradient is steeper than gravity being a function of the fourth power instead of the second power of distance, but you still have the same problem that you do with gravity, because it's an attractive force, like gravity.

I know that people think gravity machines will work because I posted a picture of one that was actually built, but it won't work, because the attractive force only allows the extraction of energy in one direction. You expend energy to move in the opposite direction and the papers you cited only explain why the Casimir effect makes this worse because the gradient is even more pronounced than in gravity.

I don't think you understand this stuff too well, but Bernard Haisch does understand this stuff, and he has a patent on how we might extract energy from the vacuum, but even he has serious doubts that his patent idea will work and he admits it might not. There's a pretty logical reason why his idea won't work and while I won't discourage him from trying it, I also won't be funding his idea.

He claims he's the only person he's ever heard talk about vacuum energy extraction with ideas founded in science, and everybody else talking about it doesn't know what they're talking about. While that might sound a bit egotistical, as far as I can tell, it's absolutely true, because in my experience I have yet to find another person suggesting this who seems to know their physics anywhere as well as Haisch does.

If you want to listen to some ideas on vacuum energy extraction where the flaws are not as obvious as with your ideas , here is Bernard Haisch presenting his ideas:

Indirect extraction of zero-point energy from the quantum vacuum patent 7,379,286 - Parts 1 and 2

While I don't think it will work, I can't prove it, but according to my calculations even if it does work, the amount of energy extracted will be disappointingly low as I explain here:

The mathematics of hypothetical extraction of energy from the vacuum

So, you'd need to extract 100% of the vacuum energy from about 57.4 trillion olympic pool volumes per day to power the average home....

It just doesn't sound very practical to me even if we could extract energy from the vacuum, which I suspect we probably can't.

Now compare this with solar power for example. if you adjust the figures in this source for the average power of 1020 watts, then you'd need 44 square meters of solar panels to power the average home.

posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 05:21 PM
a reply to: Arbitrageur

microphones would be a poor generator. I would rather see barium titanate nanogenerators. They have a fairly healthy output compared to any other material currently.

and they can pick up on a broad spectrum of frequencies, being hindered only by the wavelength capability within the structure of the nano itself.

Noise is one example. But "noise" means more than sound. For example, the force of wind hitting the building creates "noise" that can be harvested. I lived near an interstate, with a near contant rumble of activity. LIgtning makes noise. Cattle running makes noise (although it may be too long of a wavelength).

On a nanoscale, how many nanogenerators can fit on a piece of material that is 3ft squared?

I am not saying you can power a building with rock and roll....but I do think there is more potential than be gathered with a case of Shure microphones.

ETA some links:

A thread I did a few years back:

a link from that thread on barium titanate nanogenerators:
edit on 6/23/2014 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 06:12 PM
a reply to: Arbitrageur

I AM DEFINITELY NOT A PHYSICIST ... but I should note that the peer-reviewed
literature indicates that the Casimir Effect seems to cause an excitation of low
levels of EM energy. And while this resultant EM energy is FAR TOO LOW to be
directly harnessed as an electrical current, there seems to be enough of that
said energy where it can be used as the "Priming Pump" for another source
electricity that CAN produce a usable current at high levels when arrayed.

Again, I am NOT a physicist, but it seems that the output of the
Casimir Plates can be amplified much like a Maser amplifies microwaves
or a Laser amplifies optical wavelengths.

And to ensure we don't get that "Free Energy" argument (i.e. violates the
2nd Law of Thermodynamics), I shall suggest that within the Casimir Plate
structure there is enough ambient energy that can be collected and
concentrated that an array of piezoelectric microtubes would be an
ideal receiver of a "swept and pulsed" beam of EM used to induce
mechanical movement at the required rate for electrical current
production at an eventual 50Hz or 60Hz AC.

While other posters have suggested using acoustic energy
(i.e. frequencies of 1Hz to 100 KHZ) to excite the microtubes,
I believe that a series of Casimir Plates IS ENOUGH to excite
a small given group of piezoelectric microtubes. When many
excited groups of microtubes are arrayed and aggregated
together it should be enough to form a large output
electrical current.

I personally have done NO STUDIES on this method
other than to read up on literature which has been
written at a level that I am comfortable with understanding.

I am using this forum to cause OTHERS to further investigate
what I believe is a viable method for reasonably cheap
continuous electrical power production.


I should note that your video pretty much shows EXACTLY what
I am positing could happen within a structure. What I did notice
is their strips use 0.1 micron separations and 10 micron strips
of "Casimir Effect" plates which I understand are not enough to
produce the EM production effects I envision.

See Casimir Pressure:

The NEGATIVE PRESSURE of the Casimir effect is
proportional to the surface area of the plates,
so I suggest INCREASING the surface area by a
factor of N (i.e. winding the strips into a thin
vertically flat coil/roll) and keep that rolled microstrip
winding closer together (at 10 to 15 nanometres
between layers) and I suggest that a corresponding
increase in EM output will be measured.


The best analogy someone has explained to me
for the actions of a Casimir Plate structure is
that much like squeezing a filled balloon between
your hands, the harder you squeeze, the more
PRESSURE is exerted at the edges/outside of
the squeezed space. AND when that squeezed
balloon finally bursts, the resulting explosion
of concentrated energy can be used for work!

Which in this case is directing a beam of EM
into an array of piezoelectric material for creating
an aggregated electrical output current.

posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 06:19 PM
I should also note the the "Pressure Effect" between the Casimir Plates

See link:

"....On a submicron scale, this force becomes so strong that it becomes
the dominant force between uncharged conductors. In fact, at separations
of 10 nm—about 100 times the typical size of an atom—the Casimir effect
produces the equivalent of about 1 atmosphere of pressure (the precise
value depending on surface geometry and other factors).[7]...."


That sort of available resultant energy is CERTAINLY ENOUGH to be
harnessed as an oscillative event cycle (i.e. mechanical vibration
into an electrical current) !!!

posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 07:01 PM

originally posted by: StargateSG7
That sort of available resultant energy is CERTAINLY ENOUGH to be
harnessed as an oscillative event cycle (i.e. mechanical vibration
into an electrical current) !!!
There's energy to be harnessed from the Casimir effect just as there's energy to be harnessed from gravity acting on falling mass. But once the water falls through the hydroelectric dam and generates electricity, the cycle is over, unless you can find a way to get the water back above the dam, which the sun does for us via evaporation and condensation.

In the Casimir effect it's analagous, except I haven't seen anything playing the role of the sun in the hydroelectric dam analogy and I think this is also where Haisch's idea fails. So it would be like running a hydroelectric dam when there's no rain to replenish the river. So yes while there's water in the river and dam, you'll extract energy. Once that's gone, it's game over, no more energy. Extracting energy from the Casimir force would be possible but very limited and short lived.

posted on Jun, 23 2014 @ 08:17 PM
a reply to: Arbitrageur

From what I understand the Casimir Effect is a CONTINUOUS wave generator
which is likely intrinsic to the fact that if you keep the two plates the same
distance apart on a mechanical basis (less than 15 nm), you will get a continuous
expression of low-level energy. And since it does NOT seem to be coming from
the ambient air, and based upon the below paper, It seems that the
energy is coming from "the Quantum Vacuum" and is a continuous,
if small, energy source -- aka ZERO-point Energy!

and THAT ENERGY can be used as a "priming pump" for input
into another system used for usable electrical current production.

So I must beg to differ on your usage of the Hydro Dam analogy
where once the water reservoir is empty, there's no more water.
In this case it seems the lake behind the dam is ALWAYS being refilled!
....from the energies present with the esoteric but very real
physics science domain of Quantum Chromodynamics.

See Link on NEW Casimir Effect Developments:


It would be interesting to see if someone from the
Department of Energy or CERN could give a definitive
OPINION as to viability of using the EM output of
Casimir Plates to drive or pump an arrayed
Piezoelectic Microtube system as is envisioned above!


And for those who wish to see the BASE issue of the Casimir Effect,
see the following book...especially pages 265 to 267 where there
it is indicated that there are at least 100 papers that purport to
showcase the reality of the Casimir Effect upon the MACROSCOPIC WORLD!

See Google Books link:

The Casimir Effect: Physical Manifestations of Zero-point Energy
By K. A. Milton

...So in my opinion almost any MACROSCOPIC effect can be
USED in the real world as an engine of work if it can be directed
and amplified!

edit on 2014/6/23 by StargateSG7 because: sp

edit on 2014/6/23 by StargateSG7 because: sp2

edit on 2014/6/23 by StargateSG7 because: sp

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