A company in Texas is trying to transmit wireless power around the Earth.

There’s a company in Texas that is trying to build a Tesla-like system to transmit wireless power around the Earth. It will supposedly use something called “Zenneck surface waves.”

Here is a paper they published.

Here is a pic of a tower they built.

Could it work? Or is it a scam?

So, someone is claiming to have a death ray that can zap someone on the other side of the planet, and you have to ask if it’s a scam?

A 2020’s style death ray?

Isn’t this literally the same thing Tesla thought he could pull off 100 years ago?

Tesla’s career can be split into two parts. His work in the 19th century is brilliant and far ahead of its time. His work in the 20th century is crazed and unscientific. Needless to say, his work on broadcast power is 20th century.

I’ve read several biographies of him and I still can’t figure out what happened when the century rolled over. Maybe he was kidnapped by aliens and replaced by a body double. That makes almost as much sense as the reality.

Tesla really isn’t any different from a lot of other geniuses who peak early and then go a bit nutty. Isaac Newton spent most of his life working on alchemy and bible codes after inventing physics.

Not totally. He apparently was thinking of something like frequency hopping in the early 1900s, though I don’t think he implemented it.

I remember an episode of the TV show The Avengers (John Steed and Emma Peel, no fantasy superheros) from the 1960’s about broadcast power. I had no idea it wasn’t a completely made-up thing.

They made a movie about that.


So what is the situation with this proposal? Is it excessively optimistic?
Unworkable? Complete woo? A scam? The best thing since loaf tomography?

Who says it isn’t a completely made up thing? I mean besides the company that’s looking to get a bunch of investor cash.
Radio is a form of broadcast power, you can get sound from a crystal AM radio, powered only by the AM signal itself.

Getting useful amounts of broadcast power means that a useful amount of energy has to be available your energy collector every second. If you’re trying to broadcast long distances, you either need to focus it marvelously well, or you have to broadcast an insane amount of energy all over the place.

Yep. It’s utterly baffling. He increasingly sounds like one of these histrionic pseudoscientific quacks like Joseph Newman. You can even see samples of his handwriting where it becomes increasingly disorganized.

Elon Musk may be following in Tesla’s path. After good work at SpaceX and Paypal and the start of Tesla, he seems to have gone off the rails with hyperloop, the Boring company, etc.

I’m not sure about Musk. Part of me thinks that all of his ideas have been crazy; it’s just that some of them have been crazy ideas that work. We probably need to have some set of people trying out crazy ideas in order to make progress work.

In theory this (which /is/ the Tesla idea) is not a broadcast system. It’s more like a waveguide and it’s more like a wire. The only energy you have to put it is the energy you take out. Plus the losses, plus pumping the standing waves.

A claim is that the idea is theoretically possible with the right conditions: my math and physics stopped at undergraduate level and I can’t analyze that claim.

A further claim is that it is possible to create the right conditions. Tesla didn’t succeed with that, and there doesn’t seem to be any published data supporting the contention.

I hesitate to call it a “scan”. There are people out there who make a good living proposing and developing unsuccessful ideas with somebody else’s money, but I don’t know that there is anything dishonest about it. Some people put money on a horse at 100:1. Is that a scam? Even given that long-odds horses are never fairly priced, is it a scam?

Their giant power tower dildo is out in the absolute sticks somewhere between Hillsboro and Italy, TX just off I-35. (drove by it a few months back and wondered just WTF it was)

I would guess this is total BS, or else someone would have figured it out by now.

Pretty obviously he went a bit nuts, if he wasn’t before. He developed (or I guess started to express more) odd behaviors and became more reclusive. He also managed to sign away (or gotten ripped off from) the majority of the money he was entitled too with his various inventions, and saw several others basically stolen and given credit to other people (or in some cases he didn’t think they were important at the time but they became more as time went on).

Broadcast power isn’t that crazy depending on the context. You can do it, after all, and several companies are looking into wireless recharge systems for a home or systems that allow one to have wireless electrical devices in a home or office or even factory. They aren’t particularly practical, last I checked, but it can be done and there are companies looking at it. The large scale transmission of power from plant to home though? Yeah, not so much.

I seem to remember that Grandpa Munster also came up with a way to broadcast power. I was pretty sure that it was a made up thing.

The losses are huge, although they did figure out how to make magnetic diodes recently which will help.

but really the super poor efficiency is the problem.