Free power from hi-V power lines?

We've all seen the demonstration where you take a flourescent light-tube
under high-voltage power lines at night and see it glow --- such is the
strength of the field around those hi voltage lines. OK, if the R/F field is so strong, what if one were to rig up some kind of 'induction - collecter' setup designed to pick up as much current from the field as reasonably possible. Could you get a significant amount of power from a setup like this? Any power? What makes me wonder about this are stories from people living under those lines who report painful shocks from even small metallic objects like doorknobs, and the power companies telling them to ground basically every piece of metal in their homes. If power companies are blasting this R/F field at us whether we want it or not, is it not prudent that we attempt
to derive some benefit from it? Maybe it's not harmful radiation, maybe it's free power!
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Think of it more as static electricity, the field is high, but current very low. You have enough to light up a flourecent lite, not much more. worth about 1/4 an AAA cell. 5,000 V at 0.000001 amp or so. (called cold flourecient lighting, not hot)

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| We've all seen the demonstration where you take a flourescent light-tube | | under high-voltage power lines at night and see it glow --- such is the | strength of the field around those hi voltage lines. | OK, if the R/F field is so strong, what if one were to rig up some kind | of 'induction - collecter' setup designed to pick up as much current | from the field as reasonably possible. Could you get a significant | amount of power from a setup like this? Any power? | What makes me wonder about this are stories from people living under | those lines who report painful shocks from even small metallic objects | like doorknobs, and the power companies telling them to ground basically | every piece of metal in their homes. | If power companies are blasting this R/F | field at us whether we want it or not, is it not prudent that we attempt | | to derive some benefit from it? Maybe it's not harmful radiation, maybe | it's free power!
You're on the wrong track. Google for "stray power", and "stray voltage", and "stray current". Do look at all the pages related to farm animals. You stand a greater change of sucking free power out of the ground.
Although power lines carry quite a bit of power, their voltage is high so the current is not. The magnetic fields are not that high to begin with, and are mostly canceled out by there being a return current path on the same towers. Very near, you might get some inductive power. At many feet don't count on anything useful. Poor insulators might be radiating a lot of RF interference messing up radio reception, but even this can involve little more than just a couple watts.
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People have powered lighting systems for houses using large coils of wire in there attic. They have used many turns of wire parallel to the line. I believe they were only able to operate flourscent lighting. Some of the people who did it caught and proscuted by the power company. Examples of it are used in some electrical engineering classes. Stealing power is however still stealing . How they were caught I don't know. IF you live near a radio transmitter it might be ok to tap their signal for power. The difference is the power company is there for power and the radio station is putting out the signal to be used. Examples of these are pretty well know and brought up in classes electromagnetic wave theory.

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| People have powered lighting systems for houses using large coils of wire in | there attic. They have used many turns of wire parallel to the line. I | believe they were only able to operate flourscent lighting. | Some of the people who did it caught and proscuted by the power company. | Examples of it are used in some electrical engineering classes. Stealing | power is however still stealing .
However, there are legitimate natural sources of power. A huge coil in an attic is not one of them that I am aware of. However, there are such sources in the ground, especially as storm clouds are moving overhead. So what if I were to set up some long wire ground stakes and gather up some of that power? The catch here is that utilities also leak power into the ground (as well as the air). Taking _their_ power may still be considered stealing, but I think they should have no right to block me from taking natural power on my own land.
| How they were caught I don't know. IF you live near a radio transmitter it | might be ok to tap their signal for power. The difference is the power | company is there for power and the radio station is putting out the signal | to be used.
To the extent that your tap interferes with their service, I think you can be held accountable for the troubles. But to the extent that the power company wants to use your air space to hold up their magnetic fields, I think what you can tap into is just compensation (obviously some judges don't agree with me). To make this right, of course, it has to be entirely on your own land and outside of the right of way of the power line.
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the EM field is not wasted energy it is a needed component of the transmission system. the waste is in the form of heat losses.
Could you get a significant

if you could they would find a way to bill you for it.

I doubt that I could devise a means to cause an inert object the size and shape of a doorknob to generate an electric shock without physically connecting something to it. im not talking about a static charge which is built up in the person doing the touching. Metal doors and frames can act as antennas in high RF envirnments.
and the power companies telling them to ground basically

i mostly use plastic forks anyway... saves on dishwasher energy

its not RF... RF starts at about 30 kHz. 60 Hz is audio or AF
you can't "blast" RF... you can emit it, radiate it, transmit it, and do quite a number of other things with it, but it just has no blasting power :)

you can look at it as ALL energy is free... it just has to be stolen from somewhere like the ground, the sun, the gravity well, the wind, the tides and so on. (i wouldn't bother with the ionosphere, we need it for other uses <grin>)
now here is you homework assignment: research the inverse square law and explain how it applies to electromagnetic radiation.
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I have a 250kv line close enough to experiment with. The question is really how much can you get without encroaching on the right of way. ;-) Would a reasonable test be to wrap a flourecent tube with x turns of wire and set it up near the ROW? Connect each end of your coil to one of the contacts on each end?
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really how

and
You will never get anything usable until you get close enough for induction. That would be closer that 250 inches. ROT, 1 inch per thousand for insulation. The ROW will be more than that. Besides if the power company spies your contraption, expect a visit from their attorneys.
Can I take an insurance policy out on you?
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safe clearance from a 250Kv line???
33Kv is .8m

wire
induction.
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These poles are about 80' high so I doubt I am in any serious electrocution danger. I was just wondering if there was enough field to make an F-40 glow a little with a coil of wire. I know I am not running my toaster. BTW I will take all the "suing" these folks want to throw at me if I am not on the ROW and I am just collecting stray fields (that they try to say doesn't exist). They sure don't want me to hire a "powerlines are killing us" attorney. In real life I doubt I could make a F40 glow from the 70' or so away I can get to from the ground
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electrocution
glow a

not on

doesn't
get
your coil would have to be tuned to 60 hz, which is rather big.
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Even if you're not on their ROW, if you setup/establish an inductive 'link' to their system for the purpose of drawing off power, the courts have repeatedly found this to be an illegal tap onto their line. When you setup such a system, you actually *increase* the amount of energy being drawn/radiated from the line. And that is an illegal, induction tap. The courts consider it very similar to if you had a direct wire leading away from their line (except you survived the connection).
But hey, don't take my word for it, google for the court cases.
daestrom
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The line I am talking about is one of 2 that supply a fairly large city (Naples Fla). I doubt they would notice if I was drawing enough power to run my whole house. In real life I doubt I can get a faint glow in a F40 tube with a 100' "antenna" at the distance I have to work with. I think the inductive link would have to be very close to these wires before you could get any level of measurable power. I am not sure how you would regulate the voltage. If anyone asked me I would say I was simply measuring the field in preparation for a lawsuit alleging the power line has caused me to get greay hair or something. Their lawyer would be telling everyone there was no appreciable power bleeding over onto my property.
They really can't have it both ways. Either there is no appreciable power escaping or they are trying to kill my grandchildren.
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OK back from the crime of the century and I am starting to think this is an urban myth. I tried several combinations of wire antennas and coils trying to get a F40 tube to glow a little and I didn't get anything going. I am going to get my Fluke meter and see if I can figure out what the best way is to collect the field ... some day. Personally I think these guys are pretty good at keeping their field up on the pole.
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an
to
going to

collect
the
They have too. They just run electricity into your house, then it comes out again, and they run that through the neighbors house and so on down the block. But they charge everyone for using the same electricity!!
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Yup you must be right,. The whole street is wired in series. I notice if one guy's lights go out everyone's do, just like those old Christmas tree lights.
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| OK back from the crime of the century and I am starting to think this is an | urban myth. I tried several combinations of wire antennas and coils trying to | get a F40 tube to glow a little and I didn't get anything going. I am going to | get my Fluke meter and see if I can figure out what the best way is to collect | the field ... some day. | Personally I think these guys are pretty good at keeping their field up on the | pole.
What orientation are you aligning the wires?
My guess is you'd need a coil that runs straight along the lines for some distance in parallel, then has the return path at a greater distance. That would be a HUGE coil.
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I have a 5000' spool of 30ga (Army surplus from MARS.) I tried using the whole spool as a coil connecting one end to one end of the F40 in various orientations. Then I connected the other end of the spool to the other end of the F40. Then I slipped 10' of #5 repar in the spool for a core, aligned 0 degrees horizontal and verticle and 90 to the lines. Still no joy. Then I spooled off about 50' and ran it parallel to the line, no joy. All of this about 100' away from the line itself, About as close as I can get and not be up on "their" hill. There are actually 3 sets of conductors up there. One is the 250kv and 2 smaller sets of lines that are probably more like 50kv. The closest set is still 40-50 feet up. The top set is more like 80' up. They are twisting these line sets about every half mile and I suspect most of the field is cancelling. I did google a while last night and it seems that these currents only flow in several miles of fence or pipelines in the ROW. The only <old> story I saw that looked like a guy who was getting power was dealing with a single phase strand, perhaps earth returned in a farm setting. There were also some parasitic systems intentionally coupled but they were up on the pole.
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| I have a 5000' spool of 30ga (Army surplus from MARS.) I tried using the whole | spool as a coil connecting one end to one end of the F40 in various | orientations. Then I connected the other end of the spool to the other end of | the F40. Then I slipped 10' of #5 repar in the spool for a core, aligned 0 | degrees horizontal and verticle and 90 to the lines. Still no joy. | Then I spooled off about 50' and ran it parallel to the line, no joy.
How was it looped?
Visualize a giant current transformer large enough to wrap around the whole transmission line all at once and still be outside the RoW. So it would be at least 100' inside radius, and at least 50' more to the outside. Now visualize where that imaginary CT intersects with the ground surface near you. Make the coil be a slice of that CT. If square, one side would be at least 100' long, at 100' from the line. The whole thing would be a 100' by 100' square. More turns for more voltage. Looks like you have enough for 12 turns.
Now if only you could get some big iron core, too. :-)
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| I did google a while last night and it seems that these currents only flow in | several miles of fence or pipelines in the ROW. The only <old> story I saw that | looked like a guy who was getting power was dealing with a single phase strand, | perhaps earth returned in a farm setting.
Interesting.
Another idea would be to run one or more heavy gauge wires parallel to the line, but connectioned to grounding electrodes with radials that span even further in the line paralleling direction underground. Then run the whole thing through an ordinary low ratio current transformer somewhere in the middle, with the light connected to the CT.
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