http://pesn.com/2012/03/12/9602055_Hidr ... nt_Design/
Inventor James Kwok claims that a one megawatt plant is under construction in Jakarta by the newly formed Indonesian company called Inter Pacific Energy Ltd. Also, a global master license has been purchased by Centium Electric Ltd.
About one year ago, I found news on the PESN website that presented the invention of James Kwok, an Australian engineer of Chinese origin, who claimed to have built a machine that provides free useful energy using only gravity and buoyancy.
This invention is particularly interesting because it doesn't suppose any new physical phenomena. It would work with normal laws of gravity and hydraulics. The old hypothesis that it could harness heat from ambient air has been disproved by the latest changes in the design.
For several months, there has been no change in James Kwok's website, but at the end of 2011 (which corresponds to Australian summer, by the way), some news emerged.
Changes in the Design
The current system claimed by Mr. Kwok is different from the first system that was shown in 2008 and it is called type B. The type B does not have the capsules that go up and down in the water column, instead the compressed air is used to spin a turbine connected to an alternator.
The system invented by James Kwok now appears clearly as a way to obtain continuous pulses of compressed air from a column of water using a system of pistons and valves, without depleting the water column. The compressed air can be used to generate electric power, as usual. Buoyancy has no role at all in this machine.
According to James Kwok's website, the type B system comes in a unit capable of generating 250 kW of electric power continuously. Four such units form a 1 MW plant.
James Kwok claims that a 1 MW plant is under construction in Jakarta by the newly formed Indonesian company called Inter Pacific Energy Ltd.
There are not photos of an existing system of this kind, only some drawings that provide few details. From the drawings, it can be seen that this system would be quite large, with the main tower more than 20 m tall: the cylinders seem to have a diameter of 1 m or larger, with valves being 70 cm in diameter. A structure housing this would be huge, costing many millions of dollars, even if the technology is standard engineering.
But there is another, bigger claim: the planned construction of a large power plant near Devonport, Tasmania. This plant would have a power output of 100 MW for the first year, and reach 1000 MW in three years. How is that possible with units of 250 kW each? It seems really unfeasible that this plant could be made of 4000 identical units of 250 kW each. There is no other information on James Kwok's website.
These are the two videos, made from CAD drawings and schematic simulations, published by Inter Pacific Energy Ltd. on YouTube in October 2011. The uploader of these videos is Nukidesign, the web agency that made the website of Inter Pacific Energy Ltd. [1 | 2]
My analysis of the system with the capsules that go up and down inside the water column didn't lead to a proof or to a disproof of Mr. Kwok's claims, but it showed me quite clearly that the capsules have no role at all in the generation of power; they are just a way to convert the energy of the compressed air into another form. The energy comes from the compressed air, and so it comes from the system of pistons and valves located at the base of the tower.
Now, the new system doesn't use the buoyant capsules anymore; they have disappeared completely, and the compressed air is used to spin a turbine connected to an alternator. This is a confirmation that the buoyant capsules are not fundamental.
But, if we had to find a way to exploit a source of compressed air, would we think of two alternating capsules that go up and down for the whole height of the water column? Of course the first idea would be to send the compressed air to a turbine. A turbine is perhaps the simplest way to use a source of compressed air, so why didn't Kwok think of it first, instead of building that complex system of moving capsules, linear electric generator etc..?
Being a researcher myself, though not in this particular field, I know that sometimes the path towards the best solution of a technical problem is not straightforward, and we often pass through many intermediate designs that are much more complex than needed. However, the wrong turn taken by Mr. Kwok is really huge, since he built a noticeable structure, which can be seen in the first videos of 2008, to test the type A system.
The current system can be described as a machine that uses the constant pressure originated by a column of water to compress air, and it does this without depleting the water column because the water is pushed back into the tank in some way at each cycle. The fact that the compressed air is then used to spin an alternator is of secondary importance. In fact, the jet of air directed to the turbine never inverts its motion, since the turbine rotates steadily in one direction.
Is it possible that an experienced engineer, which Mr. Kwok is, didn't find this solution to use the compressed air before? Is it possible that an engineer takes the route through the construction of buoyant capsules that go up and down vertically for 10 meters or more, just to convert the compressed air into rotational mechanical energy?
It would be interesting to ask Mr. Kwok if he knew about the possibility of using the compressed air directly since the beginning but he chose the system of buoyant capsules just because it was easier for him to build than a turbofan alternator. Perhaps he could not afford a suitable turbofan alternator to generate electric power in the demo plant and so he decided to use the moving capsules.
If Mr. Kwok didn't know that the buoyant capsules were just a way to convert the compressed air into rotational mechanical energy, then the invention of the Hidro+ system is just serendipitous, rather than the fruit of reasoning, because the only important piece of the machine is the system of pistons and valves that generate the compressed air without depleting the water from the tank. Such a system has nothing to do with buoyancy. If Mr. Kwok didn't start with the idea of such a system, then he must have developed it during the experiments with buoyant capsules.
The current system is completely different from what he showed in his first videos, when he showed two flexible bags connected by a tube and submerged in water at different depths, or when he explained the first Hidro+ machine with the drawing of the two capsules connected to air reservoirs at different heights.
As shown by the type B system, and according to my analysis of the type A system, the only part that we should consider is the system of piston and valves at the base of the tower.
The fundamental question now is no more whether it is possible to extract power continuously from gravity by means of buoyancy and gas compression, but whether it is possible to build a system of pistons and valves which can provide a pulse of compressed air at each cycle by exploiting the pressure of a tall column of water, without depleting the water in the tower, which means to return the water into the tower at each cycle.
The type B system also excludes the possibility that the machine could get the energy from the ambient heat. With the large buoyant capsules, one could think that the gas inside the capsules was taking heat from the surrounding water, which in turn was taking heat from the ambient air. Even if a cursory analysis of the temperature and heat involved excludes this possibility, it is now totally excluded in the type B system. Furthermore, the public explanations written by Mr. Kwok don't contain any mention of the thermal energy of the compressed air.
Investment Related Events
Recently, by searching on Google, I found some documents published by the Australian company FTD Corporation Ltd, which now has officially changed its name to Centium Electric Ltd. These documents describe the situation of the company in the middle of year 2011 and the transition to the new company.
FTD Corporation Ltd. was previously active in the field of management and also operation of villages for retired people in Australia. For several reasons, mistakes, or bad management, the company was close to being liquidated.
The directors proposed to rebuild the company by buying the Global Master License of the Hidro+ generator from Mr. Kwok. The FTD Corporation then changed its name into Centium Electric Ltd. The main strategy of the new company is to exploit this license by selling local and national licenses to companies in other countries.
With this act, the company has assigned about 65% of its shares to James Kwok, but these shares are kept in escrow for two years. The company also paid $160,000 to Mr. Kwok (the amount is in Australian dollars, probably). Mr. Kwok has also signed a contract with this company to provide his assistance with the Hidro+ technology for the next few years at the standard rate for engineering consulting in Australia. The director of the company has also changed. The former Harry Fung (another Chinese - Australian) has left the chair to David Ainsworth of England.
Here are short descriptions of these documents:
The first document is an announcement made by the FTD Corporation to the public and the shareholders, on July 27, 2011, to inform them that the company has started an agreement with James Kwok's company.
The second document is an independent report about the possible acquisition, made by an external consulting firm. Their report clearly states that the market value of the Hidro+ generator global license cannot be estimated. The report also states very clearly that the independent consultants have done no research at all to verify the claims about the Hidro+ technology.
The third document is the convocation of the general meeting of the shareholders, for the date December 9, 2011. It contains the descriptions of all seven of the resolutions that were proposed. The resolutions, however, are strictly dependent on each other, so it was almost impossible that some of them were approved without approving the acquisition of the Hidro+ Global License.
The fourth document, dated the same day, December 9, 2011, is the result of the general meeting and it states briefly that all the resolutions have been approved, with the percentages of votes in favour and contrary to each resolution. We can see that almost every resolution was voted almost by all shareholders.
The fifth document, dated January 3, 2012, is the communication of change of name of the company, that is now called Centium Electric Ltd.
Comments About These Events
The FTD company was, as a matter of fact, a failed company. Its shares had zero value in 2011.
Neither the shareholders nor the independent consultants have done a test of the Hidro+ system in any way.
David Ainsworth is also one of the founders of another small company based in the UK, called Renewable Utilities UK, that holds the license of the Hidro+ generator for UK, Ireland, and the whole of Africa. Actually, Renewable Utilities UK was founded many months ago, well before the acquisition of the Global Master License by FTD Corporation. Months ago, on the Renewable Utilities UK website, it was already written that they had the license of building and selling Hidro+ generators in these countries.
For a cautious person, the recent acquisition of the Global License by this Australian company has little importance because we still haven't gotten any proof that the machine works. Of course, the right path should be to see first whether the machine works and then talk about investments, but in this case it seems that some people have started to consider the possibility of investment before even seeing a complete system.James Kwok has an interesting history...
07-32 Former director of Sydney power company jailed
Friday 9 February 2007
A Queensland man was today jailed for dishonestly using his position as a director of a listed Sydney-based company.
Mr James Kwok, of Hope Island, Queensland, was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment to serve 14 months by way of periodic detention following an investigation by the ASIC.
Mr Kwok was sentenced in the Sydney District Court today after being found guilty, following a two-week trial in October 2006, of dishonestly using his position as a director under the Corporations Act.
ASIC alleged that Mr Kwok acted dishonestly while a director of Envirostar Energy Limited (Envirostar), a publicly listed company, by not disclosing his interest in two parcels of land leased by Envirostar. The leases over the land commenced in mid-2000 but Mr Kwok’s interest was not discovered until August 2002 when he tendered his resignation from the Envirostar Board. Envirostar had paid rent of approximately $30,000 per month for the land.
ASIC also alleged that Mr Kwok’s wife and son were directors of the companies, recorded as owners of the land, and that Mr Kwok failed to disclose this interest to the Envirostar Board or to Envirostar’s shareholders, either prior to or during the term of each lease.
Envirostar’s principal activity was building power plants to convert waste material into energy.
ASIC’s Executive Director of Enforcement, Jan Redfern said today’s outcome was a reminder of the important and ongoing responsibilities that company directors carry, and the consequences directors face by defying their legal obligations.
Nice work Jimmy! http://hidroonline.com/
(What a Kwok!)