The Townsend Brown Electrokinetic Apparatus

Tests and design by Jean-Louis Naudin

created on 11-17-97 - JLN Labs - last update on 11-17-97


Note from Jean-Louis Naudin : I have reproduced successfully, the Townsend Brown Electrokinetic Apparatus described in the US Patent Application N293465 filed on June 13, 1952 and titled "Elektrokinetic propulsion system" :

<< My invention relates to electrokinetic apparatus, and more particularly to method and apparatus for utilizing electrical potentials for the production of forces for the purpose of causing relative motion between a structure and the surrounding medium.

The invention utilizes ad heretofore unknown electrokinetic phenomenon which I have discovered; namely, that when a pair of electrodes of appropriate form are held in a certain fixed spaced relation to each other and immersed in a dielectric medium and then oppositely charged to an appropriate degree, a force is produced tending to move the pair of electrodes through the medium.

The invention is concerned primarily with certain apparatus for utilizing such phenomenon in various manners to be described. Priorly, intervening electrokinetic apparatus has been employed to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy and then to convert the mechanical energy to the required force. Except for the insignificantly small forces of electrostatic attraction and repulsion, electrical energy has not been used for the direct production of force and motion.

Since and conversion of energy from one form to another is accompanied by losses due to friction, radiation or conduction of heat, hysteresis, and the like, as well as serious reductions in the availability of the energy by increases in the entropy of the system, it is apparent that great increases in efficiency may be achieved through the use of the direct production of electrical energy and force and motion made possible by my invention. Likewise, the elimination of the machinery for the intermediate conversions results in great savings in first costs, maintenance weight and space, the latter two being of great importance in self-propelled vehicles including mobile vehicles such as aircraft and space craft.

It is therefore an object of my invention to provide an apparatus for converting the energy of an electrical potential directly into a mechanical force suitable for causing relative motion between a structure and the surrounding medium. It is another object of this invention to provide a novel apparatus for converting and electrical potential directly to usable kinetic energy.

It is another object of this invention to provide a novel apparatus for converting electrostatic energy directly into kinetic energy.

It is another object of this invention to provide a vehicle motivated by electrostatic energy without the use of moving parts.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a self- propelled vehicle without moving parts. It is a feature of my invention to provide an apparatus for producing relative motion between a structure and the surrounding medium which apparatus includes a pair of electrodes of appropriate form held in fixed spaced relation to each other and immersed in a dielectric medium and oppositely charged. It is another feature of my invention to provide apparatus which includes a body defining one electrode, another separate electrode supported in fixed spaced relation by said body, and a source of high electrical potential connected between the body and the separate electrode.>>

(Extract from US Patent Application N293465 filed on June 13, 1952 titled "Elektrokinetic propulsion system")


The Eletrokinetic device with the Wimshurst generator

Test voltage : about 30kV

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