Adelaide Branch

Welcome to the August edition of the newsletter. When you read the AGM report you will realise that we have a new Treasurer in the form of Peter Manning. Peter has been with the group since 1992 when it was first formalised and has been an exceptional source of information and help to Ashley and myself in recent times. I would like to thank Peter for his help in the past and also for now accepting a more formal role in the group.


This was once again a very quick affair with Ashley declaring all positions vacant and calling for nominations of those positions. Ashley was re-elected as Chairman (nominated by Helen, seconded by Dino), Peter was elected as Treasurer (nominated by Ashley, seconded by Tony) and I was again elected as Secretary (nominated by Ian, seconded by Damien). Thankyou to the outgoing treasurer Dan, for his work in the past 12 months. The AGM was officially closed by Ashley and stress levels got back to normal for all the “I hope they don’t pick me” people!!!


Numbers are still going up with 59 people attending this month - a hall is looking imminent! Ashley opened the meeting with an explanation of the new system for receiving newsletters and for operating the video library. Unless you have a newsletter subscription, at each meeting as you pay your $3, tick your name off the list provided to receive that month’s newsletter. If you are not going to attend the meeting, it is up to YOU to let me know that you still want one. We have had to put the responsibility back onto yourselves as with the increase in numbers at meetings it is impossible for me to keep up with who is there and who is not. Also because of the increase in numbers, video borrowings are now restricted to 2 per person and if either are not returned the following month you cannot borrow any others until the overdue one(s) are returned. This way we can keep the stocks up so that it is fairer for everyone. After that was out of the way, I read the incoming mail for the month which consisted of the ASTRO Vic. newsheet and a catalogue of papers, books and videos from Cliff Pound up in Byron Bay. Cliff is offering 10% discount on most items for ASTRO members.

The meeting was then opened up to general discussion with Anton beginning by donating more UFO reports to the library and Allan donating a folder of information he has downloaded from the Internet. Ashley presented a catalogue from “Source Books and Beyond” and a folder of an overview of F/E research. Andrew excitedly told everyone his

latest news that he has a financial backer for his H2O project in which the water is ionised, vaporised and fed through a catalyst to produce hydrogen. His backer has capital, resources and production facilities in Poland. Andrew told us how he had been pursuing this project over the last 15 years to what now seems to be it’s conclusion - congratulations Andrew.

Michael reported on some articles that he had found on the Internet this month which included making fuel from sugar in the form of hydrogen extracted by the use of enzymes, Takahashi’s latest report and a sculpture in Norway that appears to be a perpetual motion machine. The Mad Cow disease was the next subject discussed with apparent new evidence that it is a protein problem caused by feeding the cows old meat. Finally I gave away a couple of LCD screens that were surplus to my needs.

The guest speakers for the night were Allan, Martin and Ashley, ably assisted by Carol, who gave talk and demonstration of harmonic frequencies. This included some video and audio tapes, chanting, instrument playing and analysis of it all with a spectrum analyser. After all this, George completed the night with his explanation of it all from a 4D perspective. Once again it was a great meeting and thanks goes to all those who participated in bringing it all together.


Thanks to my neighbour, John, for this information on a new book which will probably be of interest to people in our group, particularly to those who think that technology is the answer to everything. This book by Edward Tenner is called “Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences”. In his book he lists multiple examples of how using technology has created the opposite effect hoped for or another even worse set of circumstances.

Examples given include:

¨ After thirty years of spraying pesticides to eliminate the Fire Ant in America, it was found that the population of these pests were increasing because the sprays were killing the ants natural preditors but not the ants.

¨ Earlier this century, breakthroughs in antibiotics inspired researchers to predict that disease would be eliminated, but what has happened is that a wave of new drug resistant microbes have emerged.

¨ Sports equipment designed in America to make Gridiron safer has encouraged more reckless moves and so has ended up making the sport more dangerous than before.

¨ Fire fighting techniques are so effective today that small fires are put out so quickly that they do not burn up the debris and so the fuel load builds up until a larger unmanageable fire occurs.

The list goes on and on in this book with the Tenner saying that every technological endeavour is riddled with “solutions” that backfire. I think this may be a bit harsh, but certainly what inspired Tenner to write the book was the observation ten yers ago that the personal computer that was going to create the “eco correct” paperless office of the future was actually creating more paper use, not less!!


This device was patented on February 23rd 1993 by inventor James Griggs from Powder Springs, Georgia in the United States. His company, Hydro Dynamics in Cartersville, Georgia is now continuing the research. For those interested in following up further information, the patent (No. 5,188,090) is available in the ASTRO library along with an article on a similar device designed by Michael Huffman.The following is an extract from the patent to give readers an idea of what Griggs and his machine is all about.

“Devices according to the present invention for heating fluids contain a cylindrical rotor whose cylindrical surface features a number of irregularities or bores. The rotor rotates within a housing whose interior surface conforms closely to the cylindrical and end surfaces of the rotor. A bearing plate, which serves to mount bearings and seals for the shaft and rotor, abuts each side of the housing. The bearing plates feature hollowed portions which communicate with the void between the housing and rotor. Inlet ports are formed in the bearing plates to allow fluid to enter the rotor/housing void in the vicinity of the shaft. The housing features one or more exit ports through which fluid at elevated pressure and/or temperature exits the apparatus. The shaft may be driven by electric motor or other motive means, and may be driven directly, geared, powered by pulley or otherwise driven.

According to one aspect of the invention, the rotor devices may be utilized to supply heated water to heat exchangers in HVAC systems and to de-energized hot water heaters in homes, thereby supplanting the requirement for energy input into the hot water heaters and furnace side of the HVAC systems. It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide a device for heating fluid in a void located between a rotating rotor and stationary housing, which device is structurally simple and requires reduced manufacturing and maintenance costs. It is an additional object of the present invention to produce a mechanically elegant and thermodynamically highly efficient means for increasing pressure and/or temperature of fluids such as water (including, where desired, converting fluid from liquid to gas phase). It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a system for providing heat and hot water to residences and commercial space using devices featuring mechanically driven rotors for heating water.”

A trip was made by Thomas Droege to Hydro Dynamics Inc., Rome, GA on the 8th of March 1995 to study the possible over unity aspect of the device developed there by Jim Griggs. A quote taken from his report on the visit follows:

“I then dug out the ICCF-4 paper and looked for the spot where I had interpreted an over unity claim. Here is a quote from the CONCLUSION, page 43-10.

First paragraph: "It appears that the label "COLD FUSION" is being applied to all research that involves the "excess energy" phenomenon. Previous Hydro Dynamics' tests, including these results, strongly suggest the presence of excess energy. At this stage of our research we are not theorizing as to the source of the "excess".

Last paragraph: During the past three years the test performed at Hydrodynamics continue to indicate COP's greater than one. We believe additional research in this area must continue.”

The jury was still out regarding the over-unity performance of Grigg’s device in Droege’s report, which basically said that although the methods of measuring the experimental data were accurate, and a demonstration given to him did indicate over-unity, the keeping of records were not satisfactory which made it difficult for him to see what the group had actually achieved. There is probably a message in that for all you local experimenters out there - how many of you keep a log book of results??


This item came from the City of Palm Desert News, dated 6/2/96. For more information about the fuel cell golf cart project, call 619/346-0611 in the good old U.S. of A.

City transport just became a little more environmentally-friendly in Palm Desert, California. The city recently introduced the first hydrogen-powered, fuel cell golf cart, slated to be used as clean inner-city transportation. This prototype is the first in a proposed fleet of eight carts, provided through a research, development and demonstration project. The project is being sponsored by a public/private partnership which includes the City of Palm Desert and the Schatz Energy Research Centre at Arcata, California's Humboldt State University. City officials hope to parlay the research project and seed money into a viable clean-air industry that will move promising fuel cell technology toward widespread, practical use, according to Paul Shillcock, Palm Desert's economic development director.

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert hydrogen and oxygen directly into electricity. The process of obtaining the hydrogen fuel is accomplished by passing an electrical current through ordinary water, explains Dr. Peter Lehman, who directs the Schatz Energy Research Centre. The current can be obtained from any present source, including wind and solar energy. The electricity is used to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Oxygen is the by-product, while the hydrogen is stored in tanks where it can be used by fuel cells to generate electricity used in vehicles or as stored power. "Water pure enough to drink is the only by-product of this process," said Lehman. The efficiency of the hydrogen energy to electrical energy process is approximately 40% -- twice the efficiency of an internal combustion engine. Lehman believes fuel cells could be the most efficient and environmentally clean source of power ever developed.

Southern California is leading the nation in the development of hydrogen as a fuel, and Palm Desert, the first city in the country to initiate legislation at the state level enabling electric golf carts to be used on city streets, hopes to provide full access throughout the community and to have golf carts become the norm for inner-city transportation.

Currently, approximately $3 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and $800,000 from the South Coast Air Quality Management District has been approved and will soon be available. Palm Desert has allocated $300,000 toward the project's $4 million budget, along with use of city facilities as a fuel cell diagnostic centre for the three-year project. The remaining amount will come from funds provided by Schatz, WinTec Limited of Palm Springs, Dupont Corporation, Teledyne Brown Engineering and other participants.


Chrysler has announced a $132 million project to develop automotive hybrid propulsion systems. Hybrid systems are those which use two different forms of power e.g. diesel electric. Chrysler is looking at a wide range of power sources which can be combined for passenger vehicles, with propulsion systems including diesel engines, electric motors, flywheels, ultra-capacitors, high powered batteries, and control electronics. The plan is to be carried out in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy, and is to have a production prototype ready by 2004. Researchers want the vehicle to have up to three times the fuel efficiency of existing cars, while being able to accelerate to 100km/h in 12 seconds and to be no dearer than today’s mid-size sedans.

The project also involves Ford and General Motors, with the objective of producing cars that can achieve 3 litres/100km while maintaining the performance, practicability and affordability of today’s cars. Meanwhile, in Germany, General Motors subsidary, Opel, has developed an electric version of the Combo commercial vehicle, which has recently gone on sale in Australia. Still in its prototype stage, the Combo Plus has two sodium-nickel chloride batteries which can be charged in the vehicle, or replaced with pre-charged batteries in a change over operation which takes 20 minutes. The Combo Plus has a range of 200km and a top speed of 110km/h.


This month we will look at the question of “How efficient are Flat Plate Collectors?”

The easiest way to understand solar collector efficiency is to think in reverse. Don’t think so much about the temperature of the collector itself. The whole system is like a water cooled engine in a car. When the circulating water, cooled by the cars radiator, keeps the engine running at a reasonably cool temperature, everything is thought to be running efficiently. The same is true of a solar collector. If water or antifreeze is running through the absorber plate fast enough to keep it cool, most of the heat is transferred to the water and so things are working well. If the water runs too slowly, and the collector gets hot, there is obviously a lot of inefficient heat loss. In a sense, the hot water is just a product of the cooling process. The trick then, is to regulate the flow so that more water is heated, even though its heated temperature is lower than it would be if the flow rate were slower. When this is the case, the absorber is being kept cool and the water is hot, the collector can be said that it is in a healthy state of equilibrium. The exact efficiency of a solar collector is figured by comparing the amount of energy actually absorbed by the plate to the amount of energy that is falling on the collector. A simple equation would look like:

efficiency = energy absorbed / energy falling

If 1200 BTUs of energy per day fell on a square foot of collector surface and it absorbs 700 BTUs, the equation then becomes:

efficiency = 700 BTUs / 1200 BTUs = 58.3%

Heat loss from a collector, which spells inefficiency, depends on several factors.

1. How much heat can the plate absorb?

2. How much heat does the plate re-radiate?

3. The ambient temperature and wind speed.

4. The number of layers of glazing.

5. How well the glazing lets the light through.

6. How effective the insulation is on the bottom and sides of the box.

The diagram illustrates why a flat plate collector is not 100% efficient. Only about 58% of the heat actually gets transmitted to the water in the tube due to external losses. In effect 8% is lost by radiation, 20% lost by convection, 10% reflected by the glazing and 4% is lost by conduction.

This is the final article in this series on flat plate collectors, so thanks once again to Leon for supplying this information.


A PROTOTYPE solar device that produces enough hot air from the Sun's rays to drive the turbines of a 50 kilowatt power station has brought the prospect of cheap, solar-generated electricity a step closer. The solar energy collector has been successfully tested by Israeli researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Many modern power stations use hot gas to drive the turbines that produce electricity. The gas must be between 1200 and 1350C and must reach pressures of between 10 and 30 bar. Existing solar collectors, which focus the Sun's rays on tubes of air, cannot do this. The best they can achieve is about 700 C at normal atmospheric pressure.

The new device focuses the Sun's rays through a quartz window to heat ceramic pins around which air flows. The array of pins--which researchers Jacob Karni, Abraham Kribus and Rahamim Rubin have nicknamed the "porcupine"--absorbs solar energy and transfers it to the air. Because the ceramic pins have a large surface area they transfer heat to the surrounding air very efficiently. A funnel-shaped device concentrates the energy using internal mirrors that channel the rays. This can concentrate the energy to 10,000 kilowatts a square metre. "That makes it the hottest thing in the solar system other than the Sun," says Karni. This concentration of solar rays then passes through the quartz window. Quartz is used because it is transparent and is strong enough to withstand the pressure of the gas inside. The pins absorb the Sun's energy and reach 1800 C. Air flow around the pins is carefully controlled to prevent them overheating.

In principle, this technology could be used in any size of power station, from small industrial generators to large stations feeding a national grid. Karni estimates that Israel's peak-hour electricity demand of 6000 megawatts could be provided by solar power stations collecting sunlight from an area of 2000 hectares. This is considerably less than the area currently taken up by Israel's fossil-fuel power stations. A solar plant in Israel's southern desert could "turn Israel into a net exporter of electricity", says Karni. The technology could also be used to convert solar energy into chemical fuel, he adds. Uri Fischer, director of development at Ormat, an Israeli company that produces gas turbines, geothermal plants, and other energy devices, is cautiously optimistic. His company has invested in the Weizmann Institute project. He says the technology could produce solar-generated electricity at competitive prices: "We estimate seven cents per kilowatt, and that's before improvements that we expect will be made."Electricity produced by fossil fuel power stations normally costs between 5 and 6 cents a kilowatt--although in many places the cost can be far higher. However, Fischer says the researchers still have to show that a full-scale version can run efficiently. Ormat is continuing to support the research. Fischer says there is a market for small industrial uses of the technology. He believes that industrial-sized solar power generators should be on the market in three or four years.


As a follow up to the article in the July newsletter on producing hydrogen from electrolysis cells, I have included the following information for those who are experimenting with using hydrogen as a fuel. This month we will look at the problem of pre-ignition and the benefits of water injection, while next month the subjects of ignition timing and spark plugs will be looked at.


This can be a problem in engines using hydrogen as a fuel as the autoignition temperature for hydrogen is approximately one tenth that of other fuels. Carbon deposits and manifold temperatures that are too low to ignite petrol may be high enough to lead to preignition with hydrogen. Hot surfaces that can initiate preignition include:

1. Spark plug electrodes.

2. Exhaust valves.

3. Carbon deposits from unburnt lubricants.

Preignition is also influenced by the Equivalency Ratio or e.r. which equals the actual fuel mixture divided by the ideal fuel mixture. For normal operation, this ratio is set to 0.5 to 0.65 whereas for maximum power this can be raised to 1.0 to 1.6. The higher the e.r. the higher will be the combustion temperature. At low e.r. the fuel is completely burned but some oxygen is left over. This unreacted air cools the combustion and so reduces the risk of pre-ignition. Other methods of reducing this risk are:

1. Exclude excessive oil from the combustion chamber. Less oil is needed with gaseous fuel.

2. Use low temperature spark plugs.

3. Use sodium filled exhaust valves to avoid heat build up in the valve mass.

4. Water injection to cool down the cylinder.

Step number 3 is probably a bit over the top unless you find that preignition is a serious problem. However the other factors are simple to control and are consistent with running conventionally fuelled high compression engines which commonly have detonation problems. The other factor of course is engine timing and depending on what literature you read or who you speak to this can vary widely - I guess that one is left up to the individual experimenter although if anyone wants to relate their experiences to me I will certainly repeat them in this newsletter for the benefit of others.


The injection of water vapour into the cylinder reduces the combustion temperature and as well as helping the detonation problem as mentioned previously, it also reduces the formation of nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxides are reduced in increasingly large amounts for each small decrease in combustion temperature. Conversely small increases in combustion temperature causes large increases in nitrous oxide formation. Water injection is an effective means of controlling nitrous oxide without loss of power, efficiency or exhaust temperature. The effectiveness of water injection increases with engine rpm.

As water injection reduces the combustion temperature it also reduces the probability of preignition and flashback. By reducing the reaction rate of hydrogen and air in the cylinder and increasing the energy required for ignition, a larger range of mixtures can be used. Reducing the time, as well as the temperature, of combustion greatly reduces nitrous oxide emissions. This also serves to promote longer engine life.

More water is needed with higher engine rpm, and so to accommodate this fact experimenters in Germany varied water injection rates with engine rpm. No water is injected up to 2000rpm. At up to 4000rpm the water injection rate was varied from 1gram/second to 8gram/second. The standard fuel tank, carburettor, and fuel pump may be adapted for water. The picture with this article shows an externally mixed hydrogen converted engine with water injection. The hydrogen fuel and water enter the gas mixer through different ports. The two spray nozzles are installed on each side of the intake manifold just below the plenum chamber throttle plate while water flow rate must be adjusted to avoid excess water leaking past the piston rings.


This is another advert from the 1950’s from the Popular Mechanics magazine. These type of oil filters have been rediscovered in the last year or two as something completely new, but guess what - it’s all been done before!


combination of letters.


What is it??? look for the answer below.


Scared of flying??? You could wear one of these!!! Straight from a 1939 editon of Popular Mechanics comes the parachute you can wear - just don’t fall out of the plane head first.

“The latest form taken by the parachute is that of a lifesaving garment that would be worn by the user. It would be attached to a belt around the chest and to bands on the ankles. The flexible stays would help hold the ‘chute open in the air. Opening the parachute would be accomplished by simply lifting the arms.”



The next meeting will be held on the second Friday of the month once again, this time being:






With previous meetings speakers talking about colour, light, sound and other frequency healing modalities, this month we will have a chiropractor as our guest speaker. But.......... as you might guess, being ASTRO this is no ordinary bone cruncher. Peter Snodgrass works with bio-energetics (Kinesiology) to achieve a state of “Body Order” in his patients so that they can maintain their own health instead of relying on practitioners to do it for them. Peter is a dynamic speaker and demonstrates the principles of his work using volunteers from the audience. (p.s. if you like Smarties, volunteer!)






Don’t forget your $3 entry and something to share for supper. It should once again be an interesting night so I hope to see you all there!


Phrenetic Phrase answer: Pie in the face!