Tesla's self-running engine


Comming soon


"The Problem of Increasing Human Energy," Century, 1901


"I read some statements from Carnot and Lord Kelvin (then Sir William Thomson) which meant virtually that it is impossible for an inanimate mechanism or self-acting machine to cool a portion of the medium below the temperature of the surrounding, and operate by the heat abstracted. These statements interested me intensely. Evidently a living being could do this very thing, and since the experiences of my early life which I have related had convinced me that a living being is only an automaton, or, otherwise stated, a "self-acting-engine," I came to the conclusion that it was possible to construct a machine which would do the same. As the first step toward this realization I conceived the following mechanism. Imagine a thermopile consisting of a number of bars of metal extending from the earth to the outer space beyond the atmosphere. The heat from below, conducted upward along these metal bars, would cool the earth or the sea or the air, according to the location of the lower parts of the bars, and the result, as is well known, would be an electric current circulating in these bars. The two terminals of the thermopile could now be joined through an electric motor, and, theoretically, this motor would run on and on, until the media below would be cooled down to the temperature of the outer space. This would be an inanimate engine which, to all evidence, would be cooling a portion of the medium below the temperature of the surrounding, and operating by the heat abstracted".


"Much of this task on which I have labored so long remains to be done. A number of mechanical details are still to be perfected and some difficulties of a different nature to be mastered, and I cannot hope to produce a self-acting machine deriving energy from the ambient medium for a long time yet, even if all my expectations should materialize".



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Comments: 8
  • #1

    David Spector (Saturday, 14 November 2015 01:08)

    This self-running engine, if it could be built, would probably work, since it would generate energy by transformation (slightly reducing the temperature of the Earth), through conducting heat. It is not a perpetual-motion machine, and would not violate thermodynamics or any other part of physics. It would be similar in some ways to current and very practical geothermal electrical generation units.

    However, it would produce adverse effects on Earth's weather and climate. And it would cost billions, possibly trillions of dollars to build, if it could be built at all. It is wonderful as a thought experiment, but it offers no practical benefit, in my opinion, and is not an example of "free energy".

  • #2

    Ernst (Monday, 09 May 2016 03:30)

    Think again.
    Within the next 2-3 month I will put a video on my channel (TheMage00000) showing how it is done.
    (before the end of July, 2016)

  • #3

    James (Tesla Research) (Thursday, 19 May 2016 19:35)

    Hi Ernst. Your laboratory is awsome! I'm waiting to see your experiment.

    I decided to put this topic in the section of myths and controversial topic because there is not so much information and it is a good topic for a debate. I don't have any doubt that it could work but I want to remark a difference between the modern concept of "free energy" (which appear in internet) and the concept of Tesla to get "free energy" because it's really not the same. Tesla meant that it is possible to get energy from the ambient, and it is not a contradiction with modern science (renewable energy consist of getting energy from the ambient too). It wasn't a perpetual motion machine without friction or anything like that.

  • #4

    Ernst (Friday, 17 June 2016 03:41)

    Hi James,
    It is controversial, that is true. So are your remarks on free energy.
    Thr problem is not with Tesla's plan, though.
    It is a blind spot in modern science.
    If all goes well, I will show you real soon.

  • #5

    Tom Booth (Thursday, 18 August 2016 10:23)

    I am working on building such an engine as Tesla described. I fanyone wishes to follow along with the progress I will be posting updates to the following site from time to time. Any help, comments or suggestions would be very much appreciated.


    Also feel free to visit my Facebook page

  • #6

    H. Tomasz Grzybowski (Monday, 21 August 2017 17:41)

    It is a good question if a Classical Perpetual Motion Machine of the Second Kind can work. It is conceivable that it can work, because Heat Pumps have OVERUNITY efficiency - so called Coefficient Of Performance (COP).
    I have a proof that it is possible to systematically violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics - please read my article "Diode Rectifies Thermal Noise" in Research Gate. H. Tomasz Grzybowski, email: htg@interia.pl

  • #7

    Dhan (Monday, 30 April 2018 20:42)

    Hi, Tesla didn't have the technology to build his "Self-Acting Engine".
    It has been built by several people.
    Two German inventors have designed a refridgerator that generates electricity.
    G. Wisemann has also designed a "Self-Acting Engine".
    Free-Energy is more correctly called OVER-UNITY where the Coefficient Of Performance ( COP ) is greater than 1 i.e. COP>1 ...
    The COP is the OUTPUT ENERGY divided by the INPUT ENERGY FROM THE OPERATOR. The excess comes from the "environment".
    A "normal" refridgerator has a COP=3, thus it is a "Free-Energy" machine.
    A WINDMILL has a huge COP.
    A SOLAR CELL has a VERY BIG COP, thus is also a "Free-Energy" machine.

  • #8

    Suncat2000 (Friday, 15 March 2019 15:51)

    What Tesla is describing has already been built, but at a smaller scale. You can buy them as Thermo-electric Generator modules (TEGs). They work using the Seebeck Effect, translating temperature difference to current. In reverse, they are Peltier Cooling or Thermo-electric Cooling modules (TECs). They don't do a lot of work individually, but assembled in series or parallel, they can produce quite a bit of electricity or cooling. So...this is a real thing, not a controversial one at all.