The Great Energy Transition: Transitioning to the Future

October 28, 2016 9:41 AM0 comments

Last Wednesday I had what may turn out to be a glimpse of mankind’s future in, of all places, New Jersey. Keep in mind that New Jersey was where Edison invented the light bulb, so the state has a track record of earth-shaking innovation. The venue was the most recent demonstration of the progress that Brilliant Light Power has had in preparing its SunCell energy generating device for market. As some of you may recall from my previous columns, this device takes tiny amounts of water, converts it to a controversial form of hydrogen (which mainstream science does not admit can possibly exist) and as a result produces a teacup-sized sun that is used to produce prodigious amounts of electricity using solar cells. There is, of course, no pollution resulting from the SunCell’s operation and the cost of the fuel is close to zero, making it an irresistible choice to power the world of the future.

If your immediate reaction is that this sounds too good to be true, welcome to the club as 99+ percent of people who have ever heard about this device have the same reaction as you — at least for now. The issue is not that the SunCell does not work, for all those who have been close enough to see it in operation or tested its output testify that it does; the problem is that the device and the science behind it are simply too far ahead of our time to be comprehended. As the late Arthur C. Clarke, the science fiction writer, said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Starting from the development in November 2013 of a process to extract large amounts of energy from atomic hydrogen derived from water molecules, Randell Mills and his associates at Brilliant Light Power have moved the technology from a single flash of light to a device that now can keep a teacup-sized version of the sun burning continuously inside a sphere made of refractory materials. In few weeks, this sphere, which glows with the intensity of a light bulb filament, will be encased in a geodesic dome of advanced photovoltaic chips which will produce electricity which first will measure in tens of thousands of kilowatts and eventually in megawatts.

It is obvious that widespread dissemination of this technology could quickly replace all other ways of generating electricity — including the combustion of fossil fuels, nuclear, solar, wind, and hydro. The major reasons for the rapid acceptance are that it is a compact device, simple to make, non-polluting, does not require an electric grid, and once installed, costs virtually nothing to run. While the photovoltaic cells currently are the most expensive part of the SunCell, their price should drop markedly once these devices are produced by the millions.

Needless to say, we can anticipate a strong vested-interest reaction to the advent of this technology from those involved in the various way we currently produce and distribute electricity. These interests naturally will be supported by those who have not yet grasped the reality that the world is getting hotter largely due to emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. So the SunCell will start life with formidable resistance to its introduction. Unless the world has already passed a tipping point where it is no longer possible to stop and reverse global warming, then the SunCell and perhaps equivalent technologies, offer the best, if not the only, hope of keeping life on this planet reasonably pleasant in the near future.

Much of the news coming from the Brilliant Light Power’s recent presentation concerned the timetable for bringing the SunCell to market which is anticipated to be late next year or soon after. The heart of the device which are the subsystems that produce the small sun seem to be functioning well. They have no moving parts and are expected to run continuously for 20 years which is the expected life for solar cells. There are probably many useful things a device such as the SunCell can do in an industrial setting; however, for now the priority is to make inexpensive, non-polluting electricity, which as we know has endless uses both in the stationary and mobile modes.

Current plans call for the photo voltaic cells to be ready for testing by January. Customizing the photovoltaic cells is not a simple matter as the SunCell produces light thousands of times stronger than that of the sun by the time it reaches earth. This energy must be safely handled and exhausted to prevent the cells from melting. If all goes well, early prototypes of the SunCell will be made available to prospective customers and collaborators for testing by the middle of the year. If the testing is satisfactory, and all the safety certifications are in place, then the SunCell could be available for commercial use by the end of 2017.

What are we to think about all this? First, the possibility that the whole idea is a scam is too remote to consider. Mills has been open about his project and more recently the progress and setbacks as he tries to develop a commercial system. The assertion by those in the academic community that the science behind the SunCell is impossible means that they have not dived into the subject deeply enough to fathom that the science goes beyond current dogma. There are now too many outside scientists, engineers, inventors, attorneys and financiers that have seen the technology up close to believe there is a massive fraud being perpetrated. Obviously, the hundreds of employees of respected outside firms that have contracted to build the solar cells or engineer the SunCell into a marketable product do not think they are dealing with a fraud or even a dubious technology. Too many outside academics have staked their reputations by verifying the technology.

Somewhere in the next six months, an electricity-producing prototype of a SunCell should be ready for public display. At this point, Mills, Brilliant Light Power, and its product will be difficult to ignore. Academics who have been denying Mills’ science for the last 25 years will either have to find an alternative explanation for the extraordinary amounts of electricity being produced or start rethinking some parts of physics. The world will never be the same.

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