ON THE DEVELOPEMENT OF NEW ENERGY
By Don Kelly
ON THE DEVELOPEMENT OF NEW ENERGY
Letter from Don Kelly
copied to NEN
I don't sound off very often, but this is one of those times when it appears to be most necessary for the new energy field today.
After about two decades of involvement in this new energy field we have evolved certain guidelines for the eventual adoption of practical decentralized, home-sized energy (power) systems.
Starting out with the ideal situation in N/E (new energy), and then to the practical, workable situation, and then on to the last "no-win", into-limbo type of scenario, we can see the general path to follow and the situations to be avoided.
1. The ideal situation for the fairly rapid adoption of N/E can be called the "Transistor-Bell Labs" approach to success. As you know the transistor was easily successful in the electronics field as an "in-house" project, where Bell Labs scientists evolved the semi-conductor concept into the commercial transistor, where the ideal facilities, personnel, and funding, plus the name "clout" were all in place, for a real electronics breakthrough, and ready marketing success.
We all know that this "ideal" scenario for new energy is not going to happen for several reasons which have been well covered by other writers in the N/E field today!
2. Failing to have an "ideal" approach toward commercialization, we must now depend on the second, or what can be called the "XEROX" or step-by-step N/E development approach These steps are: 1) the evolving of a practical, working overunity prototype, 2) seeking support from friends and converts to N/E for the "Haloid Co," or pre-production stage, where the first prototype is evolved and improved towards the eventual production and final stage of marketing.
Chester Carlson evolved the first successful dry copier in an apartment above a bar in Astoria, Queens, N.Y. (How's that for the classic "backyard" inventor case, but where all the correct steps were taken!)
Carlson made his first misstep in taking his working dry copier to MultiGraph-Addressograph, who just about threw him out of their door, as being a competitor for their mimeograph machines!
How many inventors in this N/E field have also made this misstep by taking their project to some Federal govt. agency for their review and consideration, or to some private group where it is either rejected or the basic concepts stolen.
It is interesting to note that in the Carlson case, where several years later when XEROX became successful and caused the demise of M-A, as above, people began to throw their mimeograph machines out the door, to Chester Carlson's delight!
From the "Haloid Co." phase in the dry copier development project (a critical important mid-phase in R&D), a deal was made with the Battelle Development Corp. of Ohio, for the further evolution of the Haloid dry copier, into a pre-production model towards commercialization.
The "Battelle D. Corp." phase is also critically important to the successful commercial end product, in the N/E field, because this is where all the components must be made cost-effective and the competitive position of the project established. If any of these requirements are not clearly met, then the whole project may also have to "go out the door" since it probably won't fly commercially.
There have already been inventors of a whole mess of so-called N/E projects who didn't have a clue to these second and third steps toward a successful conclusion of their project work. In some cases, some inventors were totally unaware of how critical the cost effectiveness of their project work is, and just tended to avoid this issue until "later."
The last, and saddest situation is where the N/E inventor acts as a recluse, or lone inventor and believes that he, along with a few close friends, can promote, produce the invention, and then somehow, later, hand it over to some major corporation for the production stage. Such a single stage of product development is neither practical nor workable, since the two magic "C" words are nowhere in evidence. These "C" words are "consensus" and "constituency" and without either one of them, such N/E projects are pre-doomed to failure.
We can now see how Chester Carlson had both of these "C" words working for him during the "Haloid" or second phase of this pre-XEROX R&D. The word started to get around towns, that, hey! this darn thing is better, cleaner and more efficient than the messy mimeograph around at that time.
There is a clear message here for all N/E inventors, your project had best be better, cleaner, more efficient, and hopefully competitive with whatever is out there now! Without a relatively large following from both laymen and technical people alike, none of these N/E projects will ever make it into production and wide-scale acceptance.
This very sad, third case situation can be best typified by the excellent N/E inventor Dr. T. Henry Moray and his brilliant radiant energy system, of the 1930-40's. To this very day, the Moray project work has much promise, but unfortunately has just slipped into limbo. The fact hasn't registered on many researchers today that Moray's work bore the heavy handiwork of the great Nikola Tesla, and should have attracted far more attention than it has, to this point. [Moray also filed a patent application for the transistor in about 1930. Ed.]
Here we see the critical "C" words missing from T.H. Moray's disclosure of his project, at that time. Without this critical following, plus the endorsement of some "high profile" celebrities, we can see how Moray's work just drifted into oblivion! Even though his project work has not been successful so far, Joe Newman was well aware of the power in the magic "C" words, and used them to the hilt in his big-time theaters/demos, plus he was wise enough to seek out the endorsements of some key scientists and officials. Joe's work seems to be a case of "putting the cart before the horse." We continue to wish him well because he is one of us - "believers" in N/E.
On the bright side of this N/E field, we now are seeing several promising projects being evolved, and it is hoped that they will become aware of the three-step process, as above, and be wary of the pitfalls!
Don A. Kelly
(Space Energy Association)
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Apr. 7, 1998.