Steorn: New Orbo O-Cube Webinar (Update #2: Now a ‘Never-Die’ O-Phone?)

For those interested in Steorn’s Orbo-powered O-Cube, a second webinar has been announced which will be held on Wednesday, December 2, 2015.

UPDATE #2 (Nov 19, 2015)

Shaun McCarthy is often dropping hints on Facebook — which now seems to be Steorn’s platform of choice for publicity, and recently he started mentioning an ‘ophone’, without much explanation. Today he shared a FB post from Rachel Wallace, aka ‘Ogirl’, who is doing publicity for Steorn. She posted:

LOVING my ophone!! Hasn’t been charged once!!! And have charged my normal phone 3 times – UGHMAZING ‪#‎ophone‬ ‪#‎steorn‬ happy little ogirl

Steorn has been saying for years they want to use Orbo technology to make it possible to have a phone that never needs recharging, and maybe they are getting to that point now. I guess we’ll find out more on the Dec 2 webinar.

UPDATE #1 (Nov 18, 2015) Here’s a photo posted on Facebook by Shaun McCarthy — it looks like they are getting the O-Cubes ready for assembly ahead of taking orders (they are supposed to be ready for sale in December):


UPDATE: Here’s a new promo video for the upcoming webinar from the Orbo Facebook page.

[fbvideo link=”” width=”640″ height=”480″ onlyvideo=”1″]

The announcement on the Orbo Facebook page states:

The O-Cube webinar II: The second O-Cube webinar will take place on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015. The webinar will include user testimonials, an overview of some products in development and detail on how to purchase the O-cube.

The first Webinar on October 28th generated some interest, and quite a bit of sticker shock when Steorn announced that the O-Cube will be selling for 1200 Euros. Subsequent to the first webinar, a video of a private webinar was made public in which Steorn CEO Shaun McCarthy gave a more detailed overview of the current iteration of Orbo (it uses electrets rather than magnets), and of the business model they are following. The company is not planning to be a manufacturer of products long-term; they are hoping to use these first limited product runs to create favorable conditions to help them with their long-term licensing strategy.

December 2 is about a month away, and one good reason for the lengthy gap of time between the two webinars is to see how the O-Cubes that have been distributed to users so far hold up after working for over a month. If they have been used continuously, and are still charging devices, it would make things quite interesting.

I am still hopeful that I will be able to purchase an early O-Cube, and am still planning to do long-term testing of it.

  • Andre Blum

  • These kinds of posts belong on , not on E-Cat World.

    • ecatworld

      One great benefit about running this site on my own, is that I can decide what to cover. I am not being flippant.

      I started this site because I am most interested in a new generation of radical new energy technology, and the E-Cat certainly represents that. I think that Steorn’s Orbo might be another type, and that’s I have been covering it here.

      If Steorn does bring this technology to market in a consumer product, I think it will be a significant achievement. It seems like we won’t have to wait too long to find out how it performs.

      • Sanjeev

        I’m with you on this one, in spite of the fact that I dislike Steorn just as much as any other person following alt energy scene, but I do think that such wild claims must be given benefit of doubt. No one knows who will come out with something that will change the course of human evolution towards the good.
        In short, lets not throw the baby with the bathwater.

        • ecatworld

          Yes, when evaluating this kind of tech, whether one likes or dislikes a person, or company, is beside the point. You just have to try to evaluate evidence as carefully as you can.

    • SG

      A big difference between pesn and this site is Frank’s ability to discern. I’m not saying Frank is right about everything, but if there were two exotic energy technologies that might break through in the short term, from the hundreds of claims out there, I would have selected Rossi’s ecat and Stoern’s orbo myself. I have my reasons and evidences, and I’m sure Frank and others have theirs. But as exotic new forms of energy go, these two appear to have the most promise. Interestingly, they target two completely different market segments: Rossi/industrial/home and Steorn/consumer devices/battery charging.

      • Stoern has never delivered on any of its wild claims, and raises so many red flags of dishonesty and/or self-delusion that it resembles a Chinese New Year parade.

        • SG

          On technical grounds, they have delivered to some extent, although unknown to most. Commercially, they have not… yet. Time will tell.

          • Zephir

            Yes, from perspective of common layman (not to say about average mainstream scientist) A.Rossi didn’t demonstrate much more, than the Steorn. Personally I would appreciate if Andrea Rossi would already sell something tangible (for example the DIY kit for demonstration of his overunity effects).

  • Oystein Lande

    1200 Euros for 0,4 watt continous power ?????
    That’s 3000 Euros pr watt. The most expensive watt in the world probably.
    Payback time = Like never.
    Would rather Buy a 10 watt solar panel USB charger for 60 USD
    Orbo smells fishy….

    • Zephir

      /* The most expensive watt in the world probably */

      Possibly (I’m not so sure about plutonium and tritium thermoelectric batteries, though) – but who else is willing to sell the factual perpetuum mobile together with its working principle?

      This is just another marketing strategy. I’m sure, that if Andrea Rossi would sell his units for domestic users, he would utilize the same strategy, because everyone could copy and re-sell his technology soon.

      • ecatworld

        I’ve never heard Andrea Rossi suggest he would market the domestic E-Cat as a statement piece. I think his plan will be mass production at as cheap-as-possibe prices from the start. Steorn’s strategy is different, because they entering the market with limited production. The first run is only 1000 units.

        • Zephir

          I don’t think, that Industrial Heat plans are exactly same, like these ones presented with Andrea Rossi originally. It just seems for me, that the ECat technology will be sold to large players first, the small domestic units will come way later, if at all. The large influential players in energy business don’t want to lose their income from distribution of energy and Industrial Heat belongs into them.

    • ecatworld

      In the video mentioned above, Shaun McCarthy says very clearly that the price for they are asking for the O-Cube is ridiculously high, and that people who buy at that price will do it not for the amount of energy it produces, but because it’s a statement piece — the first device of its kind on the market.

      They hope to turn a profit this year (for the first time ever since they started working on Orbo) based on sales at that pricepoint, but whether they get sales they want remains to be seen.

      If this thing works as they claim, I would expect that they will find the licensing deals they are hoping for, and that the technology would be improved with better manufacturing techniques, and drop in price dramatically.

      • gdaigle

        On the other hand, the original Apple Macintosh 128K is another statement piece. It originally sold for $2,495, which is $5,555 in today’s dollars. says that one in excellent shape with original packaging (and no modification to the power board) may sell for up to $1,000 on auction sites. So the price likely will not be recouped, but it will be like having a piece of history on your mantle.

  • Alain Samoun

    Don’t you think that it would be more believable if the test was made by a telephone company then?

  • pg


  • Sanjeev

    But you do need one that has a reputation to lose.

  • georgehants

    Many thanks to Admin for being open-minded and scientific by giving the benefit of the doubt to this subject.
    It is a terrible shame that some have not learned the lesson from Cold Fusion and many other examples from history, that a closed-mind is an anathema to science.

    • Zephir

      /* some have not learned the lesson from Cold Fusion */

      I actually didn’t met with any alternative idea, which wouldn’t work at least a bit. The pathoskeptics have it mostly wrong. They’re idiots.

      IMO latest Steorn technology works and you can replicate it yourself as so-called captret or crystal battery effect. The polarized dielectrics acts like rectifier for quantum fluctuations of vacuum. This effect was described in mainstream publications already.

      • Oystein Lande

        “Quantum fluctuations of vacuum” ??

        Your references talk about thermoelectric effects, not “zero point energy”.

        • Zephir

          They utilize the environmental heat, i.e. the energy of quantum fluctuations. Which indeed manifest itself even at the “zero point”, but it’s not important here.

    • Oystein Lande

      Excuse me, but there is a lightyear of difference between CF history and “orbo”. CF started by trustworthy scientists in academia and there where actual scientists that where able to replicate the Fleischmann and Pons excess heat mystery. Still the physics community would not listen since it seemed to violate their precious “laws of physics”.

      No one has been able to replicate the orbo, so this remains a claim from a private Company. Question remains of their past history. Are they to be trustet? And now they sell a product with an extremely high price tag.

      And their claimed explanation should be easy enough to replicate, but none has yet … “………heating them up to just beyond melting point, and then very slowly cooling them, which allows them to retain an electric field. The result is that permanent electric fields are “frozen” into the two magnets. These two electric fields then interact with one another to generate an electric current, …….”

      • georgehants

        I disagree with your comment which seems only to try and sidestep my point above and repeat my clear statement of Fact.
        You sound like one of the mass of scientific skeptics trying to justify their irrational debunking and denial of the possibility of Cold Fusion etc. before final Evidence was investigated.

        • Blue Energy

          George, you have to admit that there is a difference between doubting because something is technically unlikely – and doubting due to prolonged track record. The former is limiting but the latter is reasonable and important for survival. Presumably there is a point, determined by each of us for ourselves, at which all of us would no longer pull Steorn’s finger. But, it follows that we should also allow each person the option of determining where that point is. For myself, I’ve pulled that particular finger over and over – so my credulity is suspect. That said – I’m happy that someone else is testing the new device anyway and I hope against hope that this is the time that the result is not a bad smell in the room.

          • georgehants

            Blue Energy, science can say nothing beyond that which it has temporary Evidence for.
            Opinions are not science and unless it is made clear by the writer that, I am just giving my personal opinion just as if I am telling you who is going to win the 3.30 race then I am a fraud.

            If science does not have a clear answer backed up by solid temport Evidence

          • Blue Energy

            Well… I would submit that, until this point, there is no Evidence whatsoever. Or, anyway, there is no Evidence to lead one to conclude that there is any merit to this latest incarnation of Orbo. Yet, there is an equal force of Steorn supporters weighing in against the Steorn detractors that causes the company to remain in this perpetual state of ‘favored-maybe’ rather than the dustbin of ‘no-evidence’ where they rightfully belong (a result in which Steorn, as a topic, would not continually show up on message boards). ‘Science’ has not weighed in on Orbo at all – and yet here we are writing about it. Steorn has taken on a mythical status among its defenders not afforded to other apparent crackpot schemes. As a topic, it’s like arguing over the attributes of an unmeasured subatomic particle. I’m really hoping that actually producing the product (albeit an outrageously over-priced one) will cause it to have to declare, one way or the other, and once and for all.

          • nietsnie

            Sanjeev is a scientist. He actively participates in a project to replicate the e-cat – which is what this forum is actually about – whereas Orbo is a sideline here.

          • Zephir

            I’m following the alt energy scene closely and what I can say is, just the Steorn (McCarthy in particular) did for explanation of overunity in magnetic motors the most. Of course Orbo is OT here, but we should unlearn the pluralistic ignorance by as many examples, as possible.

            Or the proponents of cold fusion will get to the same scheme of dismissive thinking, like the mainstream physicists.

          • nietsnie

            Being open-minded is not at odds with being skeptical. Skepticism and science go hand-in-hand. Steorn is a special case that, because of its behavior for the past nine years, has made it challenging for some of the merely skeptical not to graduate to dismissive.

          • Zephir

            Don’t we have cold fusion research delayed by nearly one century already just because some “scientists” consider it a sideline of their own research?

            Why the same ignorant attitude should be repeated again and again even in cold fusion circles? This goes over my head.

          • georgehants

            So agree, the Orbo is just another possible breakthrough and must be allowed with open-minds the chance to prove itself with no debunking denial etc, by incompetent scientists.
            It is the whole childish attitude of most “scientists” to anything beyond their religious Dogma being threatened that seems to turn them into non-thinking parrots.
            Perhaps you would agree with my opinion that until science education is totally reformed and students are from the beginning taught the Truth, that science Dogma and beliefs must be always questioned and Researched further, they are not unchangeable Facts as more knowledge is added.
            Taught that anything is possible, the comical boundary’s constructed by science to hide their complete ignorance, in all cases makes them look like clowns and damages any possible respect for the profession.
            If the Orbo turns out a failure then nothing is lost but the open-minded professionalism science is not damaged.

          • Blue Energy

            George, although I basically agree with you regarding the importance of allowing for the possibility of things that are not yet understood, the ‘Steorn’ story is not only that. They also have a history. I grant you that the vanguard of Steorn detraction is based on the former. But, there are a lot of people, such as myself, who are also swayed by the latter and I believe that you may not be taking this into account.

            Also, if the Orbo turns out to be a failure – I disagree with you that nothing is lost. For one, Frank and the other contributors will be out $1300.00 – and the Steorn investors will be out 20 million. *If* it has been a fraud all along, those people will have lost their money while Sean goes off to do something else with his.

            For another, hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of people have spent enormous amounts of time, often late at night, following this story, spreading the word to (soon to be) former friends, attempting to duplicate the work, holding forth on forums, etc – with the presumption that the effort has been sincere. All that time will have been lost for nothing.

            But, maybe most egregious damage of all will have been done to the very thing that you seem to hold most dear: that the public will give the benefit of the doubt to ideas that are difficult for them to accept, or which come not from a huge corporation but from a creative person with a dream who knows they have a better notion. The name ‘Steorn’ has been invoked in relation to Rossi and e-cat, and as a way of creating doubt, as often as Republicans invoke ‘Ronald Regan’ to improve their chances of being elected. If OCube turns out to be an elaborate hoax ‘Steorn’ will be the watch word and the symbol far into the future to justify the very closed-mindedness you aspire to limit.

          • ecatworld

            Well, if it turns out not to work as advertised, I am hoping that the guarantee will provide us with a refund. But the investors don’t have that kind of guarantee on their investment, of course.

            BTW, I was told that the Lithium-ion battery inside the O-cube could easily be replaced, so that would extend the useful life of the device, it it turns out to work.

          • Blue Energy

            If all of them do not operate as advertised, and that is known before the money is collected, good luck getting your money back. The company is in debt and I think their only apparent income counts on this product.

            You know, ‘as advertised’ is worth investigating here. What exactly is advertised? A device that will charge phones. Right? If it makes no use of magnets or magnetic properties at all (for instance: as demonstrated by Naudin) but rather some more conventional technology – but they call it Orbo anyway – are we disappointed? That said – I don’t know what that technology might be that would provide 2 charges per day for the period of at least a year. No battery that will fit in that enclosure has that much capacity; no crystal radio setup is capable of generating that much charging electricity. I suppose that if it can pull it off well enough to fool people for a year, it’s probably worthy anyway.

            Oh – then you will be opening it after all? I morally support you in this. As long as you’re there anyway, you might as well notice what is there and report back…

          • ecatworld

            If it’s designed to be opened to replace the battery, then I seen no problem with opening it up. I don’t want to do anything that will void the warranty, however.

            I think ‘as advertised’ does mean it keeps charging for a year. Shaun McCarthy has said it uses electrets in place of magnets, but still uses Orbo principles. I don’t know how, but if it works, I think that’s the important thing.

          • Blue Energy

            I can understand about not wanting to void the warranty.

            My understanding of electrets is really skinny. But, that includes that an electret has a permanent electrostatic field. That’s really different than a permanent magnetic field. One can generate a very small amount of electricity by mechanically manipulating the shape of the field (like an electret microphone). In order to be akin to ‘solid state’ Orbo, as I understand that, I think it would have to rely upon breaking the field and collecting the resulting excess electricity. In solid state Orblo, that is supposedly accomplished with a toroid electromagnet. What is it that will break the electrostatic field of an electret – in particular, something that can be turned on and off multiple times per second? And – did we see one in the box Sean opened in the video?

          • ecatworld

            I was told today that opening up the O-Cube would not void the warranty, only if you opened up the component parts inside.

          • Blue Energy

            Well then: Excelsior!

          • georgehants

            Blue Energy, many thanks for your thoughtful and correct reply mostly on points outside of science.
            It is no concern of science what finances are involved and until the device is proven false only an open-mind is scientific.
            I can only repeat there is no justification in science ever to not have a fully open-mind and any debunking or denial is childish incompetence.
            The Science that I love is my only argument, it is for me embarrassing to ever see a scientist debunking or denying any subject without clear proven (temporary) Evidence that one should always be ready to question.
            And when they debunk subjects that have much solid Evidence it is criminal.
            A link below for you perhaps you would be kind enough to give your opinion on what should be the scientific response
            Summary of French COMETA Report

          • Blue Energy

            Your link didn’t make, it George. And I agree with you regarding your spirited defense of the scientific method. But, here is my boiled-down point. Investigation of scientific claims don’t happen in a vacuum. They require an expenditure of time, energy, and wealth. They don’t only happen within the rarified atmosphere of scientific philosophy. Someone has to expend effort to prove or disprove them. When the producer of the idea being considered for investigation has been repeatedly associated with failed claims – then it is reasonable that that knowledge become part of the calculation as to whether to expend more time and energy (and expense…) investigating their new claim.

            Seemingly, for some, there is no limit as to the expenditure of other peoples time, energy, and wealth that a new Steorn claim deserves. Who knows? Maybe this will finally be the time when one works out. As Sean said, he only has to be right once. But, that infers that he has been wrong all the other times he has boldly claimed to have produced something from nothing. Did he do that knowingly? Is it reasonable to make that a part of the calculation?

          • georgehants

            Blue many thanks for chat, balance of views.
            A million tries for a working light bulb before a fair working example was produced and all that Research had to be financed by somebody.
            Link works fine for me. if you look up, “Summary of French COMETA Report”, you could answer on the always open thread.
            In my opinion we have genuine scientists on page that have financed the purchase of an Orbo with Admin, look forward to their reports.

          • Blue Energy

            Thank God Edison didn’t have a forum where he teased the public about it for nine years.

            I’ve enjoyed it as well, George. Have a good day. And, in spite of my misgivings, I also look forward to their reports.

          • Blue Energy

            And – where is that African village with the Orbo-powered well anyway?

          • Blue Energy

            Okay, now the link has appeared. Before, for me, the title was there but the link was not.

            Here’s what I think. My experience with UFOs includes a group sighting of something that moved in a way that we believed was not possible by any aerial vehicle we knew of (seemingly right corner turns at high speed). I’ve never been able to explain that. But, that doesn’t mean that I have concluded that this was evidence of an alien spaceship. The truth is – I don’t know what it was. I have some evidence that it was very unusual, but none that it was aliens. The argument that some have used to try to change my mind goes something like, “If it was not technology you are familiar with on Earth, then it must be technology that comes from somewhere else. Aliens come from somewhere else – therefore what you saw must be alien in manufacture.” I disagree with more than one thing in that line of reasoning.

            I have been put off of UFO ‘research’ done by others because none of the time I have put into trying to get to the bottom of their claims has ever resulted in me agreeing with the author that aliens were involved (notice the parallel with Steorn…). So, I don’t spend time doing that anymore. There are a lot of situations of others I’ve looked at that I couldn’t explain. But, like my own experience, I do not automatically conclude, as they seem to have, that it was aliens. Further, my talks with enthusiasts who are *convinced* of the existence of aliens have all been with people whose reasoning for their conclusion was unconvincing to me – when it was cogent at all.

            And all that is not to say that I would not like like for there to be aliens in my existence – I would. I participated in SETI At Home for years and convinced my co-workers to get involved as well. But, so far, I have to conclude that I don’t know whether there are aliens somewhere in the universe or not. It’s a complete unknown to me. I can make a case that there *should* be – but I have no evidence that there are. What I *have* concluded I have evidence of is that it is a very unrewarding subject for me to spend time looking into – let alone debating about with a true believer. Ditto Bigfoot.

        • Oystein Lande

          “Scientific skeptics” ? But there is nothing Scientific to evaluate here. They have not produced any Scientific papers as Fleischmann and Pons did on CF….

          If they have discovered revolutionary new physics, they should produce Scientific papers as done i cold fusion, Apply for patents as done by Rossi, and attend Scientific Conferences to present their revolutionary findings. The Nobel price is waiting….

      • Zephir

        /* there is a lightyear of difference between CF history and “orbo”. CF started by trustworthy scientists in academia */

        Cold fusion research has started much earlier with Tandberg (1927), Fleishmann & Pons just replicated his experiments without value added sixty years later. At the moment when Steorn sells ready-to-use device at public, he immediately takes a lead in alternative energy development, including the cold fusion.

        /*And their claimed explanation should be easy enough to replicate, but none has yet */
        Oh come on, this principle is know few days, nobody did even start to think about it. But the captret and crystal batteries are known for years.

  • BillH

    You should be very careful about this, there is much evidence that Steorn is not to be trusted,
    The 2012 article in The Irish Times pointed out two things, one, the device was submitted for testing and the results were negative and two, the published accounts for Steorn in 2010 showed a loss of 17.2M Euros, So unless The Irish Times have printed a retraction on either of these two
    points this is still the case. Anyone thinking of tuning into the webinar would surely ask to see Steorns latest accounts and details of changes made to the Orbo that now make it viable.

    • ecatworld

      Yes, it’s well known they have had very public failures in the past. Also in the first webinar they were very open about how much money they have gone through over the years (20 million Euros or so), and haven’t made a profit yet. They are hoping this new product launch will give them a profit this year, but who knows.

    • SG

      It is not really a matter of “being careful” as it is a matter of possessing some down-to-earth curiosity. This site has never made any pronouncements one way or the other about Steorn’s device, because there is no device yet to evaluate. Give it some time. Frank has organized an effort to purchase and evaluate a device when and if it ever becomes available. The only rational position to take at this point is one of neutrality. There is evidence that weighs both in favor and against. It may be tough to understand those of us who have an interest in Steorn, but if you had followed the events and people closely from 2007, there would be a better comprehension of our interest.

      • ecatworld

        If I believed that Steorn was a fraudulant company, I would not bring them up here. They have obviously had some spectacular failures, but to this point, I haven’t found anything yet to make me think they are not serious engineers who believe in their technology. Other evidence along the way has kept me intrigued and hopeful. But only a working product can tell the real story (as with the E-Cat)

    • Redford

      Dude, that’s what he does. Testing new possibly disruptive energy tech and informing people the best he can. If he can afford it, it’s worth it. If the thing doesn’t work Steorn will be busted for good and that will be it.

  • Oystein Lande

    Possibly, and what an expensive curiosity to satisfy…..
    Do they provide any money back guarantee…..?

  • Oystein Lande

    Interesting quote from Martin Fleischmann and his thoughts of Stoern back in 2006:

    “I am actually a conventional scientist,” he says, “but I do accept that the existing [quantum electro-dynamic] paradigm is not adequate. If what these men are saying turns out to be true, that would be proof that the paradigm was inadequate and we would have to come up with some new theory. But I don’t think their claims are credible. No, I cannot see how the position of magnetic fields allows one to create energy.”

    With great charm, Dr Fleischmann wishes the Steorn team luck. And if their “free” energy can light up a developing-world village or the eyes of a child with a toy, then perhaps we all should.

  • Allan Shura

    The output of is extremely low and heat is required to freeze the electrical fields. There is a small device can you can put tiny sticks of wood in that will generate about 2 watts with a thermoelectric generator for $129.95. Not pollution free but any source of heat should have output. Still there is solar near a dollar a watt.

    If these electrical fields are really permanent how large would they need to scale up to power a
    home for life?

    • ecatworld

      Steorn’s initial target market is mobile consumer electronics. If Orbo works, and they can engineer a working orbo power source to fit inside an electronic device, like a phone, that would not need recharging, then I would imagine the demand would be high assuming the right pricing. They’d need higher power density than they have with the O-Cube to do that.

      If power density can be improved significantly, then there could be lots of interesting options for domestic use. You might be able to embed Orbo power packs inside lamps, fans, computers, TVs, etc.– no need to plug in.

      But first we need to figure out if it works like they say.

    • SG

      But your wood burns out fairly quickly. Steorn’s claim is that the orbo does not need to be externally recharged. If that is true, and assuming they can improve the power to volume ratio (power density), then a whole new world of possibilities open up.

  • Bob Greenyer

    I have already explained in detail how this device works and listed sample materials including links to suppliers.

    It is REALLY old technology that works, harvesting thermal or vibrational energy from the environment – they have done some significant engineering to get to a point where the effect can be useful and, importantly, be manufacturable.

    Is it worth it? – possibly as a curiosity and as a first demonstration-in-principal as it would be extremely nice to have a mobile device that does not need charging, but a £13 wind up charger/solar torch/mobile charger gives you all the same independence if you really do spend too much time away from a power socket.

    For the money you could buy 1kW of these panels

    And a grid tie inverter

    it would leave about 200 Euros for installation.

    • SG

      Good insights Bob. I think you might be minimizing, however, the potential usefulness of the technology. Does it even works as claimed? Frank has organized a crowd-supported effort to purchase and test the device, and assuming that goes as planned, we will have an answer to that most important question probably within a few months.

      If it works, then what? Now, assuming it can run in a Faraday cage (as is claimed), and for a period of time to rule out environmental EM energy, then you are left with thermal or vibrational energy (as you point out), but I’m skeptical of those being the energy source–there is insufficient vibration in our environment to continuously generate an output of .4 Watts from such a small device, and nowhere has it been claimed that the O-cube includes thermoelectric devices (which are notoriously inefficient and require a heat differential to function).

      So, we are left with the original Orbo principals, whitepaper, and other bits and pieces here and there that have been released by Steorn over the years. If it works at all, I think it will be something new or at least not-well-understood by most.

      Then, assuming it works, the next question is: can it be commercially successful? I think even Steorn have their doubts. They have had a hard go at getting the necessary attention from potential licensees, by their own admission. This pilot product and marketing play is an attempt to get potential licensees interested. If it works, and big players with significant resources are brought to bear, then the production and manufacturing methods will very likely be improved, the power density increased, and the cost reduced. If that happens (and again these are all giant IFs), and you can embed the technology into mobile devices, where they never need to be charged, then in my mind, that is much more significant than what you make out in your post above.

      • Bob Greenyer

        Firstly, it is a very worthwhile exercise to get one and test it!

        Shaun explains in the video that it is an electret, made from two dissimilar metals with a dielectric that has been permanently polarised by cooling in an extremely high electrostatic gradient. It makes a piezo kind of device that, as Shaun says, has an “unusual voltage output” – therefore the power train is

        electret (actuated by differing properties of dissimilar bonded metals to the physically polarised dielectric) > diode incorporating voltage regulator > Lithium based battery energy store (or super capacitor in future) > whatever needs powering in higher power bursts.

        Re my understanding of it…

        The good thing is that the charging can be cause by two effect in the same device thermal and sound/vibration – essentially both are mechanical actuation of the electret between the charge couplers. If it was not contingent on this effect there would be no need to have the polarisable dielectric sandwiched between two dissimilar metals

        Everything you need to know (except specifics on metals and dielectrics, which I have given good examples of below) is in the very honest video

        Two dissimilar metal foils – say rolled zinc on one side, titanium on other (huge thermal expansion difference) – both available cheaply of e-bay in 10cm square sheets – and some of this


        and then you would need a very high electrostatic field, you could use a vandergraph or tesla – but not so controllable. A neon sign transformer is much more manageable – but need to be careful, voltages can kill… apply over as short a distance and can be achieved without ionisation/dielectric breakdown and allow to cool.

        adding strain/defelection in the metals may improve energy harvesting characteristics – but I feel that differing thermal and vibrational response of the two metals accounts for part of the effect.

        I would suggest a dimple array, this could could be achieved in a cold press – metals are necessary as both charge collectors/contacts for electrodes and you want them obviously as good conductors and able to bond well with the Polyvinylidene Fluoride whilst having the largest thermal expansion variation. Some acid cleaning etching could improve bonding surfaces. I would also suggest some type of pre treatment of the metal either by heat or drawing before the cold pressing to accentuate thermal related shear on one or both of the metals and optimise on orientation.

        Higher voltage/power outputs would be achieved by back to back placement with an isolation layer in a layer cake fashion (similar metals ‘next to each other).

        Production could be off rolls of foil and semi-continuous with punch cuts (need to ensure metals do not contact as a result of cut) and zig zagged together.

        The charger should work for 100s years, the Lithium based battery will die first

        Put it in a thermally static box and it would die (would cease to charge the lithium battery). That is until you took it out again.

        It needs either vibration/sound or heat variation (which is vibration – and as we have shown many times before – there is MUCH heat variation in any normal environment) . Everywhere pretty much has heat variation and sound – having an aluminium box will help couple to both.


        Electret motors (which have never been made to be powerful enough to be practical)… Orbo

        First published 1973 and the Steorn story is solved

        I think the product is real, the power train well described. I think as a product it is pointless for its stated purpose – there are much better options I have said before in the £13 – £20 range that have other functions – BUT – exactly as shaun says, people would not buy it for what it is, but for what it represents.

        I do believe that it could be both improved by 2-3 times, making it practical for a tablet device, and could be nearly continuously manufactured, which would make if VERY cheap as all the materials are not more expensive than normal Lithium based battery tech alone. Having a tablet that was always ready for action would be a very good thing – not just in poor countries.

        There are a few moments in the video where he covers his mouth after saying something that maybe untrue at least in whole or in part – I recall one, I think, when he is talking about patent protection (though I’d have to watch it again) – Shaun is NOT good at managing his auto body language – that is why I know he is truthful about the operation of the device.

        He is also honest about his dislike for the form factor and openly realistic about its impracticality for large drain high power use – like in transportation.

        One way to test it is to see if it fails when you heat it to over 170ºC

        Another way to test the same device right now (effectively) is to buy an electret microphone and put it is a faraday cage with a sensitive multimeter (in a faraday cage) and see if you see voltage with sound or temperature changes.

    • ecatworld

      Yes, it would be quite something if pigs did fly in this instance. It’s been almost 10 years since Orbo was announced, and for Steorn to finally pull off putting an OU product into the market would be quite a surprise.

      • Sanjeev

        It all depends upon whether the device is a “true” overunity device. IF (if if if if…) it is one, then we are now hearing the shy footsteps of the coming golden age. We are witnessing an overunity device going into mass production for the first time in history. This will of course change everything, and we will need a new metaphor for the impossible because a flying pig will be a reality.

        But, if its just an energy harvester, then we get to keep the metaphor. In other words we take the blue pill and return to a “normal” world based on scarcity and struggle for existence.

        I’m secretly hoping that the o-cube will be something more than a parasite of EM noise around us. If it is, I won’t be terribly disappointed, as its still a useful thing.

  • Being a bear of little brain, I have to ask, is this based on Tesla’s ideas?

    • ecatworld

      I don’t remember Steorn ever invoking Tesla as a guide or inspiration but his ideas may be connected. ” Orbo technology is based on electromagnetic interactions concerning domain rotation within ferromagnetic materials, specifically the phenomenon of delayed magnetic field propagation.”

  • How many amps can this device produce? Is it enough to power a raspberry pi?

    • Sanjeev

      As it delivers its power via a built in Li battery, it can power anything that an Li battery can power.
      The real question is – will it recharge the Li battery fast enough to keep up with the demand of a particular application ? I do not know, you need to try it out.

      • Okay, I heard Frank bought/pre-ordered one.
        Maybe he can test it with a raspberry pi.

        Would be nice for small server applications with no power costs 🙂

    • Rob S

      Sean says it takes 12 hours to charge up a phone battery – mine is 7.4Wh so that would be about 0.6W/h. (Although it states elsewhere on this site that the power cell outputs 0.4W. Lets compromise and call it 0.5W. The battery in my phone is 3.7v so it could output 135mA continuously.

      In the previous webinar they said the power density was only about a third required for a phone, although a tablet was much closer, because they’re less compact of course. I doubt if they could have increased their power density by three over a period of a few weeks, unless they’re using an old school comedy mobile which is about the size of a brick ..

      (That’s a cell phone for folk on the other side of the pond 🙂