- (Note - 'Ergon' refers to the local electricity supplier
utility which used to be known as the FNQEB Far North Queensland Electricity
- Two Cairns inventors yesterday unveiled a world first
commercial machine which can power a house from a permanent, clean, green
and virtually free energy source.
- The machine, developed by Brinsmead mechanical engineer
John Christie and Edge Hil electrician Lou Brits, has an international
patent pending and is expected to go on the market for $4000-$5000.
- Relying on the attraction and repulsion of internal magnets,
the Lutec 1000 operates continually on a pulse-like current 24 hours a
day - producing 24 kilowatts of power - once it is kickstarted from a battery
- The device is more than 500 per cent efficient, compared
to a car which is less than 40 per cent efficient and loses power through
heat and friction.
- No powerlines would be needed to distribute energy from
the individual power sources.
- There is no heat, harmful emissions or airborne matter
in the transmission.
- If it were not for the magnets, which have a life of
1300 years, and the battery pack, which has a life of about five years,
the machine would be in perpetual motion.
- A demonstration of the motor from the carpeted study
of Mr Christie's Brinsmead home revealed the device in all its glory -
bigger than the average cyclone back-up generator but much less noisy.
- M Christie and Mr Brits have been tinkering together
on the motor in their spare time since they met in a Sheridan St cafe five
years ago and began sharing ideas.
- One and a half years ago, the design was perfected and
the pair lodged a patent with Brisbane patent attorneys Griffith Hack.
- Mr Christie said the next step was to develop a small-scale
pilot plant in Cairns to begin distributing the motors to the places they
were needed most - such as shops and homes in the power-starved Daintree
region and the Torres Strait.
- He said the price tag for the devices could vary in remote
locations depending on government rebates, freight and installation costs.
- The beauty of the device was that it was transportable
and could be packed in a removalist van along with other earthly possessions
when moving house, he said
- The only problem the pair now face is in raising $500,000
to start their production plant.
- "We're trying to keep it local, and trying to keep
it in Australia, but it's hard because, offshore, they are more aggressive
in taking up new initiatives," Mr Christie said.
- Already, the invention has received interest from the
United States, China, Japan and Indonesia.
- "But we want to set up here and put the product
on the market first, and then we'll take it to the world," he said.
- Mr Christie said it had been hard to keep a lid on the
invention which had such a huge potential in the quest for clean, green,
- He said he and Mr Brit also feared the worst once they
realised the significance of their invention.
- "We were afraid the kids would be kidnapped or we'd
be shot, I'm not kidding," he said.
- "You hear horror stories about people running up
against fuel companies, but it's all hogwash - people in the main are desperately
looking for technologies that will help our environment."
- The pair have begun discussions with Ergon as there is
also the opportunity of selling energy back to the grid.
- Mr Christie said the average home with a pool needed
only 14kW of energy per day - which meant a 10 kW daily excess would be
left over during the generation process
- Griffith Hack partner Cliff Carew, who was speaking from
Brisbane, confirmed the device was genuine and unique.
- "An international application has been lodged, they've
conducted an international search and haven't come up with anything similar,
so it would seem to be a new concept," Mr Carew said.
- He said it would be another two and a half years before
the patent was recognised in 140 countries around the world - the usual
length of time for an international patent to be processed.