More than two years ago, on 4 July, 2007, Irish company Steorn made bold claims about Orbo, a device that CEO Sean McCarthy said created free energy. Amidst high publicity, the device failed to work on its unveiling but today Steorn is back and has the device on public display here in Dublin.
“This is a pivotal moment for the company and potentially, for us as a species," said Sean McCarthy, Steorn CEO.
“There exists now an opportunity to change everything. At the end of the six-week demonstration period, developers will be able to access our technology and start the process of developing Orbo technology-powered products. The Waterways demonstration is the beginning of the Orbo revolution."
Steorn claims that Orbo produces a free, constant supply of energy by harnessing magnetic effects but this claim is controversial to say the least – the first law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Speaking to Siliconrepublic.com back in 2007, at the time of the first public launch, McCarthy said: “The law of conservation of energy has been very reliable for 300 years, however it’s missing one variable from the equation, and that’s time.”
He said free energy was “as big a claim as you can possibly make in the world of technology and science”, adding: “Five years ago, if I was watching this story from a distance I would be thinking it was complete bull. Having said that, we are in absolutely no doubt that this works.”
In fact, following an invitation to the science community to examine the technology, an international panel of 22 experts, headed by Ian McDonald, professor of electrical engineering at University of Alberta, Canada, said that demonstrations “have not shown the production of energy”.
"The unanimous verdict of the jury is that Steorn’s attempts to demonstrate the claim have not shown the production of energy. The jury is therefore ceasing work," said McDonald in an online post in June 2009.
McCarthy’s defence is that it is prototype technology with running parts that may break, adding that the working technology could “power anything from a phone to a fridge to a car”.
If you want to see the machine that claims to override one of the basic tenets of known physics then you can see a livestream video here and Steorn has opened this up to the public until 31 January, 2010.
The live webcams show the Orbo device, which appears to be whirring away, although whether the battery is powered by free energy or not is another matter.
By Marie Boran
Photo: Steorn CEO Sean McCarthy, with the Orbo.