Walton County Heritage Museum

Learn more about the history of Walton County

Train Depot Museum

Walton County Courthouse

Growing to meet the needs of the community


Lake DeFuniak

One of only two perfectly round lakes in the world

Fun and relaxation

Hotel DeFuniak

Built in 1920, completely restored, the perfect place to stay!

Weather Forecast
May 2017
« Apr    

Florala man’s static electricity-powered generator could spark energy revolution

Jul 7th, 2011 | 0


The look of Walter Owens’ Electron-Controlled Floating Ground Generator probably does not mesh with the mental image one has when considering an invention that could change the world.

Appearances, however, are deceiving.

Though the 88-year-old Florala, Ala., man did build the generator in his backyard work shed, this is no mere contraption assembled to satisfy idle curiosity or some flight of fancy out of a sci-fi paperback. At its most basic level, the generator is designed to attract free electrons, the negatively charged subatomic particles, from the ambient air to a positively charged conductive surface and then to convert the resulting static electricity into a theoretically inexhaustible source of DC power. This can then be converted into alternating current to supply power for virtually any application.

In effect, what Owens has created is no less than the first gasps of the energy revolution.

“There’s never been anything like this before,” Owens said. “This generator has the capability to replace all other forms of energy needed by humans. People say it’s impossible, but I believe I’ve figured it out.”

A cursory glance of the squat generator, roughly the size of large washing machine and laced with coursing wires, belies the complexity yet elegant simplicity of its design. Five standard 12-volt automotive batteries, a 10-horsepower electric motor, a metal rolling frame, some magnetic coils, a switch board and an iron panel are the key components of a machine that represents six years of work and nearly $100,000 in trial and error.

The frame of the generator itself, which houses the batteries used to start the electrical circuit, is ringed by 10 magnetic coils (made from volcanic ash) that act as backups to keep electricity flowing through the system after the free electrons are “sucked in” by a positively charged iron plate that sits atop the device. Owens said the base-level system is set to run at 36 volts, but that number is multiplied by the number of coils used. However, the key figure to be concerned with is the 800 amps of current the unit makes, enough to supply energy for seven or eight homes completely pollution-free, Owens said.

Put another way, Owens said the 4-foot by 5-foot by 3-foot generator makes power equivalent to 3,000-4,000 square feet of solar panels and, unlike solar panels, the static electricity-fed machine works day or night in all conditions at a comparatively low cost. What’s more, he said there is practically no limitation to the maximum size of the unit, as the conductive plate (or plates) can be made to fit almost any need.

“You can set this system up to run a motorcycle, a car, an airplane, a freight train, a battleship, a city or whatever,” Owens said. “This generator can be integrated into any system. The load is immaterial because it can be designed to fit [any application].”

Owens, who holds 26 patents, joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and served as an aircraft mechanic and later as an engineer in the Air Force until 1963. He said he originally came up with the idea for his static electricity generator 23 years ago, but was convinced by his patent attorney not to pursue the project for fear that he would be shut down by electric companies or the petroleum industry. However, after a serious medical scare a few years back he felt compelled to complete his machine and see it to fruition….

Read the full story in the July 7, 2011 edition of the Herald Breeze.

Comments are closed.