A few weeks ago there was a story in the media which we want to help to spread through this blog: two young Russian physicists have set themselves the challenge of building the Wardenclyffe Tower, commonly known as the Tesla Tower. They want to show that the great scientist was right in his theory that the wireless transmission of energy – practically free and “clean” – over long distances is possible.
The Unfinished Project of a Genius
Nikola Tesla was a scientist ahead of his time who, until recently, was not given due credit. He left us more than 700 inventions. Some of them changed the world, including alternating current (AC), and his work was the precursor to all wireless networks. The fact that, thanks to him, we can use electricity by simply pressing a switch should be enough to recognise his exceptional talent.
However, he left us another invention, his great unfinished project which, if it is completed now, could radically alter our lives: the Tesla Tower, a wireless system to transmit electricity cleanly and at very low cost to anywhere on Earth. Tesla was unable to complete his research, but he left very clear descriptions of the principles upon which his idea was based. Now, over a century later, Leonid Plekhanov and Sergey Plekhanov, two Russian physicists, have decided to follow his dream and will attempt to make it come true in the coming months.
Who Are Sergey Plekhanov and Leonid Plekhanov?
They are brothers (stating they often call each other “Bro”), born in the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia (Russia). Leonid Plekhanov graduated from the Faculty of Quantum Physics and Electronics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) in 2005 and has a degree in Applied Physics and Mathematics. He is passionate about projects which could contribute to the development of mankind and of innovative technologies. He is the founder and leader of the project. Sergey Plekhanov also has a degree in Applied Physics and Mathematics and shares Leonid’s passion for pioneering projects. He is the project’s head scientist.
The Crowdfunding Campaign
Following five years of theoretical and applied research, the two scientists redesigned the Tesla Tower using the same principles as Tesla himself, but incorporating modern materials and advanced electronic components. With the support of the Tesla Science Foundation (located in Serbia), they presented the results of their work at MIPT, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where they were discussed. Now they claim that their team is ready to erect the tower sometime in August or September this year.
At the beginning of June, they started a crowdfunding campaign on the Internet site Indiegogo entitled Let’s Build a Planetary Energy Transmitter, with which they hope to raise the 800,000 dollars they need to implement all the stages in the project. The rules of the portal stipulate a maximum of two months to keep a campaign active, perhaps not enough time. With just three days before the deadline at the time of writing this article, they have barely reached 10% of the requested amount, but they have confirmed on their Facebook page that they plan to go ahead with construction. Using the same social network, we contacted them to ask them about the project and they explained that it will not be delayed and that they will search for other means to finance it. Once the tower is built, the next stage will begin: gathering data and assessing the results.
A Simplified Version of The Principle on which the Tower Is Based
Mankind already has an inexhaustible energy source: the sun. In fact, the amount of energy “absorbed” by the solar panels currently installed in deserts would be enough to supply the global population if the right technology existed to transmit it to any point on the planet.
The energy transmission system conceived by Tesla uses the surface of the ground as a “cable” through which it is possible to transmit electrical energy over long distances. In other words, it takes advantage of the Earth’s own conductivity.
In electrical engineering it has always been known that the Earth is a conductor, but there have been no solutions to the problem of how to transmit large quantities of electrical energy over long distances in an efficient manner. The Tesla Tower solves the quandary by linking towers as if they were resonance circuits, and does so without harming the environment.
Despite what one might think, this system is harmless to living organisms: the electric currents are “diluted” as they are distributed across the Earth’s vast surface to such an extent that they are almost undetectable. In addition, the energy loss from transmitting electricity from one point on Earth to its antipodes would be less than 1%.
Recovering Tesla’s Legacy
The Plekhanov brothers’ admiration for Nikola Tesla is focused on an objective which goes beyond the construction of the tower. If they manage to find funding, they aim to translate and study all the documents left by the scientist, which are conserved in the Tesla Museum in Serbia. Although it may seem incredible, the majority of them have never been studied in depth. Recovering his legacy, recognising its value, and possibly discovering significant knowledge among his notes will be the best way science can pay tribute to Tesla.
The image below shows the details of Leonid and Sergey Plekhanov’s roadmap.