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  • Writer's pictureRitchard Allaway

22/02/2024 - Storing Earth Energy

23rd Feb 2024:

Experimentation: Extracting and storing energy

I feel like I have been working with E.B’s for so long now that people are starting to think I am turning into some sort of wacky nature scientist… they do think my ideas are mad but exciting, so there is a good chance I am gaining a name for myself! The reason then behind this conversational entry is just to update the experimental side of my practice. There is a lot going on as I continue to work towards the October PM2 and this includes planned residencies, working within the field with (you guessed it) E.B’s, exhibiting work, reading a variety of texts/journals, looking into micro-organisms, tapping into natural sounds, printing and developing imagery, etc etc… so a lot to get through but all very exciting. I will be honest I feel a tad little overwhelmed with everything going on and I do not have enough time to let it all unfold. I have even just said to my football team that I cannot make training tomorrow due to the workload I have put onto myself. I do not mind though, as this amount of work has me focussed and with having this many intended objectives that will feed into the over-arching objective is a positive feeling, I feel good, confident, and excited! I am still fully engaged within this PhD journey.


This post will just demonstrate a few of the scientific experiments I am acting out when trying to gain a nature power source that can act as a power supply. As I continue to work in the field by extracting natural energies hidden under ground, I am finding myself with a slight dilemma. I have an electrical current or as I call it ‘Earth energy’, located within a specific series of landscapes. I want to and also have been, transferring this Earth energy onto 35mm negative film. The dilemma is working with negative film in the field. Negative film cannot be exposed to any light source when removed from film case as this will overexpose it and make it unusable. I have looked at ways of using a pop-up dark bag to work in a safe light tight area when in the field, but no pop-up black tent space is available or trustworthy to use. So how then can I gain a direct connection to negative film from my E.B’s that are planted into the ground? The answer is to not look at an instant live connection but instead collect and store the Earth energy. This then can be transferred to a light tight dark space i:e the film loading room at my work, where I can then connect the storage device to my Marx generator to extract the Earth energy as an electrical current.


For some time, I have been looking into many ways to do just this and the answer is through the use of a capacitor. Many YouTube E.B videos have been reviewed and one especially came up with the solution I needed to my dilemma. The scientist on screen discussed the problems with sustaining Earth energy long enough to power household objects. He explained cell capacity and cell numbers, something again I have explored with multiplying cells which in turn has driven a voltage increase. Even with multiple cells and a higher output of energy, if there is not a consistent cycle of substance to sustain the power outage* then the energy will drain to zero. The on-screen scientist recommended the use of a capacitor, which could be connected to the E.B but it would need a good amount of time to charge and store the energy inside the capacitor. A recommendation of a twenty-four-hour charge is needed and that works well for me. Due to my durational wild camping residencies, I would be able to set up a live E.B in my chosen landscape and connect the storage capacitor. I would then return the storage capacitor to the Marx gen and begin connecting Earth energy to negative film.



Above you can see my most recent E.B experiments with a single E.B and multiple cells (the plant pots and seed planting trays). A singular E.B will, as stated before, only generate so much Earth energy but a multiple cell E.B will provide more and that will enable me to transfer such energy through the Marx generator. You can see the daisy chain between cells and connection to the capacitor, which is reading .424 volts. This is an immediate power reading and does not state a twenty-four-hour charge but from this reading, I can evidence that energy is storing within the capacitor. Once disconnected from the E.B, the capacitor is holding its charge but after some time, the voltage reading began to decline, which is expected. A multiple cell seeding tray gave a reading of .501 but I was able to gain a singular volt when adding further feeder solution i:e alkaline solution (vinegar). In previous tests (see past blog entries), I have managed to generate up to 15volts which is exceptional outage for an E.B.


This series of storage tests has been a great development within the practice and will support field research a great deal. I am wild camping in Northumberland this weekend and will be making my largest E.B to date, one that will be a representation of my walk through the landscape. I am hoping to be able to extract Earth energies felt from the walk and transfer to the capacitor. With a forty-eight-hour camp, I am confident that enough Earth energy will be stored, and I will be able to transfer it in time to the film loading room. I will as always update you all with my results next week.


* micro-organism feeder – something I will discuss in future.

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