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 Energy Conversion System-DM How it Works

U Tube Demonstration

​How to convert g-force into GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY. Here we have a simple U tube.  

The left- hand column is half filled with a Newtonian liquid of specific gravity 1.5.

The right-hand column is filled with water. 

The two columns are separated by a closed valve. 

What do you think will happen to the levels when the valve is opened?

U Tube Demonstration showing the conversion of G-Force into Potential Energy using the Energy Conversion System, ECS.
U Tube Demonstration of Potential Energy derived through the Energy Conversion System, ECS.

Gravitational Potential Energy

No prizes for guessing that the heavier liquid would displace the water to a higher level.


But what caused this to happen? Prior to opening the valve the two liquids were ‘out of balance’ (more pressure on one side of the valve than on the other.)


G-force promptly acts to re-balance the two liquids, (pressures are then equalised.)


The water column is now higher and has GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY relative to the heavier liquid.

Where did this energy come from?  Here’s the scientific answer 

Black and White Right Arrow _edited_edit

​When a mass M is raised vertically to height h, the force due to gravity is Mg, hence the work done is Mgh and equals the GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY. 

Clearly, the gravitational potential energy in the previous U tube examples will remain just that, only a potential, because to convert it into Kinetic Energy, the water must divert into the lower left-hand column and then pass unhindered through the heavier liquid. 

That’s not going to happen with this simple U tube example, the water will merely sit on top of the heavier liquid and g-force will re-balance the two columns at a new height and flow will stop. 

We need the heavier liquid to be miscible with water, allowing it to mix and pass through unimpeded, which at first sight seems impossible.


There is, however, a simple method of solving this problem.

Dense Media Use

We can borrow technology from the extractive industries, who use what’s called ‘Dense Media’ on a large scale to separate valuable minerals from rock or worthless gangue materials. 

Dense Media is a mixture of water and fine particles of a dense compound that can be magnetically attracted. 


Magnetite, a type of iron ore, is used to make 2sg media and Ferrosilicon (man-made) for 3sg media. 

Water will obviously flow through water unimpeded and the media is easily recovered for re-circulation by inexpensive ferrite permanent magnets.

Large Mineral Processing Plant

Energy Conversion System - Gravity Separation

Several variations of this unit have been built to learn how to reliably maintain the circulation of ‘dense media’ and enable the conversion of Gravitational Potential Energy into vital Kinetic Energy. (NB It is not how a commercial Energy Conversion System would be built, as explained later.)

Ferrosilicon powder is used to form a 3sg dense media and must be kept circulating to remain in suspension. This is achieved using a low head pump requiring very little energy because Column 1 and Column 2 are effectively in balance, hence, Column 1 needs only lifting about 300mm to achieve adequate circulation velocity.

The lower part of Column 2 discharges into the gravity separation cone in which g-force acts to cause the dense media to sink and the water to rise,  continuously separating the two.  The height of the media circuit in metres x the SG creates the Base Pressure, which in turn determines the height of the water Column 3. as it is displaced by the Base Pressure.


With Valve 2 closed we have a static version of the previous U tube, with Columns 1 & 2 forming the heavy leg and Column 3 the water leg. For example, if the height of the media circuit is 10m the Base pressure will be 10m x 3SG = 30 m water gauge or 3 Bar. This base pressure will displace water to 30m height to form a static balance.​.

The potential energy within Column 3 is therefore 30m – 10m media height = 20mwg x mass of water raised.


NB: These figures are repeatedly confirmed in practical test work with allowances made for the effect of the separation cone.

Capture ECS gravity separation
The Kinetic Energy of the flowing water is then converted into Shaft Power by passing it through a Francis or propeller water turbine, completing the Energy Conversion System sequence

To convert the Gravitational Potential Energy of the water head into Kinetic Energy valve 2 is opened, allowing water to flow from Column 3 into Column 2. 

The Kinetic Energy of the flowing water is then converted into Shaft Power by passing it through a water turbine generator, completing the Energy Conversion System sequence.


Water discharging at low velocity from the turbine feeds into Column 2 and mixes with the media circuit flowing down into the gravity separator. This enables the water to be separated from the mixture, the heavier media sinks to the bottom of the separator and is recirculated. The water rises to the top of the separator and re-joins Column 3.

However, take note of a very important event that happened when valve 2 was opened. The level in the small cone tank dropped a little, which immediately created an imbalance between the media circuit and the water circuit.

Gravitational force promptly acts to attempt to rebalance the two circuits, but because of the deliberate positioning of valve 2 is unable to do so.

G- force will continue to displace water up Col 3, as it attempts to re-balance the dynamic circuits.


This deliberate, continual imbalance is what provides the total energy input into the Energy Conversion System and why it fully conforms to the Law of Conservation of Energy.

There is, however, a major problem with this circuit, which took a long time to resolve.

The base pressure is governed by the height and density of media in Column 1. As water from the turbine joins column 2 it dilutes the downflowing media and the base pressure forces the entire content of Column 2 to rise or ‘back up’ to re-balance.

This phenomena causes the circulator to work harder, driving the media into the ‘back up’ but also reducing the water pressure available to the turbine.

Combined, these two effects, if left unchecked, will exactly equal the potential energy of Column 3 water and the system will re-balance and stop.

As previously mentioned, these illustrative circuits are intended to explain the basic principles of ECS.

They do work very well, but due to the practical limits of the gravity separator, cannot economically be constructed at a commercial size. An illustration of the circuit employed in the Energy Conversion System 'Proof of Concept' unit follows.

NB: This unit formed the basis of the 30KW design which was investigated and verified by TUV-NEL.

An illustrative circuits are intended to explain the basic principles of the Energy Conversion System
Capture ECS-DM coloured lettered.PNG

To complete the Energy Conversion System design another stage is required to prevent the unit re-balancing and stopping.

A commercial Energy Conversion System unit would have its circuits broadly as in the schematic opposite. This layout is similar to the one investigated by TUV-NEL and allows for any practical media column height, (hence base pressure) and column diameter, (hence volume flow,) to reach the design power output. The heavy weight of the water turbine/generator unit is floor mounted and the turbine water discharge height only has to match the media column height. Media/water separation is carried out using a patented drum magnet assembly specifically designed for the task.

The main problem this layout overcomes is that of the ‘backup’ phenomena, caused by the mixing of turbine discharge water with circulating media reducing the density of the down-flowing column 2.

As stated; the base pressure will now force the less dense mixture in column 2 to rise or ‘back up.’ As it does so the circulating pump has to work harder and the back pressure in the turbine discharge column 3 will increase, quickly reaching the point where the entire system re-balances and power output stops.

The ‘back-up’ phenomena cannot be avoided, but its effect can be interrupted and effectively negated completely. This is achieved by locating two cone tanks at the top of the circuit. When starting, the two ‘back-up’ tanks are each half filled with water and form part of the media base pressure, the BU tanks are both open to the media circuit at the bottom and atmosphere at the top, allowing continuous discharge.

The water turbine, which has to be capable of working against a back pressure, has its discharge water directed to (say) ‘back-up’ tank 1. The water then joins the media in column 2 down-comer, reducing its SG and causing the water to rise in BU tank 1.


Being a closed circuit this additional water can only come from the opposite BU tank 2, which falls at exactly the same rate. When the rising tank is full, a timer diverts the turbine discharge water to the empty tank and the batching cycle continues, with minimal effect on the media pumping head or turbine back pressure. 

It is appreciated that the description of the complex interflows taking place within ECS circuits is not easy to follow, but they have been exhaustively tested and definitely work as described. The hydrodynamics have also been investigated thoroughly by TUV-NEL and verified.


The video shows the upper part of the present  Proof of Concept (PoC) Energy Conversion System unit. As mentioned, the tanks are connected directly to the media circuit (no valves) so there is the added interflow complexity of the BU tank being filled, via timer-operated valves from the top, while it is simultaneously discharging into the upper media circuit. (Similar to the student exercise of calculating water flow rates and timings, when attempting to fill a bath with the plug out!). Fortunately, this continual discharge means that the BU tanks do not have to be overlarge to permit a reasonable changeover delay time.


TUV-NEL in their report summary refer, to the complexity of flows in Energy Conversion System being inherently transient in nature and would benefit from unsteady calculations. This is obviously correct, to gain an understanding of the complex fluid interactions taking place within the Energy Conversion System, it is essential that unsteady or transient hydrodynamic calculations are employed, not conventional style calculations.

It is also essential that all calculations are performed from the base pressure line upwards, to achieve results compatible with those obtained from the practical operation of Energy Conversion System test rigs. Calculations made from the top down will be incorrect, as confirmed by leading hydrodynamic consultants TUV-NEL.

NB: This version of the Energy Conversion System has been granted patents in the UK, EU, USA and China. In addition, the granted patents cover ancillary equipment, such as a positive displacement pump specifically designed for the low head circulation of dense media, also the drum magnet separation system and a rotary valve for the back up tanks.

Another feature that is somewhat difficult to comprehend, is the fact that the mixture flows continuously downwards in column 2 at the same time as the base pressure is forcing the entire column to rise. However, remember that gravity is also acting to force the flow downwards.  Repeated test operations show that down-flow continues, with no discernible impediment.

The 'Back Up' system, which prevents the system from re-balancing is shown operating in the above video.
All of these complex interflows can be witnessed in operation, on this Energy Conversion System 'Proof of Concept' fully instrumented unit, by arrangement.

To summarise the Energy Conversion System: The hydrodynamic system is maintained in a constant state of imbalance, which gravity attempts to rebalance by constantly displacing water to a height. In doing so, g-force is converted, in stages, into electrical or mechanical energy, which exceeds the energy required to maintain the circulation of the hydrodynamic system.

No new energy is being made, as only about 60% of the input g-force is being converted into export energy, fully complying with the Law of Conservation of Energy. The balance is being used for media circulation, magnetic separation and dealing with friction losses.

Any mechanically produced energy requires a force moving a mass. The Energy Conversion System is the same, g-force moves a mass of water to a height, enabling its gravitational potential energy to be converted into kinetic energy and recovered, as shaft or electrical power using conventional pumps & turbine-generators.

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