First off, please forgive me, I am a chemistry novice!

Overall Process

  1. Fuel for the system is distilled water
  2. Split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen (electrolysis or similar process)
  3. Exhaust Oxygen
  4. Burn Hydrogen to power a generator/engine
  5. Generator/engine charges battery
  6. Battery powers Step 2 as well as whatever else we want to power


  1. Energy gained needs to be greater than the sum of lost energy in all steps, as well as the energy required to perform electrolysis
  2. We could compress the exhaust oxygen and use that as an energy source?
  3. Is there a danger of running out of hydrogen? (Forgive my naivety, but I've heard about a helium shortage...)

1 Answer 1


"Energy gained needs to be greater than the sum of lost energy in all steps"

Perpetual motion machines
Flow battery, which works.

1) You cannot win (First Law of thermodynamics from Noether's theorems and the isotropy of time)
2) You can only break even on a very cold day (Second Law of thermodynamics from Carnot cycle and the law of large numbers).
3) It never gets that cold (Third Law of thermodynamics. If there were an entropy difference at absolute zero, T = 0 K could be reached in a finite number of steps. However, at T = 0 K there is no entropy difference, so an infinite number of steps are needed).

  • $\begingroup$ Understood that I cannot create energy. Perhaps I should specify that energy gained should be greater than the sum of lost energy in Steps 2 through 6. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ Water, being the fuel in the system, would have potential energy that I am not attempting to have replenished by this system. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ Energy storage is simplicity or value regain from discards. Magnets grab ferrous alloys, linear induction windings repel conductors. PET is valuable. Recycle! Burn other plastic and fiber as fuel in secondary regeneration. Landfill anaerobic ferment everything else. $\endgroup$
    – Uncle Al
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 18:48

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