A press release hit the wires this week, bold as brass, effectively saying that Neutrinos hold the key to a virtual perpetual motion machine. If only we can find a way to harness Neutrinos, we can have the equivalent of the photo-voltaic effect, but one which is perhaps 10 times more powerful and which will entirely replace solar in a just few years.
We looked for the request for cash and then wanted to hit the spam button, but couldn’t find the scam. They didn’t want money. They were going to take over the world. They were going to power mobile phones first, then laptops, then cars with an inexhaustible energy source that replenishes wherever you go. Go here to see this version https://neutrinovoltaic.com/en/
Most publications have not shared the release with their public, worried it would make fools of them – but you have to be confident in your basic science and we can see this is at least incorrect, and at worst a scam. So we emailed the CEO Holger Thorsten Schubart and told him it was a scam and asked could he convince us otherwise – he called back 5 minutes later and told us that he had been putting out press releases since 2016 and that so far no-one had believed him, and some people had even called the police, but he was due soon on German TV, and would show it to the world.
We laughed, but this time nervously. We have come across multiple scams over the years, one or two of which turned out to be actual inventions, like the Bernoulli box storage, and the P-Cell that gives everyone their own mobile 4G signal. Both turned out to work and not long ago Nokia bought the P-Cell patent, but didn’t ever use it.
First off Neutrino is Schubart’s idea of a brand, because everyone knows what they are but this invention clearly does not use them. The website says that it was only in 2015 that Neutrinos were shown to have mass, that may be true, but it has nothing to do with this company. That’s a blind alley, since what he then goes on to claim is that his company is about Atomic Vibrations in Nano-materials, citing a credible article in Nature from ETH Professor Vanessa Wood. We read it, it seemed genuine but made no direct reference to a company being set up called Neutrino, which we are sure Wood would have objected to, and her name was not one of the 90 listed scientist which are said to support the work. She has probably never heard of them.
On the website there are claims to show that Neutrinos are plentiful and you can harvest any given Neutrino again and again. Somewhat magically, it is referred to as the Neutrino Voltaic effect. But as we said this has nothing to do with Neutrinos.
Unlike light, Neutrinos travel through the earth and come out the other side, so when your side of the planet is hidden from the Sun, the source of all these Neutrinos, they continue to charge your system, but from underneath. Too good to be true.
The non-explanation continues to suggest that somehow layers of ultra-thin graphene and silicon give off a charge when stuck to a metallic substrate, which “vibrates” as it is struck by neutrinos and by every other wave form. The brilliance of the invention is harnessing the energy not worrying about which particle created it.
Separately there are links to the phenomena of Josephson Junctions, but no real explanation of how the two are connected. More magic.
The Neutrino Energy Group says it has a group of 90 cooperating professors the world over, who are in on its plan to bring this energy to market. As we looked up one such professor it turned out to be a historical figure who is has been dead for some time.
There is even a video that is clearly a “fake news” story with an actor at https://neutrino-wiki.com which uses a non-branded news site which suggests all these professors conduct research into the conversion of invisible radiation spectra from the sun, including neutrinos, converting it into electric power.
It says clearly in Wikipedia and also on the Neutrino Group’s website that the Sun sends about 65 billion solar neutrinos for each square centimeter on Earth, every second. Funny that, the words on wiki are precisely the same as those on the Neutrino Energy Group website and neither appear to be true. Could it be they are also tampering with Wikipedia or simply copying from it.
Apart from all the explanations being cumbersome, non-scientific, not written by an English speaker, the scam is relatively convincing in terms of the number of interrelated websites there are and how the group has penetrated Wikipedia. But we are fairly certain it remains a scam. Schubart promised to send us more materials. The worrying thing is that he probably believes this is a real company.
It irks us that a number of key scientific facts are totally wrong, like the website claims solar only works with infra-red spectrum. But really it is the lack of gravitas or real explanation that makes this a hoax/fantasy.
PR Newswire has now covered no less than 11 press releases from this organization and we’re sure they would want to know they are spreading fake news. So we told them. Renewables are hard enough to sell without this type of claim going on.
And even though the group says the technology has yet to be fully developed, it also claims that Neutrino voltaic cells are compact, can be deployed anywhere on the surface of the Earth or underground and so it will prevent the destruction of natural scenery caused by solar cells and wind farms. So it gets all the approved prejudices of consumers to solar and wind in there.
The Neutrino Energy Group says it is a joint venture of American and German energy sector leaders who have come together to solve the planet’s looming energy crisis. Almost certainly it is both an invention of the climate change deniers that make up the fossil fuel opposition to renewable energy, and a scam. Perhaps the first press release went out on April 1st and then he just kept going.