Article:Joe Flynn's Parallel Path Magnetic Technology -- by Tim Harwood

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&lt&lt A Congress:Top 100 Technologies -- RD Energy Technology &gt&gt

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Page first featured February 21, 2006

Joe Flynn’s Parallel Path Magnetic Technology

by Tim Harwood M.A.

Prior version publications

NET magazine May - June 2003, Nexus Magazine Dec 2003 – Jan 2004

For additional publication requests contact

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Joe Flynn’s Parallel Path Magnetic Technology

Joe Flynn has been engaged in magnetic force research for over 25 years. He has lodged and been granted multiple patents. In the mid 1990s he developed a novel approach to the application of mechanical magnetic force, that has become termed 'Parallel Path Magnetic Technology,' abbreviated to 'PPMT.'

Application scenarios are numerous, and can potentially include any context requiring mechanical force. The greatly improved efficiency of Parallel Path, means many applications where magnetic actuators would not previously have been considered, in fact become viable.

Some of the most interesting applications for Parallel Path are electric motor design and mechanical generator layouts, where PPMT offers some very compelling design advances over prior art. In February 2006 at the STAIF Conference, Boeing Phantomworks publicly endorsed Parallel Path technology for these application scenarios.

Parallel Path is more of a design methodology, than a specific piece of apparatus, and since many lines of research have been formulated and explored by Joe Flynn, the following article can present only a brief summary of work undertaken. Nonetheless it is sufficient to convey the basic ideas, and provide a framework within which one can undertake experiments.

Principles of Operation

Figure 1 is taken from Joe Flynn’s US patent 6,246,561 awarded on June 12, 2001 and filed on July 31, 1998. It explains a simple magnetic force multiplication experiment, which forms the basis for the Flynn magnetic art. If the windings on either side of the central magnet, which are normally connected in series, are properly pulsed, the field of the permanent magnet in the center, will be diverted to the opposite side of the core flux path provided. Or in alternative language, the side of the core that is pulsed, is demagnetized, relative to the field of the permanent magnet used in the apparatus. This is elementary textbook physics that can be modeled without difficulty in industry standard flux software.

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So what is surprising about this apparently simple apparatus, is that the armature on the side of the flux core, will contain 1.75 times more units of magnetic force, than could be manifested by the electrical input to the apparatus alone. Since the ability to arbitrarily move force from one point to another is the basis for motion or work, the apparatus clearly has the potential to be developed for practical engineering purposes.

Expanding upon this basic experiment, there is a second simple and logical improvement in layout illustrated in Figure 2. In this instance, the pulse is centrally located, and a dual flux field layout employed. This is the origin of the term 'Parallel Path.' When pulsed the coils demagnetize the core relative to one magnet, and magnetize it relative to the other. Since the two actions are complementary, the input required to manifest the armature flux switching effect is halved, compared to a single magnet core layout.

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In terms of understanding the practical operation of the layout, the important point is to note that when pulsed the coils are not creating a flux field that directly powers the device, as in conventional flux technology, rather gating fields already present in the apparatus. It is this difference between creating a flux field with an electric pulse, a process which can only ever be less than 100% efficient, and gating / switching fields, which is key to understanding the enhanced performance profile of Parallel Path systems. Put simply, it takes less energy to vary the magnetic resistance of one leg of two adjacent flux paths, than to manifest a flux field from scratch.

A Simple Validation Experiment

The previous statements are not required to be taken on trust, and simple experiments have been proposed by Joe Flynn, such that anyone can validate this effect for themselves. Figure 3 is a simple experiment taken from the Flynn website, that can be used to validate the principals put forward in this article. Increase the voltage input to the control coils until one end plate of the flux path drops off. Make a note of that input level, as it defines where the Parallel Path effect occurs for that specific magnet / core combination.

Since the Parallel Path effect occurs within a relatively narrow current/voltage window, these basic tests are required to get a feel for the force point, before more advanced apparatus such as motors and generators can be constructed. Practical motor apparatus requires a customised motor controller, that applies the level of input that manifests the Parallel Path effect, in a carefully timed and controlled manner. Too much input and you saturate the core, too little and the full force multiplication effect from the field switching process does not manifest. Obviously, the specific load scenario of the motor can complicate the process of optimising the input pulse timings further.

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Conservation of Energy / Efficiency calculations

One of the aspects of the Flynn technology people find most difficult to understand, is how you can have a device that delivers 3.47 times more units of magnetic force than is electrically inputted, yet not violate accepted principals of text book physics. I feel this apparent paradox can not be better explained, than by reference to Joe Flynn’s own analysis of the experiment presented in Figure 3.

Since the Parallel Path System produced 3.47 times more force than the conventional system, with the same electrical input, it appears to violate conservation, this is only true when observed from a traditional view point. The system contains three flux producing sources (2 magnets and an electromagnet) which together are capable of producing a far greater force than is actually produced. All of the flux sources together can produce a force of 13.11 units, therefore in the physical sense a loss of 1 - (9.01 / 13.11) = 31% is realized.

So the overall force multiplication effect delivered by the system is over-unity by a factor of 3.5x, but none of the component fields within the system in fact operate to over-unity, compliant with the dictates of the law of conservation of energy. However surprising this result may appear, the analysis presented is in outline correct, with the difference between the component fields present in the system, and net electrical input, being the important concept presented.

This analysis has important implications for properly interpreting system efficiency. Just as the Carnot cycle regulates heat engines, so a specific derivation applies to Parallel Path systems. Since a standard theoretical flux analysis sets 400% as the ideal maximum of force manifested relative to electric input, that level of force becomes 100% in a realistic system efficiency calculation. So for example, if an actual device manifested 350% more force than was electrically inputted, the efficiency of the system would be as follows: (350/400)=87.5%.

Losses in the System

In order to optimise flux cores, an appreciation of the physics that underlies the transfer of flux within a core is required. The normal magnetization curve, or B-H curve, is a mathematical relationship between applied field intensity H, and resultant flux density manifested in the core B. It varies according to core material, and the curve will shift, if there is a starting magnetism within the core, such as that provided by the field of a permanent magnet. If the start magnetism is excessive, the core is saturated, and will not properly respond to the applied force H. A simple B-H curve is illustrated in Figure 5.

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Hysteresis is a delay between applied magnetic force H, and resultant flux density B, that again varies according to material type. It also manifests as a delay between the termination of force H, and the manifestation of flux density B. So, the system will not turn on instantly, and will not turn off instantly, in simple terms. This is because the magnetic memory of the core, means a flux vector remains within it, even when the application of magnetic force H has been terminated. If we apply a reversed force H to the core, the basic B-H curve is now expanded as in Figure 6, with the memory effect also illustrated.

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In order to return to the initial switched state, the remnance magnetism must now be overcome. The area within the hysteresis curve gives a rough estimate for the amount of wasted energy, and along with other conventional sources of losses resultant in flux transfer within a core, is what reduces the efficiency of flux cores from maximum values of 2, or 4, down to values such as 1.75 or 3.47, typically.

While the dual flux field layout halves the input required to deliver the same amount of magnetic force, the absolute output may not be significantly improved. This is because the limiting factor for the technology is the flux saturation point of the core, with values depending upon the specific properties of the B-H curve of the core material employed, limiting absolute output of both layouts the same.

Motor Apparatus

Although numerous practical applications abound for this effect, electric motor design remains one of the most outstanding opportunities. To this extent, again a few simple images, should be sufficient to convey how the basic flux switching apparatus, can be turned into a highly efficient electrical motor.

The first motor shown in Figure 7 is one I have proposed to validate the flux switching effect at a most basic level. It illustrates the point made in the Flynn patent, that the armature of the core can be removed, and replaced with a motor flux path. This first motor is not claimed to be highly efficient, rather it is a functional and easy to construct learning aid, that helps one to understand how the transition from simple flux core to motor takes place.

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The next motor shown in Figure 8 is again taken directly from the Flynn patent, and illustrates the next intermediate step to motor design. The fields of the permanent magnets are alternatively switched from one side of the surrounding flux cores to the other, alternately interacting with N and S poles on the rotor, imparting motion to the central rotor shaft. Voltage is held constant to the Parallel Path effect level for the apparatus, with rpm determined by pulse width.

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With proper financial support, and the facilities to have cores custom cut, Joe Flynn was able to develop improved motor apparatus, shown in Figure 9. This motor is at least 3.5x more efficient than any conventional motor, has high torque, and an exceptional power to weight ratio. When properly optimised, it has the additional benefit of cool ambient operation, not requiring extensive heat sinking, and reduced current draw under load, further extending the performance advantage of PPMT systems over conventional art.

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Because the rotating magnetic fields in PP motors are 3 times stronger than the electrical input, the amount of recoverable back emf relative to the input also greatly exceeds what can be achieved in conventional technologies. Typically with PP motors more than >25% of the electrical input energy can be recovered from the back emf spike via fast response high voltage tolerant collection circuitry. Extra recovery windings integrated into PPMT motors can further increase the amount of recovered electrical energy from operational motors. This energy recovery functionality, proves especially advantageous in battery operated application scenarios.


At the STAIF conference in 2006, Joe delivered a paper that revealed for the first time in public, a 6 pole design that had been the focus of his commercial ventures. The motor incorporates another variation on the 3.5x magnetic force multiplication concept, once again emphasizing Parallel Path is best conceived as a design methodology, rather than as specific apparatus.


The motor can also be configured as a generator by mechanically turning the shaft. As the flux from the pms cuts the windings current is induced, which can be routed to an output circuit. The novelty of the Parallel Path layout, is that in contrast to conventional generator technology, the current induced in the windings will tend to re-enforce the rotation of the device, rather than oppose.

Electrical Apparatus

The geometrical layouts depicted in Figures 1 and 2 can be adapted for electrical output, as is clearly stated in the ‘Power Conversion’ section of the Flynn patent:

The construction shown in FIG. 45A utilizes four control coils and a single permanent magnet and the construction shown in FIG. 45X uses two control coils and two permanent magnets. The flux that would normally be supplied by a primary winding is supplied by the static flux of the permanent magnet or magnets and the control coils convert this static flux into a time varying flux in a novel way. Both arrangements use two secondary coils, the secondary coils are placed in the region of the continuous flux path that would be occupied by an armature or rotor in the linear or rotary arrangements. The regions of the flux paths that perform work are the same in all cases.

By alternating the polarity of the control coils during one cycle, one working region experiences an increasing flux and the opposite region experiences a decreasing flux and during the next cycle the opposite occurs. This results in the induction of a voltage in the secondary coils that is decided by the magnitude of the change in flux in the working region and the time in which this change occurs. The novelty of this discovery is that the primary flux inducing the voltage in the secondary coils is supplied by the permanent magnet or magnets and is far greater than the flux supplied by the control coils.

As regards switching, it is necessary for the input and output circuits to be isolated from each other for a usable output to be obtained. Apparatus which does not specifically provide for this is unworkable. The reason for this circuitry requirement is obvious enough. If the output circuit is closed when the input circuit is activated, then the input energy simply leaks into the output circuit, as in an ordinary transformer. So no flux switching effect is manifested, and the field of the permanent magnet is static in time. Thus you have an ordinary transformer, with reduced efficiency, because of the core flux saturation effect provided by the permanent magnet.

This is one of the most important points to make about the Flynn apparatus. It should be approached in outline as conventional scientific equipment, for example with more turns on the output coils, implying increased voltage and reduced current, exactly as standard textbook equations predict. Since the number and thickness of the turns is one of the keys to optimising Parallel Path apparatus, this design parameter must be approached in a scientific manner for satisfactory results.

Leveraged Layouts

By using PPMT compliant apparatus as the switching device for PPMT systems, it is possible to leverage the gains PPMT offers. This can be done either in electrical systems, or wholly mechanical apparatus. By this method substantial real torque can be manifested, for minimal or no initial electrical input. The practical methodologies involved are beyond the scope of this introductory article.

Summary of Flux Core Physics

While making predictions about future adoption of technology is always difficult, in time the Parallel Path design methodology can be expected to become adopted across a broad range of applications. With higher efficiency, lower weight, cooler operation, equivalent or lower bill of materials, equivalent or improved reliability, the comparative advantage of Parallel Path motors over conventional art is overwhelming. With more advanced controller software, better materials, and greater practical experience with flux core effects, the performance of these devices will only improve.

About Tim Harwood

Tim has followed developments in energy research since the cold fusion claims of the early 1990s. For a period in 2001-2004 he ran the Adamsmotor Egroup. The basis for the group work was Tim's Directory:CDmotor, and OS:CD Motor, which while designed independently of Robert Adams, nonetheless appeared to mimic some of the claimed exotic performance characteristics, while being low cost ($50).

As a spin off, the Egroup also developed the Directory:PODcore experiment ($20). This was based upon Tim's novel theory that the Adams motor manifested the coupling of a time negative flux vector to a conventional current flow, causing a thermoelectric voltage gain, as well as doubling the rate of change of magnetic flux, halving current draw, due to the simultaneous presence of two time vectors.

This evolved into a variety of experiments using coils ($1) to pulse charge capacitors, and distribute the load via 'inverted' circuits. Reductions in current draw of 50% were typically reported with load types of small DC electric motors. Tom Bearden publically endorsed the work 12 months after it was originally published.

Tim also ran the Parallel Path Egroup, Directory:FPPP:Simple flux experiment, and was internationally published in Nexus magazine on the subject. Tim closed his Egroups, because he was never paid a single cent for any of this work, and he feels research was taken as far as possible with the meagre resources available at the time. The work lives on in the PESWIKI. Someday it may even get recognition.

As an afterthought to all this research, Tim also did a literature review on Article:Development of Ionic Electrical Thrust Technology, as popularised by the so called "lifters" devices. He has also suggested the OS:Beer glass thruster as an alternative ionic cell design, to the standard triangular array.

See also

Directory:Joseph Flynn's Parallel Path technology

Image:Flynn Parallel Path proof sq 95x95.jpg

Directory:Flynn Parallel Path principle device (COMPLETE) - Instructions of how to build a simple device to illustrate the basic principle of Flynn's Parallel Path technology.

Image:Schukel Flynn Motor design OEM 95x118.gif

Directory:Flynn Parallel Path OEM motor - (Never-before built) Instructions of how to build a simplified motor that incorporates the Parallel Path effect, proposed by Mike Schukel.

Directory:Flynn Parallel Path motor - Instructions of how to build an advanced motor based upon Flynn's Parallel Path design methodology. Mike's motor provided 3.5 times more output power than an equivalent conventional motor. Building it is labor intensive. - forum created at Yahoo!Groups to supplement both of these projects.

- Directory







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