The Engine that Runs Itself - 02/24/00
This file was originally posted on the KeelyNet BBS on March 23, 1990 and consists of an article on the EMA-4 engine that appeared in a magazine called `Probe The Unknown' in June 1973. Shared with KeelyNet courtesy of Ron Barker.
An unconventional approach to harnessing energy has created a motor that requires no fuel and produces no waste. It's inventor say it is the answer to man's transportation and power problems. By Jack Scagnetti
Newspaper headlines from January, 1973
Rationing in Effect as Winter Catches U.S. Short of Fuel
Fuel shortage May Curtail Rail Service
Smog-Proofed Autos Choking on Own Fumes
U.S. May Approve Gasoline Rationing
Pace Picks up in Quest for Clean Engines
Catastrophic Problems, aren't they? Not only are we taking
more out of the earth than the earth has to give, but we're also
using what we take to ruin the air above.
Sitting in a small laboratory in Van Nuys, California is a
curious creation which, based on the results of dynamometer tests
and other rigid trials, claims to be the solution.
the EMA (electro-magnetic association) motor and, in technical
jargon, is described as;
Developed by EvGray Enterprises, an
independent research and development firm, the unique engine runs
on the principle of electro-magnetic transformation.
In terms more meaningful to the layman, the EMA motor
requires no fossil fuel, recycles its own energy, creates no
waste and is extremely quiet. Its size, weight and horsepower
ratios are comparable to motors and turbines now in use.
The EMA's only external power source consists of four 6-volt
batteries which never need recharging and which have the same life
expectancy as the standard automobile battery. EvGray claims
the motor duplicates the power and torque characteristics of
internal combustion engines of similar size and weight, and the
Federal and State Air Resources Board has granted the inventors a
permit to further prove this claim by installing the EMA in test
Edwin Gray, Sr., president of EvGray, predicts production
costs of the EMA will be comparable to present motors and
maintenance costs will be far less. "The EMA motor promises to
make the world a cleaner place in which to live," says Gray, who
has spent 12 years developing the engine. "Perfection of the EMA
motor as a generating source could mean the availability of
inexpensive power to underdeveloped nations."
EvGray expects the EMA Motor - when tailored for specific
applications - to become a desired replacement for virtually all
power systems now in use. The full spectrum of possibilities
(1) industrial engines for application of portable welding
generators, standby electric generators, portable battery
charger, portable power tools, portable lifting
equipment, and industrial utility vehicles;
(2) engines for agricultural equipment for use on lawn
tractors, lawn mowers, soil and harvesting equipment,
horticultural equipment, and irrigation booster pumps;
(3) engines for building and construction equipment,
including portable building equipment, concrete mixers,
portable conveyors, portable compressors, and
(4) aircraft, automotive and marine engines, including
automobiles, trucks, outboard motorboats, auxiliary yacht
engines, lifeboats, light aircraft, and auxiliary glider
(5) engines for household and recreational equipment,
including small lawn mower, snowmobiles, golf carts and
(6) engines for heavy transportation and stationary uses,
including railroad locomotives, ships, pumping sets for
atomic reactors, generator sets, and jet aircraft
(7) miscellaneous applications, including fire-fighting
pumps, airconditioning units for buses, refrigeration
units for trucks, and special military purposes
(generator sets, gas turbine, starter units, etc.).
LIGHTING AND "ENERGY SPIKES"
Gray describes the operation of his EMA motor as "similar to
re-creating lightning." He says the engineering and scientific
world has known this re-creation is possible but hasn't known how
to do it. "When lightning hits the ground, causing a 10-million-
volt buildup, where does energy come from to make it from a static
charge to a lethal charge? Nobody really knows."
Richard B. Hackenberger, Sr., vice-president in engineering
for EvGray, explains how the EMA motor system operates.
- "time-phased" and
from the high-voltage section," says Hackenberger, "is put through
a system of electrical circuitry to produce a series of high-voltage
`energy spikes.' The spikes are transferred to a small
control unit, which in turn operates the major motor unit.
The control unit, acting in a manner similar to that of a
distributor in an internal combustion engine, regulates the
spikes, determines their polarity (whether they be north or south)
and directs their power to selected electro-magnets in the main
While this occurs, the recycle/regeneration system is
recharging the batteries with 60 to 120-amp pulses. The
electro-magnets are located on both the rotor and stator of the
large motor. Attraction and repulsion between the two sets of
magnets causes the motor to operate and generate horsepower.
Once in motion, the motor recharges the batteries as a result
of the recycle/regeneration system. To prevent condensation in
the main cylinder, a half-pound of air pressure has to be
maintained. Air is routed through the programmer for functional
purposes. When the ambient temperature is 90 degrees, the motor
operates at 170 degrees."
In short, the principle of the engine is to create
electricity and recycle energy by the fact that every time
magnets are energized off the peak of transients, a charge goes
back into the battery.
It's not a constant charge, but a pulse charge of 60 amps or
better; thus, the battery must be of high quality. The batteries
for the EMA motor are furnished by McCulloch Electronic
Corporation of Los Angeles.
After extensive research and testing, EvGray chose the model
110-75 Energy Center, which is said to produce maximum power for
its weight and volume over an exceptionally long life span. This
is achieved partly by use of an ultra-lightweight plastic case
that minimizes dead weight (energy-storing components comprise
more than 90 percent of the battery's weight).
Features of the battery include extra-large plates separated
by indestructible glass-rubber separators and a specially
formulated lead oxide composition. Two of the 6-volt batteries
are used for operation, while the other two serve as a reservoir.
Mallory Electric Corporation of Carson City, Nevada, has also
made a major contribution toward the design of the electronic
LONG-RANGE AND POWERFUL
Electric-powered vehicles are not new, of course, but the
poor energy-storage factor of batteries and their heavy, large
size have thus far made them impractical for use in any vehicles
requiring a long-range capacity.
This drawback has restricted the market for electric power to
small limited performance vehicles. The maximum range of these
vehicles when driven at 40 miles per hour has been approximately
150 miles. Range is affected by the number of stops and starts,
grades traversed, and acceleration demands.
The EMA motor needs only to run at 500 rpm for the normal
recharging system to work. In fact, its recharging capabilities
are such that the EvGray's next version of the engine won't have
an alternator or air pump. The air pump will be replaced by
blades on the rotor.
"The idea of a self-sustaining electric motor," says Gray,
"at first appears to go against much of the theory of electricity
and conservation of energy. The EMA motor does not, however,
violate the basic laws of physics, but rather utilizes them in a
unique integration in a system in order to maximize upon the
characteristics and interrelationships between electrical,
magnetic, and physical components. The EMA prototype motor has
had considerable operating test time and has been adapted to
standard and automatic automobile transmissions."
Dynamometer tests have recorded the rpm's of EvGray's motor
at 2550 constant, the torque at 66 pounds constant. Brake
horsepower is 32.5 After a test run of 21 1/2 minutes, the battery
voltage reading was 25.7.
Only three surfaces make physical contact with the motor a
feature which dramatically limits friction and increases
efficiency. "An internal combustion engine is only 30 percent
efficient," says Gray. "Our engine is 90 percent efficient."
A prime factor in friction control is the so-called "magnetic
vacuum," created in the drum, which literally takes the pressure
off of the end bearings and allows the rotor to float within the drum.
"Our motor creates power surges-one behind the other-in
microseconds," says Gray. "By doing this, we are able to direct
the magnetic flux field. The magnetic flux is a coolant source,
so we need no cooling system." (this sounds like a reference to the
use of swept magnetic fields to remove heat, referred to as
Gray says the engine is not affected by rain, heat, cold any
other type of inclement weather, or by driving through tunnels.
"All this motor needs is oxygen. The only external magnetic
effect is that another field system cannot operate within this
same battery system. The magnetic field orientation is 360 degrees
in all directions."
The new EMA prototype will weigh about 320 pounds, less than
most present internal combustion engines. It will measure 12
inches in diameter, 18 inches in length. (Size is linear to
horsepower required.) According to Gray, further research should
make it possible to reduce the size and weight through
the use of lighter metals and more sophisticated circuitry.
Gray says most of the motor's components can be built in a
machine shop with a mill and lathe. The exceptions are the drum
itself, the electro-magnets, and a few miscellaneous items bought
over the counter in an auto supply store. The company plans to
enter into worldwide licensing agreements to manufacture the
The safety features of the EMA are impressive. There's no
fan, no exposed high-voltage component parts, no exhaust fumes, no
fuel tanks to explode, and no water reservoirs to clog up, freeze
EvGray believes the reliability of the engine will be
excellent, and maintenance should be minimal because there's no carbon, water
varnish or other impurities - which occur normally as a result of
burning oil or gasoline - to damage parts. There is no
carburetor to clean and adjust, no oil filter to change, no gas
filter, smog valve, gaskets, radiator, water pump ot timing chain.
Plug-in type construction makes replacing parts quick and easy.
Gray says the training time for EMA mechanics is less than that
for mechanics working with a standard electric motor and far less
than that for those preparing to work on internal combustion
The EMA also favors the eardrums of mankind. Its noise
emission is far less than that of all other power sources, and
Gray claims there will be no increase in noise as the engine ages.
In fact, electric-motor noise is almost imperceptible when
Perhaps the reason Edwin Gray, now 48, has been able to
create such an unconventional engine is his unconventional
education. One of 14 children, he began tinkering with magnets and
electricity as a boy. He left home when he was 15 and served a
year in the U.S. Army before it was discovered he was under age
and he was given an honorable discharge. During that year, he
attended an Army school for advanced engineering. After the attack
on Pearl Harbor, he reenlisted, this time entering the Navy. After
serving three years of combat duty in the Pacific zone, he
returned to civilian life and found work in the field of
mechanics. Resuming his experiments with electro-magnetic power,
he seriously examined the theory of energy used is energy spent.
After years of research an experimentation, Gray conducted
his first test of the EMA motor in 1961. The engine ran briefly
and then broke down. Discouraged but not defeated, he
constructed a second electro-magnetic motor, which ran for an hour
and a half before failing.
A third prototype ran for 32 days attached to various
automotive transmissions and test equipment. It was then
dismantled for analysis, and detailed reports were prepared.
After rejection by large corporations and money promoters, Gray
formed a limited partnership in 1971 and constructed the fourth
With assistance from nearly 200 private citizens, EvGray
Enterprises has spent $1.1-million in the attempt to recycle
present lost energy and redirect magnetic forces with the EMA
Dick Hackenberger, who comes from a more conventional
background, compliments Gray's raw genius with 25 years of
diversified functional and management experience in the
engineering field. He holds an EE degree from Northeastern
University and is a senior engineer in the Institute of Electrical
and Electronic Engineers. Hackenberger has held positions with
the Sony Corporation of America and Sylvania Commercial
Electronics, and he has served as an engineering consultant to the
Other EvGray officials include Arthur M. Lange, vice-
president in charge of public relations, and George C. Demos,
vice-president in charge marketing. Lange has served in
management and public relations capacities with both Ford and
General Motors, while Demos has worded as division general manager
for Control Data, director of marketing for RCA, and president of
his own manufacturing firm.
RAISING A FEW EYEBROWS
The electro-magnetic motor has attracted attention from
important government agencies, including the Environmental
Protection Agency, the Air Resources Board, and the Department of
Transportation. Governor Ronald Reagan of California last year
presented Gray and his wife, Evelyn, with a certificate of merit.
Others indicating interest in the project are congressmen Barry
Goldwater, Jr., Edward R. Roybal, Del Clawson and James C.
Corman, U.S. Senator Alan Cranston, and state senators Alfred E.
Alquist and Nicholas C. Petris.
John Brogan, head of the Environmental Protection Agency's
advanced automotive power systems development division, says his
25-man staff has looked at approximately 20 alternate engine
proposals each week for the past two years.
He says nearly half of the proposals are of "perpetual
motion" machines; that is, machinery that would produce continuous
movement without any outside energy source. The concept of
perpetual motion violates all known laws of thermodynamics.
According to EvGray, some experts believe the EMA is a
perpetual-motion engine and is, therefore, invalid. Gray himself
refutes this belief. "The EMA motor is definitely not perpetual
motion," he insists. "Only those in the scientific world who
understand the theories of physics are able to comprehend how our
motor works. There's only a handful of such persons.
"The programmer directs which magnets are to be energized for
what length of time and in what polarity. There are several
attractions and repulsions taking place at the same time."
The search for the clean engine has seen the federal
government contribute $23-million to the development of new
engines in the past two years. General Motors, spent $36-million
last year alone, and Ford laid out $20-million. Senator John V.
Tunney of California has proposed legislation to divert $900-
million from the Highway Trust Fund into a three-year crash
program to develop a clean engine.
Meanwhile, Edwin Gray, after 12 years of research and
development, believes he has found the answer for a comparatively
meager $1.1-million. Time will tell whether or not he is right.
EMA-4 MOTOR PRELIMINARY TEST DATA
Input Power 12 volts dc (of a 24 volt dc system, making
use of a 12 volt standard starter motor).
RPM 2550 RPM constant.
Torque 66 lbs. / constant.
Horsepower 100 HP
Brake Horsepower 32.05
Foot-pounds/second 755 lbs. (includes 110 lbs for four 6-volt
Volume 42" long x 18" wide x 22" high. (This is
overall geometry. including control unit, etc.
- The basic motor is a 16" dia. x 24"
cylinder, which can be repackaged into a 9"
dia. x 12" cylinder).
Test Run Time 21.5 minutes.
Battery Voltage 25.7 volts.
Reading at test
Ambient Temperature 84 degrees constant.
Fuel Consumption None (other than air).
Cooling Conduction / 1/2 pound (flow through) air
Magnetic Field 360 degrees-all directions during motor
Lubrication High temperature bearing grease (2 bearings).
Noise Level No direct reading taken - without shielding,
no louder than small kitchen appliance, e.g.,
Power Hazard Fully secure - full design safety features.
Start Mode Simple push button - standard 12V starter
Operating Mode Rheostat principle with switchable RPM
Physical Condition Motor mounted on wheeled test stand - no
external connections to stand.
EMA - 4 MOTOR BLOCK DIAGRAM
BLOCK DIAGRAM OF THE EMA-4 shows how energy is transmitted from
the four 6-volt batteries (power supply) to the various stages of
the engine and returned.
Both the air pump (A) and the alternator (B) are optional
equipment. The air pump prevents condensation around the drum and
provides added assurance of air in some environments.
The alternator is not needed for most applications, including use
in vehicles, but may be desirable in heavy generator rigs.
The electric pulsators (C), which are contained in the
regeneration-recycle unit, are capable of pulsing at 200,000 times
per minute, and the pulsation at 60-to-120 amps is fed back to the