What is a Fuelless Generator?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 January 2020
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First envisioned by Nikola Tesla in the early years of the 20th century, the fuelless generator is a device that is understood to function without the need for a wired power source. Essentially, fuelless generators are able to make use of radiant energy to continually power the operation of the generator. While the device is not currently in actual use, the writings of Tesla indicate the feasibility of building a generator of this type, and there are instances of engineers creating prototypes based on the research and published writings of Tesla.

Nikola Tesla was born on 10 July 1856, and considered a brilliant, highly visionary physicist and mechanical and electrical engineer. Born in Croatia, he migrated to the United States at an early age. After becoming a legal citizen in 1891, Tesla engaged in a number of experiments involving electricity and wireless energy transmissions. There was later some disagreement over who had actually invented radio, Marconi or Tesla.

Among the focus of his later work was wireless energy sources for machinery. In theory, his fuelless generator would be able to employ the Second Law of Thermodynamics and be able to generate energy by constant motion. The constant motion would be provided by the energy that could be collected from the sun and even from the atmosphere proper.


While many considered the fuelless generator to be nothing more than a fanciful theory, there is some evidence that Tesla applied for at least one patent that could be considered a work in progress toward this goal. However, at the time of his death on 7 January 1943, a fully functional fuelless generator had not yet appeared. Even though Tesla was a brilliant inventor, his invention wan't commercialized mostly because investors were unwilling to divert their money in existing technology, that they knew worked, into something new and yet unproven.

Even so, the concept of a mass produced fuelless generator has remained an interesting proposition to engineers today. Many papers have been written on the feasibility of building such a generator based on the work of Tesla. At conferences and trade shows, it is not unusual to find engineers who speak in support of the idea of Tesla’s fuelless generator. From time to time, small scale models are constructed. However, there does not appear to be at this a working prototype that can be produced for use in industry or by the general populace.


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