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The Electromagnetic Engine by Jacobi

Published 29.12.2011 Presenter Olga Reznikova

The Electromagnetic Engine by Jacobi
The Jacobi electromagnetic engine was invented in 1834 by the Russian physicist Boris Semenovich Jacobi. Its working principle is based on electromagnetic attraction and repulsion.
The engine consists of two sets of U-shaped electromagnets. One set (consisting of four U-shaped electromagnets) was fixed on a stationary frame. The other similar set was attached to a revolving disc.
A battery of galvanic cells was used for powering the electromagnets.
Once the current is switched on, the electromagnets, both the fixed and movable ones, were attracted to each other. The drum turned by a small angle. As the drum revolved the commutator switched the current so that the interaction between the magnet's poles constantly moved the drum.
The commutator consisted of four metal rings attached to a shaft and insulated from it. Each ring had four cutout sections corresponding to one eighth of a circle.
The cutouts were filled with insulating inserts. Each ring was displaced by 45 degrees relative to the previous one. A lever moved over the edge of the ring. Its end resembled some sort of brush. The second end of the lever was submerged into a corresponding vessel with mercury. The wires of the battery were connected to the vessel.
A very important peculiarity of Jacobi's apparatus was that it was a reversible cycle machine.
Thus, Jacobi's engine could also work as a generator, i.e. produce electricity, if it was moved by mechanical force.