Another Potential Energy Breakthrough (Steorn’s Orbo) – Synergy or Siphon? (Greg Daigle)

The following post was submitted by Greg Daigle

This article asks the question: “If a similar ‘OU’ energy product is successfully introduced to the market before a LENR product is it likely to create synergy with, or detract from, any of Rossi’s Cats?”

E-Cat World has several times this year cited the ongoing efforts by Irish company Steorn to reintroduce their “Orbo” product. There was the release of a video in March showing a rotating armature that was said to self-sustain. In April there was the posting from Steorn’s CEO that they were demoing their “never-die battery” on the road. In May a limited field test held in Slattery’s Pub in Dublin was reported.

In review, Orbo has never been demoed in public without suffering significant valid criticism or outright failure. A scientific panel to evaluate the technology quit due to what they said was lack of sufficient data to do their analysis. Unlike LENR there are no publicly reported replications being conducted and Steorn currently posts no publicly available explanations about the physics behind the engineering. And despite Steorn’s claims that the power output is due to “asymmetric magnetism”, which Dr. Brian Ahern has suggested is an underlying mechanism for LENR, there is very little objective evidence available to the public on which to base the claims of Steorn.

In contrast to the public view of Orbo, members of the now defunct Steorn Knowledge Database (of which I was under an NDA for several years) were given extensive background information on Orbo including interactive e-learning courses on the physics behind the phenomenon, third-party engineering reports and engaged in discussions and postings in numbers in excess of these E-Cat discussion boards. Postings in the thousands by individuals was not at all uncommon. Steorn supplied a stream of documentation covering components, circuits designs, materials and captures from scopes. So to say that Steorn is likely fraudulent because of its lack of publicly providing substantive material on its technology would be like saying that Rossi is likely fraudulent for the same reasons. Rossi has his cadres of knowledgeable individuals and Steorn had its. Still, similar to LENR, Orbo is notably difficult to reproduce.

Nevertheless, Steorn is preparing another release of its technology – this time for wide distribution. Prototype case designs and packaging designs have been reported. When it is released do not expect to see another demo of the technology since Steorn has been down that road before. Steorn’s CEO has also discounted the release of peer reviewed research papers or independent testing results from professional labs. Do expect to see people making their own evaluations based upon their personal experiences with the technology.

Case Design (Source: Facebook)

Once in the hands of early adopters Orbo’s capabilities will either be firmly established and spread via word-of-mouth and viral marketing – or it will be dashed, probably for good. Release of the first generation device may occur before the results of Rossi’s factory results become available. Steorn’s CEO Shaun McCarthy has previously suggested that introduction of either the Orbo or his HephaHeat technology may occur this year.

If the first release of Orbo leaves adopters completely dissatisfied, end of story. However, if it is successful the Orbo could positively influence a more rapid and widespread adoption of the E-Cat. From the public’s point of view, if one “impossible” energy technology is in the hands of users and they confirm that it works to meet their needs, why not another impossible energy technology?

As we have seen from the Slattery’s trial, the Orbo is designed to charge mobile devices and targets consumer usage. The industrial version of the E-Cat has no known overlap with Orbo’s mobile market. However, as Rossi has opened the door recently to Hot Cats as domestic heaters in appliances – and Steorn’s HephaHeat inline heaters are an extension of Orbo technology – it seems likely a market overlap will exist between the two corporate entities. Currently E-Cat can generate much more energy than Orbo in the form of heat yet requires an initial independent source of energy to give it a “kickstart”. Orbo generates electrical power directly and requires no kickstart, though the output energy is much smaller.

My questions are these…

1. If the Orbo is introduced before the E-Cat factory report is released, and if Orbo is generally accepted as a successful product, will Orbo generate synergies which will favorably influence adoption of the E/Hot-Cats – or will it siphon away attention from Rossi’s technology and that of LENR?

2. Could such a diversion slow market adoption of the Cats?

3. What are the “pivot points” on which it could go either way?

Greg Daigle

UPDATE: This photo of packaging has just been posted on Facebook by Shaun McCarthy:

orbo packaging
Orbo Packaging? (Source: Facebook)
  • JW

    Enough of fraud alert. It is obvious that if this is a fraud it will be bad for Steorn. They would be fools to attempt this without a product. This is not to say they will not screw up.

    Puting my ire aside, it should be clear as mentioned above that Orbo and E-cat belong in different markets. The success of one as mentioned above is favorable advertisement for the other. Once such products are seen to be real there should be a plethora of such products coming to market as investment money will be thrown at novel technology devices which could not previously receive funding.

    However, patent wars should grow substantially as ideas and devices previously disdained have likely fallen into the public domain. Efforts to claim or reclaim trash found to be golden should be frenzied. The suspicion is that the true basis for these technologies has been around since Tesla’s time. Who can claim rights to products based upon the relevant ideas is yet to be seen. Both Rossi and Steorn may be drawn into an extensive war over patent rights.

  • oceans

    Fraud Alert. – Orbo is a product that has “Never” been shown to work or demonstrated to work, in fact many investors lost large investments in this Irish group headed by by Sean McCarthy – who has HYPED Orbo with unfounded claims for many years, Caveat emptor ! – Fraud Alert.

  • RobW

    Orbo and E-cat technologies are completely different. Looking to the energy density (per Kg) they largely differ. Orbo’s energy density is orders of magnitude lower, nice for mobile phone chargers but currently not suited for large scale energy production. They got their patent (US 13/042,513) granted in the US at 04-03-2013.

  • ecatworld

    I’ve been following the fortunes of Steorn for nine years now, and I will continue to do so. Despite some of the very public failures and embarrassments the company has been through, I am still not ready to count them out. Over the years there have been enough clues from various sources to keep me interested, and I’ll continue to watch their progress.

    If the Orbo charger does get released on the market I’ll do my best to get my hands on one of the first devices, and put a 24 hour webcam on it and stream it live via this site, and we’ll see if it does what it’s supposed to.

    • Omega Z

      He he he…
      How will we know you don’t have a secret wire hidden. Or wireless energy transmission or hidden batteries or an overhead laser beam.

      Can we look & see if there’s a squirrel cage wheel & a couple squirrel’s inside. Are you willing to let the most renowned physicists check it out even if they refuse to do so. I don’t know Frank. It seems you have a lot of connections in the arena. How can we trust you.

      OK, Kidding- Just wondering if you ready for the onslaught of skeptics.
      Ohh wait. You run the ECW Blog.
      You’ve probably much experience with this already.

      • ecatworld

        Well, OZ, if a Steorn product hits the market, I’m sure I won’t be the only person putting an orbo through its paces. I’m sure they will go under plently of scrutiny by skeptics. I’ll be curious too.

        And I’m much too incompetent to rig up hidden wires, or any kind of such trickery!

        • Omega Z

          Just to be sure you’re aware, I was just teasing.

          I’m very aware you’ve taken a lot of heat for supporting Rossi. Much more on other websites. There are those who post that you only allow pro Rossi posts. I would hotly debate that. You merely don’t allow outright hostile or personal attacks.

          I’ve recognized some of the handles & tho they claim to have been banned, I think many left voluntarily due to being over matched by some here at ECW & looking foolish. There are some very sharp people here at ECW & I say that even tho I may not always agree with them.

          As to Steorn, I don’t really have an opinion pro or con. I would say the road to success is riddled with prior failures. I wait & see.

          I do believe due to the design that they have a high efficiency water heater should it eventually make it to market, Tho less efficient then on demand systems.

          Albert below gave a very good possible explanation about their Phone charging system. A crystal generator. An interesting Idea in itself that would have a possible niche market in the world.

          Also, If you obtained an Orbo & display it live, I would totally trust you. If any here had questions, I have no doubt you would go above & beyond to examine the issue & find an answer if at all possible..

          But You Have to Admit, The skeptics would get much enjoyment & have much fun at your expense.

          • ecatworld

            Hi OZ, yes I realized it was in jest.

            I really hope I can get an orbo, if they are ever released, and do some testing. I think it would be interesting. I hope it would be fun for the believers, curious, and skeptics alike. There would be nothing like having something concrete to play with after so much talk.

      • gdaigle

        The possibility of hiding wires, batteries, laser beams (??) is one of the reasons why all Steorn demos to date were good business for those who fabricate perspex (plexiglas) cases. Ultimately, it comes down to reputation. Academics and research labs with a reputation of creating valid and reliable tests and who have not fudged any data. Journalists with a reputation of accurate reporting and asking the right questions. End users with a reputation of not engaging in collusion nor taking payment to influence their opinions.

        At some point we accept the information we read about the world because it appears to have met some arbitrary test, which is different for each of us. Most accepted are those claims that are the outcomes of reliable studies, written by proficient researchers, and reported by trustworthy media journalists. The higher the reputation the more likely the outcome is to be believed swiftly.

        Reduce the reputation or remove any one of those above legs and you have most of the sensationalistic news that hits the Web about how to cure cancer, lose weight while sleeping or any of a number of “discoveries” that are either incorrect or reported inaccurately.

        Any one agent can get it wrong. Most major news outlets have at one time or another been duped to publish or broadcast stories about a way to create new sources of energy that turned out to be completely bogus. But if a dozen did their due diligence and reported the same… then you can reasonably think, “Hey, this might be the real deal.”

        • ecatworld

          I agree with everything you say here, Greg. Still, when it comes to technology that is considered ‘too-good-to-be-true’ (which is what we discuss here most of the time) the skeptical voice seems to win the day.
          Steorn tried for years to find novel ways of getting attention, which mostly backfired. I think they have decided to shut up now (probably a good idea) and let their technology speak for itself, if and when it is ever released.

  • Albert D. Kallal

    I really wonder if I should bother posting on this one?

    Because people are not well versed in seeking out the
    truth, then it becomes more and more difficult to figure out what is true these
    days, and what is not!

    However, let’s try and put this into perspective:

    Take say the president of the International Society of

    Then the above received an award by the Royal Society of
    chemistry for work on the Surface Enhanced Raman Scatter effect.

    Then the above bloke went on to develop the first Ultramicroelectrode (a
    working electrode used in voltammetry)

    Of course who is the above person?

    Why of course the above is Martin Fleischmann – a VERY talented
    electrochemist. VERY talented!

    Now take another silly bloke:

    A PhD in chemistry, was a student of Martin Fleischmann,
    and his name was ???
    why or course Stanley Pons.

    So we have two GREAT and WORLD RENOWNED electrochemists
    with awards, degrees, PhD’s, and published papers making an announcement from
    their positions held at the university of Utah!

    Now for Orbo:

    I quote:

    >>Steorn put an “Orbo PowerCube” on
    display behind the bar of a pub in Dublin

    Wow, box in a pub behind the bar, or two world distinguished
    electrochemists making an announcement at the University of Utah on LENR?

    Gee, one of these is not like the other!

    Do ya think! Gee, children, do you wonder?

    Of course in regards to P & F things don’t stop.

    SRI has tested LENR devices from Brillouin – the tests
    are independent and they have COP’s over 3. And the 3rd party test
    of Rossi’s reactor is also independent. And there are 1000’s of papers around
    the world on LENR and its effects.

    CBS hired scientist Rob Duncan from the American Physics
    Society to determine if LENR is real. MOST important was Duncan was a skeptic
    of LENR and GOOD standing member of the APS. After looking at LENR, he was convinced
    LENR IS real beyond a doubt.

    For obro?

    We have a display behind the bar in some pub!

    I am really not going to comment much more on this as I
    have to become quite condescending and rather un-kind and rude to readers here
    (so I will not).

    Any and all attempts at ANY kind of independent
    verification of Orbo have all failed – quite much the opposite for LENR.

    Interesting, the head of the independent “jury” selected
    by Steorn was Ian MacDonald – emeritus professor of electrical engineering from
    of ALL places my university!! (University of Alberta).

    As noted, they failed to find any energy production. IN
    fact any and all independents who looked at orbo have come up empty handed

    On the other hand, anyone who ever build a crystal radio
    as a child? The radio needs no batteries, runs forever! And I leave it to readers
    where the “magic” power comes from that runs the radio. Keep in mind that the
    “free” power that runs the radio can power a light bulb, or even charge a
    battery. And this radio will run forever. And such radios are COMMON!

    We all built these things a children, and NOTHING is a mystery
    as to who such radios work – including where the power comes from to drive the
    speaker despite having no batteries!

    If you never seen one in operation – you need to watch above.

    So nothing in the above is out of place. However for
    those who don’t understand science or are spending their time becoming drunk in
    a bar looking at some display? Well, again let’s just not go there! (but do
    watch above video – quite nice!!).

    So no, the orbo has no high power density and does not affect
    or compete or complement LENR in anyway at all.

    But I suppose sitting at the bar after pounding back a
    six pack of beers, that device sitting across the bar will start to look quite magical!
    And that self-powered crystal radio above will also seem magical. And after 12
    beers, then one just might believe that the device setting across the bar will
    compete with LENR along with self-powered crystal radios.

    At least the crystal radio don’t take batteries, and will
    run 24×7 for as long as there is radio stations broadcasting!

    Albert D. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    • gdaigle

      I am glad you did post, Albert. It had much to offer, and I learned from it. LENR began as a “black swan” discovery for P & F. I hope Orbo finds itself in the same bevy.

  • gdaigle

    To his credit, CEO Shaun took full responsibility for the muck-ups. You could say that arrogance slowed the introduction and nearly killed it, but you could also say that arrogance kept him focused on creating a working solution years after others would have given up. Now we just need to see what they have.

  • oceans

    I have news for you Orbo already had its day of fame and their “failed miserably”, Orbo has never worked and Steorn wasted the valuable time and money of many investors, and we can see they are still up to their old tricks of showing pretty pictures and nothing more.

    I would go further and call Sean McCarthy a Fraudster.

  • blue energy

    I followed the Steorn phenomena with interest for several years. I even participated in the grunt work doing the reporting for the pendulum test project that ‘Dr. Mike’ did in attempting to measure more energy out than in – or even something unexpected (there was nothing…). All the public tests that I know of during that period of time failed miserably. I used to be very curious as to what information the SKDB got that wasn’t available to the public. And although I never learned what that was, I did note that at least several members, while not divulging that, were very disappointed in what they saw.

    There was one point late in the period that I was following in which someone on the boards suggested a method of creating energy from a solid state device with theory related to Orbo somehow. Shortly thereafter, Steorn came out with descriptions of their own solid state Orbo. Infinite energy from a solid state device with no moving parts. Of course, this was, what? seven years ago now? Nothing heard about that since. Nothing heard from the magnetic moment version of the devices either.

    There was one point very early on where it was revealed that a working Orbo was already pumping well water for a poor village somewhere in rural Africa. At a secret location that would soon be revealed. I don’t ever recall that being revealed. Was that part of the secret SKDB info? If it would break your agreement you don’t have to tell us where it is – just tell us that you know its location yourself, and know for a fact that it exists, if you do.

    For myself, I ultimately noticed that Steorn made a lot of claims but never, ever, backed any of them up. Not once. Even when they gave themselves time limits to reveal things to the public, nothing that would convince a reasonable person that their claims had any validity ever surfaced that I read about – and I was looking for it.

    One of the possibilities that I have considered is that Steorn is following the plot of, I think it was a Heinlein short story, in which a group of top scientists were brought in for a top secret government project. They were shown clandestine spy video of a working device that the enemy had already created that would change the course of the war and asked to duplicate it. At first it seemed impossible since it violated known physics – but the evidence that it was already fait accompli was in front of them. And so, with the plausibility question out of the way, they eventually did create new theories as to how the device had been built and then fashioned one of their own. At the end was it revealed that the enemy invention story was, in fact, a hoax. Only by convincing the scientists that it was not only possible – but already in existence – were they capable of creating the advance in theory to solve it. I’ve wondered whether the SKDB was just such a sandbox created by Steorn to mine the creativity of its members by convincing them that Orbo already exists.

    Did anyone in the SKDB, with access to the secret documents, ever duplicate Orbo using all the secret info? Those members that I met online didn’t, at least, nor know of anyone else who did. Where is that well, anyway?

    • Obvious

      Sorry if I dodge all your questions.
      The process you discuss, the short story, is a very real effect. One one ‘knows’ something can be done, the effort to duplicate it is focussed and redoubled. Cargo Cults show that duplicating the actions is not enough. But inventing something that is Known to exist is much easier than inventing something totally new from scratch and luck and by golly.

    • gdaigle

      No, I don’t know the location of any African water pump. Nor do I know of a verifiable replication. Sounds like a great short story. We did get to wonder if Steorn was only on the verge and hoped that the outside input would make the breakthrough for them. And I do know of one outside suggestion that Steorn confirmed did improve their results. More likely, the SKDB confirmed for their attorneys that even with most of the information in hand, their IP was safe from those who might duplicate and jump to the front of the line at the patent office.

  • gdaigle

    @Mark – Just as with the many comments here on the possible physics explaining LENR, merely describing how Orbo works isn’t evidence that it does work. Though Rossi’s Cats have a range of outputs and configurations other than the difficult to achieve and regulate “self-sustain” mode, Orbo is recognized as successful only in self-sustain mode. And the “overunity” to achieve that is a very small fraction of energy over 100% COP.

    Steorn told us it would be very difficult but they were also very cagey, discussing components in some configurations, but not the dimensional layouts… giving circuits in other configurations, but not material lists. There was never a full set of physical plans with material lists and circuits, including test circuits and equipment. Some of the builds executed by members who were professional engineers were quite precise and elaborate and I observed several that appeared close to achieving the goal. Still, I am unaware of a demonstrated success.

    So yes, there is room for doubt despite the citations of published scientific papers, the third party reports and the experiments by members that suggested that the science was right though the engineering was somehow lacking. Yet like many there, I still feel that it is real.

    • Yeah, I think that it’s probably real, too. I was not disputing that point. I just want to understand how they think that it works.

      Just for the record, I consider myself more of a philosopher than a scientist. I actually do believe that, under some circumstances, explaining something can be proof that it works. Still, in most cases, being able to see it working helps.

  • Curbina

    As another member of the defunct SKDB, I can only say that I am not holding my breath, nor thinking Steorn is just another scam. The perspective gained during the duration of the SKDB is that Steorn has something interesting, but making it commercial is a challenge that was never meant to be easy. I certainly hope them the best and also I hope they finally surprise everyone.

  • gdaigle

    I am not a fan of this version of the packaging. Too dark, solitary and evil looking for a product that will breathe life back into what for many is the only means of connecting with distant family, loved ones and the rest of the outside world.

  • MasterBlaster7

    Im not holding my breath.

    If there are 2 competing technologies in this space. They will both eventually find their niche.

    There will be competing LENR devices. Watch them come out of the woodwork once er…F9…once Rossi goes commercial.

    I am especially interested in M-NANOR for electric cars, laptops….er smaller stuff than industrial e-tigers….(I like that name)

    It should be…..


  • oceans

    Steorn always in secret development with something, they have never publicly shown a working device, here again another photo (case design) of a Orbo dressed in a monkey suit, ask Paul Story about Steorn.

  • Christina

    Yes, Rossi is doing the right thing!

    If there are ANY accidents with the E-Cats–God forbid that, but if there are–the facts of the accidents had better be that other reasons than the E-Cats were at fault.

    The only way to ensure that is so is to have a rigorous testing culture for as long as it takes to ascertain the E-Cat’s reliability.


    P.S.: Yes, I’m impatient too, but it is what it is.

  • lars

    Thank you for an interesting post. I think it is a bit strange that Steorn demoed with so little tests before the demonstration. It made it very unprofessional even if the product had potential. Maybe Rossi is doing the right thing to have a rigorous testing period first.