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Title:
MAGNETIC STRUCTURE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/002414
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A magnetic structure configured to generate an unbalanced magnetic field. The magnetic structure may be advantageously employed in electro-mechanical and electro-magnetic devices.

Inventors:
YARGER, Eric, J. (3811 East 214 North, Rigby, Idaho, 83442, US)
SPENCER, David, F. (2785 Applen Court, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83402, US)
CHRISTIANSEN, Dale, W. (445 Lansing Street, Blackfoot, Idaho, 83221, US)
Application Number:
US2007/014227
Publication Date:
January 03, 2008
Filing Date:
June 14, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BATTELLE ENERGY ALLIANCE, LLC (2525 Fremont Avenue, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83415, US)
YARGER, Eric, J. (3811 East 214 North, Rigby, Idaho, 83442, US)
SPENCER, David, F. (2785 Applen Court, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83402, US)
CHRISTIANSEN, Dale, W. (445 Lansing Street, Blackfoot, Idaho, 83221, US)
International Classes:
H02K35/02; H02K33/16; H01F7/16; H01F7/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BOLLER, Timothy, L. et al. (Seed Intellectual Property Law Group PLLC, Suite 5400701 Fifth Avenu, Seattle Washington, 98104-7064, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An electro-mechanical system comprising: a magnetic structure comprising: a first magnetic element having a physical property of a first magnitude, a first pole of a first polarity and a second pole of a second polarity opposite of the first polarity; and a second magnetic element having a second magnitude of the physical property, different from the first magnitude, a first pole of the first polarity and a second pole of the second polarity; and a support structure configured to hold the first and second magnetic elements spaced apart a distance closer than an ambient distance with the first pole of the first magnetic element generally facing the first pole of the second magnetic element.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the first magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein the second magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet.

4. The system of claim 3 wherein the physical property is a length and the first magnitude is greater than the second magnitude.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein the support structure is configured to hold the magnetic elements in a position to generate an unbalanced magnetic field comprising a region with a high-gradient magnetic field.

6. The system of 5 wherein the support structure is configured to facilitate movement of the magnetic structure and a coil system with respect to each other.

7. The system of claim 6 wherein at least a portion of the region passes through the coil system when the magnetic structure moves with respect to the coil system.

8. The system of claim 6 wherein the system is configured to receive mechanical force and to generate an electrical signal in response to the receipt of the mechanical force.

9. The system of claim 6 wherein the system is configured to receive an electrical signal and to generate mechanical force in response to the receipt of the electrical signal.

10. The system of claim 6 wherein the coil system comprises a plurality of coils.

11. The system of claim 10 wherein the plurality of coils comprises a first coil wound with respect to an axis in a first direction and a second coil wound with respect to the axis in a second direction different from the first direction.

12. The system of claim 11 wherein the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns.

13. The system of claim 11 wherein the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a second radius different from the first radius.

14. The system of claim 6 wherein the coil system comprises a plurality of pairs of coils coupled together in a series-parallel configuration.

15. The system of claim 14 wherein: a first coil in a pair of coils in the plurality of coils comprises a first wire wound in a first direction; and a second coil in the pair of coils comprises a second wire wound in a second direction opposite of the first direction.

16. The system of claim 6, further comprising: a mechanical transmission system.

17. The system of claim 16 wherein the mechanical transmission system is configured to facilitate relative linear movement between the magnetic structure and the coil system.

18. The system of claim 16 wherein the mechanical transmission system is configured to facilitate relative rotational movement between the magnetic structure and the coil system.

19. The system of claim 6 wherein the system is configured to facilitate relative circular movement of the magnetic structure with respect to the coil system.

20. The system of claim 1 wherein the first pole of the first magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face and the first pole of the second magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face.

21. The system of claim 20 wherein the substantially semi- toroidal-shaped faces are dimensioned to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element.

22. The system of claim 6 wherein the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped coil.

23. A method of generating power, comprising: generating a magnetic field by positioning a first magnetic element and a second magnetic element a distance apart with like poles substantially facing each other, the magnetic field being unbalanced with respect to the magnetic elements and compressed in a region adjacent to the magnet elements; and causing relative movement between a coil system and the magnetic field.

24. The method of claim 23, further comprising: rectifying a current generated in the coil system.

25. The method of claim 24, further comprising: storing energy in an energy storage system.

26. The method of claim 23 wherein the magnetic elements comprise permanent magnets.

27. The method of claim 26 wherein causing relative movement comprises moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system.

28. The method of claim 27 wherein moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises moving the permanent magnets along a generally linear path.

29. The method of claim 27 wherein moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises rotating the permanent magnets.

30. The method of claim 23, further comprising: optimizing a gradient in the compressed region of the unbalanced magnetic field.

31. The method of claim 23 wherein the coil system comprises a first coil wound in a first direction and a second coil wound in a second direction different from the first direction.

32. The method of claim 31 wherein the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns.

33. The method of claim 31 wherein the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a second radius different from the first radius.

34. The method of claim 27 wherein moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises moving the permanent magnets along a generally circular path.

35. The method of claim 23 wherein the first magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face and the second magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face.

36. The method of claim 35 wherein the substantially-toroidal- shaped faces are dimensioned to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element.

37. The method of claim 23 wherein the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped coil.

38. A method of generating mechanical force, comprising: generating a magnetic field by positioning a first magnetic element and a second magnetic element a distance apart with like poles substantially facing each other, the magnetic field being unbalanced with respect to the magnetic elements and compressed in a region adjacent to the magnet elements; and conducting a current through a coil system in proximity to the magnetic elements.

39. The method of claim 38 wherein the current is an alternating current.

40. A system, comprising: a case; an electro-mechanical system contained within the case and comprising: a coil system; and a magnetic structure comprising: a first magnetic element having a physical property of a first magnitude, a first pole of a first polarity and a second pole of a second polarity opposite of the first polarity; and a second magnetic element having a second magnitude of the physical property, different from the first magnitude, a first pole of the first polarity and a second pole of the second polarity; and a support structure configured to position the first and second magnetic elements spaced apart a distance with the first pole of the first magnetic element generally facing the first pole of the second magnetic

element to generate an unbalanced magnetic field with respect to the first and second magnetic elements; and an energy storage device contained within the case.

41. The system of claim 40 wherein the first magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet.

42. The system of claim 41 wherein the second magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet.

43. The system of claim 42 wherein the physical property is a length and the first magnitude is greater than the second magnitude.

44. The system of claim 43 wherein the unbalanced magnetic field comprises a region where the magnetic field is compressed.

45. The system of claim 44 wherein the support structure is configured to facilitate movement of the magnetic structure and the coil system with respect to each other.

46. The system of claim 45 wherein the region passes through the coil system when the magnetic structure moves with respect to the coil system.

47. The system of claim 46 wherein the coil system comprises a plurality of coils.

48. The system of claim 47 wherein the plurality of coils comprises a first coil wound in a first direction and a second coil wound in a second direction different from the first direction.

49. The system of claim 48 wherein the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns.

50. The system of claim 49 wherein the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a second radius different from the first radius.

51. The system of claim 45 wherein the coil system comprises a plurality of pairs of coils coupled together in a series-parallel configuration.

52. The system of claim 51 wherein: a first coil in a pair of coils in the plurality of coils comprises a first wire wound in a first direction; and a second coil in the pair of coils comprises a second wire wound in a second direction opposite of the first direction.

53. The system of claim 42 wherein the physical property is a strength and the first magnitude is greater than the second magnitude.

54. The system of claim 45 wherein the system is configured to facilitate relative circular movement of the magnetic structure with respect to the coil system.

55. The system of claim 40 wherein the first pole of the first magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face and the first pole of the second magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face.

56. The system of claim 55 wherein the substantially semi- toroidal-shaped faces are dimensioned to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element.

57. The system of claim 40 wherein the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped coil.

58. An electromechanical system, comprising: first means for generating a magnetic field; second means for generating a magnetic field; means for positioning the first and second means for generating magnetic fields with respect to each other to generate an unbalanced magnetic field that is compressed in a region adjacent to the means for generating a compressed magnetic field; means for conducting a current; and means for facilitating relative movement between the compressed region and the means for conducting a current.

59. The system of claim 58 wherein the means for generating magnetic fields comprise permanent magnets.

60. The system of claim 59 wherein the means for conducting a current comprises a pair of coils, a first coil in the pair comprising a first wire wound a first number of turns in a first direction and having a first perimeter, a second coil in the pair comprising a second wire wound a second number of turns, different from the first number of turns, in a second direction, different from the first direction, and having a second perimeter different from the first perimeter.

61. The system of claim 60 wherein the first number of turns is greater than the second number of turns and the first perimeter is less than the second perimeter.

62. The system of claim 61 wherein the means for conducting a current further comprises a coupling configured to couple the first coil to the second coil such that a contribution from the first coil to a potential across an output of the means for conducting a current has a same polarity as a contribution to the potential from the second coil.

63. A system, comprising: a first magnetic element having a substantially semi-toroidal- shaped face; a second magnetic element having a substantially semi-toroidal- shaped face; and a support structure configured to hold the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element apart to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first and second magnetic elements.

64. The system of claim 63, further comprising a coil system.

65. The system of claim 63 wherein the first magnet element is substantially identical to the second magnetic element.

66. The system of claim 63 wherein a length of the first magnetic element is longer than a length of the second magnetic element.

67. The system of claim 63 wherein the first magnetic element comprises a substantially cylindrical permanent magnet.

68. The system of claim 64 wherein the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped coil.

Description:

MAGNETIC STRUCTURE

STATEMENT REGARDING GOVERNMENT INTEREST

This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-05-1D14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

This disclosure generally relates to a magnetic structure and more particularly to a magnetic structure suitable for use in electro-magnetic and electro-mechanical devices and applications.

Description of the Related Art

Electro-magnetic and electro-mechanical devices and applications, such as, for example, motors, generators and alternators, typically employ coils and/or magnets. Conventional magnetic structures employ a single magnet to generate a magnetic field, or a plurality of magnets arranged to generate a magnetic field. The magnets are typically permanent magnets or electromagnets.

When an increase in output or performance was desired, conventionally the size or number of coils was increased or the size or strength of the magnets would be increased. These approaches introduce weight, cost, size and durability issues. These approaches also are not practical for many applications.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In one aspect, an electro-mechanical system comprises a magnetic structure comprising a first magnetic element having a physical

property of a first magnitude, a first pole of a first polarity and a second pole of a second polarity opposite of the first polarity and a second magnetic element having a second magnitude of the physical property, different from the first magnitude, a first pole of the first polarity and a second pole of the second polarity, and a support structure configured to hold the first and second magnetic elements spaced apart a distance closer than an ambient distance with the first pole of the first magnetic element generally facing the first pole of the second magnetic element. In one embodiment, the first magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet. In one embodiment, the second magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet. In one embodiment, the physical property is a length and the first magnitude is greater than the second magnitude. In one embodiment, the support structure is configured to hold the magnetic elements in a position to generate an unbalanced magnetic field comprising a region with a high-gradient magnetic field. In one embodiment, the support structure is configured to facilitate movement of the magnetic structure and a coil system with respect to each other. In one embodiment, the region passes through the coil system when the magnetic structure moves with respect to the coil system. In one embodiment, the system is configured to receive mechanical force and to generate an electrical signal in response to the receipt of the mechanical force. In one embodiment, the system is configured to receive an electrical signal and to generate mechanical force in response to the receipt of the electrical signal. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a plurality of coils. In one embodiment, the plurality of coils comprises a first coil wound about an axis in a first direction and a second coil wound about the axis in a second direction different from the first direction. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a second radius different from the first radius. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a plurality of pairs of coils coupled together in a series-parallel configuration. In one

embodiment, a first coil in a pair of coils in the plurality of coils comprises a first wire wound in a first direction and a second coil in the pair of coils comprises a second wire wound in a second direction opposite of the first direction. In one embodiment, the system further comprises a mechanical transmission system. In one embodiment, the mechanical transmission system is configured to facilitate relative linear movement between the magnetic structure and the coil system. In one embodiment, the mechanical transmission system is configured to facilitate relative rotational movement between the magnetic structure and the coil system. In one embodiment, the system is configured to facilitate relative circular movement of the magnetic structure with respect to the coil system. In one embodiment, the first pole of the first magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face and the first pole of the second magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face. In one embodiment, the substantially semi-toroidal-shaped faces are dimensioned to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped coil. In one embodiment, the magnetic structure comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first magnetic structure and the second magnetic structure. In one aspect, a method of generating power comprises generating a magnetic field by positioning a first magnetic element and a second magnetic element a distance apart with like poles substantially facing each other, the magnetic field being unbalanced with respect to the magnetic elements and compressed in a region adjacent to the plurality of magnet elements, and facilitating relative movement between a coil system and the magnetic field. In one embodiment, the magnetic elements comprise permanent magnets. In one embodiment, the method further comprises rectifying a current generated in the coil system. In one embodiment, the method further comprises storing energy in an energy storage system. In one embodiment, the facilitating relative movement comprises moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system. In one embodiment,

moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises moving the permanent magnets along a generally linear path. In one embodiment, moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises moving the permanent magnets along a generally circular path. In one embodiment, moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises rotating the permanent magnets. In one embodiment, the method further comprises optimizing a gradient in the compressed region of the unbalanced magnetic field. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a first coil wound in a first direction and a second coil wound in a second direction different from the first direction. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a second radius different from the first radius. In one embodiment, moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises moving the permanent magnets along a generally circular path. In one embodiment, the first magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal- shaped face and the second magnetic element has a substantially semi- toroidal-shaped face. In one embodiment, the substantially-toroidal-shaped faces are dimensioned to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element. Ih one embodiment, the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped coil.

In one aspect, a method of generating mechanical force comprises generating a magnetic field by positioning a first magnetic element and a second magnetic element a distance apart with like poles substantially facing each other, the magnetic field being unbalanced with respect to the magnetic elements and compressed in a region adjacent to the plurality of magnet elements, and conducting a current through a coil system in proximity to the magnetic elements. In one embodiment, the current is an alternating current. In one embodiment, the magnetic elements comprise permanent magnets. In one embodiment, the method further comprises facilitating relative

movement between the magnetic elements and the coil system. In one embodiment, facilitating relative movement comprises moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system. In one embodiment, moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises moving the permanent magnets along a generally linear path. In one embodiment, moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises moving the permanent magnets along a generally circular path. In one embodiment, moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises rotating the permanent magnets. In one embodiment, the method further comprises optimizing a gradient in the compressed region of the unbalanced magnetic field. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a first coil wound in a first direction and a second coil wound in a second direction different from the first direction. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a second radius different from the first radius. In one embodiment, moving the permanent magnets with respect to the coil system comprises moving the permanent magnets along a generally circular path. In one embodiment, the first magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face and the second magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face. In one embodiment, the substantially-toroidal-shaped faces are dimensioned to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped coil.

In one aspect, a system comprises a case, an electro-mechanical system contained within the case and comprising a coil system and a magnetic structure comprising a first magnetic element having a physical property of a first magnitude, a first pole of a first polarity and a second pole of a second polarity opposite of the first polarity, and a second magnetic element having a second magnitude of the physical property, different from the first magnitude, a

first pole of the first polarity and a second pole of the second polarity, and a support structure configured to position the first and second magnetic elements spaced apart a distance with the first pole of the first magnetic element generally facing the first pole of the second magnetic element to generate an unbalanced magnetic field with respect to the first and second magnetic elements, and an energy storage device contained within the case. In one embodiment, the first magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet. In one embodiment, the second magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet. In one embodiment, the physical property is a length and the first magnitude is greater than the second magnitude. In one embodiment, the unbalanced magnetic field comprises a region where the magnetic field is compressed. In one embodiment, the support structure is configured to facilitate movement of the magnetic structure and the coil system with respect to each other. In one embodiment, the region passes through the coil system when the magnetic structure moves with respect to the coil system. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a plurality of coils. In one embodiment, the plurality of coils comprises a first coil wound in a first direction and a second coil wound in a second direction different from the first direction. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a second radius different from the first radius. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a plurality of pairs of coils coupled together in a series-parallel configuration. In one embodiment, a first coil in a pair of coils in the plurality of coils comprises a first wire wound in a first direction, and a second coil in the pair of coils comprises a second wire wound in a second direction opposite of the first direction. In one embodiment, the physical property is a strength and the first magnitude is greater than the second magnitude. In one embodiment the coil system comprises a trace on an insulating sheet. In one embodiment the coil system comprises a plurality of traces on a plurality of insulating sheets. In one embodiment, the system is

configured to facilitate relative circular movement of the magnetic structure with respect to the coil system. In one embodiment, the first pole of the first magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face and the first pole of the second magnetic element has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face. In one embodiment, the substantially semi-toroidal-shaped faces are dimensioned to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped coil.

In one aspect, an electromechanical system comprises first means for generating a magnetic field, second means for generating a magnetic field, means for positioning the first and second means for generating magnetic fields with respect to each other to generate an unbalanced magnetic field that is compressed in a region adjacent to the means for generating a compressed magnetic field, means for conducting a current, and means for facilitating relative movement between the compressed region and the means for conducting a current. In one embodiment, the means for generating magnetic fields comprises permanent magnets. In one embodiment, the means for conducting a current comprises a pair of coils, a first coil in the pair comprising a first wire wound a first number of turns in a first direction and having a first perimeter, a second coil in the pair comprising a second wire wound a second number of turns, different from the first number of turns, in a second direction, different from the first direction, and having a second perimeter different from the first perimeter. In one embodiment, the first number of turns is greater than the second number of turns and the first perimeter is less than the second perimeter. In one embodiment, the means for conducting a current further comprises a coupling configured to couple the first coil to the second coil such that a contribution from the first coil to a potential across an output has a same polarity as a contribution to the potential from the second coil. In one embodiment, the system is configured to facilitate relative circular movement of the region with respect to the means for conducting a current. In one embodiment, the first means for generating a magnetic field has

a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face and the second means for generating a magnetic field has a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face. In one embodiment, the substantially semi-toroidal-shaped faces are dimensioned to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first and second means for generating a magnetic field. In one embodiment, the means for conducting a current comprises a substantially toroidal-shaped coil.

In one aspect, a system comprises a first magnetic element having a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face, a second magnetic element having a substantially semi-toroidal-shaped face, and a support structure configured to hold the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element apart to form a substantially toroidal-shaped cavity between the first and second magnetic elements. In one embodiment, the system further comprising a coil system. In one embodiment, the first magnet element is substantially identical to the second magnetic element. In one embodiment, a length of the first magnetic element is longer than a length of the second magnetic element. In one embodiment, the first magnetic element comprises a substantially cylindrical permanent magnet. In one embodiment, the first magnetic element has a physical property of a first magnitude, a first pole of a first polarity and a second pole of a second polarity opposite of the first polarity and the second magnetic element has a second magnitude of the physical property, different from the first magnitude, a first pole of the first polarity and a second pole of the second polarity, and the support structure is configured to hold the first and second magnetic elements spaced apart a distance closer than an ambient distance with the first pole of the first magnetic element generally facing the first pole of the second magnetic element. In one embodiment, the first magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet. In one embodiment, the second magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet. In one embodiment, the physical property is a length and the first magnitude is greater than the second magnitude. In one embodiment, the support structure is configured to hold the magnetic elements in a position to generate an unbalanced magnetic field comprising a region with a high-gradient magnetic field. In one embodiment,

the support structure is configured to facilitate movement of the magnetic elements and a coil system with respect to each other. In one embodiment, the region passes through the coil system when the magnetic elements move with respect to the coil system. In one embodiment, the system is configured to receive mechanical force and to generate an electrical signal in response to the receipt of the mechanical force. In one embodiment, the system is configured to receive an electrical signal and to generate mechanical force in response to the receipt of the electrical signal. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a plurality of coils. In one embodiment, the plurality of coils comprises a first coil wound about an axis in a first direction and a second coil wound about the axis in a second direction different from the first direction. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a second radius different from the first radius. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a plurality of pairs of coils coupled together in a series-parallel configuration. In one embodiment, a first coil in a pair of coils in the plurality of coils comprises a first wire wound in a first direction and a second coil in the pair of coils comprises a second wire wound in a second direction opposite of the first direction. In one embodiment, the system further comprises a mechanical transmission system. In one embodiment, the mechanical transmission system is configured to facilitate relative linear movement between the magnetic elements and the coil system. In one embodiment, the mechanical transmission system is configured to facilitate relative rotational movement between the magnetic elements and the coil system. In one embodiment, the system is configured to facilitate relative circular movement of the magnetic elements with respect to the coil system.

In one aspect, an electro-mechanical system comprises a magnetic structure comprising a first magnetic element having a first strength, a first pole of a first polarity and a second pole of a second polarity opposite of

the first polarity and a second magnetic element having a second strength approximately equal to the first strength, a first pole of the first polarity and a second pole of the second polarity, and a support structure configured to hold the first and second magnetic elements spaced apart a distance with the first pole of the first magnetic element generally facing the first pole of the second magnetic element, a coil system, and a suspension system configured to facilitate relative movement of the magnetic structure with respect to the coil system, wherein the magnetic structure is configured to generate a magnetic field having a gradient in a region adjacent to the magnetic structure that is at least as large as a gradient of a single magnet having a strength of five times the first strength. In one embodiment, the gradient in the region adjacent to the magnetic structure is at least as large as a gradient of a single magnet having a strength of seven times the first strength.

In one aspect, an electro-mechanical system comprises a coil system comprising a first coil and a second coil unmatched with respect to the first coil and coupled to the first coil, and a magnetic structure configured to move relative to the coil system. In one embodiment, the system is configured to receive mechanical force and to generate an electrical signal in response to the receipt of the mechanical force. In one embodiment, the system is configured to receive an electrical signal and to generate mechanical force in response to the receipt of the electrical signal. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first wire wound in a first direction and the second coil comprises a second wire wound in a second direction different from the first direction. In one embodiment, the first coil has a first equivalent diameter and the second coil has a second equivalent diameter different from the first equivalent diameter. In one embodiment, the magnetic structure comprises a first magnetic element having a first pole of a first polarity and a second pole of a second polarity opposite of the first polarity, a second magnetic element having a first pole of the first polarity and a second pole of the second polarity, and a support structure configured to hold the first and second magnetic elements spaced apart a distance closer than an ambient distance with the first pole of

the first magnetic element generally facing the first pole of the second magnetic element. In one embodiment, the first magnetic element comprises a rare earth magnet. In one embodiment, the first magnetic element and the second magnetic element have different lengths. In one embodiment, the support structure is configured to hold the magnetic elements in a position to generate an unbalanced magnetic field with respect to the magnetic structure, the unbalanced magnetic field comprising a region with a high-gradient magnetic field. In one embodiment, the system further comprises a mechanical transmission system. In one embodiment, the mechanical transmission system is configured to facilitate relative linear movement between the magnetic structure and the coil system. In one embodiment, the mechanical transmission system is configured to facilitate relative rotational movement between the magnetic structure and the coil system. In one embodiment, the first coil and the second coil have different lengths. In one embodiment, the first coil and the second coil have different widths. In one embodiment, the first coil and the second coil have different cross-sectional areas with respect to a vector. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first wire with a first diameter and the second coil comprises a second wire with a second diameter different from the first diameter. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a trace on a layer of insulating material. In one embodiment, a contribution to a potential from the first coil to an output from the coil system has a same polarity as a contribution to the potential from the second coil. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a plurality of pairs of unmatched coils coupled together in a series- parallel configuration. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal coil form. In one embodiment, the magnetic structure comprises a permanent magnet with a substantially semi-toroidal face. In one embodiment, the magnetic structure comprises a substantially toroidal cavity.

In one aspect, a method of generating power comprises coupling a pair of unmatched coils together and moving a magnetic structure relative to the pair of coils. In one embodiment, coupling the pair of coils together comprises coupling the pair of coils together in a series-parallel configuration.

In one embodiment, the method further comprises rectifying a current generated in the coil system. In one embodiment, the method further comprises storing energy in an energy storage system. In one embodiment, the method further comprises generating a compressed magnetic field with the magnetic structure. In one embodiment, the pair of coils comprises a first coil wound about an axis in a first direction and a second coil wound about the axis in a second direction different from the first direction. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a second radius different from the first radius. In one embodiment, the pair of unmatched coils are wound on a substantially toroidal coil form. In one embodiment, the magnetic structure comprises a permanent magnet with a substantially semi-toroidal face. In one embodiment, the magnetic structure comprises a substantially toroidal cavity.

In one aspect, a system comprises a case, an electro-mechanical system contained within the case and comprising a magnetic structure, a coil system comprising a first coil and a second coil unmatched with respect to the first coil and coupled to the first coil, and a support structure configured to facilitate relative movement of the magnetic structure and the coil system, and an energy storage device contained within the case and coupled to the coil system. In one embodiment, the magnetic structure is configured to generate a compressed magnetic field. In one embodiment, the compressed magnetic field is unbalanced with respect to the magnetic structure. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a plurality of pairs of coils coupled together in a series-parallel configuration. In one embodiment, the first coil is wound in a first direction and the second coil is wound in a second direction different from the first direction. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first number of turns and the second coil comprises a second number of turns different from the first number of turns. In one embodiment, the first coil comprises a first wire having a first radius and the second coil comprises a second wire having a

second radius different from the first radius. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal coil form. In one embodiment, the magnetic structure comprises a permanent magnet with a substantially semi- toroidal face. In one embodiment, the magnetic structure comprises a substantially toroidal cavity.

In one aspect, an electromechanical system comprises means for generating a magnetic field, a coil system comprising first means for conducting a current and second means for conducting a current coupled to the first means for conducting a current and unmatched with respect to the first means for conducting a current, and means for facilitating relative movement between the means for generating a magnetic field and the first and second means for conducting a current. In one embodiment, the means for generating a magnetic field comprises a plurality of permanent magnets. In one embodiment, the means for generating a magnetic field is configured to generate a compressed magnetic field. In one embodiment, a contribution from the first means for conducting a current to a potential across an output of the coil system has a same polarity as a contribution to the potential from the second means for conducting a current. In one embodiment, the first means for conducting a current comprises a conductive trace on an insulating layer. In one embodiment, the coil system comprises a substantially toroidal coil form. In one embodiment, the means for generating a magnetic field comprises a permanent magnet with a substantially semi-toroidal face. In one embodiment, the means for generating a magnetic field comprises a substantially toroidal cavity. In one aspect, an electromechanical system comprises a case, a coil system contained within the case, an energy storage system contained within the case, a magnetic structure contained within the case and comprising a plurality of magnetic elements spaced apart with like poles facing together, and a suspension system configured to facilitate relative movement between the magnetic structure and the coil system. In one embodiment, the electromechanical system further comprises an energy transfer control system

coupled to the coil system and the energy storage system. In one embodiment, the case has an internal volume of less than 3.2 cubic inches. In one embodiment, the system is configured to respond to a sine stimulus at a frequency of 10 Hz over a five minute time period by storing approximately 18.24 Joules of energy in the energy storage system. In one embodiment, the energy storage system comprises a supercapacitor. In one embodiment, the system is configured to respond to a sine-wave stimulus at a frequency of 10 Hz over a five minute time period by storing at least 18 Joules of energy in the energy storage system. In one embodiment, a voltage level of the energy storage system is approximately 3 volts. In one embodiment, the system is configured to respond to a square-wave stimulus at a frequency of 10 Hz over a five minute time period by storing at least 16 Joules of energy in the energy storage system. In one embodiment, a voltage level of the energy storage system is approximately 2.83 volts. In one embodiment, the system is configured to respond to a sine-wave stimulus at a frequency of 10 Hz over a five minute time period by providing at least 14 Joules of energy to a load of 180 Ohms at a voltage level of approximately 2.7 volts. In one embodiment, the system is configured to respond to a sine-wave stimulus at a frequency of 10 Hz over a five minute time period by providing at least 11 Joules of energy to a load of 90 Ohms at a voltage level of approximately 2.4 volts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The sizes and relative positions of elements in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. For example, the shapes of various elements and angles are not drawn to scale, and some of these elements are arbitrarily enlarged and positioned to improve drawing legibility. Further, the particular shapes of the elements as drawn are not necessarily intended to convey any information regarding the actual shape of particular elements, and have been selected solely for ease of recognition in the drawings.

Figure 1 is a diametric cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a bi-metal coil.

Figure 2 is a side plan view of an embodiment of a multi-coil system in accordance with the present disclosure.

Figure 3 is a side plan view of another embodiment of a multi-coil system in accordance with the present disclosure. Figure 4 is a top view of another embodiment of a multi-coil system in accordance with the present disclosure.

Figure 5 is a bottom view of the embodiment of a multi-coil system illustrated in Figure 4.

Figure 6 is another top view of the embodiment of a multi-coil system illustrated in Figure 4.

Figure 7 is a side cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the multi-coil system illustrated in Figure 4.

Figure 8 is a side cross-sectional view of another embodiment of a multi-coil system in accordance with the present disclosure. . Figure 9 is a top view of an embodiment of a layer suitable for use in the embodiment of a multi-coil system of Figure 8.

Figure 10 is a side cross-sectional of an embodiment of a trace suitable for use in the embodiment of a multi-coil system of Figure 8.

Figure 11 is a top view of another embodiment of a layer suitable for use in the embodiment of a multi-coil system of Figure 8.

Figure 12 is a side cross-sectional of another embodiment of a trace suitable for use in the embodiment of a multi-coil system of Figure 8.

Figure 13 is a side cross-sectional view of another embodiment of a mu|ti-coil system in accordance with the present disclosure. Figure 14 is functional block diagram showing the relative physical positions of pairs of coils in an embodiment of a multi-coil system.

Figure 15 is a functional block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a series-parallel coupling of the pairs of coils illustrated in Figure 14.

Figures 16A and 16B are graphic illustrations of the magnetic flux generated by a permanent magnet.

Figures 17A and 17B are graphic illustrations of the magnetic flux generated by two permanent magnets with like poles facing each other and held together between an ambient distance and a substantially touching position. Figures 18A and 18B are graphic illustrations of the magnetic flux generated by an embodiment of an unbalanced magnetic structure with two permanent magnets of different lengths with like poles facing each other and held together between an ambient distance and a substantially touching position. Figures 19A and 19B are graphic illustrations of the magnetic flux generated by another embodiment of an unbalanced magnetic structure with two permanent magnets of different lengths with like poles facing each other and held together between an ambient distance and a substantially touching position. Figures 2OA and 2OB are graphic illustrations of the magnetic flux generated by another embodiment of an unbalanced magnetic structure with two permanent magnets of different lengths with like poles facing each other and held together between an ambient distance and a substantially touching position. Figure 21 is a side cross-sectional view of another embodiment of an unbalanced magnetic structure.

Figure 22 is a side cross-sectional view of another embodiment of an unbalanced magnetic structure.

Figure 23 is a diametric cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a battery.

Figure 24 is a side sectional view of another embodiment of a battery.

Figure 25 is a diametric cross sectional view of an embodiment of an electromechanical system. Figure 26 is a diametric cross sectional view of another embodiment of an electromechanical system.

Figure 27 is a side cross-sectional view of another embodiment of an unbalanced magnetic structure.

Figure 28 is a view of another embodiment of a coil system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In the following description, certain details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of devices, methods and articles. However, one of skill in the art will understand that other embodiments may be practiced without these details. In other instances, well- known structures and methods associated with magnetic structures, coils, batteries, linear generators, and control systems have not been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring descriptions of the embodiments.

Unless the context requires otherwise, throughout the specification and claims which follow, the word "comprise" and variations thereof, such as "comprising," and "comprises," are to be construed in an open, inclusive sense, that is, as "including, but not limited to."

Reference throughout this specification to "one embodiment," or "an embodiment" means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment. Thus, the appearances of the phases "in one embodiment," or "in an embodiment" in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment, or to all embodiments. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments to obtain further embodiments.

The headings are provided for convenience only, and do not interpret the scope or meaning of this disclosure or the claimed invention.

Figure 1 is a diametric cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a bi-metal coil 100. The coil 100 comprises a non-magnetic winding form 102, a non-magnetic, electrical conductive winding 104 and a magnetic conductive

winding 106. The use of an electrical conductive winding, such as the electrical conductive winding 104, with a magnetic conductive winding, such as the magnetic conductive winding 106, facilitates focusing of a magnetic field passing through or generated by an electrical conductive winding of a coil, such as the winding 104 of the coil 100. Focusing of the magnetic field can significantly increase the efficiency of the coil 100. For example, when the coil 100 is employed in a generator, as a magnetic structure is passed through the coil 100 the electrical conductive winding 104 produces electron flow, while the magnetic conductive winding 106 focuses magnetic flux in the electrical conductive winding 104 and causes an increase in power output from the coil 100.

A first layer 108 and a second layer 110 of the electrical conductive winding 104 are wound onto the winding form 102. In one embodiment, the electrical conductive winding 104 is continuous. In other embodiments, the electrical conductive winding 104 may comprise a plurality of windings, which may be electrically connected in series or in parallel. A first layer 112 of the magnetic conductive winding 106 is wound over the second layer 110 of the electrical conductive winding 104. A third layer 114 and a fourth layer 116 of the electrical conductive winding 104 are wound over the first layer 112 of the magnetic conductive winding 106. A second layer 118 of the magnetic conductive winding 106 is wound over the fourth layer 116 of the electrical conductive winding 104. A fifth layer 119 of the electrical conductive winding 104 is wound over the second layer 118 of the magnetic conductive winding 106. The electrical conductive winding 104 may comprise any suitable electrically conductive material, such as, for example, metallic materials, such as copper, copper coated with silver or tin, aluminum, silver, gold and/or alloys. The electrical conductive winding 104 may comprise, for example, solid wires, strands, twisted strands, insulated strands, sheets or combinations thereof. For example, Litz wire may be employed. The electrical conductive winding 104 may vary significantly in size from the illustration, and may be substantially

smaller or substantially larger than illustrated. The electrical conductive winding 104 is typically covered with an insulating material 120. The electrical conductive winding 104 is coupled to the leads 122, 124 for the coil 100.

The magnetic conductive winding 106 may comprise any suitable magnetic conductive material, for example, a magnetic shielding material, such as, for example, nickel, nickel/iron alloys, nickel/tin alloys, nickel/silver alloys, plastic magnetic shielding, and/or nickel/iron/copper/molybdenum alloys. Magnetic shielding materials are commercially available under several trademarks, including MuMetal®, Hipernom®, HyMu 80®, and Permalloy®. The magnetic conductive winding 106 may comprise, for example, solid wires, strands, twisted strands, insulated strands, sheets or combinations thereof. The magnetic conductive winding 106 may vary significantly in size from the illustration, and may be substantially smaller or substantially larger than illustrated. The magnetic conductive winding 106 is typically covered with an insulating material 126. The magnetic conductive winding 106 forms a closed loop, as illustrated by the connection 128, and as illustrated is connected to a ground 130.

Other configurations of layers of an electrical conductive winding and a magnetic conductive winding may be employed. For example, m layers of an electrical conductive winding may alternate with n layers of a magnetic conductive winding, instead of two layers of electrical conductive winding alternating with one layer of magnetic conductive winding as illustrated, with m and n positive integers. In another example, m and n need not remain constant. For example, the number of layers may increase or decrease. An example layer pattern would be 2E, 1M, 3E, 2M, 4E, with E indicating electrically conductive layers and M indicating magnetically conductive layers. Typically, the first and last layers comprise layers of the electrical conductive winding 104. In one experimental embodiment, a configuration with the first and last layer comprising the electrical conductive winding 104 produced better performance in a generator application than when the last layer was comprised of the magnetic conductive winding 106. In another example, a

plurality of electrical conductive windings could be employed. Additional example embodiments of bi-metal coils are described in co-pending U.S. Application No. 11/475,389, filed on June 26, 2006 and entitled BI-METAL COIL Figure 2 is a functional block diagram of an embodiment of a multi-coil system 200. The system 200 comprises a first coil 202, a second coil 204 and a coil form 206. As illustrated, the two coils 202 and 204 are wound on a single coil form 206. In some embodiments, separate coil forms may be employed for the first and second coils. In some embodiments, the diameter of the coil form or forms may vary. As illustrated, the coil form 206 is cylindrical in shape. Other coil form shapes may be employed, such as a substantially toroidal-shaped coil form (see Figure 28). A substantially toroidal-shaped coil form may comprise, for example, a true toroidal-shaped coil form, a toroidal- shaped coil form reflecting manufacturing tolerances, or a modified toroidal- shaped coil form, such as an elliptical-shaped coil form.

The first coil 202 comprises a wire 208. The wire 208 is wound a first number of turns n in a winding 207 on the coil form 206. The wire 208 has a perimeter defined by a first thickness 210. In the case where the wire is round, the thickness is the diameter of the wire and the perimeter is the circumference of the wire, and the diameter is related to the circumference according to:

Circumference = π * Diameter

The wire 208 also has an equivalent diameter, which is the cross- section of the wire with respect to a vector divided by the perimeter. In the case of a round wire, the equivalent diameter may be defined according to: Equivalent Diameter = Diameter / Perimeter Wires with different shapes may be employed in some embodiments. It is not necessary to employ round wires.

The first coil 202 is wound in a first direction Y as indicated by direction arrow 212. The first coil 202 has a first lead 214 and a second lead

216. The second coil 204 comprises a wire 218. The wire 218 is wound a second number of turns m in a winding 217 on the coil form 206. In the case where the wire 218 is round, the wire 218 has a circumference defined by a second thickness 220 or diameter. The second coil 204 is wound in a second direction Z as indicated by the direction arrow 222. The second coil has a first lead 224 and a second lead 226. Details of the windings 207, 217 of the coils 202, 204 are omitted for ease of illustration. For example, the coils 202, 204 would each typically have multiple layers in the windings 207, 217. In some embodiments, the coils 202, 204 may have, for example, several hundred turns. The wires 208, 218 may comprise any suitable electrically conductive material, such as, for example, metallic materials, such as copper, copper coated with silver or tin, aluminum, silver, gold and/or alloys. The wires 208, 218 may comprise, for example, solid wires, strands, twisted strands, insulated strands, sheets or combinations thereof. For example, Litz wire may be employed. The coils 202, 204 may vary significantly in size from the illustration, and may be substantially smaller or substantially larger than illustrated. The wires 208, 218 are typically covered with an insulating material (see insulating material 120 in Figure 1).

The system 200 also has an optional magnetic structure 228 configured to move through the coil form 206 along an axis 230 illustrated using a dashed line. For example, a suspension system (see, for example, suspension system 432 in Figure 7) may be employed to facilitate movement of the magnetic structure 228 through the coil form 206 along the axis 230. The magnetic structure 228 may be a conventional single magnet or other magnetic structures may be employed, such as those described below and those described in co-pending U.S. Application No. 11/475,858, filed on June 26, 2006 and entitled Magnetic Structure. As illustrated, the magnetic structure 228 may be configured to move through the coil form 206 along a generally linear path. In some embodiments, the magnetic structure 228 may be configured to move through the coil form 206 along other paths. For example, a generally circular path may be employed with a toroidal coil. (See Figure 28).

As illustrated, the first and second coils 202, 204 are unmatched in that they have at least one physical property that is different. Example physical properties of coils include length, width, diameter, cross-sectional area with respect to a vector, equivalent diameter and conductivity. As illustrated, at least two physical properties are different. Specifically, the first thickness 210 is less than the second thickness 220, and the first number of turns n is greater than the second number of turns m. In addition, the first direction Y is different from the second direction Z. In some embodiments, the number of turns n of the winding 207 of the first coil 202 may be the same as or less than the number of turns m of the winding 217 of the second coil 204. In some embodiments, the first thickness 210 may be the same as or greater than the second thickness 220. The system 200 may be employed, for example, as a generator to generate electrical energy in response to movement of the magnetic structure 228 through the coil form 206. As illustrated, the first lead 214 of the first coil 202 is coupled to the second lead 226 of the second coil 204. An optional load 232 is coupled between the second lead 216 of the first coil and the first lead 224 of the second coil. In the illustrated embodiment, the first coil 202 will provide the largest voltage component of a potential V produced between the second lead 216 of the first coil 202 and the first lead 224 of the second coil 204 in response to a movement of the magnetic structure 228 through the coil form 206, with both the first and the second coils 202, 204 contributing a potential component of the same polarity in response to the movement. In addition, the second coil 204 will provide the largest component of a current / flowing through the load 232, with both coils 202, 204 contributing to the current flow in the same direction in response to the movement.

In some embodiments, the first coil 202 may be coupled to the second coil 204 in different ways. For example, in some embodiments the first lead 214 of the first coil 202 may be coupled to the first lead 224 of the second coil 204 and the load 232 may be coupled across the second lead 216 of the first coil 202 and the second lead 226 of the second coil 204. In another

example, the second lead 216 of the first coil 202 may be coupled to the first lead 224 of the second coil 204 and the load 232 may be coupled across the first lead 214 of the first coil 202 and the second lead 226 of the second coil 224. In another example, the second lead 216 of the first coil 202 may be coupled to the second lead 226 of the second coil 204 and the load 232 may be coupled across the first lead 214 of the first coil 202 and the first lead 224 of the second coil 204. In another example, the first lead 214 of the first coil 202 may be coupled to the first lead 224 of the second coil 204, the second lead 216 of the first coil 202 may be coupled to the second lead 226 of the second coil 204, and the load 232 may be coupled across the pair of coupled leads.

Some embodiments may employ additional coils and/or pairs of coils coupled together in various ways. Some embodiments may employ one or more bi-meta! coils. See, for example, bi-metal coil 100 of Figure 1. For example, in some embodiments the first coil 202, the second coil 204, or both coils may comprise bi-metal coils. In some embodiments, the magnetic structure 228 may be configured to move along side the first and second coils 202, 204, rather than through the coils 202, 204. Ia some embodiments, the first and second coils may comprise a series of wire segments coupled together, instead of or in addition to wires wound on a coil form. Figure 3 is a functional block diagram of another embodiment of a multiple-coil system 300. The system 300 comprises a first coil 302, a second coil 304 and a coil form 306. As illustrated, the two coils 302 and 304 are wound on a single coil form 306. In some embodiments, separate coil forms may be employed for the first and second coils 302, 304. In some embodiments, the diameter of the coil form or forms may vary.

The first coil 302 comprises a wire 308 of a first thickness 310, which is wound a first number of turns n on the coil form 306 in a first direction Y as indicated by direction arrow 312. The first coil 302 has a first lead 314 and a second lead 316. The second coil 304 comprises a wire 318 of a second thickness 320, which is wound a second number of turns m in the same direction Y indicated by the direction arrow 312. A typical coil in some

embodiments may have, for example, several hundred turns. The second coil 304 has a first lead 324 and a second lead 326. Details of the windings 307, 317 of the coils 302, 304 are omitted for ease of illustration. For example, the coils 302, 304 would each typically have multiple layers of windings. The wires 308, 318 may comprise any suitable electrical conductive material and are typically coated with an insulating material, as discussed above with respect to the wires 208, 218 of Figure 2. A perimeter and an equivalent diameter may be defined for the wires 308, 318.

The system 300 also has an optional magnetic structure 328 configured to move through the coil form 306 along an axis 330 illustrated using dashed line. For example, a suspension system (see suspension system 432 Figure 7) may be employed to facilitate movement of the magnetic structure 328 through the coil form 306 along the axis 330. The magnetic structure 328 may be a conventional single magnet or other magnetic structures may be employed, such as those described below and those described in co-pending U.S. Application No. 11/475,858, filed on June 26, 2006 and entitled Magnetic Structure.

As illustrated, the first thickness 310 is less than the second thickness 320 and the first number of turns n is greater than the second number of turns m. Thus, the coils 302, 304 are unmatched. In some embodiments, the number of turns n of the first coil 302 may be the same as or less than the number of turns m of the second coil 304. In some embodiments, the first thickness 310 may be the same as or greater than the second thickness 320. The system 300 may be employed, for example, as a generator to generate electrical energy in response to movement of the magnetic structure 328 through the coil form 306.

As illustrated, the second lead 316 of the first coil 302 is coupled to the first lead 324 of the second coil 304. An optional load 332 is coupled between the first lead 314 of the first coil 302 and the second lead 326 of the second coil 304. In the illustrated embodiment, the first coil 302 will provide the largest voltage component of a potential V produced between the first lead 314

of the first coil 202 and the second lead 326 of the second coil 304 in response to a movement of the magnetic structure 328 through the coil form 306, with both the first and the second coils 302, 304 contributing a potential component of the same polarity in response to the movement. In addition, the second coil 304 will provide the largest component of a current / flowing through the load 332, with both coils contributing to the current flow in the same direction in response to the movement.

In some embodiments, the first coil 302 may be coupled to the second coil 304 in different ways. For example, in some embodiments the first lead 314 of the first coil 302 may be coupled to the first lead 324 of the second coil 304 and the load 332 may be coupled across the second lead 316 of the first coil 302 and the second lead 326 of the second coil 304. In another example, the first lead 314 of the first coil 302 may be coupled to the second lead 326 of the second coil 304 and the load 332 may be coupled across the second lead 316 of the first coil 302 and the first lead 324 of the second coil 304. In another example, the second lead 316 of the first coil 302 may be coupled to the second lead 326 of the second coil 304 and the load 332 may be coupled across the first lead 314 of the first coil 302 and the first lead 324 of the second coil 304. In another example, the first lead 314 of the first coil 302 may be coupled to the first lead 324 of the second coil 304, the second lead 316 of the first coil 302 may be coupled to the second lead 326 of the second coil 304, and the load 332 may be coupled across the pair of coupled leads.

Some embodiments may employ additional coils and/or pairs of coils coupled together in various ways. Some embodiments may employ one or more bi-metal coils. For example, in some embodiments the first coil 302, the second coil 304, or both coils may comprise bi-metal coils (see bi-metal coil 100 of Figure 1). In some embodiments, the magnetic structure 328 may be configured to move along side the first and second coils 302, 304, rather than through the coils 302, 304. In some embodiments, the first and second coils may comprise a series of wire segments coupled together, instead of or in addition to wires wound on a coil form.

Figures 4 through 7 illustrate another embodiment of a multi-coil system 400 employing unmatched coils. Figures 4 through 7 are not drawn to scale for ease of illustration. Figure 4 is a top view of the multi-coil system 400. The multi-coil system 400 comprises a layer of insulating material 402 with an upper surface 404. The layer of insulating material 402 may comprise, for example, an integrated circuit board, a substrate or a thin film or sheet of insulation. Commercially available insulating materials are sold, for example, under the trademark Mylar®. A first electrical conductive winding or trace 406 forms a first coil 408 on the upper surface 404 of the layer of insulating material 402. The first electrical conductive trace 406 may comprise any suitable electrical conductive material, such as, for example, copper, aluminum, gold, and silver, and alloys. Well-known techniques for forming traces on substrates may be employed, such as those used in connection with RFID devices and antennas. The layer of insulating material 402 has an opening 410. The electrically conductive trace 406 has a first thickness 412 and is wound in a first direction Y with respect to the opening 410 when viewed from above. The first electrical trace 406 also has a first number of turns n, which as illustrated is four turns. The trace 406 is not necessarily drawn to scale and any number of turns n may be employed. A typical embodiment for use in a small generator may have, for example, one to fifty turns. The first coil 408 has a first terminal 414 and a second terminal 416.

Figure 5 is a bottom view of the embodiment of a multi-coil system 400 illustrated in Figure 4. The layer of insulating material 402 has a lower surface 418. A second electrical conductive winding or second trace 420 forms a second coil 422 on the lower surface 418 of the layer of insulating material 402. The second electrical conductive trace 420 may comprise any suitable electrical conductive material, such as, for example, copper, aluminum, gold, and silver, and alloys. Well-known techniques for forming traces on substrates may be employed, such as those used in connection with RFID devices and antennas. The electrically conductive trace 420 has a second thickness 424 and is wound in a second direction Z with respect to the opening 410 when

viewed from above. The electrical trace 420 has a second number of turns m, which as illustrated is two turns. The trace 420 is not necessarily drawn to scale and any number of turns m may be employed. A typical embodiment for use in a small generator may have, for example, one to fifty turns. The second coil 422 has a first terminal 426 and a second terminal 428.

As illustrated in Figure 4, the first direction Y has a clockwise orientation with respect to the opening 410 when viewed from above. The second direction Z has a counterclockwise orientation with respect to the opening 410 when viewed from above. When viewed from below, however, (as shown in Figure 5), the second direction Z has a clockwise orientation with respect to the opening 410. Figure 6 is another top view of the system 400 and illustrates that, when viewed from the same perspective, namely above, the first direction Y is opposite of the second direction Z. In some embodiments, the first and second coils 408, 422 may both be wound in the same direction (such as direction Y) with respect to the opening 410 when viewed from the same perspective, for example, when viewed from above.

Figure 7 is a side view of an embodiment of the multi-coil system 400 illustrated in Figures 4-6, showing an optional magnetic structure 430 and suspension system 432, which facilitates the magnetic structure 430 passing through the opening 410. Some details are omitted from Figure 7 to facilitate illustration. The system 400 may be configured to operate as a generator to generate electrical energy in response to movement of the magnetic structure 430 through the opening 410. The system 400 may also be configured to operate as a motor to move the magnetic structure 430 in response to the application of electrical energy to the coils 408, 422. In the illustrated embodiment when configured as a generator, when the first terminal 414 of the first coil 408 is coupled to the second terminal 428 of the second coil 422, the first coil 408 will provide the largest voltage component of a potential produced between the second terminal 416 of the first coil 408 and the first terminal 426 of the second coil 422 in response to a passing of the magnetic structure 430 through the first and second coils 408 and 422, with the first coil 408 and the

second coil 422 both contributing a voltage component of the same polarity in response to the movement. In addition, the second coil 422 will provide the largest component of a current /, with both coils 408, 422 contributing to the current flow in the same direction in response to the movement. Some embodiments may employ additional coils and/or pairs of coils coupled together in various ways. Some embodiments may employ one or more bi-metal coils. For example, in some embodiments the first coil 408, the second coil 422, or both coils may comprise bi-metal coils (see bi-metal coil 100 of Figure 1, as well as the bi-metal coils illustrated in co-pending U.S. Patent Application No. 11/475,389, filed June 26, 2006 and entitled "Bi-Metal Coil"). In some embodiments, the magnetic structure 430 may be configured to move along side or around the first and second coils 408, 422, rather than through the coils 408, 422. In some embodiments, the first and second coils may comprise a series of trace segments coupled together, instead of or in addition to wound traces.

Figures 8 through 11 illustrate another embodiment of a multi-coil system 800 employing coils that are unmatched. Figure 8 is a side cross- sectional view of the multi-coil system 800. The system 800 comprises a first coil 802 and a second coil 804. The first coil 802 has at least one physical property or characteristic that is different than the corresponding physical property of the second coil 804.

The first coil 802 comprises a number n of stacked layers of insulating material 806. Figure 9 illustrates a top view of an embodiment of a layer 806 of the first coil 802. Any number n of layers of insulating material 806 may be stacked together in the first coil 802. For example, some embodiments may have a single layer of insulating material 806, while other embodiments may employ several hundred layers of insulating material 806. The layers of insulating material 806 may comprise, for example, an integrated circuit board, a substrate or a thin film or sheet of insulation. Commercially available insulating materials are sold, for example, under the trademark Mylar®. The n layers 806 have an electrically conductive trace 808 wound in a first direction Y

with respect to a center hole 810 in the layer 806 when viewed from above, as shown in more detail in Figure 9. The electrical conductive trace 808 may comprise any suitable electrical conductive material, such as, for example, copper, aluminum, gold, and silver, and alloys. Well-known techniques for forming traces on substrates may be employed, such as those used in connection with RFID devices and antennas. A first lead 812 couples a first end 814 (see Figure 9) of the electrical traces 808 together and a second lead 816 couples a second end 818 (see Figure 9) of the electrical traces 808 together. As illustrated, each trace 808 has a perimeter 811 defined by depth 809 and a width 807 (see Figure 10). Specifically, as illustrated the perimeter of a trace 808 is defined according to:

Perimeter = 2*(depth of trace) + 2*(width of trace)

The traces 808 need not be rectilinear. Thus, the perimeter 811 may be defined by other dimensions. The traces 808 have an equivalent diameter when relative movement occurs with respect to a magnetic field (See, for example, the magnet fields illustrated by magnetic flux lines in Figures 16- 20), which may vary based on the orientation of the coil 804 with respect to a vector of the relative movement. The equivalent diameter may be defined as the cross-sectional area of the coil perpendicular to the vector of relative movement divided by the perimeter of the coil. For example, when an optional magnetic structure 840 is moved with respect to the coil 802 along an axis 842 perpendicular to the layer 806, the equivalent diameter of a rectilinear trace 808 of the first coil 802 can be expressed as:

Equivalent Diameter = (width of trace)/(perimeter of trace) The traces 808 as illustrated do not form a complete turn. Some embodiments may employ traces with one or more turns, such as those illustrated in Figures 4 through 7, above. Adding turns to a trace may increase the equivalent diameter of the trace. The traces need not be curved. For example, some embodiments may employ traces comprising straight line

segments. The equivalent diameter of a coil comprised of traces may be expressed as the sum of the equivalent diameters of the traces.

The second coil 804 comprises a number m of stacked layers of insulating material 820. Figure 11 illustrates a top view of an embodiment of a layer 820 of the second coil 804. Any number m of layers of insulating material 820 may be stacked together in the second coil 804. For example, some embodiments may have a single layer of insulating material 820, while other embodiments may employ several hundred layers of insulating material 820. The layers of insulating material 820 may comprise, for example, an integrated circuit board, a substrate or a thin film or sheet of insulation. Commercially available insulating materials are sold, for example, under the trademark Mylar®. Each layer 820 has an electrically conductive trace 822 wound in a second direction Z with respect to a center hole 824 in the layer 822, as shown in more detail, in Figure 11. The electrical conductive trace 822 may comprise any suitable electrical conductive material, such as, for example, copper, aluminum, gold, and silver, and alloys. Well-known techniques for forming traces on substrates may be employed, such as those used in connection with RFID devices and antennas. A first lead 826 couples a first end 828 (see Figure 11) of the electrical traces 822 together and a second lead 830 couples a second end 832 (see Figure 11) of the electrical traces 822 together. As illustrated, each trace 822 has a perimeter 825 defined by a depth 823 and a width 821 (see Figure 12), as discussed above with respect to trace 808. The traces 822 need not be rectilinear. Thus the perimeter 825 may be defined by other dimensions. As discussed above with respect to traces 808 of the first coil 802, the traces 822 of the second coil 804 have an equivalent diameter when relative movement occurs with respect to a magnetic field. The traces 822 as illustrated do not form a complete turn. Some embodiments may employ traces with one or more turns, such as those illustrated in Figures 4 through 7, above. An optional coil form 834, which may be a hollow tube, fits into the openings 810, 824 of the coils 802, 804. The respective perimeters 811, 825 of

the traces 808, 822 of the coils 802, 804 may be the same or may vary. In some embodiments, the depth 809 of the traces 808 of the first coil 802 will be the same as the depth 823 of the traces 822 of the second coil 804. In some embodiments, the first and second coils 802, 804 may have traces 808, 822 with different depths. In some embodiments, the width 807 of the traces 808 of the first coil 802 will be the same as the width 821 of the traces 822 of the second coil 804. In some embodiments, the first and second coils 802, 804 may have traces 808, 822 with different widths. In some embodiments, the traces 808, 822 of the first and second coils 802, 804 may have different respective equivalent diameters.

The system 800 may be configured to operate as a generator to generate electrical energy in response to a movement of the magnetic structure 840 through the first coil 802 and the second coil 804. For example, when the first lead 812 of the first coil 802 is coupled to the second lead 830 of the second coil 804, n is greater than m, and the equivalent diameter of the traces 808 of the first coil 802 is less than the equivalent diameter of the traces 822 of the second coil 804, the first coil 802 will provide the largest voltage component of a potential produced between the second lead 816 of the first coil 802 and the first lead 826 of the second coil 804 in response to a passing of the magnetic structure 840 through the first and second coils 802, 804, with the first coil 802 and the second coil 804 both contributing a voltage component of the same polarity in response to the movement. In addition, the second coil 804 will provide the largest component of a current flow i, with both coils 802, 804 contributing to the current flow in the same direction in response to the movement. The system 800 may also be configured to operate as a motor. As illustrated, the coil form 834 facilitates generally linear movement of the magnetic structure 840 through the coils 802, 804. Other paths may be employed. For example, in some embodiments the magnetic structure 840 may be configured to move relative to the coils 802, 804 along a generally circular path. For example, a toroidal coil system (see Figure 28) may be employed in some embodiments.

Some embodiments may employ additional coils and/or pairs of coils coupled together in various ways. Some embodiments may employ one or more bi-metal coils. For example, in some embodiments the first coil 802, the second coil 804, or both coils may comprise bi-metal coils (see bi-metal coil 100 of Figure 1, as well as the bi-metal coils illustrated in co-pending U.S. Patent Application No. 11/475,389, filed June 26, 2006 and entitled "Bi-Metal Coil"). In some embodiments, the magnetic structure 840 may be configured to move along different vectors with respect to the first and second coils 802, 804, rather than through the coils 802, 804 along the vector corresponding to the axis 842. In some embodiments, the first and second coils may comprise a series of straight trace segments coupled together, instead of or in addition to curved trace segments.

Figure 13 is a side cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a multi-coil system 100 comprising four coils 102, 104, 106, 108. Details of the coils 102, 104, 106, 108 are omitted for ease of illustration. Embodiments of the system 100 may, for example, employ coils similar to those illustrated in Figures 1 through 12 and to those illustrated in co-pending United States Patent Application No. 11/475,389, filed June 26, 2006 and entitled "Bi-Metal Coil." The system 100 has a common coil form 110. Some embodiments may employ additional coil forms. The first coil 102 is wound in a clockwise manner with respect to the coil form 110 when viewed from above, as illustrated by the arrow 112. The second coil 104 is wound in a counter-clockwise manner with respect to the coil form 110 when viewed from above, as illustrated by the arrow 114. The first and second coils 102, 104 may be matched or unmatched. For example, the first coil 102 and the second coil 104 may be unmatched by employing coils with different equivalent diameters, different numbers of turns, or combinations thereof. The third coil 106 is wound in a clockwise manner with respect to the coil form 110 when viewed from above, as illustrated by the arrow 116. The fourth coil 108 is wound in a counter-clockwise manner with respect to the coil form 110 when viewed from above, as illustrated by the arrow 118. The third and fourth coils 106, 108 may be matched or unmatched.

The first coil 102 has an upper lead 120 and a lower lead 122. The second coil 104 has an upper lead 124 and a lower lead 126. The third coil 106 has an upper lead 128 and a lower lead 130. The fourth coil 108 has an upper lead 132 and a lower lead 134. A magnetic structure 136 is coupled to a suspension system 138 configured to move the magnetic structure 136 through the coil form 110. Some embodiments may employ additional coils or pairs of matched or unmatched coils.

As illustrated, the upper lead 120 of the first coil 102 is coupled to the lower lead 130 of the third coil 106, the upper lead 124 of the second coil 104 is coupled to the lower lead 134 of the fourth coil 108, the lower lead 122 of the first coil 102 is coupled to the lower lead 126 of the second coil 104, and the upper lead 128 of the third coil 106 is coupled to the upper lead 132 of the fourth coil 108. A first output 140 is coupled to the lower leads 122, 126 of the first and second coils 102, 104. A second output 142 is coupled to the upper leads 128, 132 of the third and fourth coils 106, 108. The illustrated coupling of the coils may be described as a series-parallel configuration. Some embodiments may couple the coils 102, 104, 106, 108 and outputs 140, 142 together in other configurations. Additional pairs of coils may be coupled together in a series-parallel configuration. See, for example, Figures 14 and 15, below.

The system 100 illustrated in Figure 13 may be configured to operate as a generator to generate electrical energy in response to movement of the magnetic structure 136 through the coil form 110. In the illustrated embodiment, when the first coil 102 and the third coil 106 have a larger number of turns than the second coil 104 and the fourth coil 108, respectively, then the first and third coils 102, 106 will provide the largest voltage component of a potential V produced between the first output 140 and the second output 142 in response to a passing of the magnetic structure through the coils 102, 104, 106, 108, with all of the coils 102, 104, 106, 108 contributing a voltage component of the same polarity in response to the movement. In addition, when an equivalent diameter of the second and fourth coils 104, 108 is greater

than the respective equivalent diameter of the first and third coils 102, 106, and a load (see load 332 in Figure 3) is coupled across the outputs 140, 142, the second and fourth coils 104, 108 will provide the largest component of a current /, with all of the coils 102, 104, 106, 108 contributing to the current flow in the same direction in response to the movement. The system 100 may also be configured to operate as a motor.

Figures 14 and 15 illustrate an embodiment of a system 200 comprising a number N of pairs of coils 202. Figure 14 illustrates the relative position of the pairs of coils 202 about an axis 204. Each pair of coils 202 has a first coil A and a second coil B. Each coil has a first lead designated "+" and a second lead designated "-". Figure 15 is a functional block diagram illustrating coupling the pairs of coils 202 together in a series-parallel configuration. The first coils A of each pair 202 are coupled together in series in a descending order to form a first arm 206 and the second coils B of each pair of coils 202 are coupled together in series in a descending order to form a second arm 208. The first arm 206 and the second arm 208 are coupled together in parallel. A first lead 210 is coupled to a first end 212 of the coupled arms 206, 208. A second lead 214 is coupled to a second end 216 of the coupled arms 206, 208. Coils are frequently employed in devices and applications together with magnets. Figures 16A and 16B are graphic illustrations of the magnetic flux generated by a conventional magnetic structure 500. Figure 16B is a gray-shaded version of Figure 16A. The magnetic structure 500 comprises a magnet 502 having a first pole 504 of a first polarity and a second pole 506 of a second polarity opposite of the first polarity. Figure 16 shows representative magnetic flux equipotential lines 508 to illustrate the magnetic field that is generated by the permanent magnet 502 of the magnetic structure 500 when the magnet 502 has a strength of approximately 11,000 Gauss. The closer the equipotential lines in a region, the greater the magnetic flux density in the region. Improvements, however, can be made to conventional magnetic structures. In many devices and applications, increasing the magnetic flux

density in a region can greatly improve efficiency and performance. For example, increasing the magnetic flux density in a region can lead to a higher gradient, which can lead to increased efficiency in, for example, a generator or a motor employing the magnetic structure. Co-pending U.S. Application No. 11/475,858 filed June 26, 2006 and entitled Magnetic Structure, describes several magnetic structures that generate regions of high magnetic flux densities by holding magnets spaced apart with like poles facing each other, and that may provide significant improvements in efficiency, for example, in power generation. Figures 17A and 17B illustrate a magnetic structure 600 that is configured to generate a compressed magnetic field that is balanced with respect to the magnetic structure 600. Figure 17B is a gray-shaded version of Figure 17A. The magnetic structure 600 comprises a first magnet 602 having a first pole 604 of a first polarity and a second pole 606 of a second polarity opposite of the first polarity. The magnetic structure 600 also comprises a second magnet 608 having a first pole 610 of the first polarity and a second pole 612 of the second polarity. The magnetic structure 600 may comprise, for example, one or more rare earth magnets, such as neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnets, one or more ceramic magnets, one or more plastic magnets, one or more powdered magnets, or one or more other magnets.

Figures 17A and 17B show representative magnetic flux equipotential lines 614 to illustrate the magnetic field that is generated by an embodiment of the magnetic structure 600 employing two essentially identical magnets 602, 608. Specifically, Figures 17A and 17B show representative magnetic flux equipotential lines 614 when the first magnet 602 has a strength of approximately 11,000 Gauss, the second magnet 608 has a strength of approximately 11,000 Gauss and the magnets 602, 608 are held spaced apart a distance of 6 mm with like poles facing each other. A compressed magnetic field is generated in a region 616 adjacent to the space 618 between the magnets 602, 608. The magnetic field is balanced with respect to the magnets 602, 608 in the magnetic structure 600.

In one experimental embodiment, a magnetic structure was configured using two substantially identical cylindrical magnets having a strength of approximately 13,600 Gauss, a diameter of approximately half an inch and a length of approximately three-quarters of an inch positioned approximately 6 mm apart with like poles facing each other. The gradient of the magnetic field in a region adjacent to the magnetic structure was approximately equivalent to that generated by a single cylindrical magnet having a strength of approximately 68,000 Gauss. This represents an improvement of approximately 500% over a single cylindrical magnet having a strength of approximately 13,600 Gauss.

Further increases in the magnetic flux density in a desired region can be obtained by employing an unbalanced magnetic structure configured to generate an unbalanced magnetic field. A magnetic structure can be unbalanced, for example, by arranging magnetic elements (such as magnets or equivalents thereof, such as electromagnets) in the magnetic structure that have different physical characteristics or properties, such as, for example, different strengths, physical sizes, shapes, volumes, magnetic densities, equivalent diameters, or various combinations of different physical characteristics or properties. For example, a first magnet having a selected physical property of a first magnitude may be employed with a second magnet in which either the selected property is missing or is of a different magnitude. For example, a first magnet having a first dimension, such as a length, width, depth or radius, of a first magnitude may be arranged together with a second magnet having the first dimension of a second magnitude different from the first magnitude. In another example, a first cylindrical magnet having a cone- shaped portion may be arranged together with a second cylindrical magnet without a cone-shaped portion. In another example, a configuration with a first magnet having a first equivalent diameter may be employed with a second magnet having a second equivalent diameter. Figures 18A and 18B are cross-sectional views of an embodiment of a magnetic structure 700 configured to generate an unbalanced magnetic

field. Figure 18B is a gray-shaded version of Figure 18A. The magnetic structure 700 comprises a first cylindrical magnet 702 and a second cylindrical magnet 704. In some embodiments, the magnets 702 and 704 may have different shapes and sizes and various combinations of shapes and sizes may be employed. The first magnet 702 has a length 706, a radius 708, a first pole 710 having a first polarity, a second pole 712 having a second polarity, and a strength Gi in Gauss. The second magnet 704 has a length 714, a radius 716, a first pole 718 having the first polarity, a second pole 720 having the second polarity, and a strength G 2 in Gauss. The first and second magnets 702, 704 are positioned with like poles (for example, the North poles) facing each other and separated by a distance 722. A support structure such as a housing (see housing 852 in Figure 23) may be employed to hold the magnets 702, 704 a desired distance apart with like poles facing each other. As illustrated, the selected physical property is the length of the respective magnets (which also results in the respective magnets having different equivalent diameters). Specifically, the length 706 of the first magnet 702 is greater than the length 714 of the second magnet 704. In some embodiments, the magnetic structure 700 may employ magnets with different radii instead of or in addition to magnets with different lengths. Similarly, magnets with different strengths Gi, G 2 may be employed, instead of or in additional to magnets of different lengths and/or radii. As discussed above, various embodiments of a magnetic structure configured to generate an unbalanced magnetic field may employ magnets having various combinations of one or more different physical properties. The magnetic structure 700 may comprise, for example, one or more rare earth magnets, such as neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnets, one or more ceramic magnets, one or more plastic magnets, one or more electromagnets, one or more powdered magnets, or one or more other magnets.

Figures 18A and 18B show representative magnetic flux equipotential lines 724 to illustrate an unbalanced magnetic field 726 that is generated by an embodiment of the magnetic structure 700 when the strength Gi of the first magnet 702 is approximately 11 ,600 Gauss, the strength G 2 of

the second magnet 704 is approximately 11 ,600 Gauss and the magnets are held spaced apart at a distance of 16 mm with like poles facing each other. The magnetic field 726 has a greater density in a region 728 associated with the first magnet 702 and a lesser density in a region 730 associated with the second magnet 704. The magnetic field 726 also has two high-gradient field regions 729, 731 adjacent to the magnetic structure 726. The two high-gradient field regions 729, 731 are unbalanced with respect to each other. For example, the first region 729 is smaller than the second region 731.

Figures 19A and 19B show representative magnetic flux equipotential lines 732 to illustrate an unbalanced magnetic field 734 that is generated by an embodiment of the magnetic structure 700 when the strength Gi of the first magnet 702 is approximately 11,000 Gauss, the strength G 2 of the second magnet 704 is approximately 11 ,000 Gauss and the magnets are held spaced apart at a distance of approximately 11 mm with like poles facing each other. Figure 19B is a gray-shaded version of Figure 19A. The magnetic field 734 has a greater density in a region 736 associated with the first magnet 702 and a lesser density in a region 738 associated with the second magnet 704. The density of the magnetic field 734 in the region 736 is greater than the density of the magnetic field 726 in the region 728 of the embodiment of Figure 18A and the density of the magnetic field 734 in the region 738 is less than the density of the magnetic field 726 in the region 730 of the embodiment of Figure 18A. The magnetic field 734 is compressed in two regions 739, 740 adjacent to the magnets 702, 704 and unbalanced with respect to each other and to the magnetic structure 700. Figures 2OA and 2OB show representative magnetic flux equipotential lines 742 to illustrate an unbalanced magnetic field 744 that is generated by an embodiment of the magnetic structure 700 when the strength Gi of the first magnet 702 is approximately 11 ,600 Gauss, the strength G 2 of the second magnet 704 is approximately 11 ,600 Gauss and the magnets are held spaced apart at a distance of 2 mm with like poles facing each other.

Figure 2OB is a gray-shaded version of Figure 2OA. The magnetic field 744 has

a greater density in a region 746 associated with the first magnet 702 and a lesser density in a region 748 associated with the second magnet 704. The density of the magnetic field 744 in the region 746 is greater than the density of the magnetic field 734 in the region 736 of the embodiment of Figure 19 and the density of the magnetic field 744 in the region 748 is less than the density of the magnetic field 734 in the region 738 of the embodiment of Figure 19. The magnetic field 744 is compressed in a region 750 adjacent to the space between the magnets 702, 704 and extending past an end 752 of the second magnet 702, and in a region 754 adjacent to the first magnet 702. The region 750 has a sub-region 756 with a very-high gradient magnetic field and the region 754 has a sub-region 758 with a very-high gradient magnetic field. The magnetic field 744 is unbalanced with respect to the magnetic structure 700 and the high-gradient regions 750, 754 are unbalanced with respect to each other. In one experimental embodiment, a magnetic structure was configured using two cylindrical magnets having different physical characteristics. Specifically, a first cylindrical magnet having a strength of approximately 13,600 Gauss, a diameter of approximately one half-inch, and a length of approximately three-quarters of an inch was held in position approximately 2 mm apart from a second cylindrical magnet having a strength of approximately 13,300 Gauss, a diameter of approximately one half-inch and a length of approximately three-eights of an inch, with like poles facing each other. The gradient of the magnetic field in a region adjacent to the magnetic structure was approximately equivalent to that generated by a single cylindrical magnet having a strength of approximately 95,200 Gauss. This represents an improvement of approximately 700% over a single cylindrical magnet having a strength of approximately 13,600 Gauss.

A gauss meter (not shown) may be employed to determine an optimum configuration of a magnetic structure configured to generate an unbalanced magnetic field, such as the optimum shapes, strengths and

positions of the magnets for use in a particular application, such as the optimum configuration for use with a particular coil configuration.

Figure 21 illustrates another embodiment of an unbalanced magnetic structure 100. Figure 21 is not necessary drawn to scale. The magnetic structure 100 comprises a first cylindrical magnet 102, a second cylindrical magnet 104 and a third cylindrical magnet 106. The first magnet 102 has a length 108 and a radius 110. The second magnet 104 has a length 112 and a radius 114. The third magnet 106 has a length 116 and a radius 118. The first magnet 102 is held spaced-apart from the second magnet 104 by a first distance 120 and the second magnet 104 is held spaced-apart from the third magnet 106 by a distance 122, with like poles of adjacent magnets facing each other. The magnetic structure 100 as illustrated is unbalanced in that the length 112 of the second magnet 104 is different from the length 108 of the first magnet 102. In one example embodiment, the first magnet 102 has a length 108 of one inch and a radius 110 of a half-inch, the second magnet 104 has a length 112 of a half-inch and a radius 114 of a half-inch, and the third magnet 106 has a length 116 of an inch and a radius 118 of a half-inch.

Figure 22 illustrates another embodiment of an unbalanced magnetic structure 200. The magnetic structure 200 is not necessarily drawn to scale. The magnetic structure 200 comprises a spherical magnet 202 having a radius 204, and a cylindrical magnet 206 having a length 208 and a radius 210. The magnetic structure 200 is unbalanced in that the magnets 202, 206 have different shapes.

Figure 23 is a diametric cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a battery 800 comprising a case 802, a generator 804, a first energy storage device 806, a control module 808, a second energy storage device 810, and contact terminals 812, 814. The case 802 as illustrated is cut-away so as to facilitate illustration of other components of the battery 800. The case 802 contains the generator 804, the first energy storage device 806, the control module 808, and the second energy storage device 810. The contact terminals 812, 814 are mounted to the case 802 at a top 816 and bottom 818,

respectively, of the battery 800. The case 802 may comprise an outer case shielding 820, which may be a magnetic and/or electrical shield. The case shielding 820 may comprise, for example, a layer of tin foil, a layer of a magnetic shielding material, such as, for example, nickel, nickel/iron alloys, nickel/tin alloys, nickel/silver alloys, nickel/iron/copper/molybdenum alloys, which may also take the form of a foil. Such foil layers may, for example, have a thickness in the range of 0.002-0.004 inches. Magnetic shielding materials are commercially available under several trademarks, including Mu Metal®, Hipernom®, HyMu 80®, and Permalloy®. In some embodiments, the case 802 and contact terminals 812,

814 may take the external configuration of those of a conventional battery, such as, for example, a AA-cell, a AAA-cell, a C-cell, a D-cell, a 9-volt battery, a watch battery, a pacemaker battery, a cell-phone battery, a computer battery, and other standard and non-standard battery configurations. Embodiments of the battery 800 may be configured to provide desired voltage levels, including, for example, 1.5 volts, 3.7, 7.1 , 9-volts, and other standard and non-standard voltages. Embodiments may be configured to provide direct and/or alternating current.

The generator 804 is configured to convert kinetic energy into electrical energy. As illustrated the generator 804 is a linear generator comprising a plurality of coils 822, 824, a magnetic structure 826 configured to generate an unbalanced magnetic field, and a suspension system 828.

As illustrated, the plurality of coils comprises two coils 822, 824 wound on a coil form 830. Coils such as those illustrated in Figures 1 through 12, for example, may be employed. Some embodiments may employ a single coil instead of a plurality of coils. Some embodiments may employ more than two coils. As illustrated, the first coil 822 comprises a first wire 832 wound in a first direction on the coil form 830. The first direction is illustrated by the arrow 834. The first coil 822 has a first number of turns n. As illustrated, the number of turns n comprises 72 turns. Other embodiments might employ any number of turns n. For example, a typical embodiment might employ several hundred

turns π. The wire 832 has a first radius 836. The second coil 824 comprises a second wire 838 wound in a second direction on the coil form 830. The second direction is illustrated by the arrow 840, and is opposite of the first direction. The second coil 824 has a number of turns m. As illustrated, the number of turns m comprises 21 turns. Other embodiments might employ any number of turns m. For example, a typical embodiment might employ several hundred turns m. The second wire 838 has a second radius 842. As illustrated, the second radius 842 is larger than the first radius 836.

The first coil 822 has a first lead 844 and a second lead 846. The second coil 824 has a first lead 848 and a second lead 850. As illustrated, the first lead 844 of the first coil 822 is coupled to the second lead 850 of the second coil 824, and the second lead 846 of the first coil 822 and the first lead 848 of the second coil 824 are coupled to the control module 808. Other embodiments may employ additional coils or pairs of coils and different configurations of coils. For example, the coils illustrated in Figures 1 through 15 may be employed in some embodiments.

The magnetic structure 826 may comprise, for example, one or more rare earth magnets, such as neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnets, one or more ceramic magnets, one or more plastic magnets, one or more electromagnets, one or more powdered magnets, or one or more other magnets. As illustrated, the magnetic structure 826 comprises a housing 852 configured to hold a first magnet 854 spaced apart a distance 856 from a second magnet 858. As illustrated, the magnetic structure 826 is configured to generate a compressed magnetic field that is unbalanced with respect to the magnetic structure 826. The magnetic structures described above with respect to Figures 18A through 22 may be employed, for example. As illustrated, the first magnet 854 has a different length than the second magnet 858. The suspension system 828 facilitates movement of the magnetic structure 826 through the coils 822, 824. Examples of suspension systems that may be employed are discussed in more detail in co-pending United States Patent

Application No. 11/475,564, filed June 26, 2006 and entitled "System and Method for Storing Energy."

The first energy storage device 806 is configured to store electrical energy generated by the generator 804. In one embodiment, the first energy storage device 806 is capable of storing electrical energy generated by the generator 804 with little or no conditioning. In other embodiments, electrical energy may be conditioned before it is stored in the first energy storage device 806, as discussed in co-pending United States Patent Application No. 11/475,564, filed June 26, 2006 and entitled "System and Method for Storing Energy." The first energy storage device 806 may comprise, for example, one or more ultracapacitors. For ease of illustration, the first energy storage device 806 is illustrated as a functional block.

The control module 808 controls the transfer of energy within the battery 800. The control module 808 typically comprises a rectifier, which as illustrated is a full bridge rectifier 809. For example, the control module 808 may be configured to control the transfer of energy between various components of the battery 800, such as the generator 804, the first energy storage device 806, the second energy storage device 810, and the contact terminals 812, 814. Several example transfers of energy under the control of a control system are discussed in co-pending United States Patent Application No. 11/475,564, filed June 26, 2006 and entitled "System and Method for Storing Energy." The control module 808 may be implemented in a variety of ways, including as a combined control system or as separate subsystems. The control module 808 may be implemented as discrete circuitry, one or more microprocessors, digital signal processors (DSP), application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC), or the like, or as a series of instructions stored in a memory and executed by a controller, or various combinations of the above. In some embodiments, the first energy storage device 806 may be integrated into the control module 808. The second energy storage device 810 is configured to store electrical energy transferred from the first energy storage device 806 under the

control of the control module 808. The second energy storage device 810 may comprise, for example, one or more conventional batteries, such as a lead-acid battery, a nickel-cadmium battery, a nickel-metal hydride battery, a lithium polymer battery or lithium ion battery, a sodium/sulfur battery, or any suitable rechargeable energy storage device.

The contact terminals 812, 814 provide access for transferring electrical energy to and/or from the battery 800. The contact terminals 812, 814 may be made of any electrically conductive material, such as, for example, metallic materials, such as copper, copper coated with silver or tin, aluminum, gold, etc. The contact terminals 812, 814 are coupled to the control module 808. In some embodiments, the contact terminals 812, 814 may be coupled to the second energy storage device 810, instead of being directly coupled to the control module 808. As illustrated, the contact terminals 812, 814 have a physical configuration similar to the contact terminals of a conventional C-cell battery. As discussed above, other configurations may be employed. The contact terminals 812, 814 are configured to permit the battery 800 to be easily installed into and removed from external devices, such as, for example, a radio, a cell phone, or a positioning system. The contact terminals 812, 814 may employ magnetic shielding. Energy may be stored in the battery 800 as a result of movement of the battery 800. For example, if the magnetic structure 826 is neutral with respect to the coils 822, 824 and the battery 800 is subject to a downward movement, the magnetic structure 826 may move up with respect to the coils 822, 824 in response to the downward movement of the battery 800. The relative upward movement of the magnetic structure 826 will result in the generation of a current in the coils 822, 824 when the magnetic structure 826 passes above the top of the first coil 822.

In some embodiments the suspension system 828 may be tuned to increase the electrical energy generated from anticipated sources of energy. For example, if the battery 800 will frequently be in an environment where energy is supplied by an individual walking or running at a known speed or rate,

the suspension system 828 may be tuned to that speed or rate. Thus, a battery may be configured to substantially maximize the conversion of energy expected to be generated by a jogger into electrical energy. In another example, if the battery 800 will frequently be subject to stop and go traffic in an automobile or irregular motion from a flight or ground vehicle, the suspension system 828 may be tuned to maximize the conversion of the energy of that environment into electrical energy. In another example, if the battery will be employed in an environment frequently subjected to fluid waves, such as water or sea waves, or wind, the suspension system may be tuned to maximize the conversion of the energy of that environment into electrical energy. In another example, if the battery will be frequently subjected to vibrations, for example, in a moving vehicle, the suspension system may be tuned to maximize the conversion of the energy received from the vibrations into electrical energy. In another example, if the system is expected to experience stimulus at a first frequency, the suspension system may be configured to produce relative movement of the magnetic structure with respect to the coil system of a different frequency. The suspension system may be tuned, for example, by modifying a characteristic of a repelling magnet, for example by modifying the shape and/or strength of any repelling magnets, adjusting the tension in any repelling devices, such as springs, employing multiple mechanical repelling devices, employing transmission systems, modifying the length or shape of the path of travel of the magnetic structure (or the coil system), or combinations of modifications. Other suspension systems may be employed, such as, for example, suspension systems that orient the generator in different directions within the battery. The suspension system 828 may be gimbaled and/or may employ gyroscopic principles to orient the generator to facilitate optimal conversion of energy into electrical energy. Multiple generators within a battery with different orientations may be employed and multiple battery configurations may be employed.

In some embodiments, other generator configurations may be employed, such as, for example, radial, rotational, Seebeck, acoustic, thermal, or radio-frequency generators. In some embodiments, other suspension

systems may be employed, such as suspension systems in which the generator 804 may move with respect to the case 802 so as to take maximum advantage of the available forms of energy. For example, the generator 804 may be configured to rotate in the battery case 802, so as to align itself with or against an axis of movement. In another example, the suspension system 828 may be configured to allow the coils 822, 824 to move with respect to the magnetic structure 826. In some embodiments, toroidal coil systems may be employed.

Figure 24 is a side sectional view of another embodiment of a battery 900 comprising a case 902, a generator 904, a first energy storage device 906, a control module 908, a second energy storage device 910, and contact terminals 912, 914. The generator 904 comprises a coil system 916, a magnetic structure 918, and a suspension system 920. The coil system 916 comprises one or more coils. The coil system 916 may comprise, for example, one or more coils similar to the coils described above or those described in co- pending United States Patent Application No. 11/475,389, filed June 26, 2006 and entitled "Bi-Metal Coil," or combinations thereof. For example, the coil system 916 may comprise a single coil or a multi-coil system. In another example, the coil system may comprise one or more bi-metal coils. In another example, the coil system may comprise a first coil wound in a first direction and a second coil would in a second direction, opposite of the first direction with respect to a common reference point. The magnetic structure may comprise, for example, a magnetic structure configured to generate a compressed magnetic field, a magnetic field that is unbalanced with respect to the magnetic structure, or combinations thereof. The battery 900 has a different configuration than the battery 800 illustrated in Figure 23, but the operation of the battery 900 is typically similar to the operation of the battery 800 illustrated in Figure 23. The contact terminals 912, 914 may be made of any electrically conductive material, such as, for example, metallic materials, such as copper, copper coated with silver or tin, aluminum, gold, etc. In some embodiments, the contact terminals 912, 914, may be contained within a connector, such as a plastic connector.

Figure 25 is a diametric cross-sectional view of an electromechanical system 400 suitable for use, for example, in the embodiments illustrated in Figures 23 and 24, as well as other embodiments. Figure 25 is not drawn to scale to facilitate illustration. The system 400 comprises a multi-coil system 402, a magnetic structure 404 configured to generate a compressed and unbalanced magnetic field and a suspension system 406. The suspension system 406 is configured to allow the magnetic structure 404 to completely pass through the multi-coil system 402 in either direction. As illustrated, the system 400 is readily configurable to operate as a linear generator. The multi-coil system 402 comprises a first coil 408 and a second coil 410 wound on a cylindrical coil form 412. As illustrated, the coil form 412 is integrated with a carrier guide 411 of the suspension system 406. The coil form 412 has a diameter 414. The first coil 408 comprises a first number of turns n of a wire 416 having a diameter 418, where n equals the number of turns in a layer of the wire 416 multiplied by the number of layers in the coil 408. The second coil 410 comprises a second number of turns m of a wire 420 having a diameter 422, where m equals the number of turns in a layer of the wire 420 multiplied by the number of layers in the coil 410. The first coil 408 is wound in a first direction Y and the second coil is wound in a second direction Z, opposite of the first direction Y with respect to a common reference point, such as the axis of movement 464 when viewed from above.

The magnetic structure 404 comprises a plurality of permanent magnets 424, 426 contained within a cylindrical magnet housing 428. While the illustrated embodiment employs two permanent magnets 424, 426 in the magnetic structure 404, other embodiments of the system 400 may employ different numbers of permanent magnets, such as three permanent magnets, four permanent magnets or hundreds of permanent magnets. The permanent magnets 424, 426 are disk-shaped cylindrical magnets as illustrated, but other shapes may be employed. For example, rectangular- (e.g., square), spherical-, or elliptical-shaped magnets may be employed. Similarly, the faces of the magnets need not be flat. For example, convex-, concave-, radial-, cone-, or

diamond-shaped faces may be employed. Various combinations of shapes and faces may be employed. In some embodiments, electromagnets may be employed. A magnet housing 428 is configured to hold the permanent magnets 424, 426 fixed in position with respect to each other with like poles facing together and separated by a distance 430. As illustrated, the North poles face together, but in some embodiments the South poles may face together. The first magnet 424 has a strength G1 , a diameter 431 and a length 432, and the second magnet 426 has a strength G2, a diameter 433 and a length 434. The system has an overall diameter 436 and an overall length 438. As noted above, the shape, position and strength of the permanent magnets in a magnetic structure, such as the magnetic structure 404, can increase the efficiency of the generator 400 by generating a compressed and unbalanced magnetic field. The ratios of the lengths and diameters of the components of the system 400 also may impact the efficiency of the system 400. For example, the ratio of the length 440 from the top of the first magnet 424 to the bottom of the second magnet 426 to the diameter 414 of the coil form 412 may impact the magnitude of an electric current generated in the coil system 402 in response to a movement of the magnetic structure 404 through the coil system 402. The inside 442 of the carrier guide 411 and the outside 444 of the magnet housing 428 may be made of, or coated with, dissimilar materials to reduce potential for binding between the winding form 412 and the magnet housing 428. For example, the carrier guide 411 may be coated with a nonstick coating while the, magnet housing 428 may be made of an ABS plastic. Example dissimilar materials are available under the respective trademarks Teflon® and Lexan®.

The suspension system 406 comprises a first repelling permanent magnet 460 and a second repelling permanent magnet 462 that are fixed with respect to the coil 402 in the axis of movement 464 of the magnetic structure 404. The first repelling magnet 460 is positioned such that a like pole of the first repelling magnet 460 faces the like pole of the nearest permanent magnet

424 in the magnetic structure 404. As illustrated, the S pole of the first repelling magnet 460 faces the S pole of the first permanent magnet 424 of the magnetic structure 404. Similarly, the second repelling magnet 462 is positioned such that a like pole of the second repelling magnet 462 faces the like pole of the nearest permanent magnet 426 in the magnetic structure 404. As illustrated, the S pole of the second repelling magnet 462 faces the S pole of the second permanent magnet 426 of the magnetic structure 404. This arrangement increases the efficiency of the generator in converting kinetic energy into electrical energy and reduces the likelihood that the magnetic structure 404 will stall in the suspension system 406.

The suspension system 406 also comprises a first spring 474, a second spring 476, a third spring 478 and a fourth spring 480. The first spring 474 is coupled to the first repelling magnet 460 and to a first end 456 of the magnetic structure 404. The first spring 474 is typically in a loaded condition. The second spring 476 is coupled to the second repelling magnet 462 and to the second end 458 of the magnetic structure 404. The second spring 476 is typically in a loaded condition. The first and second springs 474, 476 help to hold the magnetic structure 404 centered in the desired movement path along the axis 464, and impart forces to the magnetic structure 404 as they are compressed and stretched by movement of the magnetic structure 404 along the axis of movement 464. The third spring 478 is coupled to the first repelling magnet 460 and imparts a repelling force on the magnetic structure 404 in response to compression forces applied by the magnetic structure 404 as it nears the first repelling magnet 460. The fourth spring 480 is coupled to the second repelling magnet 462 and imparts a repelling force on the magnetic structure 404 in response to compression forces applied by the magnetic structure 404 as it nears the second repelling magnet 462. The springs 474, 476, 478, 480 may be tuned to increase the efficiency of the generator in particular applications and likely environments. The tuning may be done experimentally. Some embodiments may employ no springs, fewer springs, or more springs. For example, in some embodiments springs 478 and 480 may

be omitted. A gauss meter (not shown) may be employed to determine the optimum strength, sizes, shapes and positioning of the permanent magnets 424, 426. the size of the coil form and the number of turns n, m of the wires 416, 420, as well as other physical characteristics of the system, such as the diameter 414 of the coil form 412.

As illustrated, a first lead 482 of the first coil 408 is coupled to a second lead 484 of the second coil 410. A load or energy source load/source 486 is coupled across a second lead 488 of the first coil 408 and a first lead 490 of the second coil 410. Table 1 , below, sets forth the parameters employed in an experimental embodiment of the system 400 illustrated in Figure 25. In the experimental embodiment, the first magnet 424 of the magnetic structure is a commercially available rare earth magnet sold under a model designation DCC, the second magnet 426 is a commercially available rare earth magnet sold under a model designation DC8, the first repelling magnet 460 is a commercially available rare earth magnet sold under a model designation D61 G, and the second repelling magnet 462 is a commercially available rare earth magnet sold under a model designation D603. The first wire 416 is a standard size 27 copper wire and the second wire 420 is a standard size 21 copper wire. The experimental embodiment of the system 400 was small enough to fit into a standard D-cell battery. A standard D-cell battery has a length of approximately 2.33 inches and a diameter of approximately 1.32 inches for a total volume of approximately 3.19 cubic inches. Other embodiments of the system 400 illustrated in Figure 25 are possible.

TABLE ONE - PARAMETERS OF AN EXPERIMENTAL EMBODIMENT

Table 2, below, sets forth experimental results for an embodiment of the system 400 of Figure 25 configured. in accordance with Table 1 when employed in an embodiment bf a battery (see battery 800 illustrated in Figure 23) having the dimensions of a standard D-cell battery. The system 400 was subjected to movement at a frequency of 10 Hz, to produce approximately 3000 passes of the magnetic structure 404 through the coil system 402 during a 5 minute testing period. The number of passes may correspond, for example, to an average generated when the system is attached to the foot of an individual walking at an average pace of 3.5 miles per hour. The Stimulus column indicates the type of waveform used to stimulate the movement. Supercapacitors were coupled to the output of the coil system 402 (see first energy storage device 806 in Figure 23). The Load column in Table 2 refers to a resistance coupled across the supercapacitors. The Voltage column refers to a voltage obtained across the supercapacitors after a five-minute stimulus period and the Energy column refers to the energy stored in the supercapacitors as a result of the five-minute stimulus period.

Table Two — Results of Experimental Embodiment

Figure 26 is a side sectional view of an embodiment of an electromechanical system 100 employing magnetic structures configured to generate an unbalanced magnetic field. The system 100 comprises a rotor 102 comprising one or more magnetic structures 104 each configured to generate an unbalanced and compressed magnetic field (see Figure 20), and a stator 106 comprising one or more coils 108. As illustrated, the system 100 comprises two magnetic structures 104 and two coils 108. The magnetic structures 104 comprise a first magnet 110 having a first length 112 and a second magnet 114 having a second length 116, the first magnet 110 and the second magnet 114 are held spaced apart with like poles facing each other and configured to generate an unbalanced and compressed magnetic field. The stator 106 may comprise, for example, coils similar to those discussed above. In some embodiments, the rotor 102 may comprise one or more coils and the stator 106 may comprise one or more magnetic structures. Figure 27 illustrates another embodiment of a magnetic structure

100. Figure 27 is not necessarily drawn to scale. The magnetic structure 100 comprises a first substantially cylindrical magnet 102 and a second substantially cylindrical magnet 104. Other magnet shapes may be employed and additional magnets may be employed. For example, the shapes of the magnets may be modified to facilitate movement through a toroidal coil form (see Figure 28). The first magnet 102 has a length 112 and a diameter 120. The second magnet 104 has a length 114 and a diameter 122. The first magnet 102 is held spaced-apart from the second magnet 104 by a first distance 124, with like poles of the magnets 102, 104 facing each other. The magnetic structure 100 as illustrated is unbalanced in that the length 112 of the first magnet 102 is different from the length 114 of the second magnet 104. In some embodiments, the length 112 of the first magnet 102 and the length 114 of the second magnet 104 may be the same. Similarly, as illustrated the diameter 120 of the first magnet 102 is the same as the diameter 122 of the second magnet 104. In some embodiments the first and second magnets 102, 104 may have different diameters.

The first magnet 102 has a substantially semi-toroidal depression or recess 108 generally facing a substantially semi-toroidal depression or recess 110 of the second magnet 104, to form a substantially toroidal cavity 106 between the first magnet 102 and the second magnet 104. A substantially semi-toroidal-shaped depression may comprise, for example, a true semi- toroidaf-shaped depression, a semi-toroidal-shaped depression reflecting manufacturing tolerances, or a modified semi-toroidal-shaped depression, such as an semi-elliptical-shaped depression. A substantially toroidal-shaped cavity may comprise, for example, a true toroidal-shaped cavity, a toroidal-shaped cavity reflecting manufacturing tolerances, or a modified toroidal-shaped cavity, such as an elliptical-shaped cavity.

As illustrated, the substantially toroidal depressions 108, 110 have an optional substantially linear segment 118. Some embodiments may not employ the substantially linear segments 118. The first magnet 102 and the second magnet 104 also have an optional lip 116 adjacent to their respective substantially toroidal depressions 108, 110. The size of the lip 116 may be selected when considered together with the distance 124, for example, so that the substantially toroidal cavity 106 has an outer diameter approximately the same as the diameter 120 of the first magnet 102. Figure 28 illustrates another embodiment of a coil system 100.

The coil system has a toroidal coil form 102 and a plurality of windings 104 of wire wrapped around the coil form 102. As illustrated, the coil system 100 has a single coil 106. Some embodiments may employ multiple coils coupled together in various manners. Some embodiments may employ one or more bi- metal coils. Some embodiments may employ one or more coils comprising traces on insulating sheets. The coil system 100 has an optional magnet structure 108 configured to facilitate relative movement with respect to the coil form 102 along a substantially circular path. Other magnetic structures may be employed. For example, the magnetic structures described above may be employed. The magnetic structure and the coil may be configured to facilitate relative movement along other paths. For example, the magnetic structure may

be configured to move relative to the coil along a substantially linear path, for example along an axis perpendicular to a plane of the coil (See Figure 25). The coil system 100 may employ suspension systems and mechanisms (such as repelling magnets) to facilitate relative movement of the magnetic structure with respect to the coil system 100. The shape of the magnetic structure 108 and housing (see housing 852 in Figure 23) and the materials selected for the coil form 102 and the magnetic structure housing (see housing 852 in Figure 23) may be selected so as to reduce friction and contact points between the coil form 102 and the magnetic structure housing. Although specific embodiments of and examples for the coils, magnetic structures, devices, generators/motors, batteries, control modules, energy storage devices and methods of generating and storing energy are described herein for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure, as will be recognized by those skilled in the relevant art.

The various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments. All of the U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications, U.S. patent applications, foreign patents, foreign patent applications and non-patent publications referred to in this specification and/or listed in the Application Data Sheet, including but not limited to commonly assigned U.S. Patent Application Nos. 11/475,858, 11/475,389, 11/475,564 and 11/475,842 are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety. Aspects of the invention can be modified, if necessary, to employ systems, circuits and concepts of the various patents, applications and publications to provide yet further embodiments of the invention.

These and other changes can be made to the invention in light of the above-detailed description. In general, in the following claims, the terms used should not be construed to limit the invention to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification and the claims. Accordingly, the invention is not limited by the disclosure, but instead its scope is to be determined entirely by the following claims.