B y Jaime Thomas
Nestled in the quiet, bucolic setting of Washington County is an inventor who’s been working on a pretty big idea.
Andrew Abolafia, who lives in the Granville area, recently finished a prototype of a static field converter. In layman’s terms, this device extracts and produces electrical energy from permanent magnets, which can then be applied just about anywhere.
“It’s a bold and out of the box attempt to solve the energy crises,” Abolafia said of his creation.
He said he first patented the device two years ago and has since been working on a model, which has yielded positive results in scientific recording instruments. In other words, it works.
“Seeing is believing,” he said. “It would be a wonderful thing, because the electricity it produces would be large.” The machine has to produce at least 100,000 or more watts or megawatts of energy in order to be practical. As an example of how the converter could actually be applied, it could run a car as an alternative to gasoline.
“And the beauty of it is it doesn’t pollute the air,” Abolafia said. He said that cheap electricity, which the converter would produce, makes cheap hydrogen, which can be used in any number of ways. Though he said some scientists are worried that the invention violates the law of conservation of energy, he has done a lot of research.
Now, he is in a marketing phase where he is approaching various companies and the military to arouse interest in his product.
Abolafia, who studied physics at Columbia University in his native New York City, has been inventing for more than 30 years. He moved to this area when he decided to pursue his technology company more seriously.
“When I decided to go into business myself, I needed an area where the cost of living was lower,” he said. “I didn’t have much experience with the country, but country people are the best there is—they’re the salt of the earth.”
Since then, he’s patented a number of other inventions and has worked on security and detection devices for the armed forces, as well as done programming for IBM and the government. He said he’s been fortunate enough throughout his career to find partners and other sponsors for his work.
“I’ve never had any problems getting any of my inventions financed,” he said, adding that he’s one of a select number of people in the world who make their living inventing. He is excited with his results and hopes either an organization or an independent business person will take interest in the static field converter.
“I like to think that perhaps at some point it will become something more people would use,” he said.