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Permanent magnets have long been known to store magnetic energy in the alignment of the magnetic domains within the material. This paper investigates the possibility of constructing a magnetic device which can effectively extract the stored potential energy from permanent magnets and convert that energy into electrical energy. The concept stemmed from a number of patents which claimed to effectively extract energy from strong neodymium or samarium cobalt magnets on a macroscopic scale using specially designed magnetic flux paths. Their method uses one of several different techniques to switch permanent magnet flux between alternating paths and electrical energy is extracted from coils intercepting this flux as it changes within the core. Using experimental testing, magnetic simulations, and theoretical predictions, our research examined this question. The experimental results indicate that the devices tested do not effectively extract magnetic energy from the magnetized materials under test, indicating that the design is not suitable for use as a magnetic battery.


Originally published in IEEE Transactions on Magnetics (

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