Overbalanced wheels are of little interest to the physicist, for physicists understand, from many well-established laws and many lines of argument, that even if there were such a thing as perpetual motion, this is certainly not the way to achieve it.
All of these wheels use geometric design or mechanical devices to shift mass to a larger radius from the wheel's axle.
Perpetual motion wheels are invariably cyclic, that is, all motions of the wheel and its parts are repeated exactly during each complete revolution. So if a weight moves to a larger radius once per cycle, it must also be pulled back to the original radius later during the cycle. The work done in changing the radius by a certain amount from large to small is equal and opposite to the work done in changing the radius by the same amount from small to large. We gain no net energy per cycle.
Now imagine such a rotation in a vertical plane, so that gravity can play a role. Since the wheel's motion is cyclic, and the motion of the mass is cyclic, the work done on the mass by gravity as the mass moves down is of equal size to the work it does against gravity moving back up. There's no gain in net energy per cycle.
One of the most fundamental and well-tested facts of physics is that forces combine by vector addition. [This is sometimes called the "superposition principle" of force.] When two forces act on a body simultaneously, the net effect on the body is simply the vector sum of the forces. From this follows the result that when two forces do work on a body, the net work done on that body is the same as the work done by the vector sum of those forces.
We have seen that the radially shifting mass alone does no net work on the wheel during each cycle. We have also seen that gravitational force does no net work on the wheel or the mass during each cycle. So the two processes acting together will do no net work on the wheel during each cycle.
This is an outline of the reasons why physicists understand that all overbalanced wheels, no matter how ingeniously constructed, can never provide more energy than they were given initially. In fact, the situation is even worse, for the more ingenious and complex is the mechanism for maintaining the overbalance, the more poorly the wheel will perform due to mechanical inefficiency.
John Master wrote:Perhaps what I am envisioning is not exactly an "overbalanced wheel" but more of a "gravity harvester" of sorts. With a waterwheel you have a free supply of "objects" falling in the form of water. Trying to find a solution for people like me who don't live by a river or whose river has no head to benefit from.