Even limited access to his "Secrets" doesn't really prove anything. Just can't remember his name or device, but after years of collecting investments in his amazing discovery that he'd demonstrate in his home, he died. THEN it was revealed the elaborate machinery he'd built in his home to stage the hoax. Perhaps the work the man did on his hydraulics and levers had some merit, but focusing it on a fraud made it worthless.
Which creates quite a dilemma for people like Robert Fulton. All his work developing steamships was drawing him much derision in his lifetime. Trying to preserve patents vs. convincing people this really did work. Even after France received their working steamship, Napoleon dubbed him a 'Charlatan' because his Nautilus, considered the first full, practical submarine, had suffered some leaks.
But with his first commercial steamship in operation and at last getting his due, Fulton was called upon to investigate another questioned invention - a perpetual motion machine. Now, WHY did Charles Rdheffer's mechanism keep turning and turning> And TURNING? Fulton solved the mystery of the man on top who kept it going. You can see in the pic of the model.
Solar is a type of infinite energy. Except it doesn't work when the sun sets. Wind power, the infinite energy is interrupted in the calmest weather. I don't think his device has to be perfect to be effective. But it does have to work for real, as Fulton's steamships did.