WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog

July 2013

"Strange Storm"

Coincidentally, I had wondered over several year's time what better words could describe synonyms for "strange" in Shakespeare's time. Besides "foreign" as in "stranger", and "unknown" as in "stranger", during Shakespeare's time the word had also the meaning of "adversarial." Today I finally thought of "threatening" and coincidentally, later today there was a program on TV about Roman soldiers in 9 A.D. under Augustus, the Emperor of Rome, when they were fighting in what is now Germany, and they were threatened in many ways by a storm.
This was an episode of "When the Weather Changed History" on The Weather Channel -- I recall now.
Apparently, according to TWC, Romans were not used to such storms, while the Germanic tribes they were fighting were used to them and normally travelled much lighter. The Romans were disconcerted by the heavy rain, lightening, and thunder. Apparently Rome is in a much drier environment, and TWC said that they were actually frightened by the storm.
Roman armor weighed them down too much in the slippery mud as they were trying to retreat after their bows became next to useless in the rain, and this battle was a turning point for Roman expansion in the Germanic directions.
Shakespeare had Cassius of Julius Caesar fame deliver a "strange storm" speech, and I looked back in my memory of several storms in Shakespeare plays, correlating and categorizing their similarities and differences of messages. Shakespeare is fun to think about, for me, because there seems always to be more to learn from differences between English then and now, as well as Shakespearean historical facts and/or panderings.
Anyway, I would be interested to know if that battle had been reported in Classic literature by the time of Shakespeare, although reference to that battle would have been out of context because Augustus followed Julius Caesar....Oh. Romans were in England at the time of that battle, so Brits could have heard about it from contemporary reports....
The first page of Virgil's Aeneid is, of course, the main Classical storm reference of The Tempest, imho.
Sorry guys and gals. I was writing a book about Shakespeare for many years, and thoughts of that endeavor still crop up now and then. I need to get back to work on our shower and my wind powered electric generator -- two projects on which I do work every day.

Dear Diary -- Shower and Tomatoes

1. I took measurements today for cutting the cement board for the shower rebuild project. Measurements A thru M, in fact.
Now I need to sit down and draw out how to cut these from a 3 foot by 5 foot piece of cement board before I begin cutting.
I also must decide exactly what I plan to do around the edges everywhere. One set of instructions shows butting every surface up against every other surface, while another set of instructions says to leave 1/2 inch for expansion and contraction. The latter seems wisest, but does not feel right when I consider the wall to the floor junction.
One set of instructions shows putting the cement board on the walls, then attaching a special webbing to wall and floor with thinset, then applying the last layer of cement to the floor. I have already lined the whole shebang with rubber sheeting, and I do not see how the cement board is going to expand and contract after I attach it to the studs through the rubber sheeting with specially coated screws that look to be countersunk along the surface of the cement board.
Then that special, mottled orange webbing is way too expensive to use everywhere. It could cost $500, so I am going to use the paint-on membrane on the cement board, mostly. But still, between wall and floor, a flexible membrane allows for expansion space yet waterproofing.
2. I have harvested at least 100 tomatoes and 25 cucumbers so far this summer. I just put up 13 quarts of chili, and need to get going on making cucumber salad to live on a while along with chili beans, lol. The deer fencing and wind powered scarecrows, along with the cement-anchored chickenwire at the bottom of the fence have successfully warded off all critters this year.
3. I finally got around to planting the Lemon Balm yesterday. I hope it makes it. I might have to bring it inside in order to get it to go to seed since I planted it so late. I really want it to grow alongside our front porch to ward off spider mites.

"The Great Deformation" Progress Report

Chapters 19 thru 21 were right on the money, as they say. Those chapters felt right except for Stockman's frequent disparagements of individuals. Stockman names names.
I am into Chapter 22, page 459 so far and feel that -- for whatever reason -- David Stockman is now a part of the seeingly unedited tell-all movement of these last few years. Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and the fellow who was recently taken to military court martial at Fort Meade Bradley Manning have all decided that for whatever reason, truth is the best elixir for our nation's health. Fallout from all of the above revelations is far from settled yet.
Hopefully, Stockman's book will guide U.S. policies slowly toward better regulation of our financial squeeze boxers, lol, so that the managers of our economies will have more and better information, models, smarter, computerized and dynamic simulations to help them make decisions. [MIT computer simulation;  At Santa Fe dot edu;
Similarly, I am getting fed up with the latest news from snake oil salesmen. "There's a sucker born every minute" is too true, especially in my case. I am swearing off all snake oil and other over-the-counter and newly minted remedies from now on, not to mention the latest toutings of hot stocks.
Exercise and fruit! That is my motto now. Oh yes. And pay off all debt ASAP! I had already learned that last from Hungarian descent parents of my earliest lovers. They were so right! Pay cash for everything. Save up and pay cash for that car.... Find a way to make due with used cars until you get a good enough job to save up for a new one....

Magnetic Toggle Flip?

With different search engines now rampantly competing for our "business" I get new automated suggestions when searching -- sometimes intriguing suggestions -- which I take now and then. Today I got to a website teaching about clever magnetic demonstrations. I was drawn there by a description like flipping a magnet over with only a small current applied to a coil.
Hmmm. Perhaps I could use that in an electrical generator. It does, however, put a kink in my agitator generator ideas because the current produced by the agitation will cause more and possibly unpredictable movements in the tops of my stacks of magnets.
I am now looking for rigid clear plastic tubes. I suppose glass tubes would work, but cutting them to usable lengths could be a problem.
Here's a link to the first demonstration for a magnetic toggle. It takes a while to understand it. I wish there were a link to a video for this one.
I will dig deeper into this site to see what else they have.
OK. I chopped off the last part of the above link and got a better picture of the apparatus at Magnetic Torque. It will still take me some time to imagine what is going on, and there is far more wire involved than I had originally imagined. More wire means less profit when considering designing a prototype generator....
Aha! Best Link Yet! A brochure for the instrument gives info about magnetism.

Dear Diary: Confessions

1. I forgot to put a backing inside the step to our shower. I was going to place two 2 X 4's but I got hungup on the toenailing process and conveniently forgot to place the wood there before attaching the rubberized backing.
Originally, the builders had placed the tile on the sides before laying cement floor, which was all wrong. I removed the too-low-sunk tile, but forgot to replace its backing function. So when I put the concrete on this layer of the floor, I bent the rubber backing back behind where it should have been on the inside of the step.
The fix, which also cured the incorrectly inclined cement layer on the floor just inside of the step, was Concrete Patching Compound from QuikCrete. I put a 1 inch by 1 inch by approximately 8 inches long mini-wall underneath the step, behind the rubber which connected to the patch I laid to correct the incline problem. The Patch is Acrylic-based which I hope provides some extra waterproofing there.
In order to gain access behind the rubber, I had to cut a slit up its middle, but there was already a built-in piece of wood there with the red joining tape on it, so I only made a new seam. All this will be covered by cement board and tile on the step.
2. Hand-held experiments with like-poled magnets stacked inside a tube show that the agitation of a similarly like-poled magnet passing beside and between two like-poled magnets does not create a uniform jumping of the top magnet. Therefore, the electrical output of each coil around each such tube will be neither constantly generated nor absolutely predictable. I am hoping that averaging/smoothing will occur, however.
The top magnet lands slightly differently each time. After studying Howard Johnson's diagrams I learned that there are two poles for each magnetic pole instead of only one, so that cylindrical magnets that are spinned and/or agitated are not exactly symmetrical. However, I observe, that over time the magnets will develop a predictable pattern of relationships among them. Also, however, with wind power, you have a relatively random agitator rotor due to speed and direction changes of winds, which I hope will aid in the "renegotiating" of magnetic flux patterns among each set of magnets used to generate electricity. Neodymium magnets are not supposed to lose power when like poles are brought together, so I hope that the renegotiation feature will allow the magnets to reset rather than getting hung up in a "negative feedback loop" that would create too much drag on the rotating turbine blades.

Dear Diary

1. I made it up to around page 318  in The Great Deformation last evening, which takes me past where the financial futures markets were created due to "cash" versus truckload settlements of porkbellies and such -- all led up to from way back when Britain and the U.S. went off the gold standard in 1931/2 and 1971/2 -- I think those events occurred.
2. Kitty is frisky and is now affectionately called "Shitito" because he can whip in an out of doors without any interference from such lumbering critters as human beings.
3. I laid down a layer of cement today over the Canadian rubber in our shower. I wasn't as anxious about it this time as last, so I didn't hurt my back this time the way I did the first time. Six containers of cement, three containers of sand, three of water -- except the three of water should have been smaller. Using regular cement instead of QuikCrete meant I could stop for lunch in between mixing the cement and actually spreading it out. Then I could finagle the surface for a long time afterwards.
4. I keep going back and forth between building a tried and true design for the actual electricity generation portion of my wind powered electric generator, and designing a new configuration. I then decided to build both inside the same generator, but now I want to build an original design so that I do not have to copy anybody in my book. It is back to the agitator concept, once again. I have not yet made a full set of tests on this idea, but I am working on plans for those. The tests would find out exactly where, what shape, how many, and how large the coils would most efficiently be placed.
5. I am still planning to connect a leaf blower to the exhaust extension on our furnace in order to blow more lime throughout the pipe, but I will wait until the furnace has been on all night so the inside of the pipe will be maximumly moist. Of course I will turn off the furnace before trying this experiment. I must also observe the pipe daily to keep the flow of runoff going in the proper direction....

Carbon Sequestration Experiment

Precision Pet Products makes "Play Yard"s of which we now own one because we got a kitten recently. I wanted to be sure it understood how to use a litter box before bringing it inside our house, so I put up this 12 square foot (2 ft X 6 ft) cage on our back porch this July while it was still warm enough at night.
Now I have another use for this flexible cage because I attended an alternative energy meeting Wednesday and watched the movie Carbon Nation. The movie mentions -- among many other things -- that tall grass sequesters carbon. OK! So I can put the cage strategically around the end of our furnace exhaust pipe and grow whatever I want to inside the area thus defined. I will be putting screening over the top and around the pipe as it enters the cage in order to keep out critters that might be harmed by the CO emissions.
I can also experiment with more shelves covered with lime within the cage enclosure to see if I can get more carbon to turn the lime brown where it can be readily seen instead of only inside the pipe.
BTW. The cage was only $30 from Precision Pet Products, which is less than half what I would have paid had I bought a cage anywhere else.

Rain and Shower Rebuilding

Last Friday I finished rubberizing the bottom of our shower, and I planned to make layer three of four cement floor layers on Monday, but something came up. We had a flash flood on our creek around 1 a.m. -- perhaps a foot to two feet above the level I had seen previously (in the last 11 years).
Previous flooding over our little bridge probably weakened the guardrail footing, prior to this flood's excess pressures which knocked the downstream guardrail over. As I watched the weather radar, it looked as though a worse storm was coming in only 5 hours, so I was up all night trying to figure out how to keep people off the bridge in that event.
I finally remembered I had a bunch of dayglow orange, and other land flags to demark the missing guardrail, plus some inexpensive Chinese LED lanterns. Once the Township guys got there after the worst of the second storm was passed, I removed my markings in case they were in their way.
The second storm was larger in area but weaker in rainfall. The first storm had red in the radar reports on TV, while the second had orange and yellow. I guess those colors denote  orders of magnitude of rainfall severity. We also have green and dark green for the two lowest concentrations of rain.
Needless to say, I spent Monday mostly sleeping. Still cleaning up, though, on Tuesday. Perhaps Wednesday I can get back to the shower rebuild.

Windpowered Scarecrows plus New Kitten

When our tomatoes get ripe, the deer like to eat them, so I hung some strips of cloth all around the garden to scare away the deer. The deer fencing is on the upper portion of the fence, with chicken wire on the bottom to keep the rabbits out. The chicken wire is anchored with cement footings almost all the way around the perimeter.
Kitty is three and a half months old. I love him dearly.
Legacy daylilly is actually darker than the picture. Digital cameras wash out some colors.
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