WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog

January 2014

Capacitance Dreams

Going through the various lists of dielectric values for various materials I imagine how each would work in a back yard. One is syrup with dielectric values between 50 and 80. I suppose various levels of sugar versus water, and temperatures would create variations among syrups. Syrup is a relatively cheap commodity, but ants would love it. Adding Boric Acid would kill the ants, but I must also consider other animals that might like to eat it, including little kids.

Distilled water is another item that ants would love, so I would have to make the vessel ant proof, as well as being able to control for expansion during freezing temperatures. The dielectric values for distilled water are 76.5 - 80.

I should report to you where I got this data, but that information is not readily available at the moment.

Titanium Dioxide is reported to also be called Titanium White as well as another name, which I forget. I worry about how it tastes, though. I should taste it I suppose. It reminds me that white paint on old houses is somewhat sweet and noted for its hazard as a material that babies will eat, containing lead, which is poisonous as well as debilitating -- especially for developing young ones. Lead is known to reduce intelligence, as well as causing people to go crazy. I know that titanium dioxide does not have this reputation, but still, I need to be careful. It is expensive, too.

Sulfuric acid, which is in most batteries, has a dielectric constant of 84 -- quite high -- which I suppose at least partly explains why it is so useful in batteries.

Iodine and alumina have values around 10; tartaric acid around 35; 35% hydrogen peroxide is121;ammonia between 16 and 19;, titanium oxide 40-50; and finally, glycerin, liquid 47-68. This last is edible, too, so it is another one that needs protecting from animals. Oh yes. Lactic acid is 22. Slate is 6-7.7. Oh yes. Urea 5-8.

I discovered that a 2 1/2 rectangular gallon of distilled water can be turned upside down and its spout removed so that some of the water could be removed to allow for freezing, then metal inserted and a wire attached to the metal to gain access to the water's ability to hold a charge. However, I have yet to discover if the volume contributes anything to the amount of charge that can be stored; and the size of this amount is much too large to be practical. Also, having two such jugs sitting in your yard would be quite tacky.

Building a container to house such jugs seems like much too much work, so I will have to find more information about size versus charge.

Some Delays

I have decided to try to grow perovskite crystals and I had the perfectly blackened copper pipe with which to work from my remodeling in our shower, but I can't find it. I do not know whether I finally threw it away, or tucked into some corner or hole in our rather vast collection of recyclable materials that will aid my industries. And, it is too cold to spend much time looking in our garage for it these days.

Also, I have been spending time trying to find the perfect stocks in which to speculate, with some success. Computers and stock trading are the two largest black holes for time in the known universe, I believe. Some people have said that this year will be best for small cap stocks, and I like buying stocks under $5 per share, but my stock screening programs often turn up penny stocks, which are total gambles and not suitable for IRA money. That's all I have to work with nowadays, but I have grown $10,000 to $18,000 during the last two years. One of the tricks is to get out when the gettin' is good, don't cha know? No more wistful hoping that a stock will double or triple over time. Buy low and sell high is my motto nowadays. Of course some stocks just keep on going, but there's almost always a day of reckoning, lol. I try to keep the reckoning down to one day, if I can, but of course that doesn't always work.

I think there might be a few hours tomorrow when the temperature will climb above 20 degrees, so I hope to spend some time searching for that copper pipe. If I find it, I plan to scrape some of its surface off with a sharp knife to fall into some hydrogen peroxide, although the solution of peroxide that I have is only 3%. Still, water has some oxygen in it and contributes toward making copper oxide.... I'm sure I have some old tubes of titanium white paint around here, somewhere...

If all else fails, though, I could try making a capacitor tank using distilled water and some very small glass jars with lids that I could drill a hole in to thread a wire with some Locktite to seal it.

The Cold Weather? "It's a Joke, Son"

Our freezing weather has prompted me to make a joke lately: "The Russians finally figured out how to push all their cold air over the North Pole so it lands on us."

Our cat this morning spent about 2 seconds on the porch before he made the fastest U-Turn I have ever seen a cat make, exploding back into the house before I got the door closed. I guess that by Siberian standards our cat is a wimp. Our temperature was zero degrees.

This weather has been around, I think, for a week now. Ice crystals now live on our back door -- on the inside. I recently reviewed the movie The Day After Tomorrow. You should, too, if you don't believe in global warming -- especially -- because of all this cold we are having right now. It just makes me want to get a gas powered emergency generator, tout suite.

Dear Diary -- Crystals and Dielectric Constants

In addition to reading about how to publish a book on Kindle -- a task that may or may not be possible for me to do since I need to be able to present many photos to well demonstrate how to build my wind powered generator -- I have gotten off on a sort of major tangent.

Lately I've taken up studying how to grow crystals. It doesn't sound all that difficult, btw. While studying dielectric constants of materials to help me decide which materials will hold the most electricity -- while my static generator is building up a charge prior to discharge into a battery -- I ran into the CaCu3Ti4O12 crystal which is represented as the most perfect. It has titanium oxide inside it, which in itself has a dielectric constant of 110 according to one such list.

Teflon may be the most inherently negatively charged compound on one list, but its dielectric constant is only 2, meaning that it won't hold a charge by itself. I know that I have read how one should not bother to try to make one's own capacitors, but a large enough capacitor could substitute for a battery, I think. Maybe not....

Distilled water has a dielectric constant of "76.5 - 80," too. I had been considering getting one of those vacuum sealers for freezing food so that it won't get freezer burn, but it seemed too expensive for my limited budget. If I could only figure out how to connect the inside and the outside of a vacuum-packed bag without losing the liquid inside. Oh yes. Freeze the liquid. But our climate is not that cold all year 'round....

Another reason I was reminded of the vacuum packing was that one company says the crystals can be grown in a vacuum....

Anyway, I've discovered some dandy websites for downloading the periodic table. Thomas Jefferson ... lab? I had thought that metals had their own column, but metals comprise most of the periodic table, instead. The Wiki is pretty darn fabulous for telling about chemical formulas and such regarding compounds....

Dear Diary

3-Day Weekend for Martin Luther King's Birthday celebrations.

Went to see Jack Ryan yesterday. The movie sort of knits the present with the past regarding attitudes toward Russia, Middle East conflict -- Afghanistan and Syria, especially -- and our alliance with China to oppose Russia, although, cyber security is also a biggy in this movie. Fighting global terrorism necessitates fancy digital footwork, too, in this movie.

Spent some time also shopping and downloading from Kindle store, including, how to write a kindle book, as well as how to make $$ with a YouTube video -- subjects near and dear to my heart....

Also spent much time perusing the Dielectric Constant List of lots of compounds. Wouldn't you know it, but the punchline came at the very end. I suppose it just didn't register with my "wittle pea brain" till the end of all that work, that distilled water has a very high dielectric constant. Never mind sulfuric acid and lead acetate, etc. All those pollutants have no place in green inventions such as I am trying to devise. Actual batteries not withstanding....
Buying a gallon or 2 1/2 gallon jug of distilled water could provide all the capacitance required. Who knows?

I also purchased some review materials for electronics cheap from the Kindle store, so I have plenty to read....

Still working out ideas for generating electricity using static and wind power combined with geometry and capacitance, so, you could say that I often have "Designing prototypes" working in the background, and in the foreground during e-cig breaks....

My Latest Dumb Ideas

You know how some discusstion group leaders start out by saying, "There are no dumb questions"? And then there are the brainstorming session leaders who expand this to, "There are no dumb ideas"?
Well, I gotta disagree. I found a couple dumb ideas.
1.  Making a 30 by 15 foot net, twice, to encapsulate a piece of plastic with which to cover a 10 by 12 foot wooden deck, turned out to be a dumb idea. Since it wouldn't weigh much, I thought I'd be able to handle it. physically, to install it.  But no.
So now I've come up with another idea that I would like to try out: making smaller panels of plastic netting attached to clear vinyl, then applying them in a kind of shingle-type of overlapping. My pieces are approximately 3 yards by 4 1/2 feet.
2. Our printer crapped out on us. We were told that to send it to be fixed, the shipping charges alone would be $75. I went online and ordered a Reference Manual for the printer, which cost $60 plus $12 shipping. PartsHere sent a Basics Guide, which I already had access to online from the manufacturer (HP).
Returning the manual was a bit difficult since the instructions said to print out the instructions and include them in the return package. Duh. Our printer is busted, folks. Anyway, I begged a copy from a friendly local banker next to the P.O. whom I happen to normally do business with, and was able to send the piece of crap printer Basics Guide back to PartsHere dot com. Let's hope PartsHere is honest and not a freaking rip-off set of artists.
So now I am going to tear down the printer to try to clear out old gunky ink from our ink jet printer, without a manual. I had to go to the hardware store to get a special sized hex wrench. If it's not one thing, it's another....
I also put down a layer of clear plastic on the table where I'll be tearing into the printer because our friendly computer repairman warned us that it would be very messy. He had advised us to just buy a new printer, but that seems like an awful waste of money since the rest of the printer works just fine. It has a carriage blockage, I believe, due to built up ink underneath.
So much to do, so little time....

Silicon Powder

After washing our carpet today I had to wait some hours to let it dry, so had some time to cogitate on the possible effects of creating powder from sand. Since it is negative and air is the most positive item on my list -- with "the human body" coming in at a close second -- the possibility of the dust adhering to the lungs becomes apparent regarding my own act of creating silicon powder.
Fortunately, I purchased an air purifier that has a positive section around its base. So, I will be able to wipe it clean, then pound on some sand with a hammer nearby it -- with a dust mask on my face -- then see if any dust adheres to the positive ionizer. I doubt I will be able to create a wind powered ionizer, but at least I might get a start on having some negatively charged silicon powder to experiment on -- powder that does not cost $50 plus shipping for 50 grams or so....
Keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow.
Actually, I could start by trying to collect whatever happens to be stuck to the positively charged ionizer, and see what I can do with it, if there is any dust collected there now.
I am thinking that I could have a ball of nylon scrape such dust off a round wall of aluminum, inside the wind powered turbine, having the nylon ball bounce against  conductive wires that connect to the positive side of a battery. I should start with a battery that has no charge on it so that I am not fighting an oppositely situated voltage. The negative side would be connected to ground, I think.
Anyway, I know that when you charge a battery, your current and electron flows go in the opposite directions from the directions they go in when the battery is discharging. I am not sure what that says about connecting the negative terminal to ground in this scenario. Perhaps I should connect the positive terminal of an uncharged battery to ground, to make it opposite. Oh me Oh my, I just don't know....
How do I connect the negative side of the uncharged battery to a source of positively charged ions?
I am such a freaking novice at this stuff! But "that's what makes life interesting," no?

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning commenced 'round here today -- a bit early -- but perhaps I'll get it right this year. I counted eight pieces of furniture associated with the kitchen that need to be cleaned, inside, out, and underneath. I got two of them today. Between those and cleaning the basement floor associated with the cat box, I spent all day. That cheapest kitty litter that is pure clay leaves the most persistent much everywhere it touches.
I had to mop five times on the red painted floor to get it to look half-way decent. The basement stairs are also painted dark red, and the little bits of clay litter track half-way up the stairs, too.
Tomorrow I was planning to vacuum and wash the dining room and living room rug -- at least the most heavily travelled areas, but hubby is taking the day off from work, so I suspect I will have to rearrange my plans. We don't want him walking on wet carpet and subsequently having slippery feet elsewhere in the house....
We are having a bit of a blizzard outside at present, but as the weather forecast predicts rain the next three days, I don't think we'll be having to shovel the driveway. Just keep tucked inside and it will all melt....
I am currently trying to devise the easiest way to create silicon powder and collect it -- both for experimental purposes, and also for the longer term using a wind powered device. I might try out a flour sifter that I found today. It was so dusty and partly rusty that I don't mind sacrificing it to experiment, although, sand is a well-known cleaning agent, lol.
So anyway, I might have a chance tomorrow to see if I can get a voltage difference generated using silicon powder.
Soon I hope that a repair manual will arrive so that I can fix our printer, so I want to hurry up to make the silicon powder initial experiments before I get covered in ink up to my elbows while I attempt to reinvigorate our printer.
BTW, weight loss is a big New Year's Resolution that I am more or less constantly working on accomplishing these days, and cleaning will contribute to burning calories, I daresay.
Too much British TV on -- that's why I've picked up the occasional British affectations in my verbal communications. PBS runs lots of British shows...."Sherlock Holmes" is on as I write now, but I will be reading the Kindle that I got for Christmas this year, later tonight. I got a "Best of Sci Fi" annual collection that unfortunately has many duplicates from another "Best of SF". The "Thirtieth" of one editor mostly equals the "18th" of another's. But at least I'm getting experience with the Kindle. I hope to publish a Kindle edition of my book in future, lol.

Static Experiment -- Preliminary

Some hands-on, cursory experimentation with several materials that I bought recently at Jo-Ann Fabrics netted zero static. I rubbed polyester onto nylon, plus rubbed an unknown netting material onto both of those. The "problem" seems to be the metal content in these special materials. One has 23% metal and two  others are similarly impregnated.
Technically, this is an indication of a low dielectric constant. In other words, the metal bleeds the "charge" away from the fabrics so that they do not retain a build-up of electrons or holes. This can be evaluated negatively, however, I would rather be optimistic that electrons might be able to flow without actually sparking or burning the materials.
What I will concentrate on now is creating negatively charged particles in one area with positively charged material(s) separated from the negative area material(s). Also I work on the idea of having the wind powered turbine contribute to the creation of the negative particles and/or contribute to their transference between positive and negative material holding locations.
I will be pounding sand with a hammer to create silica dust, btw, soon. Collecting the dust could be a challenge if it "hates" water, but I'll get out one of our voltage meters to see if I can find a charge.

More Study

As I have been working my way through the site -- particularly the workfun.htm and the connection-electrification.htm sections, while also looking to the daviddarling cathode-anode diagram -- I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I could profit by brushing up on my knowledge of chemistry -- such as it is or isn't.
One element that I have as a recyclable item is activated charcol -- the used inside material from Brita water filters. Perhaps it is fouled and lacks useableness, but I can still dream, can't I? I vaguely recall that metals have two electrons on their outside shells, making them vulnerable to sharing and/or movement, since 8 or 16 electrons constitute full and very stable shells, chemically. With carbon the number 4 comes to mind. Perhaps it has four empty slots, making it want another four so that it is eminently combinable with other elements. But I might have this mixed up with silicon, which is another element for which the number 8 comes to mind.
I will have to study the periodic table. We have an organic chemistry book around here somewhere, from when my husband majored in chemistry as an undergrad, but that won't get me to the metals, I fear....
One of my "wild and crazy" ideas has been to make miniature "punching bags" filled with play sand, and to let them fly around, bumping into impediments to their flight, creating mini-grinding events for the sand to exude silica dust out intentional holes near the tops of the little punching bags. Wear of the bags plus noise and the potential lack of efficacy are my concerns here, but if it worked, it might be a cheaply renewable source of electrons within a windpowered rotation device. I suppose the dust could stick to an aluminum surface and could also be whisked off the surface and redeposited onto a terminal of rusty iron -- hope springing eternal, and all, lol....

Brainstorming Times

Besides enjoying SF 18 -- this time starting from the beginning of the book, and watching a bit of Saturday Night Live with its "5 times host club" I have been also brainstorming on static electricity generation using windpower.
Some "wild and crazy" (see Steve Martin's routines) ideas have "just popped in there" (see Dan Akeroyd in Ghostbusters). The backdrop remains the ideas that the cathode is a positive terminal, intrinsically, giving more or less positive ions out the bottom, while releasing electrons out its top -- at least in the Daniell cell. The flip-flopping of negatie and positive valences is everpresent. Starting with an intrinsically positive material, negatively charged electrons are drawn to its positive surface, which explains how an intrinsically positively charged material becomes a source for electron movement -- I think.
Anyway, scraping the electrons off the surface, physically, would also require a more positively charged scraper to carry the electrons off the positively charged material that I am starting with.
So, I have a positive material rubbing another positive material in order to attract and carry electrons away to someplace else. That someplace else needs also to be positively charged or the electrons will be repelled.
If I have another locus of material that is negatively charged, then I would use a negatively charged material to rub up against it in order to capture "holes", cations, or positively charged small bits. Of the three loci of materials, the one with the greatest positive charge is the one that will attract the greatest number of electrons.
So, I need to figure out which loci actually produces a continuously replenished pool of electrons and which produces a continuously replenished -- give rotation due to wind -- pool of positively charged "holes."
I daresay that logic alone will not suffice. I must get out there and "press the flesh" so as to speak, lol.
In any case, I think you might see from the above description that negative and positive quickly reverse themselves at nearly the same locations, depending on their relative values, dynamically.
I am sparing you my "wild and crazy" ideas for now.... Time for bed.... "Good night, Irene...."

Current Study Project Plus Movies

Besides normal festivities for this time of year, including cooking New Year's dinner, in my off hours I have been reading about batteries from stuff I downloaded from the net. I even got some notebooks and punched 3 holes in the pages I printed out -- all in the hopes that some sort of organization would aid my efforts at understanding and memorizing the meanings and definitions of such terms as "anode" and "cathode" from the perspective of electron and current flows. (And see )
Unfortunately, every time I turn a page I get a different read/bead on the problem. It is as though I suddenly developed a case of dyslexia -- you know -- "it's your other right"? There are a couple ways that the material flips over midflight: 1. "current" sometimes refers to the direction of electron movement and sometimes refers to its opposite; 2. Discussions are sometimes referring to what happens inside a cell of a battery of cells, and sometimes refer to an external flow of either electrons or "holes;" 3. Charge and discharge of batteries is a third opposing set of references.
Add to these "flippers" the fact that I have more than one source of information about more than one set of electrochemical reactions. The Daniell cell is not the same as a Lead-Acid cell. (And see )
But I keep after it, night after night....
On the movie front, American Hustler and The Wolf of Wall Street were both damn fine documentaries, lol, but Dallas Buyer's Club takes the cake, imho.
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