WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog

November 2014

Dear Diary -- Bumpers

I seem to have made a breakthrough designing bumpers for creating silicon dust -- on paper. The larger question arises, which splits collection of negative and positive ions into four parts rather than two, because of the random advent of precipitation. This multiplies by two the conditions under which the negative and positive ions are collected: either as themselves, or combined with rainwater and dust from the air, or with snow and dust.

At first I simply decided to collect the rainwater that had run over the ion collectors, at the bottom of the sides of the ceramic pipe. One collector for the outside surface, and one for the inside surface, at the bottom. However, the longer the ions -- whether combined with water and contaminants or not -- are exposed to the air, the less charge they will have due to contamination, or rather, due to the fact that their charge will attract oppositely charged particles. So, the precipitation-laden ions will need to be collected and isolated ASAP and processed somehow -- their "juicy goodness" harvested -- separately from the ions that are not combined with precipitation.

It is tempting to continue to try to figure out the precipitation problem first, however, it is also quite a bit more tempting to try to build the above mentioned bumper system first in order to get practical experience with geometries and strengths of materials on that front.

Thinking Things Through

Why do I think so long before building anything?

1. Resources are tight. Building stuff costs money for materials and tools whether the stuff turns out to be useful in the end or not. Of course, building stuff causes more learning, but money is the deciding factor in all of this. I do acquire things in order to build stuff and this also creates learning opportunities as I try to imagine and then tentatively try to execute steps in the building processes, but some of the final steps are very costly, so I stop building and go back to the drawing board.

2. Dangers inherent in electricity cause me to try to imagine all liabilities as well as safety concerns for not only myself, but anyone else either trying to build, live around, or visit such devices as I might design and instruct others on how to build.

3. Technical difficulties and the learning curve require that I seek information, not only for mechanical and electrical practical knowledge, but also theoretical, as in studying static in order to lower costs for the consumer/builder of the devices I design.

4. Watching and learning from real world experiences where devices I have built are currently being battered around by wind, snow, rain, pets, wild animals, people, and the sun. This also takes time.

5. Imagining other possibilities, theories, environments, since my current designs are not the only possible answers to the questions I am asking of the physical universe.

6. Sometimes it takes time to get the tools and adequate platforms for using those tools for building experiments. Sometimes it takes time to figure out how to acquire the tools and platforms/housings for my experiments.

Windy Day

Trying to get some parameters for the design of a robust, wind driven electricity generator, I took pictures on this windy day to show the range of motion for various parts of the device during wind gusts:
As luck would have it, the best sequence of photos was taken from furthest away, so details are not clear. It is the position of the gig and its yellow center pole that matters, however.

This first picture is of a gig that is nearly centered in place. The rest are not. I call them "Far Afield."

Far Afield

Farthest Afield.

I took many, many photos, giving range of motions for both the blades and for the center pole, which rock sideways almost independently of each other.

The center pole is the crux of the matter if I wish to hang a magnet rotor there. The range of motion affects the structure of the coil housing, unless I simply flatten and cover it, underneath where the whirligig can reach.

If there had been a coil assembly under the center of this gig, this major wind gust would have taken the magnets away from the coils, thus preventing overheating, or overcharging due to wind speeds. However, the wind is not always gusty when it is traveling quickly, so I cannot rely on this to always provide a breaking mechanism against overproduction of electricity.

Static Demonstration

Making cereal this morning I found out that Kaniwa reacts to Hefty storage bags by virtue of static electricity. Those little bumps of kaniwa seeds adhere to the sides of the bag, and now I see that each seed somewhat repels its neighbors, although, the seeds are too heavy to fly away. Also I learned that Hefty storage bag zippers are NOT up to the task of containing Kaniwa.

I had been trying to imagine experiments where I could measure and record a voltage difference between two compounds based on either their intrinsic outer electron shell imbalances, or due to those imbalances attracting the oppositely charged particles.
I suppose I could put a lead into the middle of a bag of Kaniwa, with the other lead put into the middle of a batch of polyurethane and perhaps get a reading on a voltage meter....

Current Conundrum

I am working to figure out a way to generate anhydrous silicone, using wind power. Two design requirements: 1. Keep weather out because "anhydrous" means "no water"; 2. Pound, scrape or skim a substance made of silica or liquid silicon causing least amount of drag on the center pole of the whirligig as possible.

1. Keeping water out so that the electrons and negative ions can truly float over to the positive terminal/collector causes me to want to use magnetism to affect items within a closed container, but whatever I move with the magnets is a drag on the turning of the gig. Also, magnets are not sturdy enough to be thrashed about, used as hammers, or scraped. [I wonder if generating electricity could perturb the surface electrons enough to fly off? Hmmm. That's less drag if I don't use too many turns for the coils....]

2. Perhaps a nylon bath scrubber would suffice to churn up stray electrons. Then all I would need is to disturb or pummel the scrubber in order to release the negatively charged particles.... Perhaps the scrubber turning in liquid silicone or on the surface of solid silicone? [I keep wanting capillarity to aid the migration to the surface of the scrubber to aid evaporation of liquid silicone.]

3. The scrubber attached to a piece of metal that raises and lowers as magnets appear and disappear on the other side of the vapor barrier?

Darn. I was going to start withholding information so I would have something to sell in my book. Well. There's plenty more that I haven't told you. Above are merely some of my preliminary musings on this aspect of my generator. I don't even know yet if it is possible to get electrons off of silicon.

"Outside the Box"

Today I was seriously thinking outside the box, or in this case, outside the ceramic pipe -- and not in a circular fashion. The book I have been reading lately has inspired what I think may be some very productive avenues to explore for building a generator.

I begin to think that I should not give these ideas away for free since we will be needing some income relatively soon. Instead, I need to develop these ideas to realities and then write the book that I hope to sell, ASAP.

Sorry, folks, but "necessity is the mother of invention." Perhaps I am her daughter, too....

Generator Thoughts

I was reading last night: Elements of static electricity with full description of the Holtz and Töpler machines and their mode of operating by Philip Atkinson, 1887, pp. 108-124, "Electric Generators."

1.  I read that the Töpler machine is not affected by humidity while the Holtz machine is very adversely affected by humidity and precipitation.

2.  Also, the Töpler machine used two rotating and two stationary disks to accomplish both frictionally produced static and induction. I suddenly realized that my designs, while not using disks for these tasks, nonetheless, use the same principles with merely a differing geometry. The rotating disks are replaced by columns with items hanging down from above, rotating against the cylindrical sheets of materials, a bit like a sort of hanging carousel.

3.  As for generating anhydrous silicone, another "idea popped into my frond" (see "SG-1"). Combining the desire to keep moisture out of the electron generation column with neodymium "Action At a Distance" (see "Manhattan"), I was wondering about setting up parallel, rotating neodymium ring magnets on either side of a vapor/moisture barrier. Other ideas spring from this one, including the negative evaluation for attaching something silicone impregnated to the ring magnet on the dry side of the barrier, for peeling off electrons.

The objections to this are at least two: 1. having to replenish the spent silicone regularly is a downside of too much maintenance; 2. friction on the magnet, and knocking it around are both forbidden due to the cost that would create to replace the magnet.

4.  A question arises, however: how would the magnetic field affect the flight of anhydrous silicone atoms?

5.  Other musings dealt particularly with wondering if doubled layers are actually required, regarding having a potentially negatively charged column insulated from but parallel to a potentially positively charged cylinder. This creates a capacitor to store a charge, but if I am working toward relatively continuous discharge so as to not build up dangerous potential discharges, do I really need a capacitor beyond getting the charge up to the critical mass required to overcome an existing 12-volt charge?

Just A Note

A few days ago I installed a grounding rod at the site where I am hanging whirligigs, in preparation for the day when I install some seriously massive capacitors. The site is very inclined, so I must deal with that, but whatever surface I end up with to level the massive capacitor housing, I will have a steel screen grounded over a large area so that I can connect at least one side of everything to ground, including the swing set which is over everything.

Being so close to a tree that also overhangs the swing set, I decided the swing set also needs grounding for possible lightening strikes. Additionally, our power line, cable, and phone lines all travel at least near the tree. The power company trimmed the tree so the power lines no longer bleed sparks from their line(s).

Getting Started on Static Generator Eperiment 1

The Christmas song goes: "Making a list. Checking it twice." In my case, I am making two lists. One for Christmas. One for generator experiment building parts and design elements.

1. Ground rod buried appropriately with access to its salient feature.

2. Good drainage for the site and all its components.

3. Solid ground connections, regardless of how I must rework components as I am building and testing the device(s).

4. Test variety of compounds of various grades of components for their ability to a) insulate, and b) conduct electricity across parallel planes of metal.

5. Put holes around edges of metal planes for attaching leads -- especially ground wires.

6. Level the site and place a steel screen that is securely grounded and stable under weights of components, while being well drained.

Transistor Research

I was thinking I could model the transistor large, as it were, within my wind powered electricity generator, and I spent today looking for information on transistors to try to get better acquainted with that technology.

Among other sources of information I found -- after googling "how to make a transistor" -- the following link: showing how difficult the process is.

I guess I'll go back to simply building large capacitors that are properly grounded for the sake of safety. These ostensibly will collect positive and negative ions for use in static discharges. Purchasing transistors seems to me a much preferred way to go, after all, rather than building them.

Pie in the Sky

Wind is Clearly the Best Alternative. No. That is not the best slogan. Wind is the clearest alternative. Instead of The Wind is Green, it should be The Wind is Clear. Ah shucks. What was it? ....

So anyway, I had a Pie in the Sky set of ideas today. Call it brainstorming. Nobody here but us chickens, as they say. Nobody to Nay-Say anything -- at least right now. My husband is good at nay-saying, but he's not here right now.....

So, as I have set the stage for run-at-the-mouth brainstorming, no holds barred, Here Goes:

NPN Layers of steel (aluminum/copper) steel, inside the ceramic pipe, where the anhydrous silicon is presumably being successfully ground/generated.

Outside collector (PNP layers) attached to the P layers of the inside collector gives possibly very large "transistors." Possibly the P layer topped with a rusty wire (such as you get with untreated, round tomato cages that have been in the garden for more than one year).

If you can get a steady 5 volts out of this, you have biasing for the transistors to run on and amplify some current.

Where does the power for the main amp come from? Either a magnetic-coil set-up at the base of the whirligig, or perhaps a PNP on the outside of the ceramic pipe? [Ooops. Already wrote that.] Each "transistor can" biasing the other? Or does one can bias both?

Study Transistors!

The Output (if magnet-coil rotor) would be alternating to each can, thus from each can.

The "load" or battery being charged would receive alternating voltage then amps (but rectified for each can in appropriate directions). So that you would have volt -> amp pumps in opposite directions. Call them current pumps?

Output to what?

Depends on the voltage after the amplification of the "transistor" cans and/or capacitance storage facilities.

Okra Silicon Design

Producing anhydrous silicon is potentially a source for negative charge. Okra has lots of silicon in liquid form. Yesterday I was imagining recipes using the green portion of the okra, which would be a waste product from subtracting the liquid silicon. Grinding it up to use as a flour is one possibility, plus as zucchini is used in baking, and as a substitute for spaghetti.

Capillarity comes to mind, in conjunction with evaporation. I have a stash of celery stalks in the compost pile. I tried to grow celery this year and it was very tough. It grew to six feet tall. I tried drying it out in hopes I could get some useful flavoring, but it turned greyish black and looks quite unappealing.

I vaguely recall a demonstration of capillarity from my youth, using celery and colored water. This method of bringing liquid silicon up to a point where it would evaporate seems relatively viable, but does not require the turning of a wind powered central screw, unless I might figure out a way to heat the uppermost ends of the celery stalks to get evaporation faster. Later Note: even a swath of fabric rotating on the uppermost ends of the capillary tubes could provide enough friction and aeration, as well as separation, to free silicon atoms from their bindings to the liquid from which they were born in the okra. Talk about a green solution!

Of course, now that I feel anhydrous silicon could be dangerous to breathe in regularly, I would work to enclose the chamber where it transferred from its source to the aluminum collector via the air.

I wonder if this type of electron collector should be called "static" or if it should be called "chemical"? Or as in the Later Note, above, "frictional"?

Research on Anhydrous Silica

Surfing the web using Google, the first in the list for Anhydrous S is Anhydrous silica. The reason I am doing research is to find properties of anhydrous silicon which I believe is negatively charged and therefore a potential source of electrons for my wind powered electricity generator.

I was going to collect these free-floating, negatively charged anhydrous silica atoms via a sheet of aluminum backed by a sheet of steel -- but insulated from each other --as a sort of large capacitor. The idea is to have the interior of my ceramic pipe have a central pool of silica which would be churned by the action of a chain coated with fabric that would allow for capillary action to draw silicon up the chain to evaporate. The interior of the chamber thus needs to be relatively dry, for the atoms to traverse the distance from center to outer, metallic circumference.

The problem with this is the rain. So now I am wondering what is the best way to make a cone from a rectangle of sheet metal, to make a roof for the pipe. However, I run into this
sarcoidosis  question. "A disease of unknown etiology... can affect any organ... most commonly the lungs... also the skin' which is associated with anhydrous silica in one entry on Google.

I had not considered potentially harmful medical effects of anhydrous silica, but will continue to look into this.... Perhaps I will have to forgo the anhydrous chamber, sending the electrons on a more direct, metallic route....

What I Should Do

I have space for multiple whirligigs, and several ideas for generating free-floating electrons. I should set up more than one experiment, simultaneously, to compare at least three of the ideas for generating electrons and capturing them.

This is the idea that settled into my brain yesterday.

1. Sand. 2. Polyurethane. 3. Okra silicon.

All of these with a central screw, chopper, or screen rotating with the whirligig, weighted down into, onto, or next to one of the three. The free-floating electrons would then, ostensibly, hypothetically, migrate to an aluminum-coated wall surrounding the central screw. Behind the aluminum but thinly insulated from it would be a steel or copper wall to which I would attach the positively fashioned, outer, positive ion collector, to attract the electrons to the aluminum better and to hold them there.

Since I am doing one of these experiments using a thick ceramic pipe, I will have to do a double layer of metal on the outside as well. The thickness of the ceramic pipe precludes a single layered set-up because the positive ions would not have access to the outer layer of the inner duo. How to hold the metals in place without creating too large of a gap between them, on the outside of the pipe, is my conundrum right now. But I am fairly adamant that I should try to compare methods of generating free-floating electrons, and side-by-side.

So much to do. So little time.....

What's Taking So Long?

I am trying to engineer wind powered electricity generators that are People, Pocketbook, and Pet Friendly.

It is possible that they will never be 100% impervious to curiosity, or to being played with, but I must at least make them so that pets and people will not be harmed by them as they endlessly twirl in their yards.

We're talking going back down to very low voltage output that is put in series in order to build up to 12 volts..... That's my most recent cogitation.....
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