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WindTapper's Blog

March 2015

Dear Diary

Besides having taxes to do these days, and reading Tipler's Physics I am contemplating another experiment. This one also should acknowledge the Dyson commercial about having 5000 + 3000 different vacuum cleaner designs -- or something like those numbers.

This experiment has to do with decoupling sideways motions of my circular set of turbine blades in higher wind events, from the simple circular motion of the magnets which I desire to occur along a long, thin, centralized pole, within the coil windings that will produce electricity.

This experiment consists of relatively large hoops attached to the topmost swivel, through which should rest the cross pieces, attached to the sides of the circular levels of turbine blades. The hoops should be able to handle variations of heights of the sides of the circular levels, while the central pole can slide to the bottom(s) of the hoops based on gravity.

It's a thought, but only a real model will decide if it is at all possible to achieve this decoupling of sideways turbulence. The central pole, I would guess, will have to be setting on a central pivot or bushing with bearings, although, I still want a swivel at the bottom, too.

The swivels are most efficient regarding their lack of resistance to turning, or torque.

I am not sure where I could get the hoops. Perhaps I will make them from steel wire that I happen to have on hand....

Oh yes. Watch "Brainstormers" on The Weather Channel. It comes on at 9 p.m on Sunday nights, with earlier episodes airing at 7 and 8 p.m. These guys are right up my alley, so to speak.

The Beatles and Physics?

I got into a chapter in Tipler's Physics called "Maxwell's Equations." After reading the chapter the song from the Beatles started running around in my head: "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" -- I suppose it could have been named, but I don't know if it was.

The Scotsman Maxwell came up with a sort of magical, silver bullet, whose math "is beyond the scope of this book." I suppose one of the Beatles could have seen or heard the story of a physics student trying to understand Maxwell's equations, and then penned that tune.

I enjoyed both.

You see, trying to compute the current across a capacitor creates the need to come up with the magical -- theoretically relatively "static" state of electricity on one side of the capacitor (which of course does not actually flow to the other side), causing a magnetic field in conjunction with the opposite side of the capacitor (since the opposite side is oppositely charged). So, you see, you have then a "displaced current" which is actually magnetism and is described by the same simple type of equation as the electrical "V = IR" type, only R doesn't exactly exist in a magnetic circuit. Or does it?

Tell THAT to a non-superconductor, heh, heh, or am I going MADD?

"Maxwell's silver hammer came down on" my "head," I guess.....LOL!

[Later Note: I think Maxwell's equations and "displaced current" across capacitors only works with AC current.]

Oh yes. I forgot to tell my reaction to the movie Insurgent which I found to be way better than the first of the series, Divergent. This one at least has a conclusion to it. Who knew it would turn out to make the case for General Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and a Liberal Arts education -- all at the same time? And in a post-apocalyptic Sci Fi flick?

I had feared this one would continue the gang warfare theme with actual disintegration of all infrastructure. It is not so hard to take as the first flick was, or that the trailer depicts. The flying building of the trailer is in a simulation, folks.

Funeral Here

My attempt to build a generator using opposing magnets and screen (or any other coil configuration) is now officially deceased. The wake occurred last evening after I found a better design. The new one is still not standard, which was one of the reasons I searched so long and hard for a design that I could call my own. Educational purposes are the main driver here, but now it is on to planning the actual build cycle for the first prototype.

The first prototype will have a spinning magnet with its poles rotating around the horizontal plane. Coils upright but extended outward from the center, along the extended radius of the magnet. I think I can connect several coils by their tops and bottoms outside the main flux region, and alongside the central, magnet-carrying pipe.

Opposite sided coils will be wound in opposite directions, yet connected to each other. I am not yet sure how many coils I could connect together. You can be sure that there will be multiple phases to the electricity.

Probably I will build only one set-up at first, to see how much power I can get from it.

Physics Question

Reading Tipler's Physics a question arose, based on my previous understanding of generating electricity as happening best when magnetic flux cuts wires perpendicularly, as opposed to non-perpendicularly.

Tipler's says that self-induction occurs ONLY when the level of the current CHANGES within a wire. Oh. Wait a minute. These are two different things.

Never mind.

So anyway, I had been congratulating myself on figuring out that Faraday's disk does not produce much voltage because flux cutting a disk is like flux cutting a bunch of wires that are all in parallel. Since voltage in parallel is non-additive, of course you wouldn't get much voltage.

But anyway, now I wonder if I were to set up a situation where the wires are continually cut by the same direction of flux, would I get a nearly DC production of electricity? Or would it not produce voltage at all because the current is not changing? I know. I already said that self-induction is different from induction. Oh me. Oh my.

So, I see an experiment in my future.

Reading Physics, Etc.

FINALLY, on page 927 -- not that I read from page one or anything, lol -- I get to Chapter 30 and "Magnetic Induction."

It's been a fun ride so far -- don't get me wrong about that. Perusing through the "tulips" so to speak brought me through indicators of why "Manhattan" (the recent TV show) fascinated me so much, personally. 

There I was reading about Thompson and Bohr's physics -- you know, the Cathode Ray Tube and magnetons, lol -- and it finally reminded me of when I was a typesetter on a nuclear physics magazine a zillion years ago when I was 18 years old, way back in 1969.

I had just replaced two ladies who had left when the Physics department had "blown apart at the seams" due to an unfortunate lack of social skills by the then Department head. He had neglected to submit a proposal to a national laboratory for time on their accelerator, on time. An "underling" physics professor had submitted a proposal and been accepted.

The department head then prayed he could get a proposal in on time, made a proposal, was accepted, and the underling's proposal was tabled by the national lab. That's when the fireworks started.

My chair was in between the office doors of both parties and the underling had been my freshman physics instructor, to boot, btw. Here I was typing nuclear physics equations with a disgruntled underling coming around to accuse me of schtuping his boss -- out of the blue! Many other disgruntlements were bandied about, and I was gone from there and from Athens when all the stuff hit the fans at the university administrative level where both profs lost their jobs. I wish I had been there to advise the department head that he should not have made a deal where he lost his job.

His sin was in not bothering about how other people feel, not in doing anything wrong otherwise. He made me very angry once when the apartment I rented from him and his wife -- which he and an assistant had built in 1994 -- had some less than adequate amperage. I could not have both a cup of coffee AND a piece of toast at the same time without blowing a fuse. He fixed it and calmed me down, amusedly, but I had been FURIOUS with him.

I was not the only person who had gotten FURIOUS with him, and there is another tale to tell, but not here. He just had a way about him that he could make people angry while he remained cheerful, calm, and amused.

So anyway, all my reading in physics finally reminded me of the wrangling that can occur in a physics department and the recent "Manhattan" TV show. I watched those episodes a zillion times and finally left off when the chinaman was getting interrogated and flying off the handle to his own very large detriment. That is the worst part of the last season. It all goes to show that physics was made by human beings, not robots or automatons.

So, I am gone back to my reading now, and further imaginings about possible generator configurations for my whirligigs.

Spring Arrives

Nearly 70 degrees yesterday. Changing over to paint scraping and yard work these days, but I have a sewing project or two to finish, too.

Been reading Vol. 2 of Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Paul A. Tipler, pages 657 - 845. Most of the math is beyond me but I have learned a few practical warnings about electricity and batteries lately. Soon I will start on the Magnetism chapter.

Right now I am cooking a pot of chicken legs to feed our cats for a couple weeks some extra meat and fat for their coats.

Soon I will continue the project to eradicate (lol) the poison ivy around our place. Literally, the granddaddy and grandmammy plants are just beyond our property line, but our neighbor gave me the go-ahead to "do what you have to do." Technically, much of the poison ivy is on Township property, but landholders take care of the lands between their properties and the roads, typically. Unfortunately, there is a very large tree across the road that is threatening to fall down on our cars, and it is also on Township property. Perhaps I will speak to a trustee to see what they might be able to do about that, if anything.

I should find a picture of the whirligig to show that it "keeps on ticking" even after the massive snow load, but pictures can be from any date, so I will wait til Spring shows itself more. Ah shucks. I'll go look for a recent photo.... It turns out that I did not take a photo of the whirligig after the snow storm. I'll go do that, after checking that the chicken doesn't boil over of course.

It is the wrong time of day for light to fall on the whirligig, but here is today's picture. You can't see that it is still turning because I have not yet set up video. Sorry.

Can't Give It Up

Screen coils. Still ticking.

I have an image of gathering up strands of hair to put into rollers, applied to screen coils. Each gathered bunch gets some solder on its tip. I suppose I could gather up each strand into some bunch, having a whole slew of bunches, whose ends could be dipped into hot solder after dipping them into flux. These bunches are on both top and bottom of the screen coils which will surround two like poles rotating inside the coil.

The solder-dipped ends of bunches would be connected, bottom to top. With a thousand strands, bunches of 10 would yield a 10-to-one ratio of current flowing in one direction compared to the connectors linking them. Thus making the coil into a series voltage that is additive.

I spent too much time today trying to work out a way to connect all the coils together, using non-screen coils and could not do it. But making the screen coils into series voltages might work. I'll get back to you on that.


Every once in a while, lol, I slip a cog. I suddenly remembered: It does not matter how many thousands of wires I place in parallel across magnetic flux, voltage in parallel is NOT additive. Only capacitance is additive in parallel, and how would I like to have created something that could zap a "goose" -- as Benjamin Franklin called himself after doing that?

So, I am back to the drawing board. Ixnay on the screen coils, unless I can figure out how to do the impossible.

Winter Storm Thor

The Weather Channel reported this morning that the National Guard had been called out to aid motorists in Kentucky yesterday. Kentucky is a state due south of Ohio, near us.

I took a slew of photos of our local snowfall which was close to a foot in depth. The Norwegian Pine tree (next to the swing set frame on which I put a board to hang a whirligig) is laden with snow. The whirligig is stationary, but still hanging out....

The whirligig is at the lower right corner of the tree and barely visible. Another photo could show how this gig is set up to catch the wind that comes down the hill due to the sinking of cooler air.

I realize the gig is difficult to see, above, but if you have been following this blog at all, you might be able to discern the infrastructure underneath the snow laden tree.

Later Photo and Note: The sun did not hit the gig till after 4 P.M. The wind also came later, so that it does turn, even with all the snow on it.

Winter Here

We could get 8 inches of snow before this storm is done on Thursday. That's a lot of shoveling. Six inches has already fallen, or thereabouts.

I am getting ready to take a chance on the anodized aluminum screen as coil material for my first experimental generator. As I was testing the screen for continuity -- that is, seeing if my volt-ohm-amp meter would signal zero ohms of resistances among various strands among the screening -- it seems to indicate that the anodization provides some measure of insulation among strands. It is the very tips of strands, where I had cut them, where I could get an audible signal from the meter.

At 20 strands per inch, I need a little more than four feet of screen to make a thousand strands. 1000 X 8000 lines of flux equals 8 million. If only half the strands are cut by the flux at any instant, this makes 4 volts, I guess.

Another trick is to get the screen coils close enough to the magnets, although, facing like poles together pushes the flux farther out....

I still must find the proper diameter and as thin as possible plastic, rigid pipe into which I can stack the magnets. Then another pipe around which to wind the screen, and a third pipe to cover the outside of the screen coils.

Of course, this is all theoretical conjecture, but I am looking forward to testing it in the real world. Soldering all those strand ends -- at both ends of each coil -- that is the problem on which I am working now. I have ideas, such as a solder pot, but so far the solder pots I have seen do not reach 1200 degrees, which is what aluminum needs.

I have in the past, however, soldered aluminum by an overwhelming flood of solder. So, we'll see....
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