WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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"Manhattan" the TV Series on WGN
"Will" on TNT is "Spot On"
Trump - Jackson Debate
Piliated Pear Tree


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WindTapper's Blog

April 2015

Carbon Fiber Experiment

Getting the material is Step 1. I received some fabric from Soller Composites yesterday. I see now -- from their website -- an alternative form which they call "tape." Its edges appear not to unravel, although, it is not sticky tape, as one might imagine when seeing the word "tape."

I also ran into their business card stapled to a warning and information sheet that must have come with the fabric that I ordered.

They say that the carbon fiber will conduct electricity. For that reason, they warn that I must keep their material away from all electricity. Hmmmm. They warn also that it has a limit of 150 Fahrenheit degrees, and to pay attention to all their safety information. Cutting into it creates dust that is hazardous, and epoxy resins carry their own risks and limits on temperatures, etc., etc.

So anyway, apparently the tape is the way to go in order to provide a stable material for encapsulation experiments. I am not so concerned about temperature since my product will be outside in the wind in a temperate climate, but I would have to be concerned if somebody in a hotter climate were to use it.

Also, the encapsulation materials will carry their own temperature limits, besides the idea that I will indeed be working with electricity -- if at all possible. I suppose I will have to try experiments first using single strands. Each strand is very wide with multiple fibers side-by-side. I should conduct some basic electricity experiments on it, too, testing for conductivity....

I do not expect high charges to be generated, and in fact seek to bleed off all charges continuously and quickly in order to keep the operator and any stray cats, dogs, neighbors, and babies from being zapped in people's yards that have my devices working to create electricity from the wind.

Oh yes. Soller Composites has website links to both spellings that their name's letters generate aurally: and

Carbon Fiber

Volvo's car body panels made of carbon fiber and fiberglass supposedly store electricity. These are in development as far as I know now. Anyway, I decided to order some carbon fiber to experiment with and it arrived today from Soller Composites which can be found at

What I ordered is not exactly what I had imagined. Each waft and weave is far broader which requires subsequently seriously broad seam binding on its edges. I had ordered a 1 ft X 50 inch sample with which to experiment, so I spent some time applying clear plastic packing tape three times to each edge -- once for each side, then once to seal the edges of the two layers I had applied.

[Later Note: investigating the clear plastic packing tape at the Staples website, I think it is made of Acrylic. I am not sure what electrical properties this has compared to fiberglass resin. Another poly-something tape is available at Staples. I had wanted to mix up a titanium oxide calcium copper paint to try to use as insulation among cells of a battery. I might paint that onto the carbon fibers after impregnating a central layer of the fabric with other, positive and/or negative versions to set beside each other.]

Now I have edges encapsulated and will apply more tape before cutting off any more chunks -- other than a little clipping that I did on an edge that was frayed and longer. I now have some small fibrous chunks to play with.

I had imagined the material would be hardy, which it is, but not in its present state could I allow it to be subjected to triboelectric friction. It would warp and fray too much if I subjected it to my whirligig's bumps and grinds.

I guess I really should have ordered carbon felt, but I can see how this stuff would be hardy after fiberglass resin is applied. I can see why one might be interested in Kevlar-impregnated carbon fiber, now. I will think on this.

The interior edges of the packing tape binding on the carbon fiber would provide capillary action for sucking up liquids impregnated with various substances, plus electrodes, before further encapsulation once a chunk was cut off the sample, so I see much potential here for experimenting with the stuff as solar and triboelectric battery material.


A couple days ago I purchased a carbon fiber piece of cloth because of Volvo's "car's body panels serve as a battery" graphic. I wanted to experiment with carbon fiber to use in my electricity generation and storage experiments. Volvo is using carbon fiber to hold and transfer both negative and positive sides of the electricity equation.

1. By coincidence I saw on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and with Neil Degrasse Tyson that Jon Stewart majored in Chemistry. He had told Mr. Tyson that Carbon was his favorite element because it would bond with anything.

Yesterday I made an entry here about triboelectricity -- generating electricity using friction.

2. Today, "Bones" had an episode where electricity was out due to a snow storm in D.C. The forensic scientists needed to generate an X-Ray of some bones and used triboelectricity to generate sparks.

By the way, my use of triboelectricity generation is specifically aimed at draining the charges constantly and a little bit at a time in order to avoid sparks, so hopefully I won't be generating X-Rays.


Triboelectric generation uses friction to knock and drag electrons off surfaces. I am considering adding a layer to the bottom of my large whirligig that will act as a brake during turbulent winds as well as providing friction for my triboelectricity experiments.

Keeping the tethers that hold the bottom layer on from getting worn off due to friction; plus anchoring the ceramic pipe so the wind and friction don't knock it over are two problems I must work on before I bother to actually add the bottom layer.

Also, I was rummaging around in my electronics pix collections and ran across "The car's body panels serve as a battery." Googling this I found it came from Volvo, btw. Two layers of carbon fiber sandwiching a layer of fiberglass act as collectors for "holes" and electrons to run an electric car. The brakes act as an electron production facility. That's what gave me the idea for the brake on my gig being a triboelectric source for "holes" because the brake would be on the outside of the ceramic pipe.

Inside the pipe I could try to scrape some electrons off some sand, btw, as well as having a conventional magnetic and coil electricity generation facility on the central pole.

I guess I've become attached to the large gig, even though I already decided that narrower gigs are the way to go.

"Brainstormers" on TWC

"Great Show" is what you'd expect somebody like me to say, and I wanted to say that, but today's show had the most glaring error.

I love the ideas for the water powered electricity generator. I mean, the building of it using an electric line spool. The existence of a water-proofed alternator is also news to me.

Ahem. However. These guys must have never lived next to a creek. Creeks do NOT have stable water levels. The first high water situation is going to push that gizmo downstream. And who is that lovely lady going to call? Oh sure. I can see her trying to fish it out of the creek. Right.

Also, "Brainstormers" made sure they showed pictures of the doo-dads that a house needs in order to convert homegrown electricity into power that can be sent to the power company for payback on her bill, but they never mentioned the costs for all that fancy conversion equipment.

They make it all look so easy -- way too easy.

Generator First Draft

Today I worked out a first draft of an electricity generator!

I was reading Tipler's Physics last chapters (of Vol. 4) when I decided I had gone far enough and backtracked into the sections on the fine structure of electron orbits. That's a very cool part, where physics meets chemistry in the Periodic Table and such.

I spent some time continuing to wonder about modeling the transistor with physically derived elements, but then I remembered that those are manufactured inexpensively -- FAR better than anything I could cook up. So, it was on to the first draft of a schematic for a wiring diagram of the generator!

Now all I have to do is build it, lol. I also spent a bit of time at Walmart looking at garden pots as possible generator housings. And I still need to find properly dimensioned pipes....

Oh yeah. Some thoughts on a book title came: Windtapper's DIY Generator. Of course I must build and test it first before writing a book, but introductory material has been in the making for years now. Or should it be Windtapper's DIM (Did It Myself) Generator?

BooYa! The Little Red Hen Generator?

I watch too much Bones  and Castle....

Getting the cart before the horse. Counting your

Sprung Spring

The title for this entry  reminds me of M.C. Escher's "Droom Dream" title.

Hyacinth, crocus, violets, and now Tulips are blooming in our yard! Temps in the 70's, at least for a few days! Yowza!

I took pix to share but I have also been scraping paint off the house, so the pix are fouled up. Spring Cleaning is an ongoing project, too.

Still plotting how to wind the coils. I find that I purchased wire that was too fine since voltage is only additive in series, this means the volts have to go through ALL the wire. Considering a step up transformer, but AC to DC decreases output.

Tonight, since "12 Monkeys" is done for this year on the Sci Fi Channel, the replacement is on TNT digital, with Limitless. IMDB says people who liked In Time also like this movie. I saw it at the theater. I can see the similarity of politics between these two films, but unfortunately, the anti-rich-people sub-text is mixed in with drug use culture -- see "clip" on IMDB. Not good.

So anyway, I looked at Furious 7 on IMDB, too, and ended up finding out that I am old enough to be Vin Diesel's mother. OMG. That makes me a cougar-fan. Also not good.

Reading about diatomic molecules and how elements can "dance" together in Tipler's Physics. Learning lots of other things, too, but I forget what they were, lol.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend, y'all!

Later Note: I erroneously reported earlier that Limitless would be on AMC. That was incorrect. I apologize. Also, Limitless is not so much against rich people as In Time definitely was.

Also today I planted and mulched grass around the perimeter of our yard where the woods had continued its encroachment. The creek also got a dose of erosion "control." First day of mowing lawn was today. I will probably be doing all of the above for the foreseeable future, as long as my health holds up. Doctors these days are hard to find or else they cost seven arms and legs to see. Managed Care will kill me. You wait and see.

Dear Diary

Saw Justin Timberlake in In Time yesterday. Now there's a statement movie, absolutely hating how rich people can prey on poor people, especially through government officials such as police, and by letting criminals function to control other poor people. And yet, bank robbing became "civil disobedience" in this movie, as with Robin Hood.

Reading about voltage regulators these days, starting with the Wikipedia. this was after watching PBS Nature and Nova while using our cheap elliptical machine for 20 minutes. Time to get back into shape after the long winter, lol.

Nova was interesting today -- "The Great Math Mystery." I believe we create math. It is a tool, like a paint brush is a tool. We approximate images of reality using both, constantly comparing reality to the images that we create, if we are making pictures of reality and not impressionism, for example.

I really like how engineers are said to estimate, approximate, and design stuff that is "good enough" rather than having to be as precise as a mathematical equation can be precise. And engineers must pay attention to so much that is not mathematical, such as the environments in which their creations might find themselves trying to operate, instead of only ideal conditions of mathematical formulas.

What If?

Discussing capacitance today with a fellow, he was saying that capacitors are not so great because they give up their power very quickly. I agree that they have their downside in that regard, except when there is very quick build-up and release of charges, as, say, when you have a generator flinging relatively small charges back and forth with AC sent to a rectifier, then to a battery.

Another idea I considered today -- but have no notion of whether it has any merit at all -- is that when one is charging a battery one has a sort of intrinsic voltage control. If the voltage is not high enough to overcome the 12 volts, then the battery won't be charged, but if the voltage builds up to be higher than the 12 - 14 volts on the battery, then the battery will be charged. If the charge is coming from a capacitor, it will be discharged quickly.

If the capacitor is constantly in contact with the battery, then it shouldn't build up too high of a charge, but rather discharge itself when its charge becomes high enough to overcome the voltage of the battery....

Of course, things are more complicated than this. I will have to think long and hard on this idea in order to come up even with something I might test....

Getting too much charge built up is, of course, dangerous on a capacitor since it can discharge so rapidly, so please don't try this at home unless you absolutely know what you are doing!

Later Note (4-15-15): Well, dudettes and dudes, I pretty much blew this one. I googled "voltage regulator,"  chose the "12 v" variety, then the images for circuits and devices. 300 pictures came up on page one. So, my experience with 12 volt batteries is VERY skewed by the existence of voltage regulators already on our vehicles.

Lately I have also been continuing to try to read Tipler's Physics. I am pretty much fooling myself that I am getting anything out of it. You know, when I studied speed reading, they told us to go ahead and read three times faster than you can understand because your comprehension speed would catch up eventually. They also had you read the material at least three times, btw. So I guess this is my first skim through the material in Vol. 3, lol, although I am not speed reading it by any means....

This And That

Went to see Woman in Gold today. I wanted to see if there might be some pointers on how to regain civil rights lost to "the powers that be," in particular, the loss of clean water due to fracking. Perseverance is the main thing, I guess. I enjoyed the movie, btw, although being reminded of man's inhumanity to man was a definite downside. This still goes on today, however, with slavery, kidnapping, and war still waging around this world.

I am still working on how to wind the coils around the magnets for the electricity generator. I must count how many strands of coated magnet wire will fit into how much space in order to figure out how many coils I could get around each magnet, and how many coils can be in series to add to voltage output.

Also, continuing to read Tipler's Physics, beyond the strictly electrical portion of Volume 2. Volume 2 also had light, but volume 3 gets all the way into relativity and quantum mechanics, etc. I am considering how to pick up the math that I need. There must be books somewhere....

It is unfortunate that I have never found an algebra book as good as the ones we studied in our high school. Community college does not get you to pre-Cal algebra around here.... 

A Spring attempt at order for my gig framework:
Inside the swing-set frame I could put two narrow gigs, and probably will. I still need to design anchorage for the gigs in conjunction with leveling, grounding, and drainage.

Spring Planting

Peas, spinach, kale, lettuce, grass seed -- these should all be in the ground by now. I could have started carnations, too, but did not.

Seventy degrees today! I am so sorry for California. Those folks are going to have to go without lawns from now on it seems. Rock gardens, I guess.

I did a little bit of spring cleaning today, but out in the yard. Such a glorious day!

I am actually working toward making coils and hanging up magnets for generators. Yay!

Still wondering about generating static electricity. I believe I will experiment with the large turbine that I have. I set up the large ceramic drainpipe under it today and found some plastic I can cover the pipe with, giving a drier environment for experimenting with making silica dust under the generator. Action at a distance is what I call it. Let the magnets give stray impetus to some nail files floating on sand, under the plastic cover. I could use a metal base or screen to attract the magnetic flux through the coils....

Still Here

Still doin' what I do, lol.

I keep working on reducing sideways forces -- lateral and vertical forces which are not the simple circular torque on the central pole of magnets that I am seeking.

I keep forgetting that I already have reduced such forces by half to a quarter of their magnitudes by halving the diameter of the turbine blade levels and by halving the number of blades per level. So what's the big deal?

Also, I made the mistake of buying a book carelessly. I thought I was buying a Dan Brown book but it is a Dale Brown, military sci fi, Starfire. Let's hope it does not start a war. It would appeal to guys who fancy themselves candidates to become mercenaries, but we all know that mercenaries are just itchin' for fights. The book starts out needlessly nerdy, btw, and BORING with its list of characters.

I kept wondering what happened to Dan Brown? I think I had gotten to page 84 before I finally realized it was my own fault that the plot was nowhere near as action-packed as a Dan Brown book, and saw "Dale." Crap. Oh. Don't take me wrong. I am not saying the book is crappy, exactly. It is just not my cup of tea. I'm sure some war monger somewhere would love it, if they have Nerd as their middle name, lol.

Later note (4/6/15): I mentioned "war monger" because the father of the hero in Starfire is a General MacArthur on steroids. The author has this war monger getting promoted for making raids and such that are not approved by his superior officers or by the chain of command. MacArthur was not promoted, Mr. Dale Brown, for crossing into North Korea. He was in deep doo doo, don't cha know?
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