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WindTapper's Blog

October 2015

Dear Diary

I've been dealing with leaves on the ground, in the gutters, on the porches, in the drainage ditches....

Cement projects abound, but the weather is not cooperating. Maybe next spring I will final fix the front step and walkway so they permanently lean away from the house when it rains. I made temporary fixes, though, that will last the Winter.

The foundation for the new outside drying clothes rack is setting up in the backyard, even though it is raining now. A few days ago I set a block with cement into the ground:

I cemented the center and all around the block, with the pole braced in the center.

After this cement has had time to set up,

and when the weather is nicer, I plan to add a layer of cement on top of the block. The block is far wider and perhaps shorter than the one the instructions recommend be installed. Don't worry, I used a level to position the post, using the sawhorse as a base for winding tethering to the post.

Now everything is covered over with a tarp in the rain.

This project brought another project that needs doing to my attention. I need to dig up some of the landscape in order to get rain to flow away from the foundation of the house. A lot of sod needs moving, but I won't have to dig very deeply....

Happy Fall, mes amies!

Beautiful Days

The Weather Channel predicts three glorious Fall days in a row, starting today. Low 70's temps, sun, hardly any wind. Yee Haw!

The leaves have started their turning, although the Bartlett Pear tree has only a few red leaves so far. I just had to go out and capture some images as the sun lit up a few areas through the trees as it begins to set.

Whirligig, still spinning, still missing a couple of blades -- caused by the combination of sunlight over time plus the snows last winter. The furnace exhaust extender is back in place. And the tarp needs some reconnection because the cat -- I believe -- broke one of the bungee chords near the house's roof.

She is blurry because I finally got the camera to show some of the movement as it turns. Usually the camera takes its pictures so quickly that no movement is discernable.


For a 20 cm metal platform diameter -- which is the measurement on the bunt cake tin centers that I purchased (one in Teflon, the other in aluminum -- for experimental purposes) -- I could create a circle of perpendicularly radiating coils. 36 coils -- because 3-phase likes numbers divisible by 3 -- each coil approximately 3/8 inch thick.

The thickness is less than the 1/2 inch of the magnet flux pushers that will hang (or cling, rather) to the metal platform and rotate above the coils because I want to maximize peak electrical production. Any part of a single coil that extends beyond the 1/2 inch at any instant will receive flux that is going in the opposite direction from the flux produced by the center of the magnetic pole.

So, approximately, we can have 36 3/8 inch wide coils with 1/4 inch between each pair, all around and under the circumference of the platform from which cling either 6 or 12 magnets.

I have yet to figure out how to create a stable form that has no edges to scrape insulation off the magnet wire, but I am working on that. Perhaps aluminum sheets....

Let's see now. Some sort of rigid but porous bottom for a round column. The bottom would have to be able to carry the weight of the 36 coils plus aluminum spacers, yet allow access for all the connections among the coils and to power output, regulation, and storage devices.

The outer, circular column housing needs to be wide enough to contain the coils set perpendicular and centered  onto the outer rim of a 20 cm circle.

The exact configuration will have to wait for my investigation of the shape of the magnetic fields in situ. I still want to compare a 6-magnet to a 12 magnet set-up.

Wire Size for First Generator

I had hoped to use the thicker, fully insulated size of wire, but my magnets are only 1/2 inch wide. Since the flux is thickest, closest to the edges of the poles, the return of the flux to the opposite pole would cut the wire in the opposite direction, thus negating the direction desired, thus negating part of the electricity flow. If I go beyond the 1/2 inch in size I will negate the maximum electricity flow.

The larger, fully insulated wire will not suffice, therefore. Also, since I am using only 6 magnets for the first generator, I cannot get up to the 12 volts in any case. I was avoiding using more than 6 because I felt that the closer proximity on a circle of a larger number of magnets would mean losing more of a percentage of flux among the closest magnetic poles.

At 6 magnets, with slightly less than 1/2 inch thick coils, I could pack 48 coils around the 20 cm diameter circle. Only 6 coils would reach their peak of electricity production at each instant, given connections among them congruent with the correct pattern of winding six coils to be simultaneously cut by the magnetic flux of the 6 magnets.

I considered getting another 6 magnets, but without the higher safety of the thicker wire, I've decided to experiment with only the 6 to start. I would like to experiment with finessing coil shapes to see if I can detect differences in their electricity production.

Also, if I let the center pole of the whirligig be free then two benefits occur: 1. High winds will take the rotation off center, thus reducing power output, away from dangerous levels; and 2. I can keep the coils fully separate from the elements as they can be contained underneath the magnetic rotor and unattached to the rotor.

BTW, I believe the gage 14 for the smaller will give enough turns for experimental purposes, although, coil shapes are very dependent on gage in useful sizes. 9 is the recommended wire gage using opposing magnets cutting through the wire coils. However, the drag caused by fixing the rotation slows down and breaks my apparatus eventually, so far, 'though I am working on that, too.

Dear Diary

Still studying Calculus, but from a different book now: The Everything Guide to Calculus I: A step-by step guide to the basics of calculus -- in plain English! Still checking out the prerequisites. Finally, I found some of the info that I learned long ago, but could not remember for the life of me.

I was invited to the annual meeting of a local energy co-op, which I attended. I got 5 LED lights. A presenter at the meeting said her group has 50,000 of these lights to hand out, 5 at a time, to Athens County households. Perhaps I will contact them to see if I can help with that.

I have been going around our house to see how I can conserve energy even more than before. I replaced 4 60 watt bulbs in a chandelier with one 4.5 watt LED bulb, and unplugged a VCR that we hardly ever use, plus an electric clock. Tomorrow I plan on shopping for one of those outside drying racks on a pole that turns. Driers use mucho energy. I could at least dry towels, sheets, blue jeans, sweat shirts, and flannel night wear, plus sheets. That could make a difference too. I already hang underwear in the basement because it has rubber that is destroyed by heat over time, and light polyester and nylon garments to avoid getting zapped by static, but the heavier stuff would make too much humidity in the basement and cause our dehumidifiers to work overtime.

Oh yes. I forgot to report that I acquired a nice disk of Styrofoam from JoAnn Fabrics. It is approximately two and a half times thicker than I need for the generator. I will have to get out the miter box in order to cut it straight. But first I need to reorganize the workshop which has accumulated too much stuff on its work surfaces.

In the meantime I've been drawing plans for arranging coils, getting down to a life-sized drawing. I kept going back and forth between the magnet wire and a heavier, fully insulated wire with my plans, but now I am leaning toward the heavier wire. Fewer windings can fit in the allotted space, meaning I'll get less electricity, but at least it'll be safe. And I can start making actual measurements comparing different configurations. I can only get about 60 turns per coil times 6. I hope that is enough to get a reading. But my oscilloscope should be able to pick it up. And that is actually times three -- for three phases, making 18 coils, but not all 18 would be generating maximum electricity every second of rotation -- only 6 would.

The finer wire could make much more electricity, but I am afraid of burning it out, you see. At any rate, it's a start for experimentation purposes. I have yet to make more than 2 or 3 volts, which a person can pick up out of the air, anyway.

Time for beddy-bye, mes amies.

Dear Diary

Fall Cleaning is underway this morning. Bleaching kitchen and utensil surfaces is proceeding apace, as they used to say. (Later Note 10/6/15: today I must reseal a crapper. Oh Joy.)

On breaks from breathing bleach fumes I work on a new experimental design for generating electricity using wind power and some new magnets that have arrived from K&J Magnetics. (Please see my "Magnetics Geometries" page if you want to try a similar experiment, for the place to buy the magnets. Just click on the links I provide there, and I get 5% discount on my magnets, if you'd like to help with this project.)

I got six two-inch long cylindrical magnets for the main generator, plus six small block magnets that have pre-formed holes parallel to the N-S axis. The length of the two-inch magnets should provide more push to the magnetic flux so that the gap between the coils and the magnets -- which is necessary given the play needed due to turbulence of the wind -- the magnetic flux will reach farther.

The long magnets are for the top, main layer of coils that will lie underneath the circling magnets. The blocks with holes I hope to use in a second, lower level of coils for some extra electricity caused by the spinning of the blocks as the longer magnets pass at some distance overhead.

I have no idea whether this second layer will be at all possible since they will create drag on the longer magnetic rotor. I will have to experiment with distances to see whether or not some happy medium can be achieved between spinning lower magnets and the circling upper magnets.

The idea also occurred a few days ago that I might use the spinning magnets as breaks around the outside of the main circle -- at some good distance -- to counter turbulence swinging, although, they could end up creating more turbulence.

It is all very iffy, as they say.
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