WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog

CO2 Reduction (see also Algae)

A Very Sad Day For Environmentalism

Barring vote counting irregularity revelations -- which will always be possible given computer counting of ballots -- President-elect Donald Trump's attitude toward reducing carbon emissions portends a VERY bleak outlook for reduction of global warming.

While Hillary promised to retrain coal miners for environmentally progressive careers in solar and wind energy production, The Donald promised to restore black-lung and carbon emission-producing coal mining. Way to go Donald! Buy votes in coal mining states, thereby promising to continue flooding low-lying coastal areas, and continue to burn the Southwest, and dry out our southern states.

It's going to be a VERY long 4 years, except that The Donald might find a way to shorten all our lives with his hands on "The Button" -- KNOCK WOOD! And not only that, but since he has no idea of how his low-class, but very public blustering can anger foreign leaders such as reside in other nuclear powers.... I shudder to think.....

All we can do is keep working on alternative energy production to try to counteract The Donald's vote-buying strategies. My commitment to wind and solar power has just increased immeasurably.

Later Note (11/9/16): Wait a minute. "Hillary won in the popular vote, but lost in the Electoral College"? This reported on PBS today. The Electoral College does not actually vote until January 2017, folks. This gives us time to dig up whatever dirt we can find on Trump and change the minds of the electors. Tee Hee. Or The Donald might do something grossly negligent, perhaps, but I doubt it. Anyway, that's what the Electoral College is for, after all, to protect us against someone found to be grossly unfit for the office of the Presidency, before he takes office officially.

Later Note (Veterans Day): Thinking that Jill Stein pulled off another destructive, Nadorite coup is tempting; however, the Electoral College aspect of our democracy inserts the Constitutional Convention's compromise into our selection of President. Like the Senate, which gives 2 votes to each state, regardless of its population totals, the Electoral College provides a hedge against the most populous states' citizens dictatorial power over the rural and relatively unpopulated states. As the electoral maps all showed, a handful of coastal states went for Hillary, while the vast middle of the lower 48 went the other way. So, our most populous states: New York and California cannot dictate to all the rest of us.

I still shudder to think what The Donald and his progeny will do to us, but we were all pretty much expecting some sort of Armagedan anyway, don't you think? "Live and Learn" and "Adapt or Die" are the only platitudes I can muster, right now.

If Wishes Were Horses

If I were an Industrialist I would figure out how to import aluminum magnet wire from China -- given that I had first tested the idea of using same in home-built, wind-powered, electric generators. I have demonstrated that low wind situations generate sufficient torque for generators, given the New Jersey based swivels and other low-cost materials I've been using; however, a ton of magnet wire does not get from China to here by accident.

Another hurdle is the storage of electricity in batteries or capacitors. Both present dangers to lives and limbs, as well as pocket books for their safe housing.

In my dreamland of science fiction somebody can develop a means for storing energy that does not present such dangers as massive shock potential, environmental damages, and costs for transmission beyond a beggar's salary.

Last night I tried to dream up solutions to energy storage. I came up with only a few stormy seas:

A. Somehow harnessing temperature differences to run generators of electricity [Good luck with that one!] Storage would depend largely on thermal insulation. A switch mechanism could bleed off excess hot or cold to warm or cool buildings seasonally. This brings to mind the solar heating of air that rises along an insulated column that could lie at a 43 degree, South facing hillside, or on the outsides of buildings that face South.... The wind generator could lie anywhere within the columns of air that are being heated by the sun. Of course, in the summertime, air cold be drawn in the front of the house to travel along the basement floor before being heated by the sun and vented out the top of the dwelling and/or glassed-in trench up a hillside. Water pipes could take heat to the water system. This does not store energy, however, for generating electricity when the sun does not shine. Also, I need to design a low velocity turbine for vertical rather than horizontal spinning. Our heat pump in the summer blows upwards, for example, as would the columns of heated air mentioned earlier.

B. Somehow directing light -- perhaps through fiber optics -- to drive electricity generation. Generating the light is another problem. Perhaps geothermal, as in the light from magma? I wonder how far down I would have to dig to find magma? Oh yes. That depends on where you live.  [ Which reminds me. These snake oil salesmen who tout Icelandic diets don't mention that perhaps Icelanders eat extra amounts of citrus in order to avoid scurvy, rather than their miraculous attributes being solely due to volcanic soils.] Anyway, B is the barest of starting brainstorms. It involves sunlight, too, but that is a far less constant storage system than a battery or large capacitor can be.... at least for now..... I bet the International Space Station has some interesting ideas on this topic.

Spider Mite Treatment

Our spider mite infestation grew large enough around the back porch to chase off the bees who were living in the ground, next to our house. I figured that would happen if I laid off the Neem oil treatments for a while.

Watch out for Neem oil Extract. It has much less oil than you need to kill spider mites, btw.

So anyway, after leaving the furnace exhaust extender pipes in a pile next to the porch all summer, they had become infested with spider mites all through their interiors. I just sent a long scrubby mop up the pipes, soaked with the Neem Oil bath that they recommend for spraying on fruit trees, in preparation for a new heating season or two.

I have yet to cut all the grass, tree sprouts, and weeds that naturally grew up around the exhaust system. You see, the exhaust makes stuff grow faster, lol.

I still need to pull out all the stuff that accumulated in the tall grass before I can mow it.

Toot-a-loo for now, mes amies.

Carbon Dioxide on Nova

"Lethal Seas" on Nova just aired here. Carbon dioxide emissions are causing the oceans to become more acidic and are impairing the ability of shelled sea creatures and coral to survive.

More electric cars, please! Carbon dioxide sequestration!

On a more local scale, I found many pieces of information on this program that I can use. They showed how carbon dioxide in the water creates hydrogen ions -- which are the acid. I am going to start testing the water around our furnace exhaust system. Perhaps the acidity explains the algae that grows on our porches. Perhaps it even explains all the moss that is taking over sections of our lawn.

I should collect the water runoff from the exhaust pipes to test also for electrical properties.

The grass certainly likes the carbon dioxide emissions. Oh. That reminds me. I'd better get the plants under cover tonight....

Weather, Etc.

I love 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with no rain. I think I would very much enjoy Van Couver. My husband, on the other hand, prefers 95 degrees on the Gulf Coast. Ah well. No accounting for taste.

This morning I finally succeeded in splitting our furnace exhaust into two streams so I might perform some Lord Kelvin experiments with some relatively passive voltage production. I already had the parts -- just had to saw one pipe in half and switch a few joints. Probably, however, I start with a disadvantage. It finally occurred to me this morning that all the pipe is PVC, which is inherently negative. The positive ions are probably sloughed off during cooling when the condensation runs off the inside and flows down the pipe to the ground. I will just have to try to keep my negative and positive metal inside sleeves out of the run off at the bottoms of the pipes, I guess.

One thing that I am sure of. Regardless of my success or failure in carbon reduction for the air, I definitely enjoy sending the CO and CO2 away from our kitchen window, our back door, and our back porch. This makes our immediate environment safer for ourselves and our cats -- possibly adding to our collective longevity.

Also, this morning I realized that I already have a supply of carbon. I have been saving all the water purifier filters, which contain activated charcoal. I have a couple quarts of this stuff. It is already containing chlorine, calcium, and perhaps a few traces of metals, but I should do my carbon experiments using this stuff, too, as well as the carbon fibers.

This morning I will run the ignition and conductivity tests on the fiber and activated charcoal. I am still wondering how to mount the test cells, both in wind and in the best sunlight I can find around here. Those are two MORE variables to track.

CO or CO2 Detector Alert!

The pipes in which I put lime, attached to our furnace exhaust, I just broke apart because our CO or CO2 detector went off and it did not seem to be a simple low battery signal. The weather has been below zero for more than one day now, and will be so again, later this week.

I guess the pipes got clogged with frozen moisture from the exhaust, although, there was still exhaust coming out the far end. I don't feel like messing with it outside in this weather, so I just finally decided to break the joints apart all the way back to the house so there is no possibility of screwing up our air.

At first I thought the wind was simply blowing in exactly the wrong direction, bringing the exhaust to our back door, but later I went out to examine the far end. It was frozen to the surface on which it sat, so it could not be moved. I didn't like the lack of full pressure on the far end. Some exhaust came out there, but I could only really feel the exhaust coming from one outlet -- not both.

I did not see an obstruction beyond a few moderate blocks of ice which were easy to remove, on the far end of the pipe, but there might be a blockage inside the middle pipe. The first pipe had only the normal layer of lime near the beginning of the pipe. The layer of carbon attached to the lime is not great enough to justify taking risks of CO or CO2 poisoning.

Aw. I should go out and look at the middle pipe.

I'll be back in a few minutes.

Later Note: Perhaps my wet hair in curlers got freeze dried, lol. Anyway, I have pictures of all the pipes being clear. Also, I have pix of big piles of ice underneath where each joint of the pipes laid. So, if you are trying this and the weather is very cold, I recommend that you disconnect your pipes. When ice builds up at the end, it might put too much back pressure on the exhaust fan. I did not seal each joint, by the way, which allowed moisture to drip out at each joint. If you sealed yours, you are already dead from the exhaust backing up into your house if your pipes got clogged anywhere and you did not take the precaution of having a COCO2 detector.

After I disconnected the extra piping, I watched the vapor coming from the furnace, right by the egress at the outside wall of the house. The vapor was not continuous. There might be a pool of water somewhere, I guess, inside the furnace. This experiment seems to create extra stress on the exhaust fan, so don't try this CO2 reduction experiment!

Above shows a pile of ice that formed under the first large pipe junction. Successively smaller ice piles formed at each later junction.

All the pipes were clear inside except for some ice at the far end of the last pipe.

Snow accumulation. Temps indicate 16 - 21 degrees Fahrenheit -- with two thermometers at 5 p.m. For some reason our weather channel no longer tells our temp. Go figger. Temps are dropping, however, an hour later. I think it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Very sorry for Boston roofs.

Mild Updates

1.  The furnace exhaust treated with lime and Drano turns out to smell a bit like chlorine, or hydrochloric acid gas. Perhaps I should use less Drano, but I thought I had used only a little bit compared with the amount of lime.

2. Still mulling ideas for a sort of mortar and pestle to break off electrons from sand, powered by the wind. Ideas pop up when I least expect them, from looking at odd shapes of debris around the house: A. The plastic handle off a kitty litter, square plastic container gave me ideas of using heavy steel wire as a hangar and frame under heavy steel screen that would turn in the sand. B. Some plastic curlers having Velcro-type sides might be placed onto the frame with a suitable fabric to turn against the sides of the ceramic pipe, bringing electrons from inside to the outside edge, to connect with a sheet of aluminum. Although, I haven't yet figured out what to put in the center of the curler to keep it from flopping around. Perhaps covered with nylon mesh such as they use to make bath scrubbers....

3. I tried out some of those plastic containers today, to see how each would fit down inside the ceramic pipe, and if the water would drain out their bottoms. Sometimes I wish I could hang a circular screen down inside the pipe. That is, take the heavy steel screen and bend it around a hoop on which it is hung with its bottom edge grinding sand and fabric sewn onto the screen for rubbing the inside perimeter, coated with aluminum, perhaps. The aluminum would be surrounded by an insulator and then perhaps steel or copper, to which would be electrically attached to a positive ion collector.... That would be inside the ceramic pipe. I could make another sandwich on the outside of naturally positive and negatively charged metals with an insulator between them, connected electrically to the inside sandwich and/or collectors of electrons and positive ions.

Carbon Sequestration Experiment

Last Fall I placed several pounds of pure white lime powder into PVC pipes that carry our house furnace's exhaust away from the back of our house, along the ground. The newer furnaces do not use the upright chimney, but rather, push exhaust through the back wall of the house. This happens to be at our kitchen window and our back deck, polluting our air rather directly, all during the heating season.

I have succeeded in moving the exhaust egress away from living areas, plus, I seem to have succeeded in sequestering at least some small bit of carbon. I opened up the system today, which I had not added lime to since last Fall. I photographed the chunks of lime that had not been dissolved and had not flowed yet from the end of the pipes. The lime dissolves in the condensation which results from our exhaust meeting cooler surfaces. A constant flow of water results, thus moving the lime that I had placed at the beginning of the first large pipe.

All that initial load of lime was gone, replaced by water and a bit of dark brown debris.

Directly above is the end of the second large pipe, showing discoloration of chunks of lime.

Many more pictures of lime discoloration were collected for this documentation procedure. Immediately above is a photo that faintly indicates the condensation droplets still clinging to the inside of the middle large pipe after heating last evening ended.

Finally, I should give an overall picture of the whole system before I broke it apart this morning, but I did not make one today. It is time to add more lime and/or some additional material for the next heating season because yesterday had record low temps in Indiana and Kentucky for yesterday's date.

Later Note: I got some drain cleaner that comes in crystals and was listed on the Tractor Supply store's website when I searched on "caustic lye." I tested mixing it with pure white powdered lime and I could see no reaction. Then I added water. Again I saw no reaction, although, the bottom of the plastic bowl was warmed. That heat might have come from hot water of a sun-warmed hose. Anyway, the heat was not so great as to be dangerous, so I put 4 scoops of the lime (2 in two pipes) and then added some of the crystals to each pipe before putting the pipes back into place. I still need to retape a couple of joints, but all that took only a few minutes and we're good to go again for Winter.

Potash - Potassium - Lye

Regarding my carbon sequestration attempts, today I decided to try to google "potash potassium lye."  The idea is to see if one can safely combine potassium fertilizer with pure white lime powder, having that stuff flow along horizontally placed house furnace exhaust pipes.

So far, I finally found documentation for the "potash" and "potassium" connection in the Wikipedia entry for Potash. Those terms were too similar to be a coincidence, and potassium is found in "pot ash" -- a term I became familiar with after living with wood and coal burning stoves for two years during the early 1970's. I emptied the ash from our little antique potbelly stove onto a small bed where our Blackseeded Simpson lettuce thrived in the shade of our woods. Of course it helped that the soil was downhill from where a barn used to stand....

Anyway, it is that time of year when the nights are getting cooler again, and time to start thinking about what needs to be done before cold weather hits. Documenting and cleaning the lime from the horizontally placed house furnace exhaust pipes -- i.e. how much browness clings to the lime? -- which could be carbon....

Combining lye with lime is what is recommended for industrial sites that wish to sequester their carbon pollution, but caustic potash is dangerous, so I was looking for some chemistry background using Google's search engine.

Perhaps, after I note how much browness exists at various joints in my horizontal exhaust system, perhaps I could merely add potassium fertilizer to lime that has been stirred, inside the pipes, to present whiter surface to the exhaust?

Going Backwards

Today I find myself revisiting some old ideas and some original equipment experiments. Remember those hoops made from four or five pieces of plastic, ordered from some online Chinese vendor -- those multi-colored hoops? It turns out that the larger whirligigs were made using those. Those hoops are easier to use to make the whirligigs since I can assemble them using discrete pieces instead of having to carefully thread everything in exact order before joining a single hoop that cannot be easily unjoined for making corrections.

Then there were one-piece flatish plastic hoops. I could use two of those joined by plastic tubing that is filled with stacked magnets around their circumferences. I would probably drill holes all around them in order to join them with the tubes and magnets at fixed points. Then the magnets would rotate and hang above the stationary coils.

I just wish I could come up with the best design soon so that I might then figure out how to order the aluminum magnet wire and have it delivered to someplace I could get the wire from....

A simple configuration for a generator would have a control set-up that makes 12 volts, hooked up to a line of 12-volt LED lights, with a photovoltaic on-off so that it would only make and use electricity at night.... No battery needed. It would only work if there were some wind at night, but no battery control needed to prevent over-charging, or safety gear to prevent other hazards of having batteries around the place....

I'm just sayin'

Oh yes. On an episode of Bones yesterday a member of the "Jeffersonian" team of forensic scientists who was buried alive inside an automobile by "The Gravedigger" perp made a carbon dioxide cleaner from ash (from an ashtray), lithium (from a battery), and soda (I guess from bottled soda water). It seems strange to me to use carbonated soda, since carbonation is carbon dioxide. So, I don't know if it would actually work, but it could be worth a try.... By the way, I have probably watched all the episodes of both Bones and Castle by now. I like Bones more, probably because many of the characters are geeks and nerds, lol.

On the TV front, I also enjoy Continuum, Defiance, and Suits, in addition to Halt and Catch Fire....

New Experiment Plan w/Note

Besides the electricity generation by wind power using static electricity, I am also cogitating on separating carbon from our household furnace exhaust. During study of static electricity, with its list of inherently negative and positive materials, I suddently realized that since PVC is Polyvinylchloride and listed as a vinyl, it could be negative.
PVC is the pipe I use for directing the exhaust to where I can "play" with it. So, the exhaust is already exposed to a long, inherently negative surface. Since ionization is a demonstrably able air purifier, then what I need is to expose the exhaust to a positive surface, too.
I have decided to put sheets of aluminum around the final egress of the exhaust, to see if I can coax the exhaust to separate further than the lime and water mixture is doing now. In addition, I might try adding some steel surface to the inside of the pipes, along with a wire, to see if I could collect some voltage difference between the steel inside, and the aluminum, outside.
Probably I will use an insulated wire running inside the pipe. Perhaps I could put several sheets of thin steel, along the PVC pipe, connected together, to add voltage differences. I suppose I could sneak some aluminum foil in around the elbow joints, too, giving the opposite charge for contrast, adding to the potential voltage differences.
I am also seriously considering merely adding baking soda to the lime inside the pipes, to give ionized water at the end, although I have no idea how the lime affects this chemical equation. That might be another potential voltage gap, if I put a steel terminal into the water, in addition to having aluminum sheeting to tap into.
So many experiments, so little time, lol.
Later note: The pipe turns out not to be the PVC I have elsewhere. It is black on the inside and white on the outside -- some sort of plastic and the white has gentle "ribs." I will have to look into the manufacture for a spec sheet and get back to you....
I found pieces of it and elbows lying under our back porch. I will wash these up and start cutting and experimenting with various sheets of flashing -- also some steel mesh. But when I get a notion to get out of the house, I'll check out the hardware store and/or Lowes to see if I can find a T or Y joint for same so I might simply separate negative from positive exhaust ions that way.

Rethinking My Strategy

After studying the handout on transistors, which includes schematics of an Op Amp, I am thinking that my whole idea of building transistor-like models is a waste of time and money. The ion-producing aluminum phosphate and silica dust cost too much money, for one thing. I am trying to build an inexpensive system here.
Yer average Op Amp and Bridge Rectifier don't cost all that much to purchase. Plus, I found out that baking soda in water makes ions. Admittedly, I am mixing two projects -- carbon sequestration and electricity generation, but, I still have to keep my eye on the bottom line, here.
Back to the drawing board.
I also saw a Chinese invention while surfing the web for generating electricity using static. It has promise, and gives me some inkling of new ideas for generating static. Anyway, an Op Amp could amplify small discharges, while the rectifier could sort out the direction of current flow, into the batteries I am trying to charge up.
The trick to generating static is to find materials that will not be used up too quickly from all that friction, you see. If air is providing most of your friction, you have less wear and tear on materials! There is a role for windpower after all!
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Air Purification by Positive Ions

A catalog from Hammacher Schlemmer might at least partially be seen at has an air purifier that applies negative and positive ionic reactions to air. The positive ions possibly live within a clear plastic chamber. What a coincidence!
This looks like it might be a better air purifier than the Ionic Breeze from Sharper Image because it does not have grillwork that needs cleaning periodically. Grillwork can be such a pain to clean, especially if one is clearing cigarette smoke from one's air. I am SO happy that I quit smoking regular cigarettes.
Now I make my own electric cigarette liquid mixtures and save mucho dinero, I can tell you! Lemon oil flavors one, hazelnut flavors one, and kiwi flavors a third e-cig smoke liquid, along with Vitamin E in one and Vitamin A in another one. Needless to say, they do not create the obnoxious smelling or looking residue on the air purifiers of any type, that real cigs make....

Prospective Experiments For Now

This weekend I should be able to make some preliminary experiments regarding the natural 1/2 volt charge reported between copper and aluminum. My imagination kept rejecting the idea of setting up these half-volt junctions in series because the copper is negative relative to the aluminum, so how could you put 24 of these in series if you have to keep going back and forth between positive and negative?
However, the key is the word "relative". A substance which is naturally positive or negative can be made more so of either, relative to its neighbors. So, you can see one experiment I am eager to try.
Another involves making a homemade diode using baking soda laced water with an aluminum cathode and steel anode, particularly for controlling the direction of flow for charging a battery.
A third experiment will have to wait for warmer weather because it involves changing from having lime inside my furnace exhaust extensions to having either a mixture of baking soda and lime, or making it mostly baking soda. But before I do that, I need to examine the results of the pure lime and moisture experiment to detect how much carbon was captured, at least cursorily. Those results depend on the darkening of the most exposed layer of lime, before I flush all or most of the lime away in order to try out baking soda.
Needless to say, I am reading up on chemical reactions among the bicarbonate of soda, baking soda, and lime reactions to carbon and water, plus ionization to aid in carbon sequestration....
I have ordered aluminum phosphate and silica powder, and acquired two glass bottles to make more-or-less capacitors out of them in the furnace exhaust and/or baking soda bath sometime in the future. They are back-ordered from Sigma Aldrich for February so those latter experiments might have to wait til Spring since the exhaust pipe is outside, lol. In the meantime I can shop for more secure lids w/glass bottles -- heavy glass -- because I read that having ions press on both sides of glass can break the glass....
BTW. The Textbook on Static is MUCH better than the DiRod manual, although so far, the Textbook reprint is woefully defective in the formula department. I will have to look for a copy of the original in libraries to get the entire scoop on the mathematics....

Carbon Emission Reduction and Electricity Production

Citing  a report in the online Science Daily from Fernando Galenbeck at the 240th American Chemical Society, I remembered the Ionic Breeze, also, which makes ions in order to clear the air of dust, debris, and CO emissions from cars. Perhaps I could put together a make-shift "catalytic converter," using GalenBeck's silica and aluminum phosphate dusts that also generates electricity. The furnace exhaust could first pass through two pipes, each with their respective dust and other negatively or positively charged materials, before passing over a lime combination in a third pipe.
Thus we would have ionization as well as lime for the Carbon sequestration, while initially setting up a source of electric current if I attach a wire between the two pipes that ends at the two terminals of a slow charge battery.
I am working on the least expensive way to set up this experiment. Initially I thought: "aluminum pipe on one side, brass pipe on the other side," but my money resources are limited. I have styrofoam, wool, and Saran wrap for the negative side, and human hair, wool,  and paper for the positive side. However, I have not yet acquired the silica and aluminum phosphate powders.
Finding a way to attach a wire to make a circuit without letting the exhaust escape in the wrong direction, is another problem I must solve. I suppose the two sides of the wire circuit could come out the ends of the two ionizer pipes, but then it would have to go into the lime pipe, being insulated from its opposite side until it met the final isolating transformer before the battery. Steel screen could work inside the ionizer pipes....
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