WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog


To Trump: Read This, Please.

The Week: The Best of the U.S. and International Media -- a fine weekly magazine -- printed the following one-page report on page 11 of its March 24, 2017 issue: "Briefing: Rescuing the Rust Belt: President Trump promised to reverse the decades-long decline of manufacturing jobs. Can it be done?"

Please, President Trump, read this page to find out about REALITY!

New Bottle

As readers are aware, the blades of the whirligig turbine actions are made from plastic one gallon jugs that originally held distilled water that we used in our humidifier vaporizers during Wintertime.

Kroger, Walmart, and smaller stores ran out of distilled water lately, and even Dollar General seemed to have run out, but no, Dollar General's distilled water was unrecognizable because it came in new bottles.

These bottles use a tougher, clear plastic, that I like very much. These should last much longer as turbine blades than the cloudy plastic.... I need to get some more of these and build a new whirligig in order to prove this.

Unfortunately for this project, the humidifier season seems to be almost finished. Pear blossoms were being pollinated by a hundred tiny bees a couple days ago, and I wrapped our apricot tree yesterday to protect its blossoms from a light frost last evening -- which never appeared.

However, the Weather Channel reported that a cold wave should arrive sometime next week, so perhaps I'll get a few more of the new bottles then....

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.

The Crash of 2016 by Thom Hartmann

Finally, I got up to 91% of the book read. The rest are footnotes, which are very interesting, I might add.

Chapter 15 of 16 tells of how worker-owned businesses (co-operatives) are the answer to corporate greed/oligarchy. It also states that the U.S. is behind other developed nations in its number of worker-owned businesses (co-ops), even though we have an amazing number of these now.

Hartmann, I think, quotes somebody about the differences among Democratic Socialism, Communism, and Democratic Capitalism -- the last of which is represented by worker-owned businesses. You see, the CEO's and investment bankers are skimming off the profits while telling us all that businesses such as General Motors can't compete due to high wages of union workers. He shows that Germany has Mercedes  Benz which produces more vehicles, makes better products, and pays better than GM because their union and management are not at odds with each other.

And then, there's the last page of this month's Progressive magazine, with its one page editorial by Jim Hightower on merger mania. These two pieces of writing are so closely aligned that I dare to wonder if serendipity had anything to do with my reading them on the same day, or rather, is it because I support Bernie Sanders and am looking for reasons for my support of Bernie Sanders?

This is me, WindTapper.

Feb 2, 2016: Please see The New York Times November 30, 2015 front page. "Rich Governor And Allies Tilt Illinois's Future:  A New [OLD] Ideology Fueled by Political Spending" for evidence of Economic Royalists' plans to gut unions in Illinois, with their state pensions. We need to take back our Democracy from the Economic Royalists! Not simply sit around and dither about the country going to Hell. Vote for Bernie!

To Tether or Not to Tether

A tethered, spinning set of wind-powered blades -- that is, tethered at top and bottom on swivels, with the blades rotating horizontally - is the best way to control side-to side motions. This is best with limited horizontal spaces.

When the wind turbine has room to sway horizontally, then the advantage of the whirligig untethered at its bottom is that when the winds blow very hard, the magnets will be blown off the fixed coils (at the bottom) and will therefore avoid overproduction of electricity. This allows for almost-maximum numbers of turns in the coils, so that low wind average speed winds can be tapped for maximum electricity output.

The tethered rigs need to have fewer blades because the adverse tensions of higher winds will break their lines, as well as overproducing electricity overall -- thus causing fuse blowing or necessitating costly measures to provide safety against heat damage or to store excess electricity.

And so, I propose two separate designs, depending on how much horizontal space you can provide to the whirligigs.

And so, I will be building both types of whirligigs in order to 1)  test various ideas for how to create better, more durable tethers for the more narrow gigs; while also 2) testing the idea that higher winds must necessarily push the untethered gigs off their main configuration for maximum output at low wind speeds.

Later Note (midnight plus 30 mins. 1/31/16): Additional benefits to the untethered design: 1) greater stabilization and support for the coils; 2) much better ability to protect the coils from precipitation; 3) greater stability also provides for longer-lasting, more durable electrical connections to batteries and ground and other circuit controls.

So, perhaps I will use the interior of the swing set for tribo-electric experiments, rather than for the narrower but tethered gig experiments. Thus, the two outside ends of the swingset can be used for the untethered generators.

Deteriorating Turbine Blades

Admittedly, the blades I chose are known to be fragile, especially when exposed to the sun. The plastic just doesn't hold up beyond a year. Even placed in a relatively shady spot, they still fall apart after time has elapsed. The heavy snow last year was the largest killer in this location (see previous photos).

Here's where it's at now:

All but one of the upper level blades is missing.
Let me show you a contrast from last year:
I would guess this was taken after the snow melted and had pushed the upper level blades down.

Anyway, the population of blades has decreased over time.


Two faces of capitalism -- the smiling, enriching, job-creating face; and the ugly, frowning, tyrannical face of unfettered greed. What makes the difference? Unfettered capitalism falls prey to the old adage: "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

I am now some 40% into The Crash of 2016 and recommend it to everyone thinking about voting in the U.S. Presidential Election this fall. For those of us who have believed our whole lives that Communism is bad and that Socialism is only another name for Communism -- think again.

Unfettered Capitalism falls prey to human nature. When you have a lot of money at your disposal, or which falls under your control, you concentrate on making more of it, often to the exclusion of the welfare of other people. This is what happened with Collateralized Debt Obligations or CDO's, made possible by the repeal of the "Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933 (48 Stat. 162)...".

Once the hot-shots in charge of investing billions of dollars of various big banks ran out of the normally sound mortgage customers, then less sound, predatory lender debts, and finally, housing bubble -- caused by "free money" -- speculators all got into debt. CDO's were marketed abroad so that other Capitalists could "benefit" from the housing bubble here in the States. Apparently this bubble did not only travel to Germany and Switzerland (see The Big Short movie.), but also somehow found a similar way over to Chinese overbuilding.

2013 saw the publication of Thom Hartmann's The Crash of 2016, which details the Republican conspiracy to rewrite our textbooks, our newscasts, our laws, our political rhetoric -- all in favor of the oligarchs. The rich people wanted to get richer, keep all their money, and educate our children to help them. I recall something about Nixon getting in on this process.


I had also always assumed that any term that contained "liberal" was good, and that "libertarian" would also be necessarily good. "Liberal" stood for me as meaning "socially conscious," and the "libertarian" ideal of freedom harkened to "with liberty and justice for all" of the Pledge of Allegiance. Wrong again. Neoliberal is equivalent to "Economic Royalist" and "Robber Barron" as Libertarian recalls the arguments of the oligarchs. When the Neoliberals, Libertarians, and Fox News talk of freedom, they mean unfettered freedom of capitalists to rape and pillage all the rest of us. They will bring up the Second Amendment, and support the Tea Partiers.

Unfettered Capitalists want only more. They want the rest of us to be poor, to come crawling to them for jobs, to never pay taxes, to have enough poor people available to do their bidding, and enough poor people and immigrants to bring them money and to fight their wars. They want us to remain dependent on their drugs, their health insurance policies, their crumbling infrastructure, their crumbling schools, their crumbling debt obligations.

Unfettered Capitalists are oligarchs -- that is, only one step better than kings or despots. Socially responsible Capitalism, on the other hand, takes care of its workers, its environment, and helps the whole world to avoid global warming, disease, poverty, and slavery.

We need to vote either for Bernie Sanders or for Hillary Clinton -- whichever one wins the nomination for U.S. President. I, for one, hope Bernie Sanders can help us to "Feel The Bern."

Jack Fruit

5 inches of snow here, but I put in extra provisions yesterday. Started to process the Jack Fruit last evening:

This was our second Jackfruit. The first one was way more moist. It was too messy for my trying to take pictures. I am not sure why it was wetter. The store charged a dollar less per pound for the wet one, but it might have just been because it was new and on sale, then.

This one was 20 lbs at $1.29 per lb. So far I have 5 lbs of waste in approximately 1/3 of the way through. I'll get you better stats, eventually. Add water to the dry ones! Although, it tastes just as good as the wet one did.

So far I have lost 12 lbs on the "Fat Diminisher Diet" which consists of fruit smoothies for both breakfast and lunch, although a little bit of other stuff for lunch and a modest dinner are also included. Other ingredients are also listed, but I think I shouldn't report these as the recipes are for sale at .

That's all for now, folks.

"The Big Short" (2015)

A fun movie, although, not as much fun as The Hot Tub Time Machine, lol, because The Big Short comes from a long line of documentary and popular flicks and books. (We did not get it in our town until 2016, btw.)

I took a tour on the internet, looking for past glories in this history of financial meltdown, having seen and heard MUCH about The Great Depression -- its causes and cures.

IMDB -- The International Movie Database, the Wiki, Bill Moyers' site, among others, helped me to compile the following list, starting with the oldest. I have yet to delve into the Keating S&L scandal, however, and then there was Enron....

The Corporation (2003)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders (2006 movie, 2007 book; three YouTube sites; for sale at Amazon)

I.O.U.S.A. (2008)

2009 was a HUGE year for this topic in movies. In random order for 2009:

Frontline: The Warning (one of an ongoing series of TV documentaries on various topics)
Up In The Air (with George Clooney)
Capitalism: A Love Story (Michael Moore)
Plunder: The Crime of Our Time
American Casino

2010 movies or book:
Inside Job
The Flaw
Client 9: Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

2011 Titles:
Too Big To Fail
Margin Call (with Kevin Spacey)
The Company Men

2012: 97% Owned

2013:  MeltdownWolf of Wall Street; The Great Deformation; The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America -- and What We Can Do to Stop It (has pdf upload plus YouTube Thom Hartman at Politics and Prose Bookstore); Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve.

Ancillary 2013: American Hustle; Wolf of Wall Street; Dallas Buyers Club.

Electro Vent

Watching "How It's Made" the other day, we caught the segment showing how small windmills are made up in Quebec Province, Canada, by Electro Vent. I was very impressed by all the features on this company's product, including a braking system for high winds, as well as a compact set of components for voltage regulation and generation by alternator.

The prices for their products are quite affordable. The website is in French, with a more-or-less translation following in English. Several other features impressed me but I can't recall them presently. (Please see

I had been considering buying a bunch of these to make a generating bank, but I am sorry to say the company advocates placing these windmills up off the near ground where I am finding winds for powering our own whirligigs. So, our niche seems secure for now....


I am in the middle of so many projects it's not even funny.  The latest has been trying to remake the lining to one of my husband's sport coats. I am not a taylor. Or is that spelled tailor?  Humph!

I took the first pocket apart and was practically none the wiser for having done that. So, as I took the second pocket apart, I took pictures the whole way through. Actually, I studied tailoring in between there, both off the web and from a book sanctioned by Singer Sewing Machine Co. Those gave me a framework perspective that aided my seam ripping endeavors.

Of course the pocket was not exactly like anything I had seen, in that it was doubly lined or "interfaced", with four pieces of fabric -- three of them interfacing and one rectangle the same as the lining and pocket.

I will only show a few pix today. One of our cats got interested in the proceedings at first, but bored later and left....

The last pic has two sets of interfacing, the lining panel from which they came, and the pocket.

Making Do

Such great ideas I had! But now I must make do with what I have. 

I acquired a squirrel baffle made in China that cost almost $22. Its being made of metal has made me change my plans. It is also 18 inches in diameter. The ceramic pipe is 14 inches in diameter at its top -- possibly 16 inches at its bottom.

The reason I must "make do" is that my money supplies have run out -- even with a credit card. Now I must see how much potential difference I can generate, given the materials that I acquired today. I got three different types of silicone to try out, btw, and now I have another idea that perhaps KY jelly could produce some airborne silicone after evaporation, with just a tiny bit of bumping....

Vinyl is the next most negative material, after Teflon, on my list of intrinsically positive and negatively charged substances. So, the Chinese squirrel baffle, covered with vinyl, should provide not only a barrier to precipitation, but also, should collect positive ions from the wind.

I could increase the collection rate by 1. Ramping up the vinyl's draw, from below it, by somehow getting powdered silica airborne underneath it, and 2. Bumping its upper surface with flying negative materials that have collected positive ions; 3. Spinning the negative collectors to reduce friction when they bump as they 4. Rotate around the baffle, getting movement, thereby, of ions on the surfaces. This is the negative side of the generator, although it collects positive ions. The positive side of the generator stays inside the pipe, where the positively charged collectors will reside, near to its silicone sources.

All the above are only taking into consideration movements of ions in dry weather. Collectors of water-borne ions should provide a second set of charges, either directly, or during evapo-transpiration to separate and/or concentrate charges.

Clear as mud, huh?

In any case, I feel it is time to take some actual measurements of voltage differences, after I finally build a test rig.

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.

Whirligig Blade Storage

We have a lot of whirligig blade blanks around here, starting with large black plastic bags with 1 gallon distilled water jugs. I am trying to consolidate all of those by cutting up the jugs. That is something I can do while I am babysitting the cats at night, or watching some stupid movie that I have seen before on TV....

The following picture shows 26 bottles after they have been cut up. I am still trying to find the perfect arrangement for the handle halves of the bottles.

Static Capacitance?

I realize the potential benefits for viable static electricity generators driven by wind power, but often go back to the conventional magnet-coil framework to house my pondering at the drawing board. I am back to static again. I keep running into the cost equation for coil-magnet generators, which keeps bringing me back to static.

Seemingly endless device lists spring to mind as I start to remind myself how static works with capacitance. You need a charge in order to gather the opposite charge from either the wind -- air is positive -- or from the ground --which is most often depicted as being more negative than the air. Relative to the wind (air), ground is negative.

Steel is more negative than aluminum and copper, while copper is closest to neutral, except when you have your steel at ground level.

I have tons of possible designs in mind, so let me think on this a while...

Later Note:

Idea #1: I have an electrostatic air cleaner which will aid me -- I hope -- to create a low-cost source of actual electrons so that I do not have to rely on the actual ground to provide an unlimited supply of electrons. Silica sand is cheap enough to supply electrons if I can create the silica dust that costs beaucoup bucks to buy from a chemical supplier. Why not simply grind or pound PlaySand next to the electrostatic air cleaner and see if powder collects onto the negative element?

I used to be able to buy such things as liquid silicon in glass bottles from the pharmacy, but I doubt that drug stores sell such chemicals anymore. I suppose I could search for and purchase such a bottle of liquid silicon, then evaporate the liquid off....

The goal is to set up a negative source of electrons that perhaps could simply be replenished on a regular basis. Perhaps setting up a reservoir in the ground. Could I label that as ground and work from that? Then connecting the outside of the reservoir, insulated as a grand capacitor, to the source of positive ions from the air? The two sides of this reservoir capacitor could be hooked up to a battery and when the voltage reaches to over 12 volts, then the battery would charge, no?
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