WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog

Investment in Windpower Devices/Parts

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.

New Blade Experiment

Our whirligigs have been made out of plastic hoops that have half plastic gallon water jugs as blades for these wind turbines. Of course, the hoops are strung up and stacked so their central pivots have been fishing lure swivels from SAMPO of New Jersey. The plastic of these jugs deteriorates rather completely after approximately a year in full sun, longer in shady spots, but still, deterioration is rather complete.

Clover Valley Distilled Water one gallon jugs that I purchased at Dollar General recently are made of clear plastic that is tough. I had to use a hack saw to thin a place where I could finally get the tip of our scissors inside to make a cut all around the shoulders of the bottles.

Btw, Dollar General only sold one batch of these bottles at $1.00 each filled with distilled water, and then went back to selling the normal, cloudy white gallon jugs that we had been using up until this point.

I have since started collecting (saving) clear plastic bottles from various juice products and am currently plotting alternative patterns to cut up these bottles for whirligig blades. Also, I hope to figure out a Black Walnut leaf design for smaller magnet rotating rigs, but for now, I have eight bottle "necks" with which to build a one-layered gig.

I wish to record here the manufacturer in case it becomes of interest at some future date: "Clover Valley Distilled Water, Source Town of Mooresville, NC, Purified by Distillation, Distributed by Dolgencorp, LLC, 100 Mission Ridge, Goodlettsville, TN 37072. Bottled by Niagara Bottling, LLC, 178 Mooresville Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28115, (877)ITS-PURE...For a report on water quality & information, contact us at : (877)ITS-PURE or" I realize that the manufacturer of the actual bottle is not listed in all this information, but I do not believe the bottle is all that special except that it is clear rather than cloudy plastic. That is, the clear is tougher than the cloudy.

I intend to demonstrate this fact by putting the clear out onto whirligigs. Since I have no more than eight of this company's bottles, I could basically only do one design of cutting them up.

After watching the diminished old blades continue to rotate even after most of their materials have been lost, I decided to use only the top portion of the new bottles. Most of the bottles is going to recycling as I am only using 1/3 of the height of these bottles, that is, the top 4 out of 12 inches..

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....

Product Idea -- For "The Cloud" Crowd

Energy Conservation demands that we find a way to humidify our houses passively in the Winter, during the heating season. For the last 20 or so years we have employed humidifiers that run electric fans -- at least -- and possibly water heaters as well.

With central heating you already have a major fan blowing the hot air into our rooms. We need a passive humidifier which is actually pretty simple, to place next to the heating vents. We already use distilled water because all our local water comes from limestone lined aquifers that leave far too much calcium inside our pipes and within evaporation containers, btw.

A simple, small drying rack whose feet stand inside a plastic tub. That's all I'm asking for.

Surely some factory could make such items rather cheaply and ship them to the U.S.?

They should be called Passive Humidifiers or Energy Efficient Humidifiers. The consumer merely pours distilled water over a towel that hangs on the rack, with excess water descending in the tub. The tub can also be filled so that water is drawn up through the ends of the towel that is lying across the rack, to create a source of water when the warm air flows across the towel.

Details: The rack plus tub should be compatible with both the wall and the floor heating ducts, which are both aligned and adjacent to the bottom of outside walls.

Come on, somebody! This is a free product idea! Have at it!

Later Notes (11-21-15 5 a.m.): [Prices quoted here are OLD, out-of date!] Upon searching through Google Images under "Mini drying rack", the best - for the price and sizes -- that I found are one urbanclotheslines dot com, for $24.71.

BTW, makes you give them your email in order to shop there. I already get too much email, thank you very much. KTMart is in Korean, which I cannot understand. Bearstitches dot com wants you to download plans to make your own dryers, and I don't like to download stuff. Camping World has a sale, at $40.22. All of the above except for downloading a DIY project probably charge beaucoup bucks for shipping. Perhaps the kohls rack was too large.

Also, btw, some lovely drying racks for produce and herbs reminded me that this is the season for drying fruits, etc., if you are ever tempted to buy that papaya. Although, I froze the last one, cut up into little pieces and put into little bags inside a larger bag. The little pieces stick together, however, in the freezer bag....

inhousehydro had a dryracm for 30.99. I can't recall what I felt about that one, but sometimes size is too large, although, the price is more than the one at urbanclotheslines.

Part of the problem is finding a rack that whose feet will fit into a tub. That ain't goin' to happen anytime soon.

As stated earlier, prices were out-of-date. Upon purchasing from urbanclothesline I found the best price was $34 something. However, shipping costs were very minimal, at $3.99 for two 32 inch dryers, total. That ain't bad.

Nov 22, 2015:  Walmart had two or three short racks that I could use, so far, and they are very inexpensive. $10 for one, $15 for another. For under a table where the hot, dry air blasts our living room I put down a boot rack, a tray on the bottom shelf, and a wet towel that made it through the night still damp. The shoe rack expands tremendously, but was "repurposed" as a show rack over a cold air return where it would at least dry out any shoes that make it onto it....

WindAndWeather Dot Com

What lovely products are available from Wind And Weather! Except, their website is not fully functioning. I cannot place an order for any of their products. I wonder what's up with that?

Some of their whirligigs seem to have a stationary section inside the rotating blades, so I thought I might perhaps set a generator inside some blades, such as inside KA6609, for example. However, even though that item is on sale at the moment, the website will not let me "Continue" to make the purchase.

Oh well. They have so many great video's, too, of their whirligigs spinning.... on their website. Those videos work. Check 'em out!

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....

Thinking Through Recent Design Ideas, Out Loud

Take these thoughts with a grain of salt. Salt prevents ants from getting a good bead on you, lol.

1. a. Passive electron/hole collecting:  A bowl of liquid silicon with celery propped up in the middle. The tops are cut off the celery, btw. These two items are within protected, semi-enclosed walls (or one circular wall). The idea is for the silicon to travel by capillarity up the celery and have its H2O evaporate out the top, carrying with it some silicon. The positively charged silicon atoms would naturally sink to the bottom of the container while the lighter -- hopefully anhydrous -- silicon atoms would float to stick to the top of the container which is insulated from, yet close to the outside surface which is naturally positive due to air flow and natural precipitation.

So, theoretically, the mutual attraction between atoms and ions inside to outside the container topmost wall(s) (maybe conical in shape) might be used to provide stability for attracting "holes" or positively charged ions to the outside of the container's topmost surface(s) where they could be

b. actively** scraped off by, let's say, negatively charged, rotating (twice rotating*), "brushes" and transferred therefore to ground through exposed steel wire on the surface of the container.
I am thinking of a pattern of uninsulated wire that goes up and down repeatedly, wound around the container, in order to build up voltage -- rather than using screen (as a collector of "holes") which would necessarily dissipate voltages.

2. Ground is connected to the negative side of an uncharged battery, at first. (I am shopping for a good lawn tractor battery for the least amount of money possible.) With Ground connected to the collector that attracts the most "holes", the collector is like the negative side of the battery in that its terminal is made from negative materials which attract "holes."

*The action of scraping off "holes" to deliver to the negative side of the battery can be accomplished by hanging clothes lint rollers, coated with intrinsically negatively charged fabrics, and attached by a swivel to the bottom level of a whirligig. Thus, these brushes rotate around the gig, and rotate again on their own pivots as they rub against any sort of intrinsically negatively coated, circular container.

**Another active, yet negative atom production facility could be placed inside the whirligig where "diamon" nail files slide across a flat but enclosed surface coated with sand and/or other silicon compounds to scrape silicon into tinier and tinier pieces through friction. Hopefully the separation into positive and negative silicon atoms will occur, allowing anhydrous silicon to float to the top of the inside of the conically shaped container. The natural perturbations of the wind on the centralized, rotating chamber will provide somewhat random "glide paths" for the "diamon" nail files across the silicon. I am still working on how to transfer the negative charge to the positive side of the battery, prior to its first charge for my proposed and very preliminary experimental charging project that I am trying to design here.

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.

"Outside the Box"

Today I was seriously thinking outside the box, or in this case, outside the ceramic pipe -- and not in a circular fashion. The book I have been reading lately has inspired what I think may be some very productive avenues to explore for building a generator.

I begin to think that I should not give these ideas away for free since we will be needing some income relatively soon. Instead, I need to develop these ideas to realities and then write the book that I hope to sell, ASAP.

Sorry, folks, but "necessity is the mother of invention." Perhaps I am her daughter, too....

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?

Wattage Controls

I had a few minutes today among my many projects around the house to think on engineering and actually manufacturing the coils for one design of a wind powered electricity generator. This design uses a stack of high powered, cylindrical magnets that have a hole at their core with poles on their sides. They would be inside a narrow plastic pipe that would protect them from friction. The pipe would be hung from the center of a set of horizontally rotating turbine blades made from halves of one gallon water jugs.

The coils could be constructed to hang on an aluminum screen that encircles the central magnet-filled, and rotating pole. Not to give too many details, the point of this entry is the idea that as the wind increases, the magnet pole would not only rotate faster, but also be pulled upwards among the coils so that at its peak velocity the wind would raise the magnets up and off the optimal geometric points. This would reduce the production of electricity when the wind is potentially producing too much force for safe operation.

If this would work, it could negate the need for expensive voltage controllers and allow simple fuses to protect against a catastrophic meltdown of wire insulation.

Of course I will keep working on this idea. The top and bottom of the connections to the blade drive and potential anchor are perhaps the weak points of this design and I have a few ideas to mitigate weaknesses at those points, but perhaps not enough ideas yet. I think I should actually try and build this one.

The magnets would have spacers between them, btw. Styrofoam. And the pipe could have another pipe around it with dryer sheets inside to prevent static build-up, perhaps.

Magnetic Flux Geometries

Consulting the K&J Magnetics flux geometry graphics for my set of 16 X 3 = 48 cylindrical magnets, plus the pounds of lift for Case 1, Case 2, and Case 3, I find that my ideas for generating electricity are wanting -- in other words, inadequate. I keep not wanting to believe K&J Magnetics' graphics, but I cannot afford to throw away the one 10 lb roll of magnetic wire on a project that their testimony says won't work as well as I had hoped that it would work.

So, now I have Plasti-Goop and string attached to 16 groups of three cylindrical magnets. I wonder if I could salvage those somehow? Clearly, the best configuration is to wrap coils as tightly as possible around spinning magnets placed on a central pole, if the amount of magnetic flux versus turns of wire is to be maximized, given limited resources.

Even the idea of multiplying flux by stacking magnets is wrong. One does not increase flux lines, but rather, possibly merely increases the distance that the existing number of flux lines can project from the ends of the poles of a stack of magnets. 

Please keep in mind that I report the above observations because I studied K&J Magnetics reports on their website, rather than actually building the whole idea from real materials. This is because I cannot afford to purchase materials such as magnets -- especially at current prices -- and have them fail.

Farm Show Magazine Reports

Farm Show Magazine; 30-Year Anniversary Edition cost me $15 at Tractor Supply and has two wind power designs on page 109.

"Wedge-Shaped Windmill Requires Much Less Wind" is why I bought it. Fred Brammeier is shown next to his patented design. Its use of hydraulics seems to solve the variable wind speed problems, but he plans to make his design much bigger. As it is, I do not think that would be wise. The design presents too high of a profile to attach it to a building because it would rip off the roof in a wind storm. However, I think the turbines could be attached to the corners of buildings rather easily.

"Build You Own Windmill" is wonderfully the type of design that can be built from "scrap or off the shelf parts," says Peter Williams. It pumps water rather directly. No intermediate step of making electricity here. It is so simple and so workable! Sulman and Williams are Australian, and "Sulman has posted a wealth of information on the windmill at his website, including plans and photos." His contact is listed as "," so I will go check out southcom.

Little White "Lanterns"

I go shopping in hardware stores and most recently in our new JoAnn Fabrics -- which is a bit like a carnival or bazaar, rather, for all its many and wondrous sights and gadgets. I pay particular attention to items on sale.

Yesterday, the form of a set of objects intrigued me, AND it was on sale! A boxed set or string of palm-sized, round, electric, white lanterns was still a bit too pricey, but it fell within my budget. I should get you a picture. Of course it was made in China.

The form was correct for housing my little screen cages that I have been building. These cages will hopefully help me to generate electricity. The lanterns turned out to NOT have ferrous metal in them! Yay! With magnets rotating inside them, if the wire frames had been ferrous, they would have been not so useful.

They are a bit big, but I could use them on the outside....

So anyway, now I am pondering the interface between the rotating centers and the cages. The rotating centers need to be able to move an inch or more from true center while gently nudging the cages along with the center so everything will stay in relative alignment without tearing the cages apart.

This is a tricky wicket.


As I am planning on building my screen "coils" for my wind powered electricity generator -- test -- I find myself worrying about installing Ground for the circuit. And, finally, I realize I have set up my whirligig next to a tall tree that is connected to the base of a hill as well as being a few feet from power lines at its topmost branches.

What was I thinking? Was I thinking?

Oh yes. I was thinking about how in winter the air flows downhill, across this spot, not about environmental static or power that could forcefully intrude upon this spot.

Similarly, I had recently considered that if a family bought our house, who had a couple young children, the swing set could be used if its uppermost poles were very forcefully anchored, and not thinking about the swing set's proximity to a tree. This lightening rod effect of trees -- which are grounded by their roots and partly why they attract lightening -- makes this spot particularly dangerous. Although, from what I have seen about lightening along our creek and by our house, lightening is more attracted to the trees by the power pole transformer and trees by the creek.

So, as I am considering installing two grounding rods, I wonder exactly where the best places to put them in the ground is. By the creek? Certainly one would help there because we have had little fingers of electricity run along our back wall between the power pole and trees by the creek and the grounding rod that we have grounding our electricity before it enters the inside of the house.

Our microwave has a bit of gnarling in its display as lasting evidence of these little fingers of lightening attacking our back wall. Luckily, the microwave comes before the kitchen sink on the path to the fuse box. The microwave also came just before the dishwasher, too, thank God.

So anyway, a ground would also be nice to have on our back porch where I would like to do some generator experiments. Also, I suppose, the ground for the swing set might better come closer to the tree, rather than to be on the end of the swing set that is away from the tree....

Perhaps three grounding rods, then. I wonder how much they cost? Maybe I could combine two, but I am not fond of laying any wires across the yard. Oh yes. One could travel through a drain pipe, if only I could find the near end of the pipe. Oh yes. Again. There is more than one drain pipe, and I know exactly where it comes up....
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