WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog

Manufacturing Protocols

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!

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....

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....

Decoupling Turbulence 2

I am discovering now why 99% of windmills have horizontal shafts when generating electricity:  turbulence is not as much of a problem for horizontal shafts as it is for the vertical  -- unprotected -- shafts. Not only the wind blows the vertical shafts sideways directly, but also the blades are blown sideways, and these are attached to the shaft so that their sideways motions also affect the shaft sideways.

I have decided to build the narrower turbine blade levels to reduce sideways motion, besides hanging the pole from a longer tether, broken up by a series of hoops at the top, plus anchoring the center pole at the bottom. I am still toying with other methods for transferring torque or turning force from the blades to the center pole -- other than hanging the pole from the top cross chains.

Also, I keep working on ideas for using aluminum screen in the coils around the central, rotating magnets that are stacked with like poles facing each other within the center pole. Specifically, I am trying to imagine the best manufacturing protocols for making these, wiring them together, and protecting them from the weather and from friction.

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.

Dear Diary

1.  Household projects have kept me hopping lately -- most notably my decision to fix a leaky faucet that has been dripping constantly for months. Our plumbing and house is perhaps 40 to 55 years old so sometimes plumbers come out to fix it without the proper parts being available and STILL charge $90 per visit. I had enough of that, and so, I decided to stick with it until I could understand and fix it myself. Either that or replace it....

2.  A day or so ago we had blustery winds that got our largest whirligig twirling briefly up to 30 RPM. So, I have been working toward calculating the best coil turn ratio, given that I will have 16 sets of magnets versus 48 coils, per RPM.

3.   Also I started looking into the number of flux lines per set of magnets. I was astonished to find that K&J Magnetics spec sheets do not increase the number of magnetic flux lines when the number of magnets in a stack is increased. K&J also depicts the geometry of the flux lines to not include a completely 90 degree, perpendicular flux coming from the pole ends of diametrically magnetized cylindrical magnets. I do not understand this because my magnetism detectors slam into the perpendicular when brought opposite to the middle of each pole.

4. Also trying to work out the logistical geometry of winding a set of 16 alternating and connected coils off a single supply spool of insulated wire. This task is surprisingly complicated. But, hey. It keeps me off the streets, as they say....

Magnet Rotor Interim Steps

I decided to try to waterproof the tops of the magnet-strings-tape sets, using a black goop. (I did not know it was black until I opened the can of Plasti-Dip.) Consequently, I needed someplace to stand each set of three columnar magnets so its goop top could dry in peace. The logical place was to stick each column to the angelfood cake pan innards. What resulted is what I can call "A Bad Hair Day."

So what we have pictured above are the magnets from Option 1 Magnet Rotor, stuck to the base of Option 2 Magnet Rotor, drying in the wind so to speak, lol.

I spent some time last night while Jurassic Park played on, trying out a variety of knots in preparation for tying the strings on each end of the magnet columns to two yellow plastic hoops.

I measured the yellow plastic hoop multiple times, approximating lengths for segments successively, until I came up with the following set of linear measurements applied to a round base:

Diameter of hoop, center-to-center of its flat sides: 37.5 cm. Radius = 18.75 cm. The square sides = 26.3 cm. Halving the square sides = 14.3 cm. Halving the halves gives 7.25 cm for each of the 16 sides that result from placing 16 columnar magnets spaced evenly around the middles of the perimeters of the hoops. I suppose the difficulty was translating straight sides from radians, but I finally managed to make physical fits for 4, 8, then 16 sides.

I have yet to measure the 1 to 1.1 cm gaps between the strings, on the hoops, so I know where exactly to make the holes in the hoops. I am going to start with an awl punch or auger to begin the holes....

Oh yes. I almost forgot. I made a decision about Option 2. I am going to go with 6 hefty magnets instead of trying to fit 8 of them onto the base. This may also make some sense regarding the seemingly standard 12 magnets to 9 coil ratio, although, since 6 is half of 12, 4.5 coils is not an immediately apparent possibility, lol. However, the normal geometric arrangement is for the poles to face the coils. In this case we have the poles sideways, giving twice as many poles to play with....

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....

Twirligig Sizes and Alternate Magnet Geometry

A couple of storms later still sees the larger gig spinning faster in 2-3 mph wind than the smaller gig, yet the larger does not spin out of control -- electricity generator wise -- in the faster winds.

Since the narrower gig is more convenient for hanging in less space, I will have to build a second level for it to give it another chance. Even a third level would be OK, making it 3/4 the size of the larger, two-level gig.

As for magnet geometry in generating electricity, I find the two-tiered, angel food cake pan centers make for some very complicated, difficult fabrication protocols. I have not yet figured out how to get the center, fixed, coil level placed at the proper elevation. This problem is so vexing that I still wish to create a different magnet geometry in order to bypass the problem.

To this end, I am working on placing the magnet stacks on their sides so that the longer stacks will push their flux further outside the diameter of the angle food cake pan center, and coils could be placed vertically around the perimeter. This circular and vertical placing of coils could be raised and lowered much more easily than a fixed central platter lying between two levels of magnets.

I find a stack of six magnets will push flux some 3.5 centimeters, which is a goodly amount of space for cutting many turns of coils....

Also, I imagine it would be possible to warp the coils to accommodate the swinging of the magnet rotor due to natural wind forces -- forces which are ameliorated at least partly by attaching the central pole to a central set of hanging chains, and letting the turbine blades swing almost separately.

Shower Rebuild Project and Crystal Research

Working again on our shower rebuild after many moons of cogitation on that problem of new wall portions being thicker than old sections, and how to deal with that soon-to-be-newly-created edge between old and new tile, I decided to sand down the boards behind the walls. Sanding down the walls is not so difficult with a DeWalt sander, except that in so small of a space I end up with air that is filled with a sort of liquified wood.

I had to bring out the big guns, so to speak, for air quality issue resolutions. A hooded sweatshirt, bandana and face mask; then, using a vacuum whose motor was outside the bathroom, I slowly worked my way toward the shower, trying to suck as much of the polluted air with the vacuum as possible. I have a Rainbow vacuum, by the way, which has a water tank to collect dirt, etc. and the tank is then dumped onto the compost pile, rather than the normal vacuum that -- I feel -- creates too much dust.

So anyway, that project is what I will work on most today. Last evening I found an article from some Taiwanese university people: "Preparation of Barium Strontium Titanate Powder from Citrate Precursor" by chen-Feng Kao and Wein-Duo Yang of the Applied Organometal Chem. journal, Volume 13, pages 383-397 (1999).

This article was intriguing because the idea of getting strontium from a citrate powder to use in growing perovskite crystals seemed promising. However, not far into the introduction, the article complains of environmental hazards of production.

Still, I find so many articles using metals other than copper -- with its nitric acid requirement -- that I continue to hope some reasonably available metal will turn up for the crystalization process. Calcium is very available, lol....

At the Day Counter, Inc. website I found the Capacitance factors for calculating capacitance given K -- the dielectric constant, etc. Next I need to find the formula, again, to see ratios of voltage potentials to capacitance, I think. The Day Counter, Inc. engineering services website, by the way, has a supposed link to other electrical formulas, but it turns out to actually be linked to an advertisement for their services.

Dielectric Constants and Perovskites

More reading. This time I went in search of "dielectric constant of perovskite" on Google and found a cornucopia of info. Apparently researchers have been testing tons of varieties of "perovskite structure" possibilities, substituting lots of different elements along the chains. One Google citation also quoted a particular strain of perovskite structure as having a dielectric constant of "over 1000" in thin film arenas, but these have "high breakdown" problems. That is, they break down when DC voltages exceed 22.

The patent application is online, but I have no way of copying this link, I think, on Mozilla Firefox. Wait a minute. I've seen "history" lists in Mozilla. []

Anyway, here are two headers for this patent application:

Perovskite material with anion-controlled dielectric properties, thin film capacitor device, and method for manufacturing the same
EP 2563720 A1 (text from WO2011135439A1)  Abstract   A crystalline perovskite crystalline composite paraelectric material includes nano-regions containing rich Nanions dispersed in a nano-grain sized matrix of crystalline oxide perovskite material, wherein (ΑΒ0) - (ΑΒ0Ν). A represents a divalent element, B represents a tetravalent element, y satisfies 0.005< γ≤1.0, l-α satisfies 0.05<1-α<0.9, and l-α is an area ratio between the regions containing rich N anions and the matrix of remaining oxide perovskite material. Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)

Publication number
EP2563720 A1
Publication type
Application number
Publication date
Mar 6, 2013
Filing date
Apr 28, 2011
Priority date
Apr 28, 2010
Also published as
Export Citation

The search that I made gave many pages of citations. The above patent application was #8 on page 3 of the search results. I will continue on up the list from this bottom of page 3, once I have made some progress on taxes and need a break, lol....

I vaguely recall reading that the above patent applicant (Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.) claims their compound, manufactured by their process, can reach 30 volts, DC, before breakdown occurs. This is a nano-thickness thin film, mind you. I have no idea how greater thickness increases durability. I was not trying to make a thin film -- just a high tech capacitor.

Recent Activities

I spent some time watching YouTube presentations on how nitric acid can be made in a lab. I learned that nitric acid is the only way to dissolve copper. Copper is one of the ingredients for making perovskite crystals -- a compound reported to have perhaps the highest capacity for holding a charge.

Since I do not have a lab and am not a chemist, I do not like what I saw on the videos. In other words, I am not likely to attempt such a procedure, even though nitric acid might be gleaned from relatively common fertilizers. My husband, who actually got a Bachelor's in Chemistry before becoming a psychologist, said that it would be easier to just buy the nitric acid.

And since making nitric acid calls either for hydrochloric or sulfuric acid in part of the steps, I would have to buy one of those other acids, anyway, which still have costs of material, storage, and handling costs. For now, distilled water is my capacitance fluid of choice.

I continue to experiment in my mind with "potential" geometries and materials for generating electricity by rotating materials against other materials. Currently I am concentrating on using two negatively leaning materials rubbing each other in as much air as possible in order to gather and transfer positive ions onto a conductor that would feed those ions to the negative side of a battery.

Reverse everything, and you have the positive side of the battery, supply. The next trick is to make sure I can consistently generate voltages in excess of 12 volts in order to overcome the battery's charge so the electrons and ions will flow into, rather than out of the battery.

I also just finished another Year's Best SciFi book, although this time on Kindle -- my first book read on Kindle -- and am now reading an electricity circuits primer. It's been 22 years since I graduated with a two-year Electronics Servicing Certificate and I have been noticing some rough edges to my knowledge of details. Sometimes when reading more advanced works, some of the simplest study questions have stumped me, so back I go to basics.

I uploaded several background books on electricity and electronics onto my Kindle reader....

Dear Diary

3-Day Weekend for Martin Luther King's Birthday celebrations.

Went to see Jack Ryan yesterday. The movie sort of knits the present with the past regarding attitudes toward Russia, Middle East conflict -- Afghanistan and Syria, especially -- and our alliance with China to oppose Russia, although, cyber security is also a biggy in this movie. Fighting global terrorism necessitates fancy digital footwork, too, in this movie.

Spent some time also shopping and downloading from Kindle store, including, how to write a kindle book, as well as how to make $$ with a YouTube video -- subjects near and dear to my heart....

Also spent much time perusing the Dielectric Constant List of lots of compounds. Wouldn't you know it, but the punchline came at the very end. I suppose it just didn't register with my "wittle pea brain" till the end of all that work, that distilled water has a very high dielectric constant. Never mind sulfuric acid and lead acetate, etc. All those pollutants have no place in green inventions such as I am trying to devise. Actual batteries not withstanding....
Buying a gallon or 2 1/2 gallon jug of distilled water could provide all the capacitance required. Who knows?

I also purchased some review materials for electronics cheap from the Kindle store, so I have plenty to read....

Still working out ideas for generating electricity using static and wind power combined with geometry and capacitance, so, you could say that I often have "Designing prototypes" working in the background, and in the foreground during e-cig breaks....

Dear Diary

Watching Robot Combat League on Syfy with George Lucas and his daughter. This just came on our TV as I sat down to make this entry.
Readers of this blog will have to pay attention to the links at the left of the page for earlier info and journal entries, besides the "Older" link at the end of each page of this blog/journal.
I just started Spring Cleaning officially today, even though I still work on ideas for engineering both the manufacturing processes for wind powered electricity generators -- as described earlier -- plus my other big project which is rebuilding one of our showers that sprang serious leaks more than a year ago. I did not know the shower was leaking because we have a clay floor on the crawl space under it. Clay absorbs lots of water, especially with the heating ducts running through the crawlspace, drying it out.
So anyway, I have been too busy to post many entries lately, what with trying to find a job on top of regular housework and cooking.
I took a little time off to read Michael Crickton's Airframe yesterday and enjoyed it. I also rather enjoyed Dead Man Down at the movies although both works of art revealed some rather disturbing truths about our society. Airframe turned out to have much info about airplanes as well as TV news productions, while Dead Man Down shows how some gangs can take over whole buildings, as well as making a case for vigilantiism. As few people were in the theater when I went to that movie I wonder if this will be another dark horse that people eventually discover.
I got seeds for lemon balm mint plants plus a bag of soil to start them in. I am going to try another experiment, this time in organic gardening. I will try to repel spider mites by planting lemon balm around the bases of most of our fruit trees. The Bartlett Pear doesn't seem to need any help, btw.
On the generator fabrication front I keep going back to trying to figure out how to coat aluminum wire with insulation while winding a coil. I am working on a design for a machine that will do this, but it would have to stop after each layer of windings to let the coating dry.
Sorry I am so busy, but for newcomers, there are approximately 50 pages worth of material to read or view for their pictures, at least, so happy viewing while I try get caught up with all my necessary maintenance projects.

100 Ounces

The 3/4 inch gap between the underside of the 14 inch wok lid and the outside of the red plastic bowls equals 100 fluid ounces. I measured this by pouring Play Sand from Quikcrete into the gap and vibrating the form for what seemed like long enough. The Play Sand is fairly fine, btw, and yellow rather than white.

I had been imagining having to find a source of white pebbles to mix with white sand and white Portland Cement to give the whitest generator housing or at least the basis for the most vibrant colors. However, my sand is yellow, so I will have to take that into account when planning coloring the generator housing.

Now I will have to figure out the proportions of sand-to-rock-to-cement and guess at the amount of water or other liquid required to net 100 fluid ounces of mixture -- at least -- in order to fill the mold to make the cover for the generator housing.

Three quarts plus four ounces are (32 X 3) + 4, btw.

I also had put the place mats back along the inside of the largest orange pot before pouring in the Play Sand. It is a tight fit between the edge of the wok and the orange pot, so I did not have to tape the place mats. Little bulges in the mats are smoothed down by the weight of the filler material.

Back I go to the Concrete Crafts: Making Modern Accessories for the Home and Gardenby Alan Wycheck, from Stackpole Books. It might be copyright 2009 but the Library of Congress call number ends with 2010: TT910.W93 2010. I should check out that area of our library shelves to see if anything else useful for concrete casting sits there waiting for me to find it, lol.
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