Turquoise Energy Ltd. News #126
covering November 2018 (Posted December 3rd)
Lawnhill BC Canada
by Craig Carmichael

www.TurquoiseEnergy.com = www.ElectricCaik.com = www.ElectricHubcap.com = www.ElectricWeel.com

Month In Brief (Project Summaries etc.)
 - Milling Trouble - New Chemie Batteries - A Better conductive Paint - Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Etc.

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
  - America at the Crossroads: Restart and Fresh Progress, or a New Dark Age? - NO MORE WARS! NO MORE VIOLENCE AGAINST SYRIA! - "Proportional Representation" and the Third Stage of Democracy - The Exponential Function & Global Growth - More California Fire Oddities - Qualifying to Run for Office - CIA: Rogue from Day One - Coffee Roasting - ESD etc.

- Project Reports -
Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems
* Just a bit of work on the reluctance motor

Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects
* Carmichael Mill Handheld Bandmill (more operating than building this time) - Bonus Tip: stack firewood under a tree to dry
* Recycling Scrap HDPE (or UHMW, or PP?) Into Useful- (millable) Shapes - plus: Who needs to Have a Kitchen Stove?

Electricity Generation
* VAWT Designs: A bewildering variety of blades, vanes, shapes and designs. What's really best?
* Magnetic Flipping HE Ray Energy?
* A Water Wheel Hydro Power Project

Electricity Storage - Turquoise Battery Project (Mn-Zn, Ni-Zn or Pb-Zn in Oxalate electrolyte)
* Conductive Polyurethane Paint: Painted Copper MnO2 Pocket Electrode - New MnO2-Zn cell tests

November in Brief

It seems a picture of me with the Nissan Leaf made the Haida Gwaii Observer
newspaper's article on the Swiilawiid Energy Symposium at the end of September.

   It always seems I have more projects than time to work on them. OTOH lately I was getting some lumber milling done with my "Carmichael Mill" handheld bandmill. -- part of September and much of October up until the first week of November. And I'm going to want the lumber if I decide to put walls on the roof over the travel trailer.

Sawing up a cant of wood (6" x 1.5" boards x 12') Nov. 7

   It was working great until the gear teeth in the Ryobi skillsaw that was powering it wore out. There's no way to know that the grease was essentially gone inside the 'gear box'. Otherwise I'd have regreased it earlier. Skillsaws are quieter than chainsaws, but they're still so noisy you don't hear any clues. So milling came to a halt for most of the month until I got another motor - another skillsaw. And then it stayed halted because the weather wasn't very nice, so I didn't bother to fix the mill until late in the month. And then I was out of sharp bands. I started in on adapting the band sharpener, but as I feared I didn't get the new offset cam bolt hole in the right place - twice. It sort of worked on December 1st. The sharpened band cut better than dull, but not well. On December 2nd I made a change and it was better.

   On the 7th I started on "clean energy" projects again. I've lost track of the timeline after that, but here are the projects:

New Chemie Batteries - A Better conductive Paint?

   Leonardo sent me a link to a site where someone showed how to make conductive ink with graphite powder in gum arabic. The application to battery making was spoiled by the fact that gum arabic is water soluble, but right at the end of his video he remarked that if one wanted a waterproof ink one might try a similar thing with polyurethane paint. That seemed like a great idea. My quart of yellow PU paint was "water clean up" and could be thinned with water, but after it dried it was waterproof. I made a copper electrode pocket, then painted it with the PU paint after mixing in some conductive carbon black and thinning it. To my surprise, while it clogged the perforations in the pocket when I painted it on, they seemed to all open up again as it dried. It came out quite thin in most areas, kind of like an ink. One could see the copper undertone beneath. It's probably almost ideal, and easier than the osmium doped film. Then I filled it with MnO2 salvaged from dry cells, and crimped the edges with a hammer and screwdriver while pressing it flat in the hydraulic press with only a couple of tons of pressure. Somehow these little jobs to make it were spread over much of the month.
   Then I made another zinc electrode (started in September). This time I cleaned it in solvent to be sure there was no chloride left on it after etching it in ferric chloride. I sprinkled just a bit of zinc powder inside the pocket to help ensure there was something like enough to match the 22 amp-hours or so of the MnO2.
   I put them together and filled the cell, and did a couple of other things after that. It was better made, but it didn't behave much differently than with the previous electrodes. So I started to think it must be the zinc side that was the main problem. But why? I thought zinc electrodes were pretty much foolproof. The month ended with the questions still unanswered.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Etc.

   I started studying the VAWT idea again. I hadn't been impressed with the "wind scoop" vane profile performance on a VAWT. What was really the best vane shape? I saw a video, a youtube suggestion, of a VAWT with 8 straight vanes mounted at 45°. It seemed to turn excitedly in what the maker said was a 1 meter per second breeze. It looked like it was turning backward compared with what I expected. I looked up a few more and "V" shaped vanes seemed like a good idea, which I tried out.
   I also had an idea to use vanes - airfoils - shaped like venetian blinds similar to my water wheel idea from a couple of years ago... and then to make them flat on the inside from log outside cuttings or "plywood peeler" boards, with a profile of a thin  |) . If the angle was 45° I could cut spoke pieces at that angle, screw them to the "spokes" in my center assembly, and screw the vanes, flat or "|)", to those. That too seemed like a simple thing to do to see what would happen. But since the whole VAWT idea seemed more and more like an unproductive diversion, I turned to other things.

   I had contacted a couple of people in October about support for the tidal flow power unit. Neither replied. Probably I'm remiss in not trying a few more people, but it seems to me I've been here before. I set it aside to work on HE ray energy instead. I could do that without help, and if I could get something to work, it would be the more valuable.

   But then I did a bit more reading. And I thought of Yourbrook Energy's present plan to build an upper and lower reservoir with a hydro turbine between them. Their tidal power unit pumps water directly, and would pump it from the lower to the upper reservoir by tidal power. Then the turbine generates electricity at a rate where the upper reservoir won't run dry at slack tides, providing continual power via energy storage as elevated water.
   I started thinking of all the intermittent energy sources that are not the favorites of power companies. If an electric pump were installed, extra power from any source anywhere on the entire grid could be used to pump water into the upper reservoir, which could then be drawn on demand for power to even out with high load and low production times. If water was running low, there'd be lots of time to warm up another diesel and bring it on line.
   The amount of water needed to make such a system practical needs to be figured out. Eg, it would need at least 16 hours storage if there were a lot of solar panels, only 4 or 5 for tidal, but ideally far more for wind. But if it is practical, it could be a model for other places. For example, in Australia (Queensland?) the power companies were compainlng there was "too much solar", working in the day when demand was low and cutting out just before everyone started making supper, so their generators needed just as much capacity as ever. There a good way to store power even just into the evening hours would make a big difference.

   I made a couple of changes to the "magnetic switching" HE ray unit. I tried it out with essentially no results and went no further.

"Magnetic Switching" HE ray power unit

Reluctance Motor

   Having decided to try welding the "salient poles" onto the rotor (iron powder toroid cores matching the ones on the stator)  I figured I could at least get that done. I thought it went pretty well until I discovered one of them was visibly crooked. It must have caught and "hung up" somehow. I'd have to grind it off and try again.
   So I might as well weld some "optical interrupter" bits or arcs of metal on at the outer rim at the same time next time I get out the welder. So I have to make those first.

In Passing
(Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)

America at the Crossroads: Restart and Fresh Progress, or a New Dark Age?

I have for some time been following the attempt to "drain the swamp" in the USA, on Youtube where real journalists make their real investigative reports to the minority who listen. [X22 Report, SGT Report, USA Watchdog, Dr. Dave Janda, and many others do real political reporting in and on USA.]

   In February 2017 (IIRC), president Trump announced that corruption was a "strange and unusual threat" to the country, of such monumental proportions that he declared it a national emergency. An executive order was signed and further steps would be taken. (You didn't hear this most monumental announcement by none other than the President of the USA!?! Such is the level of corruption within the news media establishment itself that they choose not to mention it, then or any time since. But apparently the corrupt are all scared out of their wits.)

   In fact, steps to fix it were doubtless charted out well before that. It's been said that Trump has the support of the military. What may be closer to the truth is that some high-ups in the military got fed up with fighting wars for the corrupt "status quo" on behalf of the banks, big oil and arms merchants, and they resented Obama's purge of their ranks. They recognized that the top villains were all in cahoots, and were occupying all the high positions of economic and political power sequentially, so that it was impossible for an outsider to be elected to high office and reverse the trend. The highly paid off, corrupt news media (virtually all owned by 6 or so persons and under the direction of the CIA) paints these people in glowing terms without reporting their heinous acts that make Watergate look like a tiny blip, while trivializing and demonizing all their opponents. So the public was mostly lulled to sleep and had - and still has - no idea what was and is going on. (Dec. 2nd: a middle east fleet commander has been "found dead in his residence", and days earlier a government whistleblower's home was raided by the FBI in contravention of whistleblower protection laws - are they getting rid of and intimidating witnesses?)

   How to end it all and save democracy? Rather than stage a divisive military coup that would likely end in civil war and blood in the streets, the military came up with a brilliant plan. They would get an outsider elected, someone with no more love of these people than they had, who could get the whole machinery of the nation behind cleaning it up. They asked Trump, who had never been in politics, to run for president. Some say he had more than their backing: he was chosen by them and his running for president was their idea. I marveled that he got the republican party nomination. When Ron Paul tried in 2008 he drew huge crowds like no one else and won many votes in the first state primaries. The news media pretended he didn't exist. One person came first, others came third and fourth. No one came second.
   The extent of the insider racket was revealed when Jebb Bush, losing in a debate to Trump in the 2016 primaries blatantly said, "Yah, but I'm going to be president and you're not." It was revealed again on election night, when the corrupt TV media personalities, supposedly covering in a fair and unbiased manner a supposedly fair and honest election, were visibly dismayed and almost distraught as Trump won state after state. They wouldn't announce him as winning a state or the election until there weren't enough votes left to swing it even if they were all for Clinton. It was in fact supposed to be all scripted, but somehow it just wasn't going according to the script! And these "unbiased" presstitutes have unceasingly attacked their new president ever since. To them he is just an arrogant oaf who acts solely out of impulse and can do nothing right, who some "useless eater" "deplorables" somehow put into the white house by mistake. What they are most afraid of is real, rule of law justice.
   Notwithstanding that enough people, sensing that all was not as it was being painted out to be, voted for "egoist" outsider Trump given the "queen of corruption" alternative, how did he ever get into the position where he could be voted for? And how does he even get the support of corrupt republicans in the senate? I now expect there must have been much pressure put on various people behind the scenes, probably by military figures and their supporters. No one gets to the white house simply on merit, or achieves anything good while there, without powerful support! It's been half a century since anything much favorable to the hardworking American people has been done by their government.

   But that's just background info. Back to the plot. When Trump announced the national emergency, almost special 500 investigators were put onto the case to get the real scoop on all the corruption - as well as the pedophelia and human trafficking that many of the same people were involved in. They came up with over 60,000 indictments, which remain sealed until the time to make arrests comes. Those are the people who were in complete control of America until the unexpected election result and who are now fighting Trump tooth and nail. At that time, all available forces are to be called out to impose 72 hour martial law and make the arrests. There's the reason Trump has been revamping "gitmo" and some of the closed "for profit" jails. And at least the most treasonous top people if not all of them are evidently to be tried by military tribunal.

   It is suspected by some that the time for the arrests was supposed to have already come. There are so many judges in on the corruption that no move was to be made until some were replaced, and Kavanaugh was confirmed - a majority who would convict the guilty in accordance with rule of law was required on the supreme court. Digging up accusers from under rotten logs who would perjure themselves to accuse Kavanaugh of rape at the most opportune moment was another desperate ploy by the guilty. They hoped public opinion would convict Kavanaugh and force him to step aside. If you were in a position to have to confirm appointment of a judge who you expect will sentence you later for your crimes, wouldn't you try anything to block his appointment?
   With Kavanaugh's confirmation delay the arrests were thus delayed until after the November midterm elections. Score one for the corrupt "deep state!" The more they can delay, the more tricks they can pull to try and weasel out of everything and get back in control. OTOH, the republicans secured their hold on the senate in that election, which plays into the hands of the plan. The house is needed to pass bills, but the senate controls the judiciary. Bills aren't needed to arrest and try people. The judiciary is. So perhaps Trump too decided it would be best to wait until after - and not just to avoid it giving the impression of interfering with the elections.

   [per Dr. Janda interviewed on Silverdoctors, whose father did construction contract work for Trump, but in my own words:] Trump has built a number of very large buildings. If anything goes wrong in one of those, it can be a complete disaster. He asks for all the information, not just the bullet points, and he surrounds himself with talented people who don't hesitate to disagree with him if they think he has something wrong, and he asks many questions. He gathers all the information he can get. His planning is thorough and methodical, and I would presume no foundation is dug until every detail is ticked off as ready.
   Let us hope that is the case here as well. It sounds like such a huge operation could hardly be in better hands.

   Paying for caravans of migrants and criminals to come up from Central America was another corrupt "deep state" tactic. They hoped that the violent agitators among them - probably pushing the women and children in front of them - would rush the border and force the military to respond with violence, perhaps open fire on the crowd. Those would make great video clips for the headline news! What an ogre that Trump is, shooting innocent women and children! Maybe they could get him impeached? Or they would be let through and Trump's policy would be seen as a failure. The media would never let either story die. Realizing what was doubtless intended, putting up barbed wire to prevent people from rushing the border was a good response.

   Having failed so far to murder him or disgrace him, impeachment is definitely on their minds when the new "democrat" (it hurts to have to use such a word to describe dictatorial oligarchs) controlled house opens in January. Any excuse will do.

   And therein is the crossroads. If the arrests aren't carried out before the new year, Trump may be impeached and escorted from the white house in disgrace and the whole plan will be scrapped. If they can further delay the day of reckoning, they may put it off forever. If that happens even the semblance of democracy will soon be dropped. If they restart the wars they are still adamant about in the middle east, the conflict can hardly escape becoming global. In the next article below I speak of one of the current plans. A new dark age will have descended, perhaps with very few people in it - or even extinction of life. (If Clinton had been elected, we might well be there already.)

   But postings by the obviously highly placed "Q" - who may simply the codename mouthpiece for the military and Trump and perhaps not even a single person - indicate that December 5th is going to be a big date, and that "nothing can stop it." But is it the main event? Probably not. It's probably the release of the unredacted documents of illegal and treasonous dealings already demanded: the FISA warrants and a couple of others. But it will be a big step in awakening the American public to how underhanded  the dealings of their elected and appointed officials have been, and thus to helping to prepare them for what is (hopefully) to come.
   If the corrupt are all arrested en masse and thus "the house is cleaned", "the swamp is drained", it doesn't solve all the problems. Without advancing democratic governance to a more evolved status, the swamp would gradually refill and be repopulated by new swamp creatures, or even some of the same ones. And indeed economic collapse, monetary collapse, plagues, famines, climate cataclysms and Earth disasters complete with heavy population reductions are just around the corner regardless. But at least for the time being, when and as those strike, rational people will be at the helm instead of those bringing senseless war, trying to micro-manage and control everyone, and trying to make life as miserable and unfulfilling as possible for everybody.

   I have considerable confidence or at least high hope that the cause will not fail and the light of freedom on Earth will not be suffered to be extinguished for 1000 years. We will be granted the time to evolve our systems to the point where ruthless dictators won't have access to the halls of power, where social continuity, social stability and finally social sustainability can take root and flourish, never ever to be uprooted again.

   How can we help in these monumental dealings over which most of us have no influence or control? Pray for president Trump that he isn't murdered, removed from office, or the plan is otherwise derailed. These are critical times. Anyway there probably won't be much longer to wait.


   This is a special message to certain members of the US/Washington DC "Deep State" and all others involved just in case any may somehow chance across these words and be moved to read them. You know who you are. As many Syrians displaced by your years of ruthless bombing and proxy wars start to return home, and the world starts to breathe a huge collective sigh of relief, I hope and I pray that forces of peace, goodwill and sanity in America will prevail over you.
   But if you should manage to destroy Damascus and mercilessly slaughter people with a nuclear bomb - one and a half million immediately and with millions more even into Iraq and perhaps Iran are doomed to painful, lingering deaths - a collective insanity will surely engulf America. It won't help to have your Israeli puppets carry out the actual deed - your evil designs are already known. Americans and the world have put up with a lot from you and your ilk for a long time, but you will have crossed a vital threshold in the collective consciousness. Do not count on the American public, or the rank and file in your many "security" agencies and your military to continue to take orders from you. Tens of millions of Americans will die in the ensuing confusion and chaos, and a special vengeance will doubtless be extracted on those who are thought to have had anything to do with the heinous act, and perhaps on their families, friends and associates. God Forbid... You May Not Bomb Damascus!

   Pause to consider Judas Iscariot. He was thrilled to betray his fellows imagining great rewards and honors, but after the deed, when he saw the horror of what he himself had done no one had to bring him to justice - in his utter disillusion and despair he killed himself.
   Examine your motives and your prospects. Why are you fighting to restart a potentially globally suicidal war just to enable a gas pipeline across Syria when the gas will soon no longer even be wanted in Europe? H
ow much longer do you expect to delay the common utilization and commercialization of free energy, known for many decades if not over a century and better understood by more and more people each year in our new information age? How much of your greed and ill will do you wish to have paraded on public display at the expense of your own lives, your childrens' lives... and your own immortal soul? How much more of Earth's natural resources do you hope to squander today at the expense of your grandchildren and all future generations? Peace and goodwill, or widespread chaos, death and destruction in America, and personal violent liquidations for yourselves one way or another - what do you want? The whole world is praying that either you change your minds or are removed from positions of influence. Think about it.

The Exponential Function & Global Growth
20 Years ago the world looked rosy: Why are times getting so tough so fast?

I've mentioned overpopulation before. If the population is low enough, isn't there plenty of land, housing and food for everyone? Don't we all live like kings? But if the population is double an "optimum level", then for only 1/4 of the people to have optimum resources for a good life, they need half of everything, leaving the other 75% with the other half - an average of 1/3 of the optimum per person. If it grew to triple the "optimum", the figures get dramatically worse. And thus as population grows there is - or will be, if one doesn't think there is now - fierce competition to live well, damaging the core values of social sustainability: Equality, Growth, Quality of Life, Empathy, Compassion and Love of Humanity... and even Life itself for masses of people comes into in jeopardy.

   I know there are a lot of people who presently don't think the world today is overpopulated, that our problems are strictly social and political. Technology and new energy sources will solve everything. Al Bartlett (1923-2013) was a University of Colorado (Boulder) physics lecturer who laid out the problems of continued uncontrolled growth on a finite planet in terms of simple arithmetic, with real world examples, starting decades ago. Even if eight billion people isn't too many, the presenter shows us how close to the brink we must be. How uncontrolled growth hurts us, how it destroys democracy and cheapens the value of life - which causes the social and political problems.
   When I was young there were less than 3 billion people. That figure was thought excessive by some - "How will we feed them all?" If eight billion people today isn't too many, and if then the population keeps doubling every 40 years, will 16 billion be too many? Many now living will still be here then. In 80 years, will 32 billion be too many? How about 256 billion in 200 years? or 8.192 trillion in 400 - a thousand people for every person today? How many before we are all standing shoulder to shoulder everywhere? At just what level would you expect "the population bubble" to collapse?

The video I watched on Youtube was called:

Arithmetic, Population and Energy - a talk by Al Bartlett

(Search for it.) Bartlett lectured on these topics over 1600 times,
almost to age 90, and a number of videos are available.

   This lecture was in 2002. Perhaps somewhat prophetically for that time he mentioned that he thought that global warming would become the biggest threat. Bizarre weather and climate catastrophes certainly are becoming huge problems for life and food production today, with globally severe crop losses this year and apparently worse to come. And this in spite of the overall increase in heat (especially in the arctic per TE News #109 - the cold temperate winters in some areas are also a result) being somewhat mitigated by the developing solar minimum (a slight reduction in the sun's output over a span of years or decades).
   And there are many other insights in this 75 minute video that illuminate and throw a broader perspective around the problems we are having - and how the less people knew and the less they examined the problems (2002 - especially officials and 'experts'), the more confident they were - and many still are - that all problems could somehow be overcome... without limiting population growth.

   But here is a related thought: When populations get too crowded, diseases strike. That doesn't only apply to human populations. When interior BC forests were logged and replanted with pine trees everywhere (known in farming as "crop monoculture") a normally minor pest, the pine beetle, became a huge epidemic and killed them en-masse, province-wide.
   And once upon a time, potatoes were brought from the Americas to Europe. They were planted everywhere, especially in Ireland where they grew well. With such dense populations of potatoes, a great new food source, the human population grew, but when a potato blight struck it quickly spread everywhere. This caused the "Irish Potato Famine". Over several years millions starved and many millions more emigrated to find food. (Perhaps they were modern history's first mass economic migrants?)
   Today to support humanity's many billions, food crops cover nearly all the planet's arable land. (And today's farming techniques aren't sustainable to start with.) Wheat fields cover the Canadian prairies, and corn farther south in the USA. Is it not possible, even inevitable, that such huge crop monocultures will be hit with a plague or plagues, such as some new strain of "rust" to which the wheat isn't immune, and it will quickly spread over the all those connected fields to everywhere? As in Ireland but on a continental or even global scale, devastation of vital wheat, corn, rice or other major "everywhere" crops will not allow the present much increased human population levels to be supported. As with Selkirk wheat, new strains resistant to the new rust will be found or developed, but today a gap of several years in commercial production will pose a severe problem on top of all our other serious problems.

   To underscore the above written earlier, on the 22nd I saw a Youtube video by "Ice Age Farmer" showing an agro-insurance website where the title was "Ontario Farmers Facing 'Catastrophic' Disease Outbreak in Feed Corn". "DON"(?) mycotoxin had ruined 50% of the crop. This was mentioned among all the other serious to severe global crop losses.
   And a dense urban, hungry populace is one itself susceptible to epidemics. On the same evening (22nd) a "Full Spectrum Survival" news video detailed at least three serious diseases, one of which, Prion Disease, especially might be unstoppable if it gets going. (also mentioned: Ebola is spreading in DR Congo; and H1N1 Swine flu: it kills the healthy as much as the weakened.)
   All these plus climate and geologic cataclysms will reduce the present crowded human population to a much smaller figure in the next two or three decades. Then the term "population management" will become well known and much studied globally for the first time.

Those in the East of North America might perhaps be excused for thinking in the winter that
"global warming" must be a myth and that in fact a "mini ice age" is coming with the solar minimum.
Chaotic as the climate has become, globally there are more "above average" temperatures than
"below average", and recent summers have broken many high temperature records in many lands.

"Proportional Representation" and the Third Stage of Democracy

   The first place I heard of the present British Columbia (BC), Canada provincial referendum on proportional representation was Google ads saying how "great" our present electoral system is, how it "works so well" and how terrible things will happen to us if we change it, from which there would be "no going back". How on Earth could any group with the money and organization to launch an ad campaign be so convinced that the present unfair system that generates so much political and social polarization and trouble works well?, and why would anyone think that if we didn't like something, we would somehow be stuck with it forever?
   But that would seem to be the very situation we have now, stuck with an unfair voting system where somehow all attempts at progress and change have been thwarted for a century! (...like the present federal government's solemn promise for electoral reform during the last election, that was dropped once they won it, with some public meetings about it apparently just to fool the public into thinking things were moving forward for a while and to dilute and wear down the critics. Justin Trudeau, unlike his father Pierre Elliot Trudeau, is proving to be just another "deep state" puppet with no will to lead of his own.)

   Yet apparently only 3 democracies still use the rudimentary and inherently biased toward polarization "first past the post" voting system: Canada, United Kingdom and United States.

   To me the "attack ads" reeked of well funded hypocrisy by vested interests who gain something from the present unfair system: the behind-the-scenes hand of the rich and powerful trying to prevent democracy from working and evolving, here by trying to manipulate the public's opinions through misrepresentation and fear.
   Later I found out that the opposition did indeed consist of some of the very few richest and most powerful figures around BC. Names of the individuals were given. They had tried first to prevent the government from holding the referendum at all by trumped-up court challenges. These failed. So now they have been trying instead to make the BC public afraid to vote for any change. Will it work? Are there so many "sheeple" to be herded back into the pen by the command of their rich "overlords"? We shall see. (If the referendum passes, will there be threats or inducements to the premier and individuals in the government to "forget about it" without enacting it?)

   I admire that the BC government is holding this referendum which they apparently will enact if it passes, and equally how they framed it. Commonly the several options would be presented - there are many opinions on what would be most preferable - and one of the options would be to keep things the way they are. Mark an "X"! This is the same way "first past the post" elections are presently run. Since the various options would "split the vote" of the majority who wanted change, the substantial minority who were afraid of change and were unwilling to open their minds and think about it or choose between systems - and the tiny minority who think they benefit from the way things work now - would win. The more options for change that were presented the more certain it would be that the largest minority of votes would be the one for "no change".

   Instead, it was split into two questions. The first one is: Do you want a proportional representation system: yes or no? This question uses the present "first past the post", "mark an 'X'" question that has to pass - but here it is fair as there are only two options.

   Then the second question is: What kind of proportional representation system do you want? For that the government gave three voting system options. Since the second question only matters if people asked for change, they were free to pose it as a more advanced Choice Ranking ballot. Instead of just marking the "illiterate's 'X'" for one "first past the post" choice, voters rank them 1, 2, 3 - 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. If one choice doesn't have over 50% of the vote, the votes for the least popular choice will be "transferred" to those voters' second choice. Thus the winning choice will have been approved by over 50% of the voters - no more minority choice wins; no more can the less popular choices on a ballot (whichever ones they prove to be) tilt the final balance in favor of one or the other of the most popular.

Third Stage Democracy

   It's great that the premier and the government has decided to hold this referendum. But it is still top down - authoritarian. It has been brought to the people by their government representatives.
   If citizens had a venue for getting together and thrashing out political ideas at a grass roots level, we would long since have addressed this issue and come out with a consensus for a better system - probably better than any of the present proposals. Since it would have come from the whole public-at-large as a single recommendation, it would have been passed by the government - or by the next government that replaced the one that was unwilling to do the public's will. Now that we have the internet, such a social sustainability design team mechanism can come into play in the coming years. At some point such local teams will surely "go viral" as the expression goes.
   When they do, we will be able to start tackling all sorts of issues that can't be dealt with by the top-down approach. Presently local and community issues are subject to national regulations and national decisions from the national leader. Since the national leader doesn't have time to be informed about and deal with local issues all across a nation, they simply are left in limbo. When instead decisions are made at the local level and only feed up to the level that's warranted, they can be appropriately dealt with.

More California Fire Oddities

   One clear thing emerges from the California fires: that much of California is not only even more bone dry than usual, but that it's littered everywhere with kindling to spread any fire out of control, however it starts. especially in high wind conditions. But was this in fact planned in advance, premeditated? I understand that in 2016, with a major wildfire actually burning, California state legislators passed a bill to help to get some of the tinder dry chaparral & brush areas cleared off and make fire breaks to limit damage that might be caused by future fires. It passed both houses unanimously. Governor Jerry Brown vetoed it. This is the same person who probably also ordered a truckload of petitions to be "lost" so there weren't enough of them left to cause an [anti compulsory vaccination?] initiative to be put to a public vote.
   How does he get away with these things? Who is he working for and are the elections that keep binging him back rigged?

   People have noted that a "typical" house fire is about 1100°F. But metals that require much hotter temperatures have melted in recent California house fires. There seems to be remarkably little left.

Unusualities: a house 3/4 demolished and the other 1/4 almost intact?

and a truck, apparently bizarrely burned and the steel door melted?
(hmm... the whole picture seems rather bizarre)

   Oh well, those who get out of California now may be the lucky ones. There are predictions that large parts of Alaska and California will sink into the sea in the upcoming years, Alaska first. The BC coast will suffer too, but not so drastically except in the north near Alaska. But with all the earth movements and rising sea levels there should be plenty of nasty tsunamis and inundations for everyone along the whole Pacific rim and islands.

Qualifying to Run for Office

   A new American congresswoman, Occasio-Cortez(SP?) was asked "What are the three branches of government?" and she couldn't answer it. This must be a new low in American politics. It underscores my idea that one should have to pass some basic tests to qualify to be able to vote, and a bit more in depth to qualify to run for office. I have no doubt that Occasio-Cortez would be capable of passing the tests with a bit of study, but no one should be in government while ignorant of most its basic structures. We aren't even allowed to drive without studying up on and learning the basic rules; why should we allow people to drive the country without the same sort of preparation? (Hmm... the CIA, the FBI and the IRS? ...or are those three "tentacles" of government rather than "branches"?)

CIA: Rogue from Day One

Quoted from a "Zerohedge.com" story Dec. 1:

>--- [begin quote]
One month to the day after President Kennedy's assassination, the Washington Post published an article by former president Harry Truman.

    "I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency, CIA. At least, I would like to submit here the original reason why I thought it necessary to organize this Agency during my Administration, what I expected it to do and how it was to operate as an arm of the President."

Truman had envisioned the CIA as an impartial information and intelligence collector from "every available source."

    "But their collective information reached the President all too frequently in conflicting conclusions. At times, the intelligence reports tended to be slanted to conform to established positions of a given department. This becomes confusing and what's worse, such intelligence is of little use to a President in reaching the right decisions.

    "Therefore, I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have those reports reach me as President without department "treatment" or interpretations.

    "I wanted and needed the information in its "natural raw" state and in as comprehensive a volume as it was practical for me to make full use of it. But the most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions, and I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating."

Truman found, to his dismay, that the CIA had ranged far afield.

    "For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

    "I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue - and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda."

The CIA lies with astonishing proficiency. It has made an art form of 'plausible deniability.' Like glimpsing an octopus in murky waters, you know it's there, but it shoots enough black ink to obscure its movements. Murk and black ink make it impossible for anyone on the outside to determine exactly what it does or has done. Insiders, even the director, are often kept in the dark.

--->[end quote]

   Why is it that time after time, presidents and other public figures only realize or acknowledge the damage they've done after they no longer have any power to influence events or undo what they've done? And the present occupier of the position never takes action to correct the problem either?

Coffee Roasting

Coffee Roasting

   Perhaps some may be interested? It's simple to roast coffee. I buy "green" (raw, unroasted) coffee beans in bulk (at GreenBeanery.ca), and roast them as needed in a hot air popcorn popper. I like a pretty light roast, and it's hard to buy that anywhere. I keep the green beans in a cool place. They keep for ages - I haven't bought any in almost two years and they're still fine. And it's cheaper than buying good coffee in a grocery.


* Coffee. My favorite is "Nicaraguan SHG Fair Trade Organic". "Coffee connoisseurs" have remarked what good coffee it is and where do I get it?
* Popcorn popper (I don't use the lid) - the beans "crack" as they roast but they don't pop out. (For light roast, only a little "cracking". But if it's too light it's hard to grind.
* Coffee container, measuring scoop.
* Minute timer unless you want to stand there and watch (time varies by popper from 2 minutes to 8 and gradually gets shorter for some reason. Since I started (10 years?) I've gone through 3 or 4 poppers.)
* Things to dump the coffee into. It's hot, and it smokes during and after roasting, so it's usually done outdoors.


What is ESD?   Eccentric Silliness Disorder

What causes ESD?   Electrostatic Discharge while having Egg Salad Dinner

When does it strike?   Every Second Day during Easter, September and December

Where does ESD strike?  in Europe, Spain and Denmark, with very isolated cases on Europa, Saturn and Deimos

For more information on ESD, contact your local government branch of the Egregious Sarcasm Department


I Pulled a can of evaporated milk out of the fridge, and dropped it. I grabbed it almost as soon as it hit the floor, but I turned it upright the wrong way so it was upside down and still spilling. (the usual result of a 50-50 chance) Dam, dam, dam dam! Is there any use cursing over spilled milk?


Notice: Owing to changes in regional politics and weather patterns, the name "Saudi Arabia" is henceforth changed to "Soggy Arabia". (Can camels swim?)


Did you know?: Chordless phones can only play one note at a time.

   "in depth reports" for each project are below. I hope they may be useful to anyone who wants to get into a similar project, to glean ideas for how something might be done, as well as things that might have been tried or thought of... and even of how not to do something - why it didn't work or proved impractical. Sometimes they set out inventive thoughts almost as they occur - and are the actual organization and elaboration in writing of those thoughts. They are thus partly a diary and are not extensively proof-read for literary perfection and consistency before publication. I hope they add to the body of wisdom for other researchers and developers to help them find more productive paths and avoid potential pitfalls.

Electric Transport

Reluctance Motor

   While the "piece of pie" shape is probably the best for an axial flux reluctance motor's coils and salient poles, at least the iron powder toroid version which is presently easiest for me to make gives the effect (and better) of steel laminations versus my only "homebrew" alternative, solid steel chunks.

   I thought I was going to make a table for my electronics lab before resuming this project. But there were things to do before setting motor and controller up on a bench, and I was sorry this project was falling behind any sort of schedule.

   I decided to weld the "salient pole" toroids directly to the rotor plate - assuming that would work. It would solve a lot of confusion about how best to do it, while actually being best. But since I don't really know how they're made, it might not work. They kind of look like they're made of sintered together iron particles, but then again they might be glued together with epoxy.
   On the 25th I put them on the lathe and turned/scraped/filed off the epoxy outside coating. Now there was bare metal (if such it was) to weld to. Magnetically the tops should be flush with the top of the rotor, but I'll have them stick up a little to be sure they can be solidly welded into place even if things aren't perfect. (My welding is much less than perfect at best!) I wasn't going to weld indoors, so what I needed next was a nice day. Those were getting rare near the end of November. I was already waiting for one to resume lumber milling. But one finally came along and I did the welding. Unfortunately one is crooked and will have to be ground off and redone.

   The rotor would have to be raised up by the amount the toroids stuck down, and I figured out what to do about that: I would put another "weld-on hub" the same size but with a slightly larger center hole onto the bottom plate of the motor. (I even have it!) I'll turn it on the lathe to get the exact height and fit for the bottom of the 70 mm thrust bearing. The outer needle bearing can stay in its original place.

   I could still use the sameunipolar motor controller. I had it all figured out... oh, wait... I have to make some new optical interrupter, four slots and four solids around the outside rim somehow. But soon I had a plan for that too. It involved some more welding and a bit of grinding. Oh, and new mountings for the optical interrupters. And once it's turning, a new outside rim and top.

Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects

Carmichael Mill ("Bandsaw Alaska Mill")

Sawing up a cant of wood (6" x 1.5" boards x 12') Nov. 7

   As I said last month, I had taken footage to make a video about the bandmill. I made it and here is the link:


   The mill was cutting well with remarkably little trouble. But somehow the blade always seemed to have trouble cutting the last board or two off a cant. I cut one large one on the 7th and 8th,
getting nine 12 foot 2"x6"s and one 8 foot from it. Again it seemed the band was dull by the last couple, and they were hard going. Well, the band had cut over 50 square feet of surfaces. Perhaps that's as good as it gets?
   But I figured that cutting at the bottom, as there was less "cant" remaining in some sections than the material in the board being cut off, the remainder under the board often wasn't very stiff and was bending and closing up the cut. Perhaps that was why it always seemed dull by the time it was at the bottom? However, putting wedges in the cut behind the saw only seemed to be a partial solution.
   This time (11th - being out of new bands anyway) I decided to try using the same seemingly dull one to start the next cant. It went okay if a bit slowly. But by the time I finished there seemed to be some vibration. I started on the second board but it was getting worse. At first I thought it must be the bearing in the saw. Then I discovered that the bolt holding the pulley on was loose. But tightening it didn't help. I took the saw inside and found the bolt was again or still loose. Again tightening it didn't help. Perhaps it came loose again because of the vibration rather than being the cause of it.

Motor Madness

The spindle of the saw came off with four bolts, and I saw that a small gear on the motor turned a large one for the blade. I thought it was probably the gears. They looked fine to me, although there didn't seem to be any grease left on the teeth. I ran the saw motor without the spindle and it seemed smooth. Apparently with some kind of mental disconnect, I took the smoothly running motor apart. I couldn't get the bearing off that end by pounding on it, but I did somehow make it not turn smoothly. Something seemed to be hitting something five times per rotation. The plastic fan had five "spokes" on the side I could see, and a sheet metal plate wasn't sitting quite flat. Probably it was hitting five more spokes on the other side.
   Then I inserted a screwdriver through the fan blades and tried to pound out what I thought would be a sealed bearing that held the spindle. I succeeded in punching a hole in the piece of metal, and then pushing an integrated needle bearing race out a bit. The needle race was a separate piece, and it seemed all it needed to get it out was some little hook under it.
   The motor didn't seem to need to be apart so I put it back together except for the spindle and ran it again. It was as always so noisy anyway I couldn't even hear if there was any extra clicking from the spokes. (And since I didn't have the gear connected, apparently all that noise was just from the brushes and the fan.)
   Getting a hook under the bearing race didn't work. But the bearings on the spindle seemed smooth enough... I put the spindle back on, and it seemed to run just as rough as before. Finally I took the spindle inside and looked at the gear through a strong magnifying glass. There, it did become obvious it was quite worn. The gear teeth were pitted and worn to a pointed shape at the outside on the driven face. All that hard milling, plus (seemingly) no grease. If I continued the teeth would surely fail completely, probably destroying the gear on the motor as well.

   So once again, milling came to a halt to await parts for the mill. True, milling could go faster if the mill had a little more power, but the idea of changing everything that had been working so well and putting my Electric Caik motor on just wasn't very appealing. Doubtless I could order a whole new saw. Could I order just the gear or spindle or output shaft assembly?

   The next morning I decided to give up on the idea of fixing the saw. If I found the part and replaced the one gear, there was no guarantee the other wasn't too worn as well. I've tried fixing angle grinders with worn or broken gears. It's usually not worth it. I went on line to Home Depot and as I hoped I found the 13 amp Ryobi saw for 60$. But I also found a 15 amp Ryobi saw for 90$. One wouldn't think there'd be much difference, but a neighbor had said 15 amps would be better - and there it was: "a little more power". A very little bit more; 15%. But if it would make milling go even 10% faster, or make an extra inch width easier to cut, would it not be worth it? So I went for the extra.
    At the same time, I had been thinking for a long time that it would be nice to have a handheld power planer. The thickness planer was great as long as the boards were under 12.5" wide. A wider slab can't be done at all, nor with the 6" jointer. There was a Bosch planer with "reversible micrograin carbide blades" for "a mere" 170$. and extra blades for 25$. It also had adjustable guides on the side. So with a straight edged guide one could plane a wide slab, doing one straight 3.25" row at a time. (Well, hopefully that would work - I've never used a handheld planer before or seen whether the edges of the joins would dovetail smoothly.)
   They sent them UPS! I figured I'd have them before Christmas. When I mentioned the problem to someone he gave me an old Mikita skillsaw with no brushes and a bent blade guard.
   But actually the new saw (only the saw) soon arrived. I did other things until the 26th. That day (finally) was nice out, so I drilled a couple of bolt holes and mounted the new Ryobi. The next problem immediately reared its head: I had no more sharp bands. I cut into the 16' cant and it didn't go well at all. I changed to another band that looked better. But it was nothing like new. I eventually got to the end with a lot of zig-zagging and the band heating up. It was a nice but hard won 1" x 8" x 16' board. I wasn't about to try for another one. Whether the 15 amp motor was better than 13 amps I couldn't tell.

   I wanted to see if the old Ryobi brushes would fit in the (13 amp) Makita. It would be nice to get a skillsaw out of all this! But I didn't find the time.

To set this 24"x8"x16' cant on edge I had to use a big "jackall" jack

When a band gets dull enough, sawdust sticks to the teeth.

I eventually got to the end of the board.

   After that one, I got the band sharpener working, first try not the best, second try not so bad (but can probably be improved).

   Bonus Tip: Someone told me that firewood stacked against a tree would stay relatively dry, because the rain tends to drip down at the outside of the branches, not near the trunk. My firewood shed being full, I decided to try it out.

Handheld Bandmill Troubleshooting Guide

I figure if there are going to be saws or kits for sale, it needs a troubleshooting guide, so here is the start of it:

Band comes off the Wheels:
* Wheel alignment is off
* Band tension is too low
* Sawdust buildup on band or wheels (This is why the wheels are now slick UHMW!)

Band slips:
* Band tension is too low

Saw is jammed in the cut:
* Back it up 1/8". The teeth get stuck in wood at the end of the cut.
* Put in a wedge(s). The wood could be closing up on the kerf.
* The cut has gone off line and may be "bowed" inside the board, owing to a dull band, insufficient band tension, tilting the saw while cutting, lifting of the back end of the saw, or wood irregularities (esp. knots). Back it off several inches or until a position where it turns freely.
* At or very near the end of the cut, the top board can drop down onto the band. If the teeth are visible across the end, it may be possible to pull the saw out or to pull the board back away from the saw. Otherwise, a wedge or two in the cut behind the saw may be needed. (Putting wedges in before reaching the end of the cut can help it finish smoothly.)

The board(s) have bend(s) in the cut at the point where a wedge is being inserted:
* Don't wedge the cut open too wide.

Band Gets Dull Fast
* Steel band teeth don't stay sharp as long as carbide saw blade teeth - Relatively frequent band changing and sharpening is a normal part of steel tooth bandsaw milling. Expect to make under 100 square feet of cut surfaces before changing or sharpening the band, depending on species being cut and other factors such as where it was grown. An automatic band sharpener is recommended if there is a lot milling to be done. There are plans for homemade sharpening jigs on Youtube etc.
* Cooling water has run out during a cut or is not flowing fast enough to keep blade cool. The sponge in the water system gets clogged and the sawdust, etc, needs to be occasionally squeezed out. Badly overheated blades may dull almost immediately even if resharpened, if the tempering/hardening has been lost from the tooth tips owing to heat. (This also applies to overheating the tips during sharpening, as with using a "dremmel" tool running at a high speed.)
* Minerals or sand in bark and or wood. It is best with some species, or trees grown in some locations (eg, near a sandy beach in a windy area) to remove the bark before cutting. My method is to use a flat blade shovel, with the end sharpened on a grinder. Hammer and chisel has also been used. Debarking may be easier if the tree has been down a while.
* Nails, lag screws or other metal pieces in the wood. This happens mostly but not exclusively with trees near houses, where they may get clotheslines attached, be used as a fencepost or children may drive nails into them for fun. Later the pieces are forgotten and the tree grows around them. (I've even seen pieces of clothesline wire complete with the pulley, and electrical wires, completely grown into a tree or large limb.) If suspicious, a metal detector or rare earth supermagnet may be tried to detect them, but in my experience results are not usually certain.

Rough Running
* You're cutting into metal?
* Tracking is off.
* Pulley on saw motor is loose.
* Something else is loose or a bearing is bad.
* Gear teeth inside spindle of motor are worn out. Motor needs replacement or repair. (Preferably, occasionally open the four screws and grease it inside while they're still good.)
* Brushes on motor are worn out. (Congratulations on having done so many hours of milling!)

Recycling Scrap HDPE (or UHMW or PP?) Into Useful (millable) Shapes

   In my youtube wanderings I found a video,  How to Recycle HDPE Plastic (High Density Polyethylene) - a simple method,  which relates to my putting PP (Polypropylene) rope in a pot and melting it down into a block of PP last January (TE News #116). This person got a bit more clever and used a sandwich toaster and colored HD polyethylene food containers to make flat sheets or blocks of plastic. He had a figure for best temperature to soften and mix HDPE pieces: about 180°C or 350°F. I expect it could be done in an oven using a few flat metal plate clamping pieces and C-clamps, too. I hope it can be done without cutting them up into such tiny bits as he did! (I think part of his aim was to get the kaleidoscope of decorative colors.)

   I've cut thick, flat pieces of UHMW polyethylene using a CNC router to make molds for motor parts, etc, per various TE News issues mostly around 2010 to 2012. (How about bandmill wheels?) A "one board foot" (12" x 12" x 1") piece of UHMW cost around 40$ at a store in Victoria, so to make it oneself from scraps seems like an attractive proposition. Perhaps to stick with UHMW one could use small and large scraps of that (and I saved some milling shavings perhaps for this sort of purpose... if I can find them). Or perhaps HDPE would work fine for epoxy molds too.

   Obviously from the video it works well with HD-PE. (Presumably UHMW-PE would be similar.) I've previously softened and bent ABS and PVC plastic pieces in the oven at 250°F. Whether or not this "sort of" melting down at 350°F would work with PP would be interesting to try. But if it needs a higher temperature and smokes like my "melting down PP in a pot" experiment, I wouldn't want to do it in the kitchen.

Who needs to Have a Kitchen Stove?

   On an almost unrelated note, I went into the Home Hardware store in Masset looking for a new coffee maker, and in looking around I found a flat-top "inductive heating" hotplate, and an "air cooker". The inductive hotplate could be temperature controlled, and it might be used for melting the plastic--? But I bought it because it had a timer and could be told to shut itself off (eg, after the rice was done, while I was outside doing something else) whereas stove burners will continue to fry it to a crisp and a house full of smoke, and I wondered why I had recently purchased a new kitchen stove. Two hotplates would be two burners (one more than I usually use), the air cooker sounded better than an oven, and the total price for all three was less than 1/2 the price of the stove. In addition, potentially a burner/hotplate (or even both) could be put away to free up counter space.
   If you set the hotplate on the stove... well, just don't! When you accidentally turn a burner on underneath it instead of the hotplate the bottom plastic melts and smells terrible. and might start a fire. (I think that's the only time I've used a stove burner since I got the hotplate.)

Electricity Generation

Wind: VAWT Studies

   In looking at all the VAWTs on youtube, there are lots of very different designs and they all seem to turn. One interesting video titled  vertikalis Winrad RH2015-01, vertical axis windturbine, Germany  had "V" shaped blades. The pointy end cut through the wind going into it, while the broad open end would catch it on the way downwind.

   But which design, or which style of designs, can output the most power from a given wind? This was the part that was frustrating. Surely there had to be a known optimum shape of vanes and density of vanes? Or at least, surely there must be some way to compare them?

   I decided to look for something outside of Youtube and found a study by several Worcester Polytechnic Institute students in pursuance of their Bachelor of Science degrees, from 2013: Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Evaluation and Design. After plowing through all the background information (AKA academic "mumbo jumbo") I selected the following interesting information - partly from their results but more from their conclusions. In their Results:

1. The Split Savonius Rotor (two half barrels, slightly overlapping) performed a little better than a four blade airfoil design.

2. Either unit performed much better with a shroud blocking the wind from the unwanted direction or shifting its direction. RPMs went up as much as 65%.

3. The best shroud design very much depended on the type of turbine it was shrouding.

4. Their small units didn't make much power. Nowhere did they get even 1/4 of a watt. Their generator was doubtless less efficient than my Improved Piggott one (oversize tho it is for this featherweight application), and had cogging that prevented turning with light forces. It was hard to judge the forces because they used a wind tunnel with wind speed measured in "hertz", which was nowhere explained for conversion to understandable units.

In their Conclusions (which also included considered speculations):

1. The better performance of the Savonius "split barrel" design was attributed to the large surface area of the vanes catching the most wind.

2. The semicircular barrel shape would probably be better with a "V" on the outside to deflect wind when traveling upwind. I was surprised to see this, so soon after watching the German VAWT video with that very shape of vanes. (I don't suppose the shape of the wide end matters very much, so the simple "V" might be just as good as the Savonius "half barrel" with a "V" on the outside.
3. The "Reverse Funnel" concept. A funnel trying to push air into the side of the unit moving downwind to increase the velocity didn't seem to work very well. But they noted that Japanese (and earlier) researchers used a "reverse funnel" in tidal power units to create a low pressure region that would increase water flow. They drew a two-dimensional version of that should pull more air in.

The students concluded that they hoped their work might help future research. Thank you!

   I noted the reverse funnel concept last month, and that an "outside rounded" entry side also helped the flow. But I still think the full venturi form with larger entrance as well as larger exit would be optimum - assuming one is going to go to the trouble of building such forms around the outside of the rotor. The low pressure caused by the exit funnel will cause the air to suck into the entrance funnel for maximum effect. To be applicable to shifting winds, it would have to rotate to face the wind. But then one should get the performance of a unit with a much larger rotor than it actually has.
   That's really pretty similar to the tide power ideas.

   A conclusion of mine - for "Savonius Vanes" rather than "propeller" or Darius "Airfoils" - It's basically the wind pushing on "X" amount of surface moving away from the wind, below the wind's speed, that determines the available power. Subtract from that the wind force trying to slow down the other side of the rotor that's coming back upwind.
   Considering that, the most important features are the surface area catching the wind while going downwind, and the effectiveness either of the shrouding or of the vanes to shed the wind going back upwind. Going downwind, the vane's shape is much less important than its effective area, provided it doesn't "spill" much wind. Going upwind, for fixed vanes, I think the point of the "V" cross section seems like the best shape to spill the wind. And the broad end of the "V" isn't going to spill much wind going downwind, so it's probably the best overall profile.

   I'm also wondering (again/still) about pivoting vanes. In this case, if the inside of the "V" was free to flap closed against the outside, it would snap closed when it pointed straight into the wind toward the end of the downwind leg, and turn the vane from a "V" into an angled flat vane ("/") going around the downwind side. After a short segment of mild reverse thrust (depending how wide the angle of the "V" was - at 90° or wider there would be none), this would be angled to push wind and then have actual lift to propel it through more of the rotation, then it would point straight downwind to cut in half the upwind leg drag. As it came toward the upwind side, it would gradually open, and assume the "V" shape again for the push from front to back again.
   A bonus feature is that if the unit was spinning too fast, the "V" would be pressed against the outside by centrifugal force and wouldn't open readily, reducing power.

   So there are two similar concepts and one rather mutually exclusive that might perhaps be profitably explored:

1. A rotor with "V" vanes might be the most effective simple fixed vane 'Savonius' VAWT. Whether this would optimally be vanes on the outside of "spokes" or big vanes in the overlapping Savonius configuration might have to be tried to find out.

2. A rotor with inside-face folding "V" vanes (on spokes...?) should be still more effective, and partly or even largely eliminate the value of an outside shroud.

3. An outside shroud that forms some sort of venturi, shaped to feed and to extract air from the proper sides of the turbine, with "funnels" as in the Worcester drawing above, but both in front of and behind the turbine. Does it matter that "Savonius" rotor speed is less than wind speed if the venturi has accelerated that speed 2 or 3 times where it hits the vanes?
   Of course this adds a big cumbersome structure which would have to rotate to orient to the wind direction, but the power is taken from the wind across that whole structure instead of just from the size of half the spinning turbine, so the potential power is as great as that of a a much larger simple rotor.
    If one has gone that far, the rotor might as well be entirely enclosed in the venturi housing. (with screens to keep bug and birds out?) And then, might a Tesla Turbine (see TE News #106, Nov. 2016) not be better inside the arrangement than a turbine with vanes? We see here that we have moved completely away from the simple savonius VAWT to some much more sophisticated type of wind power system.

   Optimized entry and exit funnels of the venturi would probably not be the same size and profile. If the design could be made to swirl the air inside in the direction of rotation on its way through, the greatest gains might be made. I think that's what the Worcester authors were getting at in the drawing below. (Was this outside section supposed to be stationary, or a 6-blade rotor? You decide!)

   Assuming the outside was intended to be stationary, it looks a bit like it would be a set of (non-optimal) venturis that will work regardless of wind direction.
   I would remark here that I might get away with a fixed venturi structure at my present location because the strong and prevailing winds come from the east to southeast. Winds coming from other directions aren't worth harvesting. Any winds from the westward are damped through trees before they reach my house. South and north winds are only occasional.


Later I looked at  Analysis of Different Blade Architectures on Small VAWT Performance (Journal of Physics - Conference series, 2016). This considered different fixed "Darius" blade "H" layout architectures with 2 and 3 blades, straight vertical and helical (or "tilted") blades. There were lots of facts and figures, but it looked to me like the performance of all of them wasn't too dissimilar - maybe within 15%. Apparently 3 blades was better than 2, but they didn't try 4 or 5. Helical gave more even torque with less vibration.
   Tip speed ratios of 5 or more were graphed. When the blades are moving so much faster than the wind, I'm sure there must be an objectionable amount of noise for use as a home rooftop unit. Also vibration except with the helical unit.

   More difference in performance could be gained by means discussed in a 2005 paper from Seoul Korea titled  Efficiency Improvement of a New Vertical Axis Wind Turbine by Individual Active Control of blade Motion.  By elaborate sensing and servo control of a 4-blade "Darius" turbine they were able to get 60% more power than from fixed blades. With more simple "cyclic" control of the blades they got 30% improvement. It looked pretty elaborate and probably expensive.
   Something interesting they said (perhaps intuitive) was that at the downwind half of the rotor the wind speed was half what it was at the front. Since power depends on the cube of the speed, it may perhaps be concluded that nearly all the power is developed in the wind facing side. OTOH, surely that value depends on the number of blades and how much of the wind they interrupt? Obviously a single blade will have just as much wind wherever it is in the circuit.

Plywood Vanes?

   On the 19th I made a "V" form from two bits of plywood, put the PVC pieces in the oven at 235°F, and re-shaped them into rough "V"s by pressing the floppy hot plastic against the form (with oven mitts). (It reminded me of why I had made them 22" - it's about the longest that would fit in a kitchen oven.) They seemed awfully narrow. I had somehow expected them to be bigger.
   By the next day I was wondering why one wouldn't just make the vanes out of thin plywood. What could be an easier vane shape than two flat sides? Plywood is cheap, so one could afford to mount quite large vanes to get lots of torque from the wind. If it was also the best simple shape one could make, so much the better! They could be screwed and glued to some wedges of 3/4" plywood or short pieces of board to close the ends, and easily mounted to more wood. (I still like the 1.5" plywood with the metal "H" hub/bushing for the center of the turbine.)
   It would probably be the easiest way to do the folding inside face, too. Of course it would all need some good paint and good reinforcement if it was to be a permanent outdoor fixture.

Make & Test

   However... there were the PVC vanes, and not wanting to expend too much effort on this, I cut 8 wooden wedges to get roughly the right angle, and screwed them onto the rotor. Next I had to wait for a windy day. I didn't wait long. The 22nd was blowing a good gale and I set it up about where I'd had it before in the "wind funnel" driveway.

Put together

   Performance was different from the previous build only in degree. Without a shield on the upwind side it still only got up to around 30 RPM. With a shield it hit 70-80 RPM. That's apparently less than 90-100 top with the last vanes, but first I have no way of measuring the wind speed, and also the voltage readings with the same meter were somewhat higher - closer to and occasionally hitting 2 volts instead of 1.5, which should only happen if the speed is higher.
   More significantly it seemed somewhat less affected by a light load than with the other vane shape. With a 1 ohm resistor it dropped to 50-60 RPM and still put out over a volt. (And the RPM meter still worked)
   With .45 ohms it dropped under a volt, meaning it was putting out about 2 watts and the RPM dropped to about 40. Something like twice the power of the other one, then?

(Again the appearance that the spinning blades are tilted is a "camera trick".)

   If I was to try anything more, it would be much wider vanes to catch more air, but only 4 of them, or maybe 5 or 6... or even 3.  8 is surely superfluous (probably smoother, tho). And fewer blades is surely less drag. And end caps on the "V"s at the top and bottom - surely these are spilling air out the ends. Since it was simple I tried removing half the vanes. RPM seemed to drop a bit to 50-70. It slowed down more with a load, to around 40 RPM with the single .82 ohm resistor. But of course it wasn't wider vanes, just fewer so less push.
   And I wouldn't bother expecting much without at least some sort of folding vanes, or something like a wind shield. The upwind side drag on fixed vanes really ruins the performance. Or perhaps shaped airfoil blades would work much better than vanes? If they are in-line as I saw in some units, they shouldn't have much drag going around. Since I didn't try those, the jury's still out.
   Better would be some duct/venturi plan for directing air onto the vanes and concentrating it. When the wind increased, one definitely noted the improvement, and a venturi would greatly increase the wind speed at the vanes.

   I made the VAWT last month just to have something to spin my new generator. Obviously the RPM (under 100) is too low for any practical purposes with this generator unless I made a new stator with far more windings of finer wire, and unless I wanted to do that, I was wasting my time making a VAWT. But somehow my consciousness gets sucked into thinking about how to better do something, whatever it is.
   OTOH, making some sort of venturi for a windplant might be a good practice project before trying to make one for a tidal power vessel. OTOOH (3 hands?) If a propeller is to be used in the tidal power, why would I not try out a horizontal propeller with the windplant venturi? And that might just spin fast enough to have the generator put out useful voltage.

   (OTOH again, if one is only going to get a few watts from a windplant, perhaps one would be better off making the woodstove TEG module generator as described in TE News #82 or #61. One would probably get 10-50 watts, and that would be continuous as long as the fire was on - ie, most of the winter. Perhaps one might simply put an "overtemperature" alarm on it rather than any elaborate system for dealing with overheat?)

Magnetic Flipping HE Ray Energy?

   A couple of things occurred to me after last month's try at getting HE ray energy. First that the magnetic connection between the inductor toroid and the steel on the "non-gap" side probably wasn't as good as it might be. I decided to thread a bolt through it.
   Second, it was said of some devices that they gradually built up their output and started working. I attributed this to them not having properly powered control inputs, but it was probably worth waiting 20 or 30 seconds to see if anything gradually started to happen.
   A couple of other things I might try: more or fewer permanent magnets, and perhaps (albeit dubiously), since I had moved the gap to the other side, powering the "output" coil and seeing if anything happened at the "input" toroid coil. Or, changing the gap to the output side like Ivanov had it. But I don't see why the magnetism shouldn't flip sides either way around.

HE Ray Converter Unit with plain steel parts.
3 blocks of mild steel form a "U" which is also the base - no gap.
A 3/4"x1/2" ferrite cylinder magnet and a solid 5/16"x3/4" bar make the center leg - no gap.
Toroid (steel pipe) is bolted to left side. The flux gap is on its right.
18 turns on each side (in opposite directions per Ivanov) wraps the toroid.
Output coil is about 13 turns.
   I decided just one magnet would probably be about right, and I cut another bar to extend it across between the two sides, this time a wider, thinner one, more in keeping with the rest of the plate metal profile. I got it to where it was tightly wedged in and wouldn't move with magnetic forces when the side bolts were tightened.

   I tried to drill a hole in the ferrite(?) toroid, but it seemed harder than mild steel to drill and I wasn't getting far. Then I thought that if I was using plain iron (well, mild steel) everywhere else, that might as well be what the toroid was made of, too. I looked all over, and finally found a small section of pipe just the right size. I smoothed it off on the lathe and drilled and threaded a hole for a 1/4" bolt.(22nd?) The gap at the other end was about .1". In order that the wire insulation not chafe against the steel (smoothed off or not!) I cut some tarpaper, wrapped it around the pipe, and taped it on. (23rd)
   Then I cut a 2.0 meter piece of AWG #15 magnet wire and wrapped it, half around each side of the pipe-segment toroid in opposite directions. It made 17 turns with 6" of leed wire left over at each end.

   One thing I'll say about this design if it works: there are absolutely no unusual or hard to get parts in it.

A Water Wheel Hydro Power Project

   I visited the person doing the hydro power a couple of times. The first time, he had made a plywood flume to direct the water into the wheel. That much was working well; the wheel was spinning great.


   But the voltage from the generator was only 2.5 volts. In spite of the bicycle wheel rim to a small gear, driving a second gear reduction, it wasn't turning fast enough. To charge 12 volt batteries it needed another 6x speedup to get to around 15 volts. It pretty much needs "bicycle rim to small gear, turning a second bicycle rim on the second shaft, to another small gear on the generator".

   I brought him a bolt down dual-bearing shaft with a large and a small pulley that fit that diameter shaft (5/8"), in case it would help. I found he had it hooked up again, but this time the water wasn't running very strongly - it hadn't been raining enough. The wheel was only turning about 30 RPM. There's a long way to gear up from that to get say 1500 at the generator.

Electricity Storage

Rechargeable Battery Making
with oxalate electrolyte

Conductive Paint: Painted Copper MnO2 Pocket Electrode

   Whether or not graphite powder can be used with nickel electrodes, it certainly can be with manganese dioxide ones. Epoxy paint having been suggested for making a "waterproof conductive ink", it seemed worth a try. But already before that, I had been planning to use pure copper for the next MnO2 pocket electrode's pocket. In the last electrode the nickel-brass had turned various colors as its surface oxidized and the nickel (apparently) had become chloride. In earlier experiments copper was the metal that was left in the oxalic acid when the nickel disappeared, and it was the one that worked best in the first "from scratch" MnO2-Zn/KC2O4 cell. (...notwithstanding the crappy connection to the terminal that has made me want to do every electrode current collector/terminal since all in one piece.) So copper seemed to be the most stable metal. It seemed good now to try both of those at the same time. I had enough thin copper sheet for 3 pockets in my chosen "standard size" - 2.5" x 5", requiring (with the 1.5" terminal tab and for 6 mm (1/4") thick electrodes), pieces 3" * 12" even. (The sheet was .012" thick. I also have some .005" thick "copper foil" which I may try sometime if it seems to work well. It would be easy to perforate and would weigh the least.)

   I cut a piece. This time I left 1/2" to fold over securely at the top, so the cutout for the connection terminal was just an inch by 1.5", with a 1/2" slit. (Okay, easier to see in the picture!) I marked the folds in pencil on the outside face, then I went over the inside face with scotchbrite/nylon scouring pad. Then I punched the holes with a hammer and nail strip. It was substantially easier to perforate than the nickel brass sheets. Nickel-brass is hard compared to copper or brass. (Still a somewhat laborious job, but at least it works! After milling lumber for weeks it didn't seem like a big deal - at least to do a single electrode.) I "scotchbrited" the outside face, then folded up the edges. I should have scoured that face too before drawing the lines and punching the holes, so the edges of the holes would have a clean surface too.
   It weighed 51 grams - 10 g less than the nickel-brass, so it must have been about 20% thinner. Copper isn't as strong as nickel-brass. I hoped it was stiff enough. But sometime I had found the plastic grille I had been looking for in the summer, which I thought would make good separator pieces with lots of support across the whole face, so if the cell was properly filled the electrodes should press each other flat.

Perforating the copper electrode pocket. Finer and more densly packed
perforations would be much better. But this was what I found I could
do without special equipment that I haven't found to buy or figured out
how to make.

   The next challenge was the paint. It had to be mixed with graphite powder or conductive carbon black in good proportion to be a water seal and yet with good electrical conductivity. It had to be dilute enough so that it wouldn't clog all those holes I had just punched, and at the same time, cover the copper well and not bead up. Could all these conditions be met at all, and if so, how?

   I didn't get around to this until the 18th. I mixed 10 grams of yellow polyurethane paint with 2 grams of conductive carbon black. (Naturally it became pure black.)

System Three
Marine Coatings           (Well, it was certainly going into a "marine" salt water environment!)
Polyurethane Topcoat

BW6304-Conductive Black

It was much too thick - almost dry. I added another 5 grams of paint, and it was still a thick paste. I tried painting some on. Of course it clogged up the perforations. Then I put just a bit of water in an ointment jar [Pharmasave] and added a paintbrush full of the mix. It was a lot thinner, but it still clogged the perforations. No doubt even water would have beaded up and covered them.
   I took a dry brush with somewhat stiff bristles and started stabbing the outside with it as the paint dried. Eventually light could again be seen through most of the holes. But it was a lot of work, and the coating on the outside faces was definitely thinned by the action of the brush. The insides wasn't because I didn't stab from that side.
   I left it overnight to be sure the paint was dry. In the morning it looked like all of the holes were open again. Apparently all I had needed to do was let it dry.

   The next evening I filled the electrode with MnO2 salvaged from regular "D" or "F" dry cells. With the paint it had been 51 grams. With the MnO2 pasted in it was 144.7, so 93.7 grams of filler. Generously assuming it was 25% carbon and Veegum, that's still 70.3 g of MnO2.
   My way of calculating amp-hours of a substance is simply that I have zinc metal memorized: it's 820 amp-hours per kilogram. (820 was my address in Victoria) It moves two electrons per reaction to become ZnO. Then one finds the molecular weight of the substance in question: Zn = 65.4. MnO2 = 55 + (2*16) = 87. It only moves one electron per manganese atom to become MnOOH or Mn2O3. So:

65.4 / 87 * 820 / 2 = 308.2 AH/Kg

   308 amp-hours/Kg * .0703 Kg = 21.7 amp-hours theoretical capacity (plus half as much again at a lower voltage if it gets too discharged: Mn2O3 => Mn3O4). (The last electrode had 25 AH, so apparently I didn't stuff this one quite as full.) I pressed it to a couple of tons in the hydraulic press and hit the sides with a hammer and screwdriver to sort of crimp them shut.
  Then I went in and started cleaning up the bench. I had mixed two jars of MnO2 from dry cells. I noticed the label on one didn't say "rinsed", and the material was pretty dry. It occurred to me that perhaps I hadn't dissolved the ammonium chloride electrolyte out of the stuff in that jar. A hazard of working on batteries so seldom; I couldn't remember. If there was no omission on the label, I definitely hadn't. I didn't want to contaminate my cell with chloride! The obvious solution was to put the electrode in pure water so it would dissolve out if there was any. Since it was now enclosed in the perforated copper "pocket", I should leave it in quite a while and probably do 4 rinses instead of 3. Three or four days, then...
   Once it had dried, the paint was so thin it was translucent and it had coppery undertones from the metal beneath. (Somehow more than the pictures seem to show) But there were only a few points where it looked like actual copper poked through. This is probably just about right. Hopefully the electrons only have to go through a very thin layer of the paint before they hit the highly conductive copper.

Zinc electrode etched, and then cleaned in solvent

Assembly and Testing

   During assembly I measured the "+"trode as averaging about .26" (6.6 mm) thick and 130 grams.

The Layers of the Cell:                 
plastic spacer,
MnO2 trode in conductive painted copper pocket,
plastic separator grid,
etched zinc electrode,
plastic spacers,
front of case.
   The "-" side was around .08" and 43 grams: 31 for the sheet zinc and 12 grams of zinc powder sprinkled into it. It wasn't very even (uneven "sprinkled by hand" powder distribution) so I squeezed it in the press to about 3 tons to make sure there were no places especially sticking up. This reduced it to around .06" - still not very even.

   I cleaned out the cell case, and elected not to put the other electrodes back in, to test just these new ones instead. When I filled the cell and got a meter and test leeds (after a couple of minutes) it measured 1.222 volts. Within another few minutes it rose to 1.242 volts all by itself. And then stayed there! I think that's a definite improvement over perhaps all my previous cells, none of which started voluntarily above a volt. That seemed like the right voltage for the old dry cell MnO2 if it was discharged to Mn2O3 or MnOOH.
   Within 1/2 an hour it was down to 1.238 volts, so (sigh!) apparently my cells still had self-discharge. (Later I realized it just about had to be from air getting into the cell. They have to be sealed!)

   I tried an 11 ohm load and the voltage dropped to 1.04 volts. So much for better current capacity!

   Then I put it on charge at 1.7 volts. It didn't seem much different than the previous pair of electrodes, drawing only 1/4 of an amp and dropping from there. But I came back a couple of hours later and discovered that the cell was shorted and the power supply was putting its full 5.5 amps into it. I took it apart and discovered that all the squares in the separator grille were filled with... something. Something solid but crusty and brittle. I didn't think to take pictures until I had done some brushing (toothbrush). I don't remember this happening with the previous pair of electrodes.

   Could oxalate have some spontaneous reaction with zinc? But the other side of the zinc electrode, facing away from the other one, looked pretty much fine. With the MnO2 then? likewise, the far side of that electrode looked pretty clear. And nothing bad had seemed to happen until I started charging it, indicating the reaction was electrochemical.

   Could there be some substitution reaction occurring with the calcium?
Ca(OH)2 => CaC2O4 ; K2C2O4 => 2 KOH ?  Since CaC2O4 is insoluble, it might build up between the electrodes? That seemed a little unlikely. Perhaps some reaction between the MnO2 and the oxalate, then?
   A new thought occurred to me the next morning. Could the zinc powder have somehow migrated through the perforations and ended up between the electrodes? It was such fine powder it would no doubt fit through the holes. And in charging up the MnO2 with the zinc side already fully charged, hydrogen gas would bubble through it. Would that really move it? Other than the conductive graphite PU pant (and hopefully an absence of chloride), adding zinc powder was the difference between these electrodes and the previous ones.
   Where's that chemist who would know almost at once what's really happening? I brushed off the positive side and scraped off the zinc side and put it together again. If it did the same thing, there was probably something wrong with the chemistry. If not I guess it's okay. But without understanding the reason it happened. If did it again but less I could try again even several times and see if that would clear it up.
   After I refilled it the voltage went by itself quickly at first and then slowly from some low value to over .8 volts when I hooked the meter up to 1.09 in an hour or so. With a few seconds of 11 ohm load it dropped to .8 volts, but rose quickly back to 1.08. Back on charge it drew over .4 amps and dropped off more slowly than usual.(11:15) This time it continued to charge without problems. I left it on overnight and in the morning it was down to around 60 mA. Then (26th) I put on an 11 ohm load. Instead of just running down to a volt, I left it running for 10 hours, by which time it had put out around 660 mA-Hours, but mostly from voltages below .9 volts down to .6 volts. It grew back to over a volt after an hour off load, then I put it back on charge. Late the next morning it was down to "0.06" amps again.

Solution coming out of the cell and drying on the case.
Should I have closed the top all the way?

Electrode Compaction & "Rivets"

   The maximum short circuit current twice read 1.96 amps. Yuk! Usually pocket electrode powders are much compacted, and the pockets are very thin strips to keep the pressure on on the inside "briquette". I decided to take it apart and crunch the electrodes considerably harder in the press to see if that would compact the powders better for - hopefully - substantially better current capacities.

   Next evening (28th) I drilled 5/64" holes through the MnO2 'trode. I put 3/4" lengths of AWG #14 wire through them and bent the ends over "U" (should hold more solidly than "Z") to act as "rivets". Then I pressed it to 10 tons, which pushed the wires in flush, denting the copper sheet wherever they were. It had seemed dry, but the paper towels got pretty wet with liquid that pressed out. So it must have been better compacted. When it was finished it was about 5.5 to 6 mm thick. (I weighed it, but by the time I went to write it down I had forgotten the number and it was back in the cell. Probably it gained a few grams with the bits of copper wire.)
   I cleaned everything and put the cell back together. It had been pretty much charged when I took it apart, but now it read only .6 volts, gradually rising to .7 over a few minutes. If the zinc was charged it should have read higer than that, probably around 1.2 volts, so it must have been the zinc, sitting in air but fora while still wet with electrolyte, that got discharged - turned to zinc oxide on the surface. That seemed to be in keeping with what I knew about alkaline cells, that the negative electrode will discharge on contact with oxygen. Interestingly the rolls of zinc stay shiny. I guess if you don't get them wet (especially with an electrolyte - hydroxide or some salt), they stay fine in dry air. Or if they're soaked in electrolyte in a battery, they also won't oxidize unless oxygen or OH- ions are present. So the cells do need to be pretty much sealed. I think that must be where most of the self discharge my cells usually have comes from - air openings.

   The cell charged overnight and was down to ".04" amps, the lowest "idle" reading yet. I tried a short circuit. It put out over 4 amps for an instant but again dropped to ~.75 A in 10 seconds. Then I tried a load test. It started from almost 1.6 volts, but it didn't hold up anything like as well as the first test. All that effort seemed to have made at best no difference. I didn't think much could go wrong with a sheet of zinc, and it obviously works fine in commercial dry cells, but now I became suspicious that that side was the problem, not the MnO2 side at all. Perhaps, in spite of the pourbaix chart plus the insolubility showing it as being ideal, it somehow didn't work right with the oxalate electrolyte? Or was it something else that I had done?

   As usual, the month ended with more questions than answers. Why didn't things work as expected?

Haida Gwaii, BC Canada