Turquoise Energy Newsletter #164 - January 2022
Turquoise Energy News #164
covering January 2022 (Posted February 6th 2022)
Lawnhill BC Canada - by Craig Carmichael

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

Special Features:
Plastic Recycling 2.0 - remanufacturing/recycling plastics a simpler way! (Month in Brief, Electricity Generation)
Water Wall !  the Wind Wall repurposed for stream, river, tidal power! (Month in Brief, Electricity Generation)

Month In "Brief" (Project Summaries etc.)
 - "WindWarp" VAWT Windplant... and waterplant Development & Research

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
 - Smol Thots: Fertilizer & Food Shortages; Trucks Tied Up; Excess Deaths 2021; Land Living Frogs (Permian evolution); A Local Environmental Collapse? - ESD

- Detailed Project Reports -

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems [no reports]
* Unipolar Electric Hubcap Motors: Cast PP Bodies?
* Potential Driving Range of the Chevy Sprint EV with the Ultra Efficient Drivetrain
* Unfairly Maligning the Low Rolling Resistance Tires? - Sticking Brakes

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects
* CNC Table
* Winter Gardening

Electricity Generation
* Windrap™ VAWT Windplant (& Waterplant) & Plastic Recycling 2.0:
- Plastic Recycling 2.0: General Discussion - Some more casting rotors from PP ropes - Brushless generators arrive, test - Failure of the "Transparent PETE Greenhouse Panels" idea - Water Power Plant ! - Casting Disks
* My Solar Power System:
- Daily/Monthly Solar Production log et cetera - Monthly Summaries, Estimates, Notes

January in Brief

   For the third month now, the main project focus has been the "Wind Wall" VAWT windplant with an outer frame and the new rotor blade shape. Within that has been the new way of recycling polypropylene plastic for making larger, not very intricate parts - which after all uses up a lot of the best waste plastic, potentially making really useful things. Later in the month there was a big shift in what it was all about and the project assumed far greater potential for higher and more steady power generation (read on).

   On the 11th it occurred to me to give the type of rotor a new name. It really wasn't a "Savonius" or a "Darrieus". Rather than "Carmichael" (which would have been in the tradition), I tentatively came up with "Windwarp™ ".

   I improved my mold and was getting good blades except that too often the outer/back corners weren't quite filled in.
I had 15 by the end of the month.

I did some wind tunnel tests on the "full size" rotors with good results.
I screwed the blades in at various angles and distances from center to see what worked best.
They ended up right where I had first, intuitively, placed them, but
variations in performance at various reasonable positions were not large.

I made a mold to make a top and bottom circle for "spool" form rotors.

The first circle piece - after 3 tries.
(Why does it take SO long to melt plastic in the hot, hot oven? I bought a remote laser temperature
sensor and got readings of 262 and 266°C [511°F] on the top of the mold when I pulled the latest piece out.
In future I can check it and make sure it's up to that to guess whether the plastic has fully melted yet.)

The real thing - the ROTOR ! (mostly still needing bolting together).

Water Power Plant !

   On the 21st something completely new and different struck me. But amazingly this time, not something that would have me delving off onto yet another project! I had off and on since moving here been thinking about tidal flow power, and possibly of power from shallow, fast flowing creeks. There's a lot more power, and more consistent power, in flowing water than in fickle wind. On a trip to Masset as I passed by Masset Inlet with the tide flow ripping along, it occurred to me that the "Wind Wall", almost exactly as already designed, seemed in several fortuitous ways to be a perfect "Water Power Unit" that could be deployed or installed in many and various ways wherever there was flowing water.
   First, it was a vertical axis with the generator at the top, right under the roof to keep it driest in the weather. As a flowing water power unit that would also put it in the air above the water. One of the most impractical aspects of most tidal power units I've looked at is that the generator is under the water, in line with the propeller. Here, vertical axis rocks!
   Second, I was already making it out of polypropylene plastic - impervious to fresh or salt water! If it had a stainless steel or alium. shaft and a UHMW-PE lower bushing, that would last well even in salt water, and it would be the only part of concern actually in the water.
   Third, I was already designing it for power in minimal winds, which is similar speeds to good flowing water.

   Then, it's actually better: in a stream the flow is all in one direction with no need or use for the whole unit to pivot into the wind, the mounting for which which will likely be tricky for rotors in a structured enclosure. For tidal flow it's two opposite directions, and for a fixed aim mounting, a bi-directional "Water Wall" can probably be as effective as a unidirectional (or close enough).
   In addition for the Wind Wall I was going to start with a "wall" having maybe two shafts of 3 rotor sets each. Water has so much more power than air that one would gain more power than than wind provides except in storms, even with a single rotor - maybe even cut shorter for use in shallow water. And flowing water is guaranteed to flow most of the time, quite unlike wind except in the most favorable of locations. Even tides flow much of the time with only short slack periods gently entered and exited.

   Maybe I'll title it the "VAWP" - Vertical Axis Water Plant

24V inverters

   I swear I ordered two 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC inverters and on spec, one 24 volt DC to 120 volt AC. One was pure sine wave and two were "modified sine wave", all 3000W, 6000W peak. Somehow all three were 24 volts!
   Indignantly I went to the AliExpress site to complain, but checking my order they all said 24 volts. I still don't know how that happened.
   I used one, with two batteries, to run my angle grinder at the refuse station. Then I sold one. I guess I should use the money to order a 12 volt one. (They didn't have 36V.)

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

Smol Thots

* Fertilizer & Food Shortages Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus compounds are the fertilizers that are required in great quantity to provide good crop yields on 'modern' farms. In 2019 some big phosphate mines closed. According to "Financial Argument" on youtube, ammonia (nitrogen) fertilizer created using 'natural gas' (methane) has kept crops flourishing and almost 4 billion people from starving. That's right: we're that overpopulated that half the world is in effect at least partly living off consumption of non-renewing chemicals stored in the Earth for millions of years. (I might also add that it shows the broken link in our food chain: human excrement is not recycled to fertilize new crop growth, and is instead considered a waste product needing "disposal". This is not sustainable at any population level.) With rising gas prices, major ammonia producers have shut down and the price for nitrogen fertilizer too is skyrocketing.
   Farmers - many of whom have been having a very hard time in the last few years especially owing to weather calamities and who have already been bankrupted in the millions - will no longer be able to afford these manufactured fertilizers. (Where are the lavish bailouts for our most essential industry?) Corn crop yields will be hard hit - US corn is output expected to drop by 40% this year. Other crops' productions will also suffer and soon they'll all be in short supply if they aren't already. Some want to switch from corn to soy beans (less fertilizer intensive), but as a result soy bean seeds are in short supply.
   In addition supply chains have been breaking down, hindering maintenance and repair of farm machinery and trucks for deliveries. Major ports are now locking out older trucks for climate/pollution considerations, adding to the bottlenecks.

* Trucks Tied Up And with the ending of the month tens of thousands of trucks and farm tractors have been in Ottawa, and more in other places around North America and the world, protesting government overreach all supposedly related to some virus. How has a medical concern become a political reason for imposing sweeping dictatorship? The obstinacy of our prime minister in his refusal to respond to people's widespread and ever growing concerns about the destruction of freedom, the economy and society in general is surely contributing to empty store shelves for the duration which doubtless will last weeks or months beyond. The outlook for 2022 and beyond for crop production and distribution to grocery stores is rather bleak - especially in the absence of caring and competent leaders in our positions of power. Where are the big bailouts for the destitute farming community? Ensuring our food supply is more important than bailing out the banks was in 2008.

* Excess Deaths 2021 According to Greg Hunter (USA Watchdog - 1st program of 2022), who got it from Robert Malone (perhaps the leading mRNA vaccine researcher), who got it from new life insurance actuarial tables, deaths from all causes of working age people 18 to 64 were up by 40% in later 2021. Apparently it is still rising.
   In another video Scott Davison, CEO of One America Life Insurance company, says a 10% rise in this number would indicate some huge "once in 200 years" disaster had occurred. It was up by 20% in the second quarter. The 40% in the third and fourth quarters of 2021 (ending in October) is "off the charts". In addition claims on short and long term disability insurance are way up. He says these figures are consistent across the industry and that most of the excess deaths weren't attributed to Covid. Some of the timeline was before the mild "omicron variant" appeared, and mostly it's the elderly who die of Covid. What was so different in 2021 from all previous years? Please draw your own conclusions.

* Land Living Frogs When some time ago (TE News #100, #112, #141) I wrote about the unlikelihood that there were any reptiles until well into the Triassic period and still less in in the Permian or prior, the biggest question mark in my mind was that if the Listrosaurs (or more generally genus Lystrosauridae as there were several species) were a sort of "pre-reptilian frog" or "toad" (and my take from the skeletal features, having advanced costal (diaphragm) breathing instead of primitive buccal "frog" breathing), so different from other and previous Carboniferous and Permian period amphibians, and seemed to be a land dweller, how did they reproduce? No egg shells have been found until after the first perhaps 10 million years of the Triassic. A land dwelling creature couldn't have laid soft eggs in water and had tadpoles. I was left to suspect that they must have borne live young, but as far as I knew there was nothing similar to compare it with.
   But this month I learned of some "ovoviviparous" genera of toads, Nectophrynoides and Nimbaphrynoides, that give birth to live young - little "froglets", rather than laying eggs in water that become tadpoles. So! There is an extant "precedent" (can that be the right word?) for what I have been assuming (in the absence of other options) probably must have been the Lystrosaur's mode of reproduction: land living frog family creatures that bore live young.

* A Local Environmental Collapse? I watched a documentary of an anthropological dig in Cornwall (Youtube), The Buried Bronze Age Ruins of Bodmin Moor | Time Team | Odyssey, presented by Tony Robinson. (Apparently just one of a Time Team archeological TV series.) Cornwall is the southwest corner peninsula of Great Britain. There are many farms and towns, but the moor and its promontory Rough Tor (somehow pronounced "Roe Tor") is a desolate, wind swept area with more rocks than soil. There were stone footing walls and burial relics of neolithic and bronze age peoples. Why had people chosen to live in such a forbidding place, where no one lives now?
   As the video went on, they analyzed pollen in ancient soil underneath stones laid down way back in the bronze age, if not in neolithic times. They concluded that the area had been an oak and hazel forest. As usual with prospering human civilizations, forest got cut down for firewood and to clear land for grazing animals, then for farming. Until, as usual, after enough generations of degradation there was no forest left and the wind and rains swept through, possibly blowing or eroding away the forest soil. Then acidification of the soil prevented the forest from growing back. However, there are farms all around Cornwall (Google maps) so the area so ruined way back then seemed to be limited to the area of the hillsides and higher grounds around the Tor where winds were strongest and regrowth slowest. So maybe in this case it was more a limited local environmental collapse than a societal or civilizational one.
   But again, if only locally, we are left with the saying "Civilization starts with a forest and ends with a desert."

(Eccentric Silliness Department)

* "Foreign businesses are leaving China in droves." What is a drove? I haven't heard of these before. Can a drove hold an entire business? Factory equipment, offices and all? Is it bigger than a bus? Or maybe it's some odd plural form of "drove"? In that case, they may have all droven off in private vehicles, en masse.

* I couldn't find the metric equivalent of a "drove" anywhere. How many droves in a liter? or kilometers in a drove? Looking for it drove me nuts.

* In a dictionary I actually found that a "drove" refers to having driven a herd of cattle, so "in droves" alludes to moving large groups or "herds". (Well, duh!)

* The old adage says: "Don't take any wooden nickels!" Wow, a carved wooden nickel would be an amazing work of art! I'd give anybody 20$ for a well made wooden nickel!

* What is the difference between a caregiver and a caretaker?

   "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 just thought of and not tried... 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, consistency, completeness and elimination of duplications before publication. I hope they may add to the body of wisdom for other researchers and developers to help them find more productive paths and avoid potential pitfalls and dead ends.

Electric Transport

Unipolar Electric Hubcap Motors: Cast PP Bodies?

   About mid month it occurred to me, now that I was melting and molding parts for the windplant, that I could also do the same for motor body parts! Instead of making UHMW molds and casting polypropylene cloth-epoxy with the set epoxy making it hard, I could make alium. molds and simply cast pure [recycled] PP parts in the oven. I've had electric lawnmowers with bodies made of solid PP. It's tough stuff, and I could make it quite thick without adding much percentage weight to the copper and iron of a motor. (After all, it floats!) And seeing how much heat it takes to melt it, perhaps pure PP could run a little warmer than PP-epoxy?

   Well, I may not be getting it built in all this time, but the design details keep improving. The CNC table is finally working and the HHO torch for cutting metal with it looks doable. It's looking like when and if I get to them, the building should go smoothly and they'll be great motors. (I hope the 330mm [13.0"] magnet rotors aren't too big to manage when mounted on solid trailer stub axles, and that the 6 phase unipolar motor controllers they'll need won't be too difficult to create!)

Potential Driving Range of the Chevy Sprint with the Ultra Efficient Drivetrain

   Since I got the Sprint running last summer with the highly efficient drivetrain (motor to 96% efficient planetary gear straight to right wheel CV shaft), I have idly wondered what its potential range might be on paved road and (more especially) whether it could potentially be driven to town and back. Since it didn't go fast enough to actually drive on the highway in traffic - and almost surely wouldn't make it back up my steep driveway because of its low torque with only the 5 to 1 reduction ratio - I didn't dare try it out.

   Now it occurred to me that I have enough info to calculate at least theoretical potential ranges.

* I know the theoretical capacity of the battery: 240 amp-hours (at 36 volts nominal - about 9 KWH).
* I know the distance to town: about 27.5 Km.
* I know vaguely how much current the car drew driving at a constant speed on the bumpy lawn where it was some approximation of level: In the June 2021 trials in TE News #157 I said "30 to 70 amps" and later "30 to 50 amps". (In spring 2018 I had noted around 70 amps average on the highway in short tests. The speeds were even lower, but the transmission would have been less efficient.)
* I know the rough speed range from trials after getting the bicycle speedometer for it in July (TE News 158). On the bumpy lawn over the short run it could accelerate, it never got much over 25 Km/Hr. But I estimated it should pick up speed to average 35 to 40 Km/Hr on level pavement. My earlier hopes of 45 were probably overly optimistic. (Even 40 might need a bit of down slope. The 55 it got up to free-spinning the tire jacked up would only be going downhill.)

   Let's take what would likely be the worst case for driving to town and back:

27.5 Km * 2 = 55.0 Km
55 Km / 35 Km/hr = 1.57 hours of driving
70 amps * 1.57 hours = 110.0 amp-hours

Wow! That says it should make it to town and back even if I took out one of the two battery stacks and had only 120 amp-hours!

110 amp-hours * 36 volts = 3960 WH of Energy consumed. (The Nissan Leaf uses double that [in summer] or more.)

   That's worst case. Now let's assume things are more favorable (probably closer to a "best case" than a "medium" one.):

55Km / 40 Km/Hr = 1.375 hours of driving
50 amps * 1.375 hours = 69 amp-hours.
69 amp-hours * 37 volts = 2544 WH

   So with the 240 amp-hours, the minimum (pessimistic) potential range would be 120 Km. In the more favorable scenario it would be 190 Km to "dead batteries". The farthest town on the island, Masset, is 170 Km round trip from my place. (The scenic north coast is a little farther.) Getting there and back with just 9 KWH of battery would be amazing. The Nissan Leaf can't do the round trip with 24 KWH. Well, theoretical is fine. The real proof would be in the driving. But of course even if it was safe on the highway, it would be frustrating to drive so long so slowly. One might fall asleep at the wheel!

   I was wishing I knew the actual RPM rating of the present motor under load. But let's see... another simple calculation: With 10.0 wheel RPM for each 1 Km/Hr, and 5 to 1 reduction from the motor, at 35 Km/Hr the motor would be turning 1750 RPM, and at 40, 2000 RPM. At the top speed the car got to on the lawn of 25 Km/Hr, it would only have been doing 1250 RPM. With the free-spinning jacked up wheel in the garage it hit "54 Km/Hr" or 2700 RPM. It seems to very much depend on the load.

   If I ever get that new unipolar BLDC "Electric Hubcap" motor made (probably safe max ~3500 RPM limited in the controller instead of 1750~2200) the Sprint should probably get up to maybe 60-70 Km/Hr. Still not fast, but I would license it and try it out. It might not be much different in power consumption: an ultra-efficient motor replacing a rather inefficient series wound motor... but the car would be driving considerably faster and get to town in pretty fair time.

   Then again, if I took out one of the two battery stacks (to have two for the 72 volt Miles mini-cargo truck), seemingly I could make it to town and back with either vehicle. (I keep assuming I can reprogram the Miles to go about 60 Km/Hr. I suspect a broken or cut connection from the motor controller to the programmer is what kept me from doing so earlier, and I didn't look at it last summer or since.)

Unfairly Maligning the Low Rolling Resistance Tires? - Sticking Brakes

   I discovered this month that the rear brakes were sticking on the Nissan Leaf. With the gravel and salt on the highway in freezing winter weather, they started making a considerable grinding noise, at first when I used the brakes, but then it seemed to be more and more, and the energy economy got worse. (I then remembered it helps to wildly jerk the car from side to side to flex the assemblies to retract the brake pads & pistons from the disks a bit.)
   Did this perhaps begin last fall and only lately get noticeable? Now I'm not sure whether or how much of the poorer economy I've been having has been due to the brake pads rubbing on the disks and not to the Bridgestone Ecopia "low rolling resistance" tires. Are the tires actually not even part of the problem?
   I finally took a wheel off and looked. The brake rotor disk was shockingly worn considering how rarely one uses the brakes driving the highways around here. There are few crossroads and no traffic lights, and one mostly uses just the 'gas' pedal until arriving at one's destination. (except when encountering kamikaze birds that sit on the highway until the last instant and then fly up in front of the car, and of course insolent deer and the very occasional bear.) Of course, I did buy the car used, so maybe they were already considerably worn. I didn't notice when I had a rear wheel off before.

   I've bought new rotors. I'm not sure whether to put them on now or wait until maybe March and hope that's the end of graveling/salting the roads until next fall. After they're on we may see whether the energy efficiency markedly improves.

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects

CNC Table

[8th] The "PCI Express" parallel port arrived. It fit in the computer! I screwed it in and found a parallel to parallel cable. Linux CNC started up instead of exiting with a "no parallel port found" error message. I went to "manual control", selected "X" and hit "+".

It moved!

   "X" and "Y" moved the carriage across the table. "Z" would only go down. Somehow there wasn't enough torque for it to lift the router and its mountings up. But I was well satisfied. The machine plus the computer interface was, at long last, working!


[9th] If I lifted a bit on the router, "Z" would go up. Once it was up a bit, it continued by itself. It only "stuck" down when it was down very near the bottom - probably lower than it would be with any bit or tool in its chuck. I tried stopping the "X" and "Y" motors from moving, but they seemed to have a fair bit of torque. (Not that I couldn't stop them.)
   Then I went into the "step configuration" program and found how fast the motors could reliably drive each axis. Not very fast, and "X" was slower than "Y".
   It seemed good enough to try out. What was I going to try making? Without the HHO torch working, metal was out. (Yes, I bought a plasma cutter a while back. But I suspect the HHO torch will prove much superior and make cleaner cuts.) I didn't want to hack up valuable plastic, or to attempt routing alium, so that left plywood. Am I going to do it in the house and get sawdust everywhere, or take it all out through the pouring rain to the unheated shop? And set it up where?
   First I had to design something, and then convert it to G-code. In OpenSCAD I designed a test hub with 3 spokes to try out the PP windplant rotors at different angles and distances from the axle.

   In the evening I managed to send a few G-Code commands from the computer and have the motors move, and I got it to run the default test program. I was however unsuccessful trying to get "DXFToGCode" to run properly on my desk computer. It would start, but hang or crash whenever I tried to load a DXF file. So I am so far unable to get the shapes I've designed to LinuxCNC to run the machine. Am I going to have to write direct G-Code to make this work? Well, I did it that way before. What are my other options?

Winter Gardening:  ¡ Sterilize the potting soil !

   Sometime around the start of December I planted carrots in a big deep bucket. I set it near the woodstove with a one foot square LED grow light propped up on "stilts" over it. In a week or more they were sprouting... and soon after falling over, losing their leaves and wilting.
   I've had bad results with carrots before, but these were indoors and getting lots of water. Could there be something in the garden soil I had used, eating the tender sprouts? I thought back to 50 years ago when my dad had once been putting soil in the oven to sterilize it. I looked it up on youtube. Fungus gnats! They're everywhere. That's why you sterilize soil before planting seedlings in it. Duh! How long have I been gardening or trying to garden, and often not knowing why I was having problems? More often I bought potting soil in bags - pre-sterilized! It must be whenever I didn't that I had problems.
   I saved my remaining carrots with insecticidal soap, and again a week later. Later I watered with about .75% hydrogen peroxide. It's supposed to kill the larvae in the soil. That doubtless helped too.
   At first they were growing taller and spindly, and I lowered the light panel. Then at the start of January I traded the red and blue LEDs 'grow light' for a 4000K light panel on the 36V DC power system. (With a 10 ohm resistor this one had a whopping 12 watts over 2 square feet, instead of 28 watts in half that.) By early January the carrots weren't very tall. Maybe they just stopped bolting for light because they were getting enough? and instead growing their roots? If so, in spite of it being just 3 inches above the leaves, that's pretty impressive for so few watts.

   I had also planted lettuce and spinach in my usual long narrow pot. In spite of the soap, mostly the fungus gnats must have cut them down, then I neglected to water for a day (was it two?) and the last lettuce seedling wilted.

 Since the new light was wider than the carrot pot, I tried lettuce again at the start of January, filling two smaller square pots with a mix of dirt -- this time all sterilized in the oven. Two broke the dirt on the 8th and several by the 10th.
   But they seemed to be getting too long and spindly, so I went back to the 40W grow lights. By early February the carrots were growing well and looking like they would be a good crop.
   But soon I gave the lettuce too much nitrogen, too concentrated. They wilted and I had to start over again.

Electricity Storage

[No Reports]

Electricity Generation

Wind Wall ...& Plastic Recycling 2.0
...& VAWP: Vertical Axis Water Plant

Plastic Recycling 2.0: General Discussion

   I'm calling my plastic recycling method "Plastic Recycling 2.0" to differentiate it from "typical" plastic recycling methods. In "Plastic Recycling 1.0" techniques for example at PreciousPlastic.com , one first shreds the original plastic items to break them down into bits that can be heated in an injector or extruder.
   Having to shred the source material greatly complicates the entire process, even if it's light food containers. But what about old PP ropes? fishnets? 200 liter plastic drums? Fishing floats? Tote boxes? Other big plastic items? Without at all disparaging the recycling of the continuous barrage of food containers and other small packages, larger, heavier items contain much more plastic material than small, light items, and "1.0" with a typical plastic grinder has no ready means for dealing with them.
    "2.0" can deal with all of them, and more easily. Everything is simpler. To recap:

Advantages of "2.0"

1. The range of plastics that can be easily employed is greatly extended, and there is much less processing of the raw material. Imagine trying to shred a 2 inch polypropylene rope? The regular plastic package shredding machine surely won't manage it. Here the rope is only cut roughly into lengths that will fit into the mold. (A zip disk makes short work of cutting thick PP rope. Pull on the rope while cutting.) How about fishnet? surely it would jam the shredder. Cut it to the right weight of material and fold or scrunch it into the mold. There are thousands of pounds of fishnets cleaned off of beaches sitting at a property just down the road.
   Bulky packages and bottles can either be cut into chunks or thrown into the oven in a box to collapse them.

2. In general, the plastic for forming larger objects doesn't have to be totally clean. If there are grains of sand or small bits of organic matter still embedded after it is rinsed, as long as the end product is not to be used for food or a waterproof container, it's doubtless good enough. This is a big advantage in reusing material salvaged from the environment.

3. The equipment required is lower cost, lighter weight, non-precision, and uses just one special item: an oven. (A scrap kitchen oven will do for many molds, or a longer, wider one may need to be created for large "boards", "posts" and sheets.)

4. The molds, having to contend only with tens of pounds of weights on top rather than with the high pressures of injection or extrusion molding, can be much easier to make. Sheet or plate alium. can be used to cover large, flat areas, perhaps with stronger pieces such as bars, plates or "angle iron" (all alium.) reinforcing. They can be bolted (or even spring-clipped) together, and un-bolted if required to remove the part. (Note that steel expands less than alium as it heats. This can warp the alium. so it is recommended that all the larger/longer mold parts be alium. or use springs) Plastic shrinks more than alium. as it cools and also doesn't adhere to it, so it's generally easy to get the part out of the mold. (It may be advantageous to spray the mold with, eg, silicone lube.)

Disadvantages of "2.0"

   Never much of a salesman, here also are the weaknesses I can see in the "2.0" system.

1. It is for larger parts, not fine detailed ones. Forget keyboard keys and plastic feet for electronics! Think boards, posts, beams, big sheets, tiles, "giant lego blocks", "cutting boards", plates... and of course windplant blades, rotor pieces and enclosure parts!

2. The parts produced will in general be less precise than injection molded parts. This does depend considerably on the skill and attention to detail of the mold maker.

3. Ability to mix colored plastics to get cool patterns is more limited.

4. It is not always appropriate for making complex part shapes. (Forget making PP electric lawnmower bodies?)


1. The only special piece of equipment, used for everything, is an oven large enough to hold the biggest mold for the biggest pieces it is desired to make: No shredder, no injector, no extruder, no large sheet press. The oven should be capable of reaching somewhere around 260°C (500°F). For health and safety this oven should ideally be located outdoors and sufficiently far away from flammable structures when in use. But it is the plastic melting heater for all molding and it has to plug in, usually to 220V. A larger oven may need two or even more "regular oven" heating elements.
   A regular kitchen stove with oven may be serviceable for smaller parts. I note however that I connected the plug straight to the oven element on mine so with no temperature control it surely gets hotter than most, and that the inner glass has cracked in several places, probably from the heat.

2. A simple alium. box mold with a fitted lid for each and every desired part. No matter how you are going to form plastic into new things, each unique part will need a unique mold. Simple box molds can be made with sheets and various thicker pieces of alium. instead of welded steel or milled parts of heavy alium. They don't have to take as much pressure as molds for injection or extrusion and so don't need to be as strongly built. They do have to take the heat of the oven, so (eg) wooden pieces are "out".

3. A temperature control is desirable, but simply timing the melt can also be serviceable. (I found a "laser thermometer" at the end of the month: point it at the object whose temperature is to be measured and press the trigger. I'm sure it will be valuable.)


Note: In the windplant making section below are examples of the components of making molds and parts.

1. The mold is filled with chunks of the desired plastic to the desired weight or the amount of weight that will fill the mold.

2. Heavy (steel - lead might melt?) weights are distributed on the lid of the box. (These replace the high pressure needed for injecting or extruding.) Typically it seems 25-40 pounds are required for "kitchen oven size" molds. (Support the oven rack.)

The lid will not fit into place on the box with all the lumps of plastic in it. The sides of the box must be tall enough or otherwise arranged so that as the plastic melts, the lid will end up in its final position as it lowers.

3. The oven is plugged in or turned on and left on for the amount of time required to melt the plastic and have the mold's lid drop down to its final position to correctly shape the part. This depends on the type of plastic, how fast the oven heats, and how long the pieces of plastic take to heat up and melt down, so no hard and fast rules can be made.

4. When the time is up, the oven is turned off and the door opened. The mold and part are left to cool for the desired length of time until the plastic is solid again and the mold is considered safe to handle. If there are screws going through the part and setting the depth/thickness, they should be unscrewed before it cools too much, as the plastic shrinks a bit and will probably crack around or between the screws.

5. The mold is opened and the part removed.   

In the early trials, if the plastic hasn't completely melted, the process is tried again for a longer time. If it has and perhaps seems "overdone", a shorter time time may be tried for the next similar piece.

Now back to the windplant development.

   I'm not sure why these pictures didn't make the December newsletter, tho the tests were near the end of that month. There I wrote of trying out a single blade in the wind tunnel to see where it had positive and negative turning force. It was largely positive: stronger forces over a broader angle of rotation than the counter forces as the blade returned upwind.

"Top dead center" where resistance is turning to positive rotational force

Midway down the power stroke, which doesn't end until well past "bottom dead center"

Last month I wrote about this: "[It] had positive force, measuring from the axle to the outside edge of the blade, from about 350° (just before it reached the fan end) to about 230° (well past where it pointed straight away from the fan). Thus it was providing thrust for 2/3 of the circle and resistance for only 1/3.
   Moreover, subtracting the areas where there wasn't much force either way, the thrust was reasonably strong from about 45 to 190°, a 145° range. As the blades are 120° apart, one blade will always be in the strong thrust area. The resistance was strong from about 270 to 330°, a 60° range. So the region of good thrust was over twice as large as the region where it was really resisting." and "the forward force around the maximum area felt substantially stronger than the resistive force around its strongest area."
   It was a good thing to test and it showed how the rotor shape works quite well.

[5th] I went to the refuse station looking for weights and instead found a big steel "box" to use for the inner shell of a long, wide, low oven. It didn't look quite as big as I had wanted, but it seemed about right otherwise. It looked like it could save me a whole bunch of work making my own. It had two hinged doors or lids on top. (The tail of the car already having a 45 gallon drum of planer shavings from a woodworker in it for the chickens, I put it across the folded-down back seat and drove home with the rear right door open. Funny there seemed to be a lot more road noise than usual from the snowy, gravelly highway. and it didn't make the car any warmer. At least with the electric car there was no chance of exhaust gas coming in.)
   The box measured about 19" * 58" * 10" (inside) - not quite the 2 feet wide and 5 feet long I had hoped for. Oh well! It had a "step" in the length and was shorter, 52", for the bottom 5-1/2". It looked sufficient for a couple of oven elements and tall enough for the windplant blade mold. It was probably sufficient for making all the parts for the wind wall if I didn't get too carried away as to size. Wind Wall 1.0, anyway!

    My idea for greenhouse wall panes from transparent PETE will have to be shrunk to about 16 or 17 inches by 56 inches (4' 8") max. Likewise, beams or boards longer than 4' 8" will likely be problematic.
   It would be nicer to have "boards" and greenhouse wall panes long enough to provide standing height. Is there any way to expand it a foot plus, to at least 6 feet? As it is -3° and everything including the box is covered with snow, I'll have to check the feasibility later.


Take 10
   Then, after yet another blade came out with the right hand side not pressed fully down to the screw, in spite of having over 30 pounds of weight on it, I started to think that something was probably flexing and the right-rear side of the bottom was sagging down.
   The angle pieces I had used for the sides rested on two narrow "foot" sections, rather casually cut out of the corners with the bandsaw. I moved the two side pieces together, sliding the left one in along the spacing rods. Aha! one had a slightly different slope than the other. It wasn't much, but it was in the direction that might explain it. I suspected the more weight I put on top, the harder it would push it out of line!
   With the rods tying the pieces together, I took them out to the shop and ground and sanded them together to make them even. When assembled it seemed more solidly seated, where it had rocked back and forth before.

[6th] Take 11, 12 It didn't seem to help. Maybe what it needed was for the weight to be more in the middle instead of some distributed up the back as far as possible? Maybe because of the weight there the back wouldn't flex as it needed to to sink into place? I tried again with about 28 pounds thus positioned. None was preventing the back portion of the "lid" piece from flexing forward. That was easier to set up, too.
   No dice. In fact, neither side went down home, and the plastic didn't reach the left and right sides, much less the corners. What to do next? Could all that weight really not be enough? I hadn't been able to find more steel for weights in the snow at the dump. Suddenly I remembered; I did have one more good weight: my makeshift anvil was 16 pounds. That made 44 pounds. I put the same plastic (had been ropes, now a solid blob) in the oven again for another hour.
   This time it was fully pressed down, and most of it looked great. It really did need all that weight to work well! At the back at the top, however, with no weights pressing against the back, it had bulged open. Plastic had pushed out the middle instead of filling the corners. The melted plastic must exert a very strong force trying to form a blob instead of flowing out to fill the long, wide and thin mold! But again, the windplant blades are the most difficult part I want to make, and the amount of equipment this simple oven-molding technique replaces makes it worth pursuing to the ultimate.
   It seemed what it needed next was a cross support near the back-top to stop the outside from bending back, and the cylinder weights pressing against the back from the inside - in addition to all those other weights pushing down. Then I thought I would start getting the blade shape I had designed into the mold!

[7th] Take 13 Well, I tried redistributing the weights. Even with 40 pounds, it didn't press down, not even half way! It looked like maybe the lid had hung up on the top of the bottom at the back. So much for pressing against the back as well as down! I couldn't seem to press it down with a stick, either.
   While waiting for it to cool down, I started thinking the 2mm / 12 gauge sheet alium. simply wasn't quite stiff enough. Not when so much weight was needed. My idea of cheap, light box molds might need a little revision. Thicker alium. like 10 gauge might make the difference. But I started thinking instead, maybe thick alium. ribs below the bottom sheet and above the top, cut to the exact curves, to ensure they hold their exact desired shape might make the difference.
   Once again this comes down to having the CNC table working and cutting alium. (And finding some thick alium. to cut.) Maybe I should give up on trying to make blades until I have the CNC table and the HHO torch cutter working? Ug! Perhaps in answer to my (?)prayers, the parallel port I had ordered had arrived at the post office.

   When the mold had cooled I opened it and found it was a totally different problem. After an hour in the oven, the PP ropes had only partly melted! They had shrunk to half their length, but still looked like ropes. This could mean one of two things: either the oven element was cutting out or, more likely, the door hadn't been quite shut. I had noticed it not quite shut before, the door sticking out just a 1/2 inch or an inch at the top. Sure enough, an hour with two boards propped against the door melted it. It was still missing those two back corners. Time for a modified plan!

[8th] I showed the blades to Steve. He had the idea to make mountings for them that would let each blade move in and out from center as well as swivel. "U" tracks or something? Thus some rapid experimentation could narrow down the best angle and distance from center of the blades on the rotor. That sounded worth making to me. Steve, who has plastic molding experience, also said that having all the plastic at the same temperature (because it was all in the oven at the same time) was valuable - presumably over plastic that is cooling as it is being pumped into a mold under high pressure.
   The next day I realized I should just make plywood pieces, like the test rotors but just a "leaf" for the top and bottom of each blade. These could screw the blades onto the axle/"spokes" pieces. With the CNC table now essentially working, should I try cutting the 6 identical pieces with it?

[10th] I couldn't get the "DXF2GCode" program to work properly. Apparently it's written in Python but they changed Python and it isn't compatible with Python 3.7 or 3.8. My computer had 3.8... and 2.7. Maybe that was too old, or maybe it simply went to 3.8 regardless. I tried installing 3.5 and 3.6 but got "not found" messages. Installing 3.9 didn't seem to help. Why do people keep changing things that are working, and that other things depend on? Adding features is one thing. Chopping and changing existing features just makes a mess. It will probably work somehow - others are using it - but I haven't yet figured out how.

Take 14 I tried another molding in the evening. With two boards propped against the door to ensure the oven was fully closed, it still only partly melted the ropes in an hour. It seemed to me the oven element must be cutting out. Grr!

[11th] I suddenly thought to make a name for the windplant blades I created. They can hardly be described as "Savonius" or "Darreius". "Carmichael"? "Windjammer"? Something catchy... How about "Windwarp" VAWT blades? ...or "Windwrap"? Those perhaps somewhat describe the rotated path of the wind through the rotor? - it's not just slowed down.
   I did a web search for "Windwarp". Although it did appear, it was mostly as two words "wind warp", about winding the warp on a loom. There was a what appeared to be a misspelling/typo of "windwrap" in a German document. And as a title in music. Nothing related to windplants.
   And maybe the name should also be for the whole rotor? ...I'm making {3-blade} "Windwarp rotors"?

   If I can't create parts in OpenSCAD and convert them to G-Code, the other option is to create them directly in G-Code. What a nuisance, and I'm now pretty rusty at that! But the plywood parts for the blades are pretty simple, and the sample program shows what codes are needed for cutting lines and curves.

[12th] Take 15 I went to the refuse station and found some grader blade bottoms - an inch thick and 4 wide solid steel. I was prepared. I had 2 large batteries and one of the 3000W/6000W(peak) 24V to 110VAC inverters I accidently bought, an extension cord, and angle grinder with spare zip disks and safety equipment. I cut a piece off one blade so I could lift both pieces, and put them in my car. (I wonder why these blades were thrown out? They looked fine to me!) At home I cut one to fit the mold. The bevel it had let it sit in a better position than a flat piece, covering the flat part of the blade and then up the inside curve toward the back. And it covered all the way from left to right evenly - it wouldn't tend to warp the alium. with uneven side-to-side pressure. It was perfect! 10 pounds. I put the two 10 pound blocks from the shop hydraulic press on top of it and plugged in the oven. (Now if the oven will stay on!)
   I looked 3 or 4 times. The oven element seemed to stay on. But the plastic was again only partly melted after an hour. I left it in another 10 minutes, and then another 10 minutes. Finally I saw plastic oozing out the edges. Why so long? The weather is a little warmer than it was, not colder. But then, a small piece had fallen out of the inside oven glass, so it is double glass now instead of triple. Maybe I should just screw a piece of metal over it? The only thing I can see through the glass anyway is whether the element is glowing. Maybe that, with some insulation, would cut down on the original 60 minutes, too?

   It still came out like others: plastic oozing out the top in the middle but not filling to the back corners. And a lower corner wasn't quite full. Because of the curved shape making the two pieces of the mold vertical at the back instead of horizontal, it really needed something to push the lid backward in the top area and not just downward. And maybe I should put in another 25 or 50 grams of plastic (to 525 or 550 grams) and accept the overflow as long as everything gets filled?

A typical blade casting: everything great except the outer/back corners.

Typical molding out of the oven.

Potential Rotor Layouts: Variation #1


#3 (not a very likely looking setup!)
It ended up somewhere between 1 and 2.

[14th] I finished breaking out the innermost (of 3) piece of glass in the oven door, put some fiberglass insulation in the ~1 inch space to the next piece, cut a piece of steel to fit over it, and screwed it on. I could hardly see into the oven anyway. Hopefully, if melting plastic took longer because of the missing piece of glass, it would now be shorter with the insulation.
   In the evening I e-mailed the people doing the beach cleanups with an update on my plastic molding. They replied saying that the thousands of pounds of ropes and nets were all going to be removed from the island Monday, so I had better get what I wanted Saturday - tomorrow! Egads!

[15th] I hooked up the utility trailer to the Toyota Echo and picked up a few hundred pounds of ropes. I hadn't tried the nets yet, but I knew the ropes worked, and either way I could get all I would care to carry.

  Operations yard for cleanup of plastic off remote Haida Gwaii beaches.
Contractors have picked it up with boats and brought it all here.
(My blue car and big "utility trailer" [hacked up tent trailer] at left.)

  Forklift sized bags of plastic - at leat one huge flatbed truck load had already been removed.
The bags are at least sorted into different materials. A forklift is filling the blue bin (far right).
I am pleased to be making (hopefully) good use of some bit of this mountain of waste material.

But the real mountain of waste plastic, with huge excavators crawling like ants around on top of it, is on the BC lower mainland.

   I essentially emptied one of their big white forklift bags. Short bits and rope frayed ATRS are just as good as any other, and actually need less (or no) cutting to fit into the mold.The rest (and I saw a truckload already on its way as I drove down) is going to Vancouver on the North Arm barge from Masset. In 6 months or a year I may be sorry I didn't take more and that it's all left the island, but in case I don't actually produce windplants I already sure have a lot of bits of rope.

   After that I went into town. Two little BLDC motors I'd ordered thinking they might make good generators for the windplants, were in the mail. I did some quick tests.

RPM (with
drill press)
Watts =
V^2 / R
Easy to
hold stator
(with rotor
turning in drill
press chuck)
10 Ω 3.2
Resistance to
holding stator
from turning
5 Ω 6.1
3 Ω 9.7
1 Ω
.5 Ω
1720 9.7
open -

1720 8.7
3 Ω 25.2

1720 6.4
1 Ω 41.0

1720 5.4
.5 Ω 58.3
resistance to
holding stator

   I didn't care about frequency because I'm just going to rectify it with a 3-phase bridge. To run a DC to DC up converter it has to be over 8.5 volts. While that needs to be modified to the DC value from all 3 phases, let's just say I should be aiming at around 1500 RPM from say 200 RPM from the windplant rotor as a starting point in low winds. The voltage can go through the DC to DC converter to say 13.5VDC for charging 12V batteries or to about 40.5VDC for 36V. No doubt the converter will manage whatever power it is getting from the windplant. (or maybe an MPS7210A boost charge controller? But they need about 15 volts in. DC to DC and then MPS71210?)

   So it needs about a 7.5 x mechanical speedup. How? Anything is going to have some friction. How to get such a large speedup in one step? I have those poly-V belts and ~2" pulleys. the rotor part could run on a 15" flat or 'barrel' pulley of plywood (prototype) or molded PP on the rotor axle. Or maybe a simple rubber wheel running on a big PP wheel? Like, 1" and 7.5"? or something like that. (Preferably that won't slip in a strong wind & generating say 100 watts.)

[16th] I drilled and threaded holes and put an alium. bar across the back of the mold to support horizontal force pressing backward. The other part to that is... how to get that force? Maybe I should cut a piece to what I hope will be the exact length to supply it?

Fat alium. bar across back to help hold curved form upright

Take 16
I put 525 grams of rope in the mold and put it in the oven. I used some yellow and some blue rope too. The resulting colors were visible but not very bright.
   I had hoped the door insulation would reduce the time needed in the oven, and I set the timer for 55 minutes instead of 60. But it wasn't melted. Another 10... and another 10... and another 10. It took almost 1-1/2 hours! The element looks the same brightness AFAICT by eye, so my best guess is that I'm getting it so hot that the insulation around the oven is withering. Maybe I need to replace the (surely) fiberglass insulation with rock wool? I'll take a side off the stove and see what I can see. I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to melt the plastic in maybe 30 to 40 minutes. (After 15 minutes cooling with the oven door open, the "oozed" plastic was still quite soft to the touch of a screwdriver. So it's obviously not going to heat up and cool down in 5 or 10 minutes.)

   There was a little more edge oozing. The top corners were still not filled, but the unfilled area was smaller. Maybe I should  try 550 grams? Or, if I could get thinner cracks between the top and the sides, and more force against the back, less plastic should ooze out around the edges. Since it would be hard to expand the top piece, I should probably sand the bottom piece just slightly narrower. Another thing that might be abetting poorer results is that except for the first 2 or 3 times, I have repeatedly forgotten to spray on the silicone lubricant. The ones that filled the corners best probably had been sprayed. Maybe the problem will magicly go away if I do? I put the can in the mold so I don't forget next time.

[17th] I did a bit of sanding on the edges to narrow the bottom piece a trifle. It had been about 1.5mm(?) wider than the top. I probably got it below 1mm max. (But if the top is Any wider than the bottom, it will probably jam instead of sinking down as the plastic melts!)
   I looked at the oven. The far side had sprung away at the front, leaving a gap. (Remember where I got this free stove.) That had to be letting cold air in! The insulation inside of it looked all right. So I just sprung it back on and put a stake next to it to stop the bottom from springing out again.
Take 17 I put in 525 grams of PP again, hoping less would ooze out the sides and it would go into the outer corners instead, and sprayed the mold with silicone lube. I set the oven timer for an hour. Nope. Add 10 minutes (looked like it was close) and add 10 minutes again. Then, still not seeing anything coming at the top corner edges, I unplugged it but left the door closed for another 10.

Another Mold (something of a sideline!)

   I also wanted to try something besides rotor blades. The idea of greenhouse wall and roof panels or panes was enticing. There are clear PS and PP packages, but most "display" food comes in clear PETE, so I chose that. I looked around for scraps of alium. and picked some small pieces to make a simple box mold about 157 by 212 mm. Just a test size. I can't see such small pieces being of much use. I suppose because it was small, it seemed proportional to make it with low walls. In doing that, I neglected a key "Plastic Recycling 2.0" point. That is, that whatever the size of the mold, if you're going to throw in chunks of plastic, the sides have to be high enough to contain them. To accommodate bulky transparent food containers, the sides should have probably been about 3 inches tall.

   Because they are so short I had to cut the containers way down into pretty flat bits, and even then I had to scrunch them down and put the weight on top to get them "contained" - more or less.

[18th] Oven: I took the back off and checked the oven element. Still 9.33 amps: 2240 watts. No change there. I put in the little tray of PETE with a single 8 pound weight on it. In just 10 minutes the lid had sunk into the box. I left the oven on another 10 and took it out. I was too early. And it looked a little thin, so I added some more bits.

  Perhaps the insulation just under the floor of the oven and the heater element was burned or melted? Could I open it? I tipped the oven on its side. Water came out. It looked like nearly everything would have to disassemble before the underneath panel, but there was one little finger hole and I could feel that the oven floor insulation was soaking wet! That would certainly ruin its insulating capacity, and explain why it seemed to be taking longer and longer to melt the plastic. Of course I should have the stove under cover. Easier said than done. Perhaps I could put something over it? What? I ended up with a piece of PE for a tarp, held down by a couple of boards. Well! I could have done that easily in the first place!

Take 18 #17 had less PP oozed out the cracks, but it hadn't fully pressed home on the right side again. And I noticed later that #16 hadn't pressed quite down at the left-front corner. It was a little thicker there. The extra thickness in each could explain why there still wasn't enough plastic to fill the top corners. Need more weights, again? I had dropped it down to 30 pounds again. It seemed so absurdly heavy for what it was doing. Maybe it really needed 35 or 40? Then maybe part of the reason for long times was insufficient pressure to squash the PP into place until it was hotter than just "melted"? Maybe that was adding 5 or 10 minutes?
   I cut another 30cm, 10 pound piece of grader blade, which also left an end that was 6.6 pounds. Then I cut a bunch more pieces of the green PP rope. I put in about 535g of rope and about 35 pounds worth of weights on top. At the same time I put the little PETE test mold in again with 9 pounds on it, and set the timer for 30 minutes. The oven rack was sagging even with a piece of brick supporting the middle.

   After 30 minutes the sheets of PETE had all squashed down pretty flat, but they hadn't actually melted: they were still separate sheets that didn't stick to each other and merge into one thick piece. I put it back in and set the timer to 30 more.
   By this time the sheets were at least merging into each other. They also seemed to be turning from transparent to gray. I hoped and thought they would become clear again once fused into a single sheet between the alium sheets.

   I gave it another 15. That was apparently too much. I hadn't put stoppers inside, counting on the viscosity of the melted plastic to stop the weight. But the PETE was so much thinner than the PP that it came out every tiny crack around the top and bottom. And turned light gray.
   And it stuck to the alium pretty hard. I had to unscrew all 4 corners and hit them with a screwdriver handle, at which point the side pieces would snap off suddenly, like glass. (I had again neglected the silicone lube spray on this one.) I put it - the top and bottom with the PETE sandwiched between, gluing them together - in the freezer. That didn't coax them to separate, but a chisel and a hammer did so without bending up the alium. sheets.

Clear PETE Not Transparent!?!

   Some of the thin layer (< 1 to 2 mm thick) still inside stuck to each face. It was useless, and quite a challenge to chisel off in little bits. Along with becoming brittle as glass, the PETE including inside the mold had lost its transparency and become a light gray color. In fact it seemed to be doing that even before it had completely melted. I could hardly see light through a 1.5 to 2.0mm thick shard. So much for PETE! I don't think I'll try it again.

   That shattered my dream of making transparent PETE greenhouse panels - at least with my technique. The brittleness merely underscored the unsuitability. Just as well I did a small mold and not a big "greenhouse panels" size one to test the idea out!

   There are transparent PP and PS food containers, but they are rare compared to PETE. Even if one or both of them work, it's hard to imagine collecting enough scraps to make a good part of a greenhouse, let alone make it an enterprise.

   When I scraped them off, the pieces made an interesting jigsaw puzzle. The clues were the thickness and general shade of the pieces. (It helped that the bottoms were darker than the tops.) The smaller pieces usually looked like they just couldn't be the right fit until they were actually in place and the cracks disappeared.

   Moving on, the PP Wind Wall was still a "go"... The "Take 18" blade had a lot of overflow in the top middle, so much and so thick I had to cut it off on the bandsaw rather than just breaking it off. And one top corner had filled. The other one was almost filled. Maybe 550 grams of PP next time? Or, what if anything could I do about the overflow? It also had not quite flattened out at the front left, like #16. Maybe with so much weight on top, it's bending the mold? (It's certainly bending the oven rack! So the two mold 'feet' are probably not even.)

   A wind wall with two 3 foot tall rotors will take 18 blades, so for the prototype I'll be using most of the ones I've made regardless of flaws. Not to mention 3 of the best for the test rotor.

Finally Some Tests

   I cut two 16" diameter circles out of plywood (3/4" and 1/4") and measured off 120° positions. Then I found 8 and made 4 more small angle brackets. (never mind making complex plywood shapes on the CNC router! or by hand again.) I drilled holes and mounted three blades between the two circles, at the positions and angles I thought would be about optimum. It was 16" (OD) by 12" effective height.

I put it in the wind tunnel and got the following results (Shop & OAT = +5°c):

Low: 50-58 RPM
Med: 84-88 RPM
High: 100-104 RPM

From last month, the 9.75" (OD) by 14" (effective blade height) 3-bladed test rotor gave:

Low: 56-57
Med: 86-90
High: 108-118

   Being 16" diameter instead of 10", the similar RPMs represent 1.6* more linear speed at the outer rim, which surely represents more torque from the wider rotor better overcoming bearing friction. And, putting some finger friction on the axle, it did seem to have more torque.
   Then I put the stationary vane in front at 45° to aim the wind. With the larger diameter rotor it was a little too narrow to deflect all the wind from the returning side to the power stroke side, but it still gave a good boost:

Low: 68-78 RPM
Med: 96-106 RPM
High: 128-136 RPM

   Again the torque seemed at least marginally substantial. It may only be a few watts, but again, the 3.1 m/s wind speed from the fan on high is still below the 4 m/s cut-in speed of most windplants. And if the rotor was 3 feet tall instead of 1 foot, I'm pretty sure it would prove to be well over 10 watts, and with two rotors in the wind wall, 20 or 30. It's the cube of the wind speed from there up. Double the speed to a good stiff breeze (6.2 m/s): 160 or 240 watts.

[20th] I started thinking that if plywood would eat 1.5 inches out of each 12 inch blade (12.5% power loss!), maybe I should make the blade supports differently than I had planned. Well, they will be PP, so there's time to design them differently than a flat slab.

Generator Coupling

   I had been wondering how to connect the generators to the axle of the rotor with a speed-up. A flat belt might be good, but PP strapping was too heavy for this. Where to find a light one? Then I thought of just using fat string or thin rope. It might be tricky, but the ends could be melted together to make a loop, and an idler wheel could apply tension. And it might even be arranged that it would slip with sufficient resistance before it burned out the generator in a storm? I would need some pretty ordinary pulleys for thin rope! I decided to lay it all out on a small piece of plywood that could be set on top of the wind tunnel to test it.
   I took a piece of fat string and melted the ends together. There was a bump every time the join passed the small pulley, but it didn't break apart. I found a 9" V-belt pulley and added some brass tubes to shim it down from 1/2" to the 3/8" rotor axle. I couldn't find two small V-belt pulleys I bought a while ago for the bandmill project. So on the generator I tried a round piece of wood, which I turned on the lathe to what I thought would be suitable, but the cogging and friction of the generator, multiplied by 10+ by the speed increase ratio, prevented the rotor from spinning. And if I started it by hand, it soon came to a stop. I tried the other end of the piece with a somewhat larger diameter, but it still wouldn't start. (If the rotor had been 3 times taller, it might have.)
   Then I tried a 3+" V-belt pulley I had on hand. That turned, and gave 0.2 VAC out. The rotor wasn't turning very fast. I really think I want magnets right on the rotor axle and a non-cogging stator -- a low speed generator that has no effect on the rotation until one tries to draw power out of it.

smallest pulley

a bit larger

3" V-belt pulley

The poles and magnets construction of this small motor

Wind Wall... or WATER Wall ?!?

[21st] I drove to Masset to buy some machine screws no one seemed to have in QC. As the highway passed by Masset Inlet with its strong tidal flow running, it suddenly occurred to me that the wind turbine should also make a great low-speed water turbine, and that the wind wall could also be a great water wall! There seemed to be a some 'fortuitous' features that could make it a great fit for marine use:

1. With the generators at the top end of the axles as planned, they could be out of the water while the turbines were in it. Counter-rotating turbines would neutralize (or at least limit) any tendency to pull to one side.

2. I had designed for torque and power at the lowest possible wind speeds, but obviously a 2 meters per second wind doesn't have enough force to do much more than charge a cell phone or light an LED. However, a 2 meters per second water flow would certainly have a lot of power! Air = 1.25 Kg/m^3. Water = 1000 Kg/m^3. So power at the same flow rate is 800 times more.

3. It's mostly made of polypropylene plastic! With, say, UHMW (& ?) bushings instead of ball bearings, it would last a long time underwater. The metal shaft could be replaced with PP or stainless steel.

4. Having low-speed turbines with blunt faces, it would probably allow small fish to pass through without harm. With a "cow-catcher" to deflect surface logs and debris, and the turbines underwater, it probably wouldn't be very prone to getting clogged. (If necessary, grilles can be deployed in front.)

   In addition, the fixed "wall" enclosure allows for diverse deployment options. For example: attached to any sort of floating vessel, or placed in a creek with ropes to hold it in position. It could be fixed in place underwater, with tall sides on the wall and long shafts holding the generators far in the air for varying water depths including for tides. With floats attached to the sides, it could be tethered in a river or other flowing water (eg, Masset inlet) either from shore (with the programmable rudders), from a fixed anchor or from an anchored vessel.
   Then there's that idea from the Faroes (TE News #163) about having it tack back and forth behind its moorings to gain lateral speed and increase the rate of flow through the turbines, perhaps from 2 meters per second to 3.

   The potential prospects suddenly seem far more exciting than a simple home windplant! Maybe we won't need to buy our future tide power units from Scotland after all!

Insulated PETE Greenhouse Panels?

   I also had another idea for the polyethylene terepthalate (PETE / PET) greenhouse panels. It may be a bit flakey... or might it actually make a better product?
   Before it started to melt and turn gray, in the oven for just 10 minutes the PETE plastic had essentially flattened from its various container shapes, still transparent but now loose, flat sheets - not stuck together. Perhaps one could use this: create the flat sheets in a box mold and set several layers on top of each other. Then stamp them every 2 or 3 or 4 inches apart with something hot that would melt the stamped points together. Perhaps in a hexagon pattern? And maybe stamp the edges. They would no doubt be opaque gray at the points where they were stamped, but in between they would be several transparent layers with thin trapped air spaces (...or probably open at some edges). This would probably be stronger than a single thick sheet, and it would have something more: it would have an insulating value. It might have a higher "R" value than (eg) 2-layer coroplast or polycarbonate sheets.
   Okay, the pattern stamping would require some extra equipment that I have no intention of trying to create myself. (Unless it could be done on the CNC table?) But I still might experiment a bit and see what could be made!

   As far as actual work of the day, I made a couple of small but hopefully significant adjustment bends in the bottom piece of the blade mold at the back. Hopefully it will have less melted plastic oozing out the middle and better fill into the back corners.

[22th] Take 19, 20 I made another blade, using the plastic from Take #1 and a couple of other bits to make 535 grams, and this time the back end came out well - less excess came out in the middle and the corners were filled. YAY! 70 minutes seemed to be the magic time for the oven. Except for a few bubbles it was pretty much perfect.
   Looking closer, one side didn't seem to have enough curve - the fat part was too thin toward the left side. (Why does that keep happening after I keep bending it to make it thicker?) So I bent it a bit more (again) to fix that. Then I did another one. This time the corners were missing again. With the fat part fatter, it seemed like there just wasn't quite enough plastic. 570 grams next time!

[23rd] The next blade (I'm going to stop counting) didn't seem to have pressed down all the way on either side, so again it had void corners. Hmm...

[24th] I put another blade in the oven. Much "miscellaneous" bits of rope with lots of frayed strands. It looked like the corners were going to be missing again. I unplugged the oven, but this time I threw another 9 pound weight on top of the 29 and left it with the door closed another 8-9 minutes. Bingo! When I opened the door it had squeezed down more and plastic was oozing out everywhere including three corners. The fourth turned out to be all but filled, and yet the right hand side (still!) hadn't pressed all the way down.
   Didn't I already figure out once before that it seemed to need 35 or 40 pounds? I seem to have taken a very long time and far too many tries to learn what should be two pretty simple variables: (A) the length of time needed in the oven and (B) the amount of weight required. But it is hard to comprehend that it should need so much weight! Oh, and yes: a little silicone lube on the mold surface helps the piece come out more easily.

   I had been thinking about how they mount, and that a solid circle top and bottom would probably be best, so the rotor would be like a 'spool', with no wind (or water flow) going up or down instead of across. But how to accomplish that? The obvious best would be a solid spool made of one piece of plastic: circle top, 3 blades and circle bottom. That seemed well beyond the capabilities of "plastic recycling 2.0". But perhaps I could mold the blades with a flange on each side? Those could much more easily screw or bolt onto plain circle end pieces - molded or just cut out of plastic sheets. That meant changing the mold to add the flanges... hmm! ...or should I stick with the original plan of a complex shaped mounting piece like the test pieces? Somehow that seems more doable and will probably work just as well.

The rather complex shape "hub" pieces to attach the blades to
(On the smaller test rotors)

   If I was going to make that, the blade positions and angles would be fixed, built into the mold. It would be best if that was the optimal shape! So I went out to the shop for 3 hours trying out different blade positions and angles to see what gave the highest RPM, or the highest RPM for the diameter. I took out the stationary vane as a potential "wild card". The variableness of the results at the best of times made things tricky, but I finally concluded that my original chosen adjustments actually seemed to be best. Nothing else seemed better, and some didn't seem as good. RPMs for all positions tried were about 86 to 98, and the original gave 96-98.

[26th] I went back to thinking the "spool" idea was best. At the thickest points of the blades, stainless steel screws - 1 or 2 - could be put through to hold them to the side circles. Something else would have to be made to hold a couple of screws at the thinner outside areas. "L" brackets would work. Ugh! Well, I'll think about it later. Another choice might be to epoxy everything together. I didn't want to add an impurity to the PP in case of later recycling, but it might be the practical and strongest solution.

   Now... how to make those big PP circles for the top and bottom? I dug out a 1/4 inch thick circle of alium. Jim at AGO had given me some years back. 404mm diameter. Turned "perfect" on a big lathe. I couldn't have made anything more perfect! (Although I had it because it said "Wobbels - no good.") So there was the lid to the mold. The bottom could be any shape - ie, square. That left the sides. They would have to be made of maybe 1/4" alium, bent around in a perfect circle to match the top. Maybe 2.5 or 3 inches tall. 1269mm (49.97") long. This rim would be screwed to the bottom for doing the molding. If there was some way to hold it to the bottom, the rim could perhaps be thinner. But 1/4" would best ensure a smooth, even and solid curve.

   Out in the shop I found a piece about 1/8" thick, 4" wide, and 46" long. If split it into two 2" wide pieces each 26" long, it would be long enough. (I had nothing 50" long.) I thought that should bend smoothly enough and as I had to bend it by hand, it would be about all I could handle anyway. I would have to use angle brackets or something to hold it to the bottom piece.
   I cut the pieces and bent them around a 12" V-belt pulley, fastened to a bench beside the notorious sheet metal machine as an anchor. They sprang back too much, and I ended up with a 10" pulley. That made the curve just a bit too small, but by an amount easily bent back by hand. Then (having left enough length) I bent two ends to overlap and put screws through to hold it together.

[27th] I cut a square bottom piece just a bit bigger than the ring. Then I polished the faces and then did the rim screws. I cut the ends off the screws so they wouldn't stick inside, which would stop the lid from pushing down. I put 3 machine screws through the lid at 120° both marking where screws would be to screw into the blades, and to set a stopping height within the mold for the melting plastic. I had planned to make "L" brackets to hold the sides to the bottom, but then I thought of just using some spring clips, which I made from some flat springy metal strips.

1210 grams of PP plastic (too much!)

Top just fit on

In the oven

After baking

Half baked!

   In the oven I set it on the same pizza dsih I had used for a drip catcher base for the blades. It was the same diameter as the top piece and the ring. Of course, that supported it all the way around the edges but not in the middle. I ended up using the same ~38 pounds of weights as for the blades. It was harder to tell what was going on than with the blades, but in 65 minutes when a fair bit of PP had oozed out one area I turned the heat off.

   The result was disappointing. But the main problem seemed to be that it hadn't completely melted. Also, the flat bottom had become warped, something like a shallow dish probably from having no support in the middle.

   Later I put it back in the oven to redo it. But the warped bottom piece looked like it would let a lot of PP ooze out one side area. It seemed it needed a thicker bottom to stay flat, perhaps 1/4" instead of ~.085". I don't have such a piece, but the TOP was 1/4"! Very little had oozed out the narrow cracks between the top and the outer ring. I set some fat supports in the middle so the edges wouldn't touch as it sank down, and turned the whole thing upside down. I set the timer for 75 minutes and hoped. It wasn't reassuring that any that came out was likely to run down and drip onto the burner.
   I finished editing pictures in 70 minutes and checked. There was enough smoke coming out to make me nervous, so I unplugged the oven and opened the door.
   When it had cooled enough to look, it was much better melted, but not ideally. The bottom (now top) piece being bowed out was no help. However, it was 6mm thick at one edge and about 14mm opposite - quite lop-sided. Apparently the machine screws were too near the center and weren't keeping the lid(?) level as the plastic sank down. (And there was just too much plastic.) I could put in three more nearer the rim, but I had to figure out exactly where, in relation to the first three, and to where the blades would sit. And it obviously needed a thicker bottom piece.

[29th] I decided 1/4" was about the right thickness rather than 1/2" - which was the thin side of my lop-sided circle. But I needed a thicker bottom piece for the mold, the one I had having formed the shape of a dish. So I put that aside for the moment.

   For doing the screws out toward the edge, I conceived that instead of "L" brackets, maybe I could bend some stainless steel machine screws to 90°. Then it could be inserted through the blade, and the up (down) bend could go through the top (bottom) and a nut be put on, which would tighten the blade into place.
   The bolts bent more easily than I expected, just in a vise with a small hammer. And if one tapped them crooked a little, then loosened the vise and raised them a bit, then bent them farther, then repeated that 3 or 4 times until they were at a right angle, the bend was more gradual and they looked like they stayed plenty strong.

   I asked my neighbor if he had any stainless steel shaft lying around. Instead I got a plastic pipe. It was 1 inch inside diameter. I was thinking it was a bit thick, then I realized that I could use it as a coupler for the 1 inch shaft of my "Improved Piggott alternator" to connect it to the rotor. If I slit it I could tighten it on with hose clamps. (When did I make that... 3 years ago?)
   That solved a piece of the puzzle. With the non-cogging, low friction alternator good for kilowatts, plus putting the rotor in flowing water, the unit should spin and put out some real power! ...once the outer frame was done and all was assembled, of course. I would use a short stainless steel shaft at the bottom and make a UHMW bushing to hold it. That should work and last well in water, even salt water.

[Feb. 2nd] On the 1st Steve cut me a 1/4" thick bottom piece, a 17" octagon, from a big sheet he had. The extra size left a lip to catch oozing plastic. I made 8 spring clips to hold the outside rim to the bottom and minimize PP oozing out.
   I put 3 more machine screw holes at the positions I estimated the bent screws should go, which were also to help keep the top level as it descended with the melting plastic. So it had six #10-24 screws protruding 1/4" into the mold cavity through the lid.
   Then I bandsawed off half my original disc of PP to 610 grams instead of 1210, this time intending to make it 1/4" thick instead of 1/2". I put that into the mold, put the lid on and did up the clips, and put it all in the oven with 25 pounds of weight on the lid. It seemed to be done in 60 minutes so I opened the door and unplugged it. After 10 minutes I unscrewed the six lid screws. (Removing protruding screws (at least all but one) is necessary because the plastic shrinks more than the alium. as it cools, and it would crack at the screws as it contracted between them.
   I should have noticed that no plastic had oozed out anywhere. When I took it out, I discovered that it had shrunk down into a flat blob, but it hadn't quite flattened out completely and filled to the edges. Of course it was already a flat blob, but I could see it had sunk down more. 5 more minutes probably would have done it! I tried to make a mark around the inside of the rim with a felt pen to show just where the lid should drop to when it was done. I sprayed in some silicone spray, put it together again, and back in the oven. As it was still quite warm I set the timer for 50 minutes to check it then. (I think I had to leave it on for another 5 or 10 minutes.)

The mold after pulling it out of the oven

The circle. There were a few small voids, notably near some of the screw holes

I used 3 of the bent bolts and drilled three blades, and semi-mounted them

   The silicone spray had created a mist when I sprayed it on the hot alium. and it bothered my lungs. The hot plastic smelled some too. Even the cooled parts could still be smelled a bit for a day or so. I resolved that unless the weather or the bugs were really awful I was going to do everything outdoors until I had a cool or cold piece of plastic. Maybe I'll just keep everything out in the shop? Or maybe a work table in the carport would be a good idea?

[Feb 3rd] I tried casting another rotor but it visibly was way thicker on one side and the plastic hadn't reached the edge on the other. Again I think I hadn't given it enough time. I didn't even take it apart. Later I did up the screws and put it back in the oven, this time for 75 minutes. This time much more plastic had oozed out the cracks and it looked like it was down flat. It turned out to still be thicker on one side than the other, but I decided it was "close enough". The rotor may need a weight attached to balance it. Next time I'll use a little less plastic. (585g instead of 635?)
   Also I bought a remote laser temperature reader and got readings of 262 and 266°C [511°F] on the top of the mold when I pulled the piece out. In future I can check it and make sure it's up to that range to guess whether the plastic has fully melted yet, instead of running blind.

Here it is -- the immersible solid polypropylene turbine!
(with only 3 bolts, the top's edges not yet trimmed/sanded, and no axle)

My Solar Power System

   The 31st was sunny, and it occurred to me that the cabin solar now had 1220W of panels driving a 700W grid tie. There was just 470W being made in the still low winter sun, but soon the inverter would be limiting the power output, if it wasn't already. I took the old 1000W inverter back out and re-installed it, and put two panels (610W) on each. I know the Y-Solar "1000W" inverters work best with the lightest load, but it occurs to me I could add another panel for 1525W at the cabin and still be under the rating for both inverters. I don't suppose it made much difference to the day's production, much less to the month's. (Now if only there wasn't a travel trailer and an RV with 1100W of electric heaters plugged in down there, using far more than is ever made in winter!)
   If I do get around to installing more panels, I'd like to mount them more upright to get more fall-winter-spring production, instead of just the easy mounting: bolting them flat on the 15° slope roof. And I'd most like to try putting some on the roof at the north end of the east garage, where I think there's the least tree shade of anywhere available.

Daily/Monthly/Yearly Log of Solar Power Generated [and grid power consumed]

(All times are in PST: clock 48 minutes ahead of sun, not PDT which is an hour and 48 minutes ahead. (DC) battery system power output readings are reset to zero daily (often just for LED lights, occasionally used with other loads: Electric car, inverters in power outages or other 36V loads), while the grid tied readings are cumulative.)

Solar: House, Trailer, (.DC@house)  => total KWH [grid power meter reading(s)@time] Sky conditions
Km = electric car drove distance, then car was charged.

31st 2443.40, 0001.32, .37 => 0.41 [91033@17:30] -4,-2° again

01st 2443.60, 0001.85, .36 => 1.09 [91080@16:30] +3° (Yay!) Snow melted off cabin roof & panels, but only partly off house roof panels.
2nd  2443.70, 0002.17, .29 => 0.71 [91134@17:00] +1°. Still snow on house panels.
03rd 2443.75, 0002.22, .05 => 0.15 [50Km; 91186@16:30] -1 to +2°, snowing, wind.
04th 2443.75, 0002.22, .05 => 0.05 [91256@24:30] -2° or so. Brushed off 5 panels during day for DC system.
05th 2443.78, 0002.22, .05 => 0.08 [55Km; 91297@17:00] -3°, Still snow all over.
06th 2444.42, 0002.22, .39 => 1.03 [91364@17:30] -6° to -3°, snowed overnight. Mostly sunny. Running 12W DC light panel for plants.
07th 2444.93, 0002.23, .35 => 0.87 [91429@17:00] -7 to -1°, sunny AM, no wind. A bit more snow.
08th 2444.94, 0002.23, .06 => 0.07 [55Km; 91497@17:30] rain/snow/rain -2 to +2°. The snow is getting slushy.
09th 2445.10, 0002.34, .06 => 0.33 [91557@20:00] hit +5° heavy rain most of day - snow is melting.
10th 2445.81, 0002.83, .23 => 1.43 [91597@17:30] +6°, some sun around noonhour.
11th 2446.06, 0003.06, .14 => 0.65 [45Km; 91647@17:00] +2°, clouds. Gosh, still almost no collection even with the snow gone off the collectors?
12th 2446.50. 0003.42, .26 => 1.06 [55Km; 91701@17:00] +1°, clouds, fog.
13th 2446.88, 0003.72, .24 => 0.92 [91756@17:00] Morr clouds, fog. +3°.
14th 2447.45, 0004.12, .18 => 1.15 [91802@17:00] Tiny bit of sun in AM, +6°
15th 2447.78, 0004.28, .09 => 0.58 [50Km; 91858@17:30] No sun today! +3°
16th 2449.45, 0005.21, .12 => 2.72 [91909@17:30] Sunny for part of PM.
17th 2451.76, 0007.01, .26 => 4.37 [55Km;91957@17:30] Sunny Day! -0 to +2° (nothing is thawing!)

18th 2453.29, 0007.79, .18 => 2.49 [92005@17:30] 0°
19th 2453.66, 0007.91, .00 => 0.49 [55Km; 92063@17:30] Dull, rain. +5°. No more snow?
20th 2456.16, 0009.68, .00 => 4.27 [93105@18:00] Sunny except early AM.
21st 2457.02, 0010.42, .30 => 1.90 [93146@17:00] Some sun. +8°
22d  2459.25, 0011.52, .20 => 3.53 [55Km; 93196@17:00] Some nice sun. +7°
23rd 2461.31, 0012.44, .02 => 3.00 [93244@17:30] Some sun again (I wasn't going to bother adding in the '.02', but...)
24th 2462.78, 0013.23, .09 => 2.35 [93287@17:30] Not much sun.
25th 2464.54, 0014.15, .08 => 2.76 [60Km; 93328@18:00] Hazee sun throo claoodz az yoojyooil. +7°
26th 2465.44, 0014.49, .00 => 1.24 [93377@18:00] No sun today!  From the cabin, a suspiciously low collection,,,
27th 2467.57, 0016.43, .25 => 4.32 [93432@22:30] Hazy sun again.  ,,,followed by a suspiciously high collection! (Nearly as much as the house from just 4 solar panels?!?)
28th 2468.35, 0016.84, .10 => 1.29 [93464@17:30]
29th 2470.32, 0017.82, .04 => 2.99 [93502@17:30; 55Km]
30th 2472.61, 0019.44, .12 => 4.03 [93553@17:00] Some sun
31st 2476.23, 0021.86, .00 => 6.04 [93589@18:00] SUNNY! all day. (& cold.) Frost melted only where sun hit it. (Root canal. Sniff, sob, my poor tooth!)

01st 2477.73, 0022.23, .00 => 1.87 [93626@19:30, 55Km] No sunny. Cold, frost.
02d  2479.95, 0022.83, .23 => 3.05 [93680@18:00] cloudy but warmer - +9°
03rd 2480.42, 0022.89, .03 => 0.56 [93729@21:30; 55Km] Rain. Fog.
04th 2482.85, 0024.06, .00 => 3.60 [93770@21:30]
05th 2484.15, 0024.81, .27 => 2.32 [93807@17:00; 55Km] Cloudy,
06th 2485.71, 0025.66, .00 => 2.41 [93849@117:00] & cloudy

Daily KWH from solar panels. (Compare January 2022 with December 2021 & with January 2021.)

Days of
__ KWH
January 2022
(15 solar panels: but
just 5 in snow until 9th)
December 2021
(14 solar panels - all 15
contributing as of 18th,
then just 5 in snow.)
January 2021
(12 solar panels)















Total KWH
Km Driven
on Electricity
591 Km (~100 KWH?)
(rear brakes dragging!)
 793 Km
(~120 KWH?)

Monthly Summaries: Solar Generated KWH [& Power used from grid KWH]

March 1-31: 116.19 + ------ + 105.93 = 222.12 KWH - solar [786 KWH used from grid]
April - 1-30: 136.87 + ------ + 121.97 = 258.84 KWH [608 KWH]
May  - 1-31: 156.23 + ------ + 147.47 = 303.70 KWH [543 KWH] (11th solar panel connected on lawn on 26th)
June - 1-30: 146.63 + 15.65 + 115.26 = 277.54 KWH [374 KWH] (36V, 250W Hot Water Heater installed on 7th)
July  - 1-31: 134.06 + 19.06 + 120.86 = 273.98 KWH [342 KWH]
August 1-31:127.47 + 11.44+91.82+(8/10)*96.29 = 307.76 KWH [334 KWH] (12th solar panel connected on lawn Aug. 1)
Sept.- 1-30: 110.72 + 15.30 + 84.91 = 210.93 KWH   [408 KWH] (solar includes 2/10 of 96.29)
Oct.  - 1-31:  55.67 + 13.03 + 51.82 = 120.52 KWH, solar [635 KWH used from grid]
Nov. - 1-30:  36.51 +   6.31 + 26.29 =   69.11 KWH, solar [653 KWH used from grid]
Dec.  - 1-23: 18.98 +   .84* + 11.70 =   31.52 KWH, solar + wind [711 KWH + 414 (while away) = 1125 from grid]

Jan.  - 6-31: 17.52 + ------* + 10.61  =  28.13 KWH, solar+ wind [1111 KWH from grid]
Feb.  - 1-29: 56.83 + ------* + 35.17  =  92.00 KWH, solar + wind [963 KWH from grid]
* The solar DC system was running the kitchen hot water tank. Now it's only running a couple of lights - not (usually) worth reporting. So there's just the 2 grid tie systems: house and "roof over travel trailer".
One year of solar!
March - 1-31: 111.31 +   87.05 = 198.37 KWH solar total  [934 KWH from grid]
April   - 1-30: 156.09 + 115.12 = 271.21 [784 KWH from grid]
May    - 1-31: 181.97 + 131.21 = 313.18 KWH Solar [723 KWH from grid]
June   - 1-30: 164.04 + 119.81 = 283.82 KWH Solar [455 KWH from grid]
July    - 1-31: 190.13 + 110.05 = 300.18 KWH Solar [340 KWH from grid]
August- 1-31: 121.81 + 83.62   = 205.43 KWH Solar [385KWH from Grid]
Sept.  - 1-30: 110.68 + 65.09   = 175.77 KWH Solar [564 KWH used from grid]
Oct.  -   1-31:   67.28 + 42.55   = 109.83 KWH Solar [1360 KWH from grid -- Renters!]
Nov.  -  1-30:   35.70  + 20.79  = 56.49 KWH of Solar [1301 KWH from grid]
Dec.  -  1-31:   19.78  + 11.31  = 31.09 KWH Solar [1078 KWH used from grid]

Jan.   -  1-31:   25.47 + 18.58  = 44.05 KWH Solar [1185 KWH used from grid]
Feb.   -  1-28:   47.18 + 33.22  = 80.40 KWH Solar [1121 KWH used from grid]
Two years of solar!
March - 1-31:   81.73 +  55.22 + 2.2 (DC) = 139.15 KWH Solar [1039 KWH grid]
April  -  1-30: 161.83 + 112.35 + .44(DC)  = 274.62 KWH Solar [680 KWH from grid]
May   -  1-31: 156.25 +  97.22 + 1.29(DC) = 254.76 KWH Solar [678 KWH from grid]
June  -  1-30: 197.84 + 112.07 + 2.21(DC) = 312.12 KWH Solar [& 448 KWH from grid]
July   -  1-31: 204.35 + 121.21 + 4.06(DC) = 329.62 KWH Solar [426 KWH from grid; 150(?) KWH used by Nissan Leaf]
August- 1-31: 176.19 + 102.91 + 5.37(DC) = 284.47 KWH Solar [477 KWH from grid; 165 KWH (est) used by car]
Sept. -  1-30:   94.35 +   51.34 + 3.30(DC) = 152.29 KWH Solar [590 KWH from grid; 155 KWH (est) used by car]
Oct.   -  1-31:   77.52 +   41.85 + 4.10(DC) = 123.47 KWH Solar [1066 KWH from grid; 150 KWH (est) used by car]
Nov.  -   1-31:  34.69 +  18.92 + 3.82 = 57.43 KWH Solar [1474 KWH from grid (ouch!); 140 (est) used by car]
Dec. - 1-31: 24.00 + 5.22 + 3.76 = 32.98 [1589 KWH from grid (ouch again! Must be the -10°'s); 120 KWH used by car]

Jan.  - 1-31: 32.83 + 20.54 + 4.57 - 57.94 KWH Solar [2556]

Things Noted - January 2022

* In the last half of the month collection finally started to pick up above the near zero figures of mid winter.


March 2019-Feb. 2020: 2196.15 KWH Solar [used   7927 KWH from grid]
March 2020-Feb. 2021: 2069.82 KWH Solar [used 11294 KWH from grid]

(See TE News #156 for the two year writeup... which technicly should have been two months earlier.)

Haida Gwaii, BC Canada