Turquoise Energy Report #173 - October 2022
Turquoise Energy News Report #173
Covering October 2022 (Posted November 5th 2022)
Lawnhill BC Canada - by Craig Carmichael

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

Month In "Brief" (Project Summaries etc.)
  - Climate warming? - Solar Panel Energy Payback - Magnetic Variable Torque Converter: Better than The Best! - Housing/Mountings to put the truck on the road - Plastic Recycling 2.0 Video - New VanMoof (E)-Bicycle - Tom's Solar Storage

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
 - The East-West Split in the Ukraine - Smol Thots - ESD

- Detailed Project Reports -

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems
* Magnetic Variable Torque Converter with Planetary Gear: The Future of the Automotive Industry!
 - Ratio of Planetary Gear: I Chose Too Low? - making housing et al
* New VanMoof (E)-Bicycle (Well, not "E-" unless I go to who knows how much work)

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects
* Gardening: More Fall Harvesting
* Bay Window Garden
* A Nifty Dirt Sifter - Get out Rocks & Weeds, Roots!
* CNC Gardening Machine - Bed Prep Tools (just thoughts)

Electricity Storage: Batteries
[no reports]
* Ni-Zn cell gelled with PVA

Electricity Generation
* Ocean Wave Power: Another Novel Approach? (just thoughts)
* My Solar Power System:

 - The Usual Latest Daily/Monthly Solar Production log et cetera - Monthly/Annual Summaries, Estimates, Notes

October in Brief

   If I didn't think there was global warming, I might be persuaded now as I remember October being quite a cold month even in Victoria. Then 1989 or 1990 was remarkable: quite warm and sunny in the daytime until Thanksgiving (Oct. 8th), and there have been more like it since. This year it was warm during the days until mid month even in Haida Gwaii (whether sunny or not), which struck me as very nice, but again also unusual. There was some rain now and then but I had to keep watering things (especially in the greenhouse where it never rains).
   I hoped those in warmer regions weren't still too hot and dry into the fall. Mom said Comox (Vancouver Island) had had virtually no rain since July up until mid October, fitting the pattern of almost world-wide drought interspersed with occasional torrential rains and unprecedented floods in places that usually don't get much rain, like Soggy Arabia. (It finally rained in Comox near the end of the month.) With the droughts crop losses and livestock liquidations are almost everywhere -- USA and South America to Europe, Africa, India and China. (Russia however is having record grain crops, and apparently Australia is doing very well.) Of course, much of the climate chaos seems quite logicly explained by so many jet aircraft creating so many persisting clouds in the stratosphere where there usually are few and thin clouds.

   The latter half of the month got cooler, but even on the 29th it was 7 in the daytime. Tomatos (greenhouse) and strawberries kept coming, even a couple of small new squashes, and not rotting before they ripened. On the 30th and on Halloween (31st) there was frost and it dropped to 3 for the day. November 1st the ground was frozen and winter seemed to have arrived. The shop was now too cold to work in for very long.

Solar Panel Energy Payback

   The earliest solar panels were said to have used up more energy to manufacture than they would ever produce. That may have been arguable before major increases in efficiency and vast mass production, but it is still cited by detractors of solar energy. It was recently estimated that the energy consumed to make a solar panel today is 1% of what it will produce over a 25 year period. So a panel makes enough electricity to reproduce four more panels in a year.
   To those of us getting hundreds or even over a thousand kilowatt-hours of electricity per month (in good months or at lower latitudes) from say 5 to 50 solar panels on our house roofs (and sometimes just cheap Chinese plug-in grid tie inverters requiring no house wiring), such figures are no surprise. Nothing else presently can give the typical homeowner that level of power except buying it from the power utility. (Now, if only there was some practical way to store several days or weeks worth of it, it would be even more amazing!)

   For my own 18 solar panels energy system, it seems that with the 3 new panels on the sunniest carport roof (and following some DC wiring improvements in March), in April through September the solar is providing roughly as much energy as the mains power - even more in June, July and August. Some of my solar power would have gone out to the mains, but more would have been used in the house. I have no way of telling. That's 6 months of the year when it makes a dent in my consumption and in the diesel fuel consumption at the power plant in Sandspit, and many homeowners having solar would be about the best thing that individuals could do to reduce the colossal consumption of diesel fuel on this island.
   With those new panels and the great weather this month's solar electricity [October 2022] at 238.62 KWH was about double all previous Octobers. Of course it's a drastic drop from September with even less expected through the winter until next March.
   On an annual basis, it also looks like the system is making over double what the Nissan Leaf electric car uses, and I drive around 1000 Km per month. Hopefully I'll get the truck going with the magnetic variable torque converter soon, and it should use substantially less energy per kilometer than the Leaf. (And later the Sprint with torque converter still less.)

Magnetic Variable Torque Converter: Better than The Best!

   In case I haven't stated it clearly before, this torque converter has been proven experimentally to work and charts show excellent theoretical efficiencies during typical driving, and I believe it will be an important part of the future of the automotive industry.

   One simple mechanism with automatic variable operation can be optimized for all conditions of any road vehicle's vehicle speed and torque, allowing a better choice of ultra efficient electric drive motors such as axial flux BLDC. Its simpler mechanism replaces an entire complex automotive transmission with an ultra-high overall efficiency; over 90% for most driving.

Housing et al to put the truck on the road

   Having shortened the motor shaft a bit to accommodate a bearing at the planetary output, I turned it down just a bit near the planetary end to hold a ball bearing race. So it'll have a bearing on each end of the planetary to hold everything in place. The shortening also moved the alume disk rotor up to a fatter zone where the taper lock engages the shaft properly, making the rotor much more secure. (Yay!)

   Then I put some coats of epoxy on the magnet rotor until it was well encased, about 4 or 5 mm thick in the valleys between magnets. Now I think I can trust the magnets not to fly off it when the truck is underway at highway speeds.

   I made a plywood plate to bolt to the motor face and cut spruce four 2 by 6's (milled earlier on my handheld bandsaw mill, of course), but that was as far as I got on making the housing. Metal nearby the magnetic rotors would interfere with operation (reduce efficiency and get hot), and I thought epoxying the boards to a wooden motor plate would be a better bond than trying to screw them to metal. (But maybe I should cut another circle of plywood and epoxy them together to make it 1.5 inches thick instead of just .75 inches?) I'll need to do a bit of sculpting on the boards to have the rotors fit inside.

A couple more circles (again plywood) will be needed to hold the bearings on the motor shaft (top image) and on the output of the planetary (right).

   Getting ahead of the story a bit, I got back to the housing and made good progress on it near the start of November.

Plastic Recycling 2.0 Video: Introduction Plus Casting the first Large Plate.

   On the 18th the internet went down. Being unable to watch depressing videos about the deteriorating state of the world, I put together my own video about making the first piece with the (then new) large plate mold. It's been almost 6 months since I meant to do that. I had so many clips that I dreaded trying to put them together, but in the event they seemed to follow well in order by date and time.
   On the 20th I added a general explanation of the whole technique at the beginning of the video. I left out the whole part about the making of that mold, but it's the longest video I've done, over 25 minutes. A separate video next about making the mold will be better.

Video: Plastic Recycling 2.0 - Intro - Molding a Plate: PP rope from Beach  https://youtu.be/fuWzqQKodZc

   And then of course, getting back to the actual project, finishing the large oven and making a bunch of PP plates, would be great!

New VanMoof (E)-Bicycle

   To make a long story short, someone found it at the dump in a dumpster. VanMoof, Netherlands: said to be "better than the best". "Theft proof." You're supposed to have the key to unlock it on your cell phone. Without it the rear wheel locks up. If one tries to move it, a sign on the frame says "theft" then there's the picture of a skull glowing on and off. It has strange tapered wheel nuts which obviously take a special wrench with 6 'prongs' in a triangle arrangement.
   VanMoof was less than forthcoming to email enquiries and finally said it was stolen. They offered no support and wouldn't disclose the owner so it could be returned. So the finders couldn't use it and gave it to me.
   I ended up grinding a few of the "anti-theft" nuts and bolts so they could be removed, and I took out the lock.
   I can now ride it as a normal pedal bicycle.

   Later I decided that it would be too much work to get the electronics and motor going with all the "anti-theft" provisions and WiFi in the software. I removed the battery from inside the frame. The bike is lighter to pedal without it.
   It was a four-square stack of ten 18650 lithium ion cells in series. 36 volts, just like all my solar stuff! The voltmeter read 40.1V - still well charged! So I have an extra 36V house battery? But the pack is just ".504 kilowatt-hours" according to the web site (making each cell 3.5 amp-hours). My regular 36V battery stacks are 4.3 KWH.
   Well, if nothing else I now have a whole stack of 18650's to potentially resurrect cordless drills with defunct batteries with.
(I wrote this little saga up in more detail under Electric transport for anyone interested.)

Tom's Solar Storage

   My friends Tom and Craig in Victoria have been doing electric car renewals and battery storage for solar. Tom has put together some interesting cylindrical lithium iron phosphate battery cells into a nicely made 48 volt pack. In fact, BatteryHookup.com who sell the cells was wanting to put Tom's pictures on their site.

He has used an inverter, 48 VDC to 120 VAC for car charging or other appliances. (I should try charging the Nissan Leaf with my 36 volt system and an inverter myself. But I expect that one should be very careful charging a 24 or 32 KWH car battery from a 4 or 8 KWH stationary one, not to accidently run it right down.)

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

Ukraine: The East-West Split

   The genesis of the present Ukrainian problem is that the Soviet Union mixed different regions and peoples especially including Russians (southeast), Ukrainians (central), and Polish (west end - Lvov), and called it all "Ukraine". When the Soviet Union broke up around 1990 these disparate blocks became a new "country". But it was never a unified "nation". It had serious problems from the start, almost impossible of resolution. In 2010 for example the regions where Russian speakers were voted solidly for Yanukovich, who became president. Ukrainians and Poles voted almost as solidly for Timoshenko. The map shows the distribution of voting. Differing interests and views of one group or the other were always bound to be unrepresented.
   Yanukovich was ousted in the violent 2014 "Maidan" uprising/coup, following which the Russian language was banned in schools and government and the "nazification" proceeded in high gear.
   A small group quickly moved to bar the Ukrainian army at the narrow neck of the Crimean peninsula (I've been told it was something akin to a "Hell's Angels" motorcycle group - treat that as rumor). It was soon replaced by military personnel from the Russian naval base in Sevastopol (in Crimea). The Crimean peninsula immediately voted to secede from this new Ukraine - and from a country they had never wanted to be part of. Following the massacre of 50 ethnic Russian demonstrators by ethnic Ukrainian demonstrators in Odessa, about 1/3(?) of the Ukrainian military deserted to the Donbass, which effectively separated. Ukraine occupied much of the Donbass territory but was unable to invade the capital cities Donetsk and Lugansk, which they have shelled off and on with artillery ever since - heavily from mid February this year, inciting the Russian "rescue" attack.
   One may imagine that Odessa and Kharkov provinces - rounding out the blue ethnic Russian majority areas - would naturally be on a Russian list of further military objectives as they mobilize larger forces, unless USA/NATO/Ukraine decide to negotiate a peaceful settlement instead of egging Ukraine on and sending arms - and now Polish and American troops as Ukraine's have been depleted. Russia doesn't want the western end unless it refuses to stop attacking. Unfortunately wars tend to spread like fires rather than die out.

Smol Thots

* After having stopped my hair from thinning toward baldness on top by killing the common Demodex Folliculorum scalp mites with the weekly alcohol rub [followed immediately by a shower - TE News #___], the thought that keeping the scalp warm probably helps get follicles working again led me to keeping my bedroom warmer at night, but probably not warm enough. (Even subsidized electricity costs money!) A tuque/beany in the daytime is fine, but as a nightcap it kept coming off. Two pillows was awkward. Now I find that a towel on the pillow is easily pushed into place and doesn't tend to get lost during the night. (Well, I'm a pretty light sleeper and it needs to be pushed back into place occasionally during the night.)
   ...warmth, and brushing a couple of times a day (thin on top and short as it is) to stimulate the scalp.

* With the advent of LED lights - plenty of brightness, choice of color temperatures and low power - we may hope the "SAD" in far north lands with short winter daylight time and low sun (Sweden, etc) is largely a thing of the past. (SAD stands for "Seasonal Affective Disorder" -- depression caused by the lack of daylight in winter in the far north. Hmm... Someone who moved to Denmark has written an article about it on line. She has it and doesn't mention LED lights. Hmm: Copenhagen is only 2 farther north than here.)

* "SAD" is not to be confused with "SADS", the new "Sudden Adult Death Syndrome" which suddenly appeared in 2021 as shown by statistics of astonishing percentages of "excess deaths" (more deaths than expected over a given period), which has been taking out seemingly healthy young people and old alike. These are not Covid deaths. Discern for yourself: what new medical factor appeared beginning in 2021?

* This seems to be a nice example of political duplicity - tailoring what is said to the audience of the moment without reference to truth, facts or consistency:
- "NATO is not a party to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine." - Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-general of NATO, Sept. 30th.
- "Russian victory in the conflict in Ukraine would be a defeat for NATO and should not be allowed." - Jens Stoltenberg, Oct. 11th.
   The writer of these quotes (I trust both are true and accurate) didn't mention who Stoltenberg's audiences were.

* Elon Musk suggested that the referendums in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaparozzia and Kherson should be conducted again by the UN, and "if the citizens vote against Russia, Russia should get out." Fine, but one expects the results in any fair plebiscite in these areas would be pretty much the same with the vast majority (mostly Russian speaking) preferring Russia over today's Ukraine, which is treating everyone who speaks Russian as a third class citizen.

* Speaking of Musk, his purchase of Twitter has brought to light details of the cozy relationship and monthly meetings between executives of Facebook, Twitter and the USA's DHS, and shown how little regard has been given for freedom of speech. Without that there can't be an informed electorate and democracy can only be a shell and he said 'to restore free speech' was why he bought Twitter. He's fired the whole board that were shaping the establishment political narrative and says he will un-ban many people who whose accounts were frozen because they said something "wrong". It remains to be seen whether he will be able to bring freedom of speech to social media in the face of strong oligarchic pressure for censorship.

(Eccentric Silliness Department)


* A roc is a giant bird. If you throw a stone at a roc it will catch it in its beak and swallow it to use as grit for digestion. It is impossible to kill two rocs with one stone.

* Strange Fakts: Polo is a game played riding on horses. Water polo is played riding sea horses.

* Osmium is a unique metal in having a valence state of +8. Praseodymium is unique in being the only element with +6 syllables.

* With all that wool, why aren't sheep itchy all over?

   "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

Magnetic Variable Torque Converter with Planetary Gear

Ratio of Planetary Gear: I Chose Too Low?

[12th] In the last issue I had discovered (assuming my calculations of theoretical efficiency are correct) that if the planetary gear body was stationary the efficiency was just 50% - half the power went into moving the vehicle and half into keeping the planetary from slipping backward. Somehow this makes sense. Of course this is only a momentary condition as the vehicle starts to move, and the efficiency rapidly rises with speed, as the slip RPM becomes a smaller and smaller portion of the motor's total RPM.

   It now occurs to me however that if instead of using a 5 to 1 planetary gearset one were to choose maybe 10 to 1 (that's about as high as single stage planetary gears go), half as much torque is needed from the motor to start the vehicle moving, and the gear body would immediately start turning forward with the motor, and at the same 5 to 1 reduction it would already be much more efficient. (Without doing the math, I think it should be 67%. The same slip RPM is only half in proportion to the higher motor speeds.) Yet being 10 to 1 to start with it would have higher reduction ratios at lower speeds, and still head toward 1 to 1 effective reduction ratio and 99% efficiency as the vehicle speed increased. And I would think that it wouldn't need as much magnetic force to balance it since it only needs half the input torque. If so it might want fewer magnets and perhaps smaller magnetic rotors.
   And I noticed in doing the charts that with the 5 to 1, as vehicle speed increases, the effective gear ratios drop rapidly at very low speeds - probably lower than is desirable. A higher reduction planetary (with less magnetism) would give higher gear ratios up to higher speeds, which would surely give more desirable lower speeds performance - better acceleration and hill climbing.
   So I should think higher ratio planetaries are better in all ways for this magnetic torque converter, up to reasonable limits.

   I think - in the matter of the gearsets I chose - that I'm a victim of "conventional" thinking of trying to use the lowest reduction ratio in order to keep motor speeds down. But this is a variable torque converter that ends up very near 1 to 1 at higher speeds regardless. The question then is at what speeds and torques a given ratio is reached, to balance the motor to the vehicle speed and power. With a higher ratio planetary, effective gear ratios and hence motor speeds at low vehicle speeds will be higher and with higher efficiencies, while the motor won't go much higher on the highway no matter what ratio is used! (Too bad I already bought that 7 to 1 planetary for the Sprint. 10 to 1 would surely be better!) But all this is in the realm of best optimizing the variable converter parameters to the vehicle it is to drive.

(Also... a cylindrical body planetary would have less air friction than all these typical square ones whose makers never expected the bodies to spin!)

   I *could* redo things and put the 7 to 1 in the truck, where there's the further 2.2 to 1 reduction at the differential. That would surely be better than the 5 to 1, and it would take the fewest changes to do right now, before I build the housing (it being physicly twice the size). For a day I thought I would do it. Scope creep! Oh well, some extra work to get the best performing vehicle! It looks more "automotive" size anyway. (Hmm, they also look like they were probably made in the same factory. But the little one, from Anaheim Automation in California was something like twice the price of the big one from a Chinese store on AliExpress.com .)

The Housing et al

[10th] September's experiments showed the torque converter works fabulously, and the charts indicated very high theoretical efficiencies at most driving speeds, loads and conditions. But the mechanism was jury-rigged together with the shafts having little support, and it wouldn't last long on the road. (With the heavy rotors spinning it might even just fly apart at "normal driving" speeds.) So the next step is to make a housing to hold everything in alignment. I see it needing two "steady" bearings, on the motor shaft just before the mechanism, and on the output shaft at the front end of the drive shaft to the rear wheels.
   Steel or alume of course come to mind, but metals have magnetic interactions. They'll hurt the efficiency if used in proximity to the magnetic rotors. I haven't finished the oven for recycling plastics, or some polypropylene parts might be nice. (Maybe.) So I decided the torque converter housing should be wood, glued together and coated with the fine epoxy I had recently purchased. What wood? Something fairly hard and dimensionally stable. I'm sure I can't get a dense tropical hardwood around here. Fir? I looked in the shop and decided I should use a bit of the alder I had milled myself in the summer. It has a more uniform density and will probably machine better than fir.

[11th] I cut a piece of 3/4 inch birch plywood to fit on the motor plate, complete with alignment and bolt holes.

[12th] And now I'm going to change the planetary gear from the 5 to 1 to the physicly larger 7 to 1? Good news: The piece I made yesterday stays the same!
   On disassembling and sizing everything up, I changed my mind. Nothing lined up. I would have to cut and turn my motor shaft. I didn't have a bearing for the larger output shaft. Yes, I can see the project being put off and delayed until...? I think I'll just use it as I have it and have a working truck this fall... maybe everything done (speedometer, current and voltage monitor, plywood cover, battery chargers, maybe solar panels on the roof, various little things...) by spring.

   Hmm... I could buy an 8 or 10 to 1 planetary of the same case size as this 5 to 1, and probably get optimal performance. Well, Later maybe!

[13th] I turned the planetary end of the motor shaft down a bit to fit a one inch (or was it 25mm?) I.D. bearing. I'm sure the planetary needs the support on the input side with all the heavy weights flying around. I turned a bitty bit at a time, over and over, checking the fit. Each time I'd have sworn it was virtually there and I didn't want it loose. In the end it was a tight fit and I "pressed" it on with repeated taps of a small hammer.
   With the shortening of the shaft by about 15mm for the end bearing, things had also moved over to where the SDS coupling of the alume disk wasn't on the "too small" turned part of the shaft, so I could tighten down the taper lock hub instead of just holding it with the set screw. That's a big improvement. Everything seemed to fit together well.

And here is the end bearing. Just that little stub to attach the rear drive shaft to and it's a splined socket, not even a proper fit to this shaft!

With flange to hold it to the end plate of the housing.

[17th] Last month when I cut some of the epoxied PP off the magnet rotor to fit the thin sideways "Halbach" magnets, I was disturbed at how easily each piece seemed to pop off. I had bought what is supposed to be better epoxy for gluing, and glued the new "sideways" magnets on. Now I decided to really epoxy it up thickly before assembling everything again, even several layers. (In accordance with the directions on the epoxy I cleaned the rotor off with paint thinner, and then blew it clean and dry with compressed air. All this is the sort of thing I tend to gloss over, myself! And after all, nothing bad happened in the tests... But magnets flying off the rotor while I'm driving down the highway would be very bad!)

[18th] Another coat of epoxy. I wrapped some tape around the rotor, inside and outside of the magnets, to hopefully stop leaks. Maybe I can then just pour quite a lot in next time and more or less "cast" it. Otherwise, this might take some days.

[19th] Another day, another coat.

[20th] I peeled off the tape dams. It was at least 1/8" deep all around if not 3/16". I decided that was "cast" well enough and while it was still tacky I cut off the thin edges that had wicked up onto the tape, that would become razor sharp when it was hard.

[30th] I cut some pieces of 2 by 6 spruce for the side walls of the housing. Not much progress for 10 more days! Well, having proven the theory, I don't seem to be in as much of a hurry to get the truck actually on the road - and there are always many things to do that can only be put off so long. But I do want to get it on the road -- and to not have it quit somewhere and need towing home - with maybe some disassembly before it could even be towed, depending what broke and how.

   Here is the motor shaft sitting on the boards, which the rotors will have to fit between when it's done. There'll be some carving involved.
   It'll all be screwed and heavily epoxied. Maybe some PP strapping for more stiffness and strength. And in spite of the heavy pieces, maybe I should tie those boards together with more pieces of wood for strength.
   And somehow the back end has to attach securely to the truck frame.

New VanMoof (E)-Bicycle

   Not something I was looking for, but... someone found it at the dump. Looked brand new, in a dumpster. VanMoof: said to be "better than the best". "Theft proof". You're supposed to have the key to unlock it on your cell phone. Without it the rear wheel locks up. If one tries to move it, a sign on the frame says "theft" then there's the picture of a skull glowing on and off. It has strange tapered wheel nuts which obviously take a special wrench with 6 'prongs' in a triangle arrangement.

   The finders contacted the company - in the Netherlands - who - eventually - emailed back and told them it was stolen. They turned it in to the police. The company didn't reply to the police's enquiries to say who owned it. Finally the police gave it back to the finders, who already have e-bicycles. In the absence of any help from the maker, they couldn't use it and gave it to me. with a signed piece of paper from the police in case anyone should ever say I have stolen property. Well, it has all the parts of an electric bicycle... I thought I could make it go somehow. Would take a lot less power to charge than a car. It might come in handy for something? (Oh great! Another project!)
   First I took the angle grinder to the wheel nuts and ground out a couple of flat spots. Then I gripped them with vice-grips and turned them off. On one side there was a "thing" with shallow splines that seemed to shift the gears (4 gears) electricly. But thinking it was part of the wheel locking mechanism I took it off - and cut the wire before I figured it out. On the other side was the lock: a hefty pin inserting itself into a ring with 6 each in and out places. With the wheel off I removed the ring so the pin did nothing.
   When I put it back together, I could ride it as a normal pedal bicycle. The warnings seemed to have gone out and I suspected the battery was finally totally dead after who knows how long without charging, and then a couple more months sitting in the cop shop. It had some strange looking plug to charge it and it didn't show any voltage. At this point I had a pedal bicycle. Perhaps I can figure out how to get the gears to change with a cable or something. (Do I really care?)

   As I checked over this text on November 1st I thought it would be nice to charge the batteries, not let them go to waste. The longer they were left, the more discharged they'd be. But I couldn't find the right plug for a charger. I decided to pull them out of the frame. I used the angle grinder to cut out the middle pin of the annoying torx screws (cutting through the plastic chain guard on one side) and got them out. It was a metal tube inside the metal frame and inside of that (not surprisingly) was a four-square stack of ten 18650 lithium ion cells in series. 36 volts, just like all my solar stuff! The voltmeter read 40.1V. So much for my expectation that they were becoming discharged!
   Whether it's worth trying to get the wheel motor to run is debatable. The security features are considerable, and defeating the mechanical ones with an angle grinder may have been the easy part. Not knowing much about it... is the motor controller integrated into the motor, or is it part of VanMoof's computer system? If it's in the motor, I could probably bypass everything else. Hmm... to the website... The motor is just 250-350 watts. (If I was buying an e-bike motor I'd get at least 500, probably more.) 25 KmPH? I used to ride my ten-speed faster than that! There's no model or anything except what is probably a VanMoof part number on the motor, and that's "not found" in a web search. the cable coming out says "1C#14AWG, 3C#24AWG" Having only one power wire suggests that the motor controller must be inside the motor, with the frame being the other power connection. The other wires could be hall sensor (RPM), throttle and ground or ???
   Well, if nothing else I now have a whole stack of 18650's to resurrect cordless drills with. (I have 4 with dead Ni-Cd's or - after 6-8 years of use - very weak NiMH's.) My horde of 26650's just don't fit in the NiCd battery compartments of the drills - 18650's just might squeeze in. Or, I have an extra 36V house battery. The pack is ".504 kilowatt-hours" according to the web site. (That would be 3.5 amp-hour cells.) And the bike is lighter to pedal without the battery.

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects


Fall Gardening

[23rd] Aside from various end of season gleanings, which (along with a bit of bed preparation) have actually kept me rather occupied, I finally went to plant the fall garlic - had been meaning to do it for a week. In doing so I dug up 3 beds (about 5 by 5 feet) in the garden by the house and found one was full of onion bulbs, tops died down and hidden in the grass and weeds. (Yes, I had planted various onions around there.) Some great big ones. I've never grown decent size onions before. What did I do differently this time?
   Grass and weeds, grass and weeds, roots, roots, roots. Rake rake rake, pluck pluck pluck... I kept thinking there were just a few onions and sliced up several with the shovel before I realized the whole bed hadn't been harvested and was full of them. Must have been 10 pounds. I had got 6 more dead salmon from Bonnie's small stream the day before. I buried two in each bed. Finally I planted four rows of garlic cloves in a good place. (Not huge, but I only eat so many!) Someone said rats had dug up all their garlic last year, so I put wire screens on top. (Good if the chickens get out while they're coming up, too. That garden is their favorite place and they'll eat the tender tops off as they come up.)

   But in doing this I discovered a new way to use the dirt sifter I made last year -- and not only eliminate rocks but shake the dirt out from weeds and their roots, rather easily. (Second title below.) This holds much promise, especially if I can't get a rototiller or (as I haven't yet) figure out some workable plow/tiller attachment for the lawn tractor.

   Now, do I plant more onions where they grew so well this year, or go for some crop rotation? When I find a place where something really does well, I tend to want to keep planting the same thing there the next year.

Bay Window Gardening

   I seemed to have too many plants now to fit them under the LED lights. Also the livingroom is warmer, and surely natural sunlight is better when there is some.

First I simply cut two boards to fit and set them on the window sill.
That was great except that it placed the plants higher up than was desirable.

So I made two pillars and moved the boards down to those.
Later I added two more pepper plants. Now hardly any light seems to get through into the room!

   It would be nice if there was also a "skylight" over the bay window. Oh well. But what I may do for the darkest winter months is put my "indoor LED garden" lights on the ceiling over the plants. There are a few fruits on the peppers and the odd cherry tomato, but not many flowers anywhere. More light might do get them flowering again. (Then I have to hand pollinate them with a small paintbrush. But one winter with the LED lights and one big plant I had cherry tomatos all winter.)

Nifty Dirt Sifter !

   Lots of people use hardware cloth or mesh with a wooden frame to sift dirt, to get out the rocks. Most of them sit stationary and one shovels dirt onto them, then rakes the dirt around with the shovel to get the dirt past the rocks to fall through onto the ground. Then the rocks are dumped out. This is hard work, and doesn't work well if the soil is very damp and clumps up.
   Instead of four legs, I made mine with two in the middle last year, thinking it could be rocked back and forth to roll the dirt off the rocks and have it fall through the screen. It's about 3 feet front to back and 4 feet wide, with 1/2 inch by 1 inch steel mesh, and 2 by 4 sides and back. This year I've learned how to use it! Even with pretty wet soil. And not just for rocks, but for weeds and their roots! One doesn't put in a big load of material, but fills the walled back end. And one doesn't gently rock it as I had envisioned.
   The best "rocking" motion, by pressing down sharply on the front side, tosses the load up into the air and toward the front. This really helps separate the dirt even from the weed roots! It's surprisingly simple and it sifts the entire load at once, not just a bit at a time where a shovel disturbs it as with most dirt sifters. And even fairly heavy, wet dirt and weeds will work whereas most sifters will bog down. (My soil is pretty sandy. It might not work as well with heavy clay.)
   The forward-toss action can be repeated if it didn't get far enough to the front. (If you toss it too hard material is lost off the front.) Once it's near the front, picking the front up sharply tosses it back to the back. Pulling up is not lifting a lot of weight, since the main load is supported by the legs - and usually the mass isn't too far forward. When this is repeated several times quickly the good dirt has mostly fallen through.
   Then with the material at the back, give the front a stronger push down and everything (the roots and rocks) flies right out the front, to where you've placed a sheet of plastic or something, to be disposed of into the compost bin/pile and or rock collection. (Here it lands on the sidewalk.) It lands in front of where the good dirt is falling through the screen.
   And the sifter is already clear and ready for the next load without having to tip it over to dump it.

Sifter with a load of dirt and weeds.
Press down on the front side to toss it all forward, shaking the dirt from the weeds and rocks.

Then pull up to toss it all to the back again.
The good soil falls through the mesh with each toss.

Tossing too hard loses dirt out the front

A big toss forward from the back hurls the debris right out the front!

A second batch of weeds & rocks ready to toss to the back one more time and then fling right out
by the first one, to be shoveled into the bucket (with a square shovel) and thrown into the compost.

    I'm sure this is about the easiest dirt sifting I've done, and it was done with grass and weed roots clinging to damp soil that are really hard to separate by any other practical means I'm aware of.

Potential improvements?
 - If the waste can simply be ejected with a swift push instead of manually dumped out, could it have a closed front? Then one could be less careful when rocking it in the forward direction during sifting, without losing any soil out the front. (I'll try putting a board across the front and see how it goes.)
 - It seemed quite easy to sift this way with this size screen. I don't think I would make it too much wider or deeper. Maybe a little?

CNC Gardening Machine - Bed Prep Tools (just thoughts)

   Occasionally - usually while doing some onerous weed and grass pulling job trying to prepare a clean bed - I think of the CNC gardening machine idea. And more, I think of the tools it should wield to make gardening into a light job. One can imagine a heavy mechanism with some sort of rototiller, but how about something lighter that doesn't need railway rail mechanics, but is still able to turn a rectangle of lawn into a clear patch of soil over a day or a week, no matter how small a bit at a time? It would be great if it could dig out the grass and weeds, vibrate and sieve the dirt (keeping the roots and rocks on the screen), and go dump them in a bin in the corner. one little patch at a time. "The longest journey begins with the first step" and all that.
   (Gosh the manual dirt siever above already does a better, easier sifting job than anything I've tried before! But to have something to carry off the weeds, roots and rocks still takes things to another level.)

   A CNC mechanism with rails, gantry and carriage is great, but unless it has tools to fulfill the tall order of doing the hardest gardening jobs, it's not worth too much.

   Perhaps the "bed prep" job should be done in parts:

1) A large (but cheap) circular saw blade, spinning, cuts slits through the grass. Up and down, across and back,cutting the whole plot into little manageable squares. I'm not too sure what would happen at tree roots or rocks. They are hard on blades. It may need careful watching on a new bed. There will probably need to be some shutoff switch to save the unit if something impossible prevents it from doing its job - a big rock or root - or mis-programming that tries to move it outside the bounds?

1b) The tool is then changed for a fairly complex one that processes the squares. (down to about the saw blade depth? Described below.)

2) A shovel of some sort can dig up a cube (hopefully digging down below most of the roots), lift it up, put the screen (sieve)under it, and drop it onto the screen. Perhaps it can be a shovel with two blades coming in from each side of the square - a "scoop". Or perhaps it should be two "pitchforks" that grab the cube rather than two shovel blades?

3) Sieve it, again probably with considerable vibration to loosen the dirt from the roots.

4) Go dump the sieve in the bin in the corner.

5) If desired, a deeper cube can be pulled out to prep the soil deeper. Oh, wait... we just dumped the first layer (or what was left of it with the roots gone) back into the hole.

Okay, to do two or more layers, instead...

3) Go over to the soil bin in another corner and sieve the dirt into that bin.
4) Go to the other corner and dump the roots/rocks into that bin.
5) Go back to the square and dig up the next layer.
6) Sieve that into the dirt bin.
7) Dump the weeds/rocks into the "waste" bin.
8) Go pick up the soil bin and dump it into the hole.
9) Put the soil bin back.

Okay, better: the carriage also carries a soil bin and a waste bin so it doesn't have to back and forth until it needs to dump its waste bin into the big bin in the corner.

   Here's yet another worthy project I'll probably never get to. I'll just keep gardening the hard way.

Electricity Storage

Gelled Nickel-Zinc Batteries

   Once again it has been so long since I tried any battery experiments that continuity has been lost. I had decided to try polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as a gel instead of agar. Gelled electrodes seem to last forever, but I've mostly been having poor results with agar. (When I had a good result it may have been by impregnating it with KCl salt when I gelled it. That's something else I could try again.)

[26th] I got out the piece of plywood I use for a lab workbench and set it across the washer and dryer. And (being unable by any means to get an arborite/melamine countertop) I found a piece of rubber to put on top and make a better work surface.
   I found the pieces of the cell done in May, looked it up in TE News #169 to refresh my memory, and got things together. I had destroyed both the graphite "+" current collectors getting the cell apart so I would have to redo them.
   I decided to glue the 'top' side of the cell with beeswax instead of ABS cement so I could open it easily. I will only trust this not to pop open because of the external clamp holding the cell closed.

[27th] I put in the 'bottom' graphite felt current collector and layed the broken pieces of nickel hydroxide/oxyhydroxide on it.

Then a sheet of parchment paper, painted with Sunlight dishsoap and samarium oxide. The paper had been carefully cut to the size of the cell but it expanded when wetted. I still stuffed it in.

   Then I mixed 1/2 a teaspoon of PVA and a pinch of zirconium silicate and filled the 50cc beaker with saturated potassium chloride (in distilled water) solution. I cut a piece of parchment paper to wrap around the double sided zinc electrode. The solution didn't seem to be mixing well so I put it in the magnetic stirrer. It needed to be kept in the stirrer as something, presumably the zircon, would settle to the bottom. (and why should zircon dissolve? Actually the PVA wasn't dissolving much either.) I painted the electrode and both sides of the parchment paper with it. It beaded up on the paper and only after a couple of minutes was it soaked in.

Then I did the Sunlight and samarium oxide onto another piece of paper and set it on top of that, and put some more pieces of nickel hydroxide on that. These pieces I hadn't charged to "oxy". Oh well. The 'top' graphite current collector went on that followed by a plastic spacer.

   Then I put the beeswax on the heater to melt. I painted the beeswax onto the edges of the sides of the cell and the lid, and of course it froze quickly after each brushstroke. But I had a plan. I set the cover on it, put a steel weight on top and melted the wax again with a hot air gun.

   I went to look for instructions on gelling the PVA, which I had seen before was done by freezing it several times, and for some reason I searched on youtube instead of a general web search. I realized that as I was typing, but continued. I didn't expect much, but there were a number of videos about PVA. One was Polymer Gel Electrolyte for Batteries -- using PVA. Well, duh! His mix - for a strong alkaline battery - was 300cc H2O, 10g KOH and 20g PVA.
   He put the beaker on a magnetic stirrer to mix it, and he heated it up to 90C to help the PVA dissolve. Then he poured some into a big petri dish and left it a while. It hardened all by itself into a tough rubbery gel. I think the alkalinity "set" the PVA gel. Since I'm using KCl instead of KOH, I'll continue with the freezer gelling method. But next time maybe instead of painting it onto a separator paper, I'll pour it right into the cell(?) (Why pour it into a petri dish and then have to rip it out and cut it to size and shape?)
    Also, he put the KOH into the liquid before stirring and gelling so it was embedded in the gel. I think that may have been my problem with the agar -- not putting the electrolyte into the mix and expecting the gel to absorb some from the surrounding liquid. ...And then not realizing what it was that I had done that achieved success the one time I had done so. But hey, isn't the idea of gelling to stop ions from migrating? Zinc++ ions are the target, but I guess it stops the salt or hydroxide too, the K+ ions. After all, potassium is atomic weight 39, not all that much less than zinc at 65.
   I guess the only ions that are supposed to go through the gel are hydroxide OH-. or chlorine Cl-.
   I wonder if I should also be impregnating the Sunlight dishsoap gel for the positive electrodes with salt? Hmm, maybe that's been one of my major problems - poor ion conductivity through the dishsoap because electrolyte doesn't penetrate it well?

   The video author specificly mentioned nickel-zinc as a chemistry it should be good for, and some useful comments beneath showed that some knowledgeable people had watched it. It would seem I'm not alone in the methods and techniques I've been trying to work out.

   Now where was I? Oh yes, how long do I leave it in the freezer, and how cold should it be? Back to the web! Ah:

1. prepare solution 10-15 wt% PVA in water (don't forget the salt!)
2. freeze for 24 hours at -20c
3. Warm to 23c for any period
4. Repeat: about 5 times total.

   This time most instructions I saw for gelling PVA were to heat it and crosslink it using optionally an acid, and an alkali. It seems remarkable that someone figured out PVA would also gel by the unusual process of repeated freezing and thawing - and equally that I found out about it.

   I put the cell in the coldest freezer (-20 to -23 or so) to sit overnight. [28th] out of freezer 10:30 AM PDT. I put it back in at 15:00 when I got home. [29th] Not wanting to have 5 freezings creep up to over a week, I decided "24 hours" was just a convenient number for someone and that 20 was surely long enough. As I was going out again I took it out at 11:00. Now I had the thought that I should also take some of the solution and gel it in a petri dish where I could examine the end result, so I poured some in and put it in the freezer too. (What, I have petri dishes?!? Some clear plastic ones with lids. Must have been cheap and I bought them on spec from Westlab when I ordered other stuff.) Sigh! 25:00 I forgot until I was going to bed to put it back in the freezer! [30th] Out at 21:30, in 24:00. [31st, 1st] Ditto.
   On November 2nd I realized it had been 6 days and 6 freezings instead of 5. Somehow it didn't seem like so many. I pulled it out about 18:00. The petri dishes weren't well mixed. I think I should have heated the mix to dissolve the alcohol like in the videos. Oops. Oh well, it was painted into the separator paper in the cell, and onto the zinc electrode, and the PVA couldn't sink to the bottom like in the dishes.

   To be continued...

Electricity Generation

Ocean Wave Power: Another Novel Approach? (Just thoughts)

[20th] I thought of a new way to harness ocean waves near the shore. Wave crests only come along every 10 or 15 seconds and it's hard to make good use of them, so it can be hard to harness very much of their energy.
   Imagine a rectangular trough, just for example maybe 10 feet wide and 100 feet long and a meter tall. It sits with its bottom at the water line, parallel to the shore. On the inshore side and on one end is a solid wall. On the ocean side is a wall made of flaps/louvers that only open inward. Maybe 2, 3 or 4 rows of shorter flaps rather than one tall set, to capture the most water. Or maybe narrower vertical slit flaps would work well? (Hardware cloth or something along the louvered wall would be needed to keep out debris and seaweed.)
   Now when a wave crest comes along, it comes in the flaps but can't get out again, so it fills the trough and has to flow toward the open end. At that end is some sort of "paddle wheel" with a generator that won't let the water leave without turning it. (Yourbrook Energy is presently experimenting with improved "paddle wheel" type turbines.) So now we have the wave crest coming past and in one second filling the trough, which then becomes a river starting out up to a meter deep, for the 9-14 seconds until the next wave refills it and momentarily stops the paddle wheel (unless it has a good flywheel?). The turbine is sized and electricly loaded such that it will utilize most of the water but not run out before the next wave.
[21st] Another thought is to have the turbine open to the shore side instead of right on the end. (It might even be in the middle at the back.) The wave crests break into the trough and the water will never rise up much past the bottom of the turbine on the shore side, so it will generate continuously. (This presupposes that once the water is out of the trough it is able to dissipate sufficiently around the ends or underneath and not build up outside the exit.)

   The attractiveness of this design is the fact that it is generating power for the whole wave period, not just when a crest comes along. And it pretty much harnesses all the power of the wave if it isn't deeper than the trough. (Of course with waves the power of a single unit will always fluctuate.) It has the additional benefit of being simple and understandable. Anyone will immediately grasp how it works. A demo unit would of course also be helpful.

   I haven't got exact thoughts so far about how this trough will be held at the right height as the tides go in and out. A floating structure could be made to work and would be simplest, but when a wave beings in a load of water, it's going to drop down substantially unless it has far more flotation than the weight of the water it is suddenly carrying. But that same flotation can't raise it up too much when it's empty, or the waves will hit it below the walls.
   With solid posts to the sea floor at the corners, various mechanical monstrosities may be conceived of to crank up and down to adjust and keep the unit at the best height for the conditions. They will need to be very strong, but very large waves will simply wash right over the structure and submerge it, so unless they are carrying logs for "battering rams" and get in some good strikes, it should survive. Perhaps sufficient weight inside the unit (ie, when it has a lot of water in it) - or floats on the inside - can activate cams that will prevent it from dropping, but which will release and allow it to float up to its best level when it has little or no water inside. Then each wave coming along would latch the legs just as the trough started to fill, and it would stay at the top after the crest passed.

   Once again, unless such a unit was so small as to be portable and taken up after each session of experiments, one would need approval to utilize the foreshore for this purpose. Getting that might be the biggest challenge. (Another potential way of making power I'll probably never try!)

   I once saw on line a unit something like this. I think one actually got built rather than being just an idea. It was round and floated in the ocean. Waves would go over any side and run out through a turbine through the floor in the center. But I haven't seen it again. Sometimes a reasonably good idea just doesn't get developed, but in this case I suspect the performance wasn't very inspiring.
   One problem as noted above is that a floating unit will sink down from the weight of the water admitted and lose much of the power. That's why I thought of mine as being used on a shoreline with solid mountings of some sort or other. The other problem is that with its solid walls it wouldn't admit water as easily as walls full of inward-opening louvers, again reducing the power captured.

My Solar Power System

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

(All times are in PST: clock 48 minutes ahead of local sun time, 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: Chevy Sprint electric car, inverters in power outages or other 36V loads), while the grid tied readings are cumulative.)

Daily Figures

Notes: House Main meter (6 digits) accumulates. DC meter now accumulates until it loses precision (9.999 WH => 0010 KWH), then is reset. House East and Cabin meters (4 digits) are reset to 0 when they get near 99.99 (which goes to "100.0") - owing to loss of second decimal precision.

New Order of Daily Solar Readings (Beginning May 2022):

Date House, House, House, Cabin => Total KWH Solar [Notable power Usages; Grid power meter@time] Sky/weather conditions
        Main      DC      East

30 4015.44, 4.81, 32.57, 70.69 => 12.51 [85Km; 99666@19:00] some sun, light overcast.

01st 4017.04, 4.89, 33.55, 71.44 =>   3.41 [50Km; 99700@19:00] Clouds & drizzle. Summer definitely over.
02nd4022.42, 4.98, 38.14, 74.83 => 13.46 [99725@19:00] Quite a bit of sun, but cold after sundown.
03rd 4028.41, 5.06, 43.69, 78.57 => 15.46 [99768@18:30] Mostly sunny
04th 4029.12, 5.13, 44.01, 78.86 =>   1.49 [50Km; 99787@18:00] Clouds & drizzle
05th 4034.13, 5.24, 48.92, 82.64 => 13.81 [50Km; 99819@18:30] Pretty sunny!
06th 4040.04, 5.33, 52.30, 84.98 => 11.72 [99845@19:00] Sunny day! Lost ~~3 KWH: o/d circuit brkr. blown (to house-east & cabin).
07th 4046.17, 5.40, 56.96, 89.28 => 15.16 [90km; 99877@19:00] Totally sunny! (Persisting jet trails late in day)
08th 4052.17, 5.47, 61.72, 93.39 => 14.94 [80Km; 99902@18:30] Sunny, later obscurring jet trails covered sky, then fog before dark.
09th 4054.77, 5.54, 63.69, 94.58 =>   5.83 [99922@18:30] clouds, later drizzle.
10th 4059.16, 5.62, 67.01,   2.52 => 10.31 [99947@18:30] Some sun.
11th 4062.86, 5.71, 70.07,   4.72 =>   9.05 [99971@18:30] More light cloud than sun.
12th 4068.82, 5.81, 74.69,   8.75 => 14.71 [55Km; 00002@18:30] Sunny (a few drifting jet trails). Hydro meter overflowed.
13th 4069.92, 5.92, 75.33,   9.29 =>   2.39 [00033@18:00] Overcast. Fair shower in PM.
14th 4071.17, 6.00, 75.98,   9.87 =>   2.56 [85Km; 00078@18:30] Overcast, fog. drizzle.
15th 4074.37, 6.09, 78.43, 11.75 =>   7.62 [55Km; 00106@18:30] Fog. Cleared to sunshine in some places but not here.
16th 4079.28, 6.17, 81.81, 14.29 => 10.91 [45Km; 136@18:30] Fog AM, then it cleared off.
17th 4080.55, 6.26, 82.53, 14.92 =>   2.71 [166@18:00] Rain.
18th 4081.61, 6.34, 83.20, 15.45 =>   2.34 [202@18:00] Rain, wind, internet failed. (Turned off bitcoin miner/600W heater.)
19th 4083.73, 6.43, 84.66, 16.60 =>   4.82 [50Km; 220@17:30] Internet back, clouds, drizzle. Starry night, red sunrise, then...
20th 4085.46, 6.53, 85.61, 17.42 =>   3.60 [264@18:30] ...more clouds & drizzle. Had fire on most of the day & overnight.
21st 4089.60, 6.63, 89.16, 19.98 => 10.25 [90Km; 299@17:00] Alternate periods hard rain/overcast, and sun. Fire is on for the season now, I expect, so I turned bitcoin miner off.
22nd4093.25, 6.71, 93.02, 22.71 => 10.33 [320@17:30; 55Km] Quite a bit of sun!
23rd 4095.71, 6.80, 94.83, 24.09 =>   5.74 [342@18:00] Drizzle on and off
24th 4099.17, 6.88, 98.65, 26.59 =>   9.91 [55Km; 373@17:30] Put bitcoin miner on in Travel Trailer
25th 4102.41, 6.97,   3.11, 28.62 =>   8.47 [402@18:00] Alt. drizzle and sun.
26th 4103.40, 7.07,   3.61, 29.04 =>   2.01 [435@17:30] Lite rain (more than drizzle!)
27th 4106.13, 7.23,   6.08, 30.92 =>   7.16 [465@18:00] more rain than sunny spots.
28th 4107.22, 7.35,   6.95, 31.50 =>   2.66 [90Km; 535@17:30] mostly drizzle & rain
29th 4109.14, 7.47,   8.38, 32.45 =>   4.42 [55Km; 606@18:00] Ditto - Not quite as dark
30th 4111.39, 7.58, 10.67, 33.79 =>   5.99 [667@17:30] Some spots of sun here and there - otherwise mostly rain - some heavy.
31st 4113.40, 7.67, 12.68, 35.15 =>   5.47 [35Km; 733@17:30] Some sun, some clouds, rain. 3 - down from 7+ until today.

1st 4116.57, 7.79, 16.30, 37.28 => 9.04 [55Km; 791@17:30] Mostly sunny. (Maybe all day except earlier AM.) 0 to 3.
2d  4117.87, 7.97, 17.10, 37.93 => 2.93 [851@17:00] Clouds. 1. Brr!
3rd 4119.10, 8.10, 18.37, 38.70 => 3.40 [914@17:30] Cloudy. A bit warmer.
4th 4121.54, 8.21, 20.44, 39.90 => 5.82 [90Km; 983@17:30] similar
5th 4122.42, 8.35, 21.63, 40.28 [1047@17:30] Snow AM. 1

Chart of daily KWH from solar panels.
(Compare OCTOBER 2022 (left) with August 2022 & with September 2021 - but note number of solar panels differs.)

Days of
__ KWH
October 2022
(18 solar panels)
September 2022
(18 solar panels)
October 2021
(12 solar panels
 then 2 added.)

1 -- (Long Power Fail)


























Total KWH
for month
Km Driven
on Electricity
1043.2 Km
(~143 KWH)?
1190.3 Km
(~165 KWH?)
 973.6 Km
(~150 KWH?)

Km = Nissan Leaf electric car drove distance, then car was charged.

Things Noted - October 2022

* As the sun gets lower in the sky, by sunny November 1st the clear view to the south and 45 south slope facing of the 3 new panels on the carport roof (plus the 2 on the pole that probably didn't do much) really began to tell: they made more than the 6 panels at a poor angle (15 south slope) on the house roof (plus the 3 on the lawn at a steep angle that were probably mostly in shade) - 3.62KWH versus 3.29KWH.

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

Month: House system (+ DC system at house) + Cabin system = KWH made [used from grid]

March 1-31: 116.19 + ------ + 105.93 = 222.12 KWH - solar [786 KWH used from grid] (10 solar panels total)
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" (AKA "Cabin").
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] (1 solar panel moved to DC system only -- 11 panels)
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] (Connected 12th solar panel -- 13 panels total but one goes to DC system only.)
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] (2 new panels on pole making 14 -- but they are mostly in shadows all winter.)
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] (New switches allow switching some panels between AC and DC as needed, so all 15 are productively employed.)

Jan.  - 1-31: 32.83 + 20.54 + 4.57 = 57.94 KWH Solar [2556 from grid] Double ouch! Trailer 400W heater, Perry's RV 500W heater, bedroom heat, car using extra power (100 KWH with less driving)... and so little sun!
Feb.  - 1-28: 66.63 + 32.09 + 3.42(DC) = 102.14 KWH Solar [1118 KWH from grid; 130 (est) used by car]
Three years of solar!
March - 1-31: 128.53 + 82.29 + 3.66(DC) = 214.48 [1124 KWH from grid; 160 KWH (est) used by car]
April   - 1-30: 251.29 + 149.87 + 3.01(DC) = 404.17 KWH Solar [911 KWH; est. 170 KWH used by car]
May - 1-31: 255.01(house)+6.46(DC)+140.46(carport)+145.91(cabin)=547.74 KWH Solar [933 KWH from grid; 140 KWH (est) used by car; Bitcoin miner using extra power from 22nd on.] (3 new solar panels on carport roof -- sunniest location around -- total 18)
June  - 1-30: 234.54 + 2.10 + 160.70 + 139.18 = 536.52 KWH [from grid: 864 KWH - dang bitcoin miner!]
July   - 1-31: 232.12 + 4.57 + 143.03 + 139.65 = 519.37 KWH Solar [from power grid: 710 KWH; 165 KWH (est) used by car]
August-1-31: 205.57 + 4.20 + 157.88 + 137.47 = 505.32 KWH Solar [from grid: 561 KWH; 145 KWH (est) used by car]
Sept. - 1-30: 165.52 + 3.97 + 132.24 + 104.29 = 406.02 KWH Solar [from grid: 856 KWH; car used (est): 165 KWH]
Oct.   - 1-31: 97.96 + 2.86 + 78.76 + 59.04 = 238.62 KWH Solar [from grid: 1067 KWH; car used (est): 143 KWH]

Annual Totals

1. March 2019-Feb. 2020: 2196.15 KWH Solar [used   7927 KWH from grid]
2. March 2020-Feb. 2021: 2069.82 KWH Solar [used 11294 KWH from grid] (More electric heat - BR, Trailer & Perry's RV)
3. March 2021-Feb. 2022: 2063.05 KWH Solar [used 10977 KWH from grid]
4a. March 2022-August 2022: in (the best) 6 months, about 2725 KWH solar - more than in any previous entire year!

Money Saved or Earned - @ 12 [All BC residential elec. rate] ; @ 50 [2018 cost of diesel fuel to BC Hydro] ; @ 1$ per KWH [actual total cost to BC Hydro in 2022 according to an employee]:
1. 263.42$ ; 1097.58$ ; 2196.15$
2. 248.38$ ; 1034.91$ ; 2069.82$
3. 247.57$ ; 1031.53$ ; 2063.05$

   It can be seen that the benefit to the society as a whole on Haida Gwaii from solar power installations is much greater than the cost savings to the individual user of electricity, thanks to the heavy subsidization of our power owing to the BC government policy of having the same power rate across the entire province regardless of the cost of production. And it can be insurance: With some extra equipment and a battery, sufficient solar can deliver essential power in electrical outages however long.

Haida Gwaii, BC Canada