Turquoise Energy Report #177 - February 2023
Turquoise Energy News Report #177
Covering February 2023 (Posted March 5th 2023)
Lawnhill BC Canada - by Craig Carmichael
(CraigXC at Post dot com)

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

Highlight: ZX40 Mini cargo Truck; Build & Tests of Magnetic Variable Torque Converter (See February in Brief, Electric Transport, Video Link - 7 minutes)

Month In "Brief" (Project Summaries etc.)
 - Magnetic Variable Torque Converter: Build + Tests, Video Link - "New Chemistry" Battery Research & Development - Home Solar Power: 4 Years - Plastic Recycling 2.0 Demo

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
 - Scattered Thots - ESD

- Detailed Project Reports -

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems
* Magnetic Variable Torque Converter with Planetary Gear: The Future of the Automotive Industry! Assembling/Installing one for Miles Truck: working. - wants still more magnetic interaction

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects  (no reports)

Electricity Storage: Batteries
* Gelled Ni-Zn: 3D Printed PVB Case - Copper wire strands for zinc current collector? - Assembly - Keytone wetting for NiOOH: YAH! - Testing. Mn-Zn cell: Rechargeable?

Electricity Generation
* My Solar Power System:

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

February in Brief

   February was again largely a "new chemistry battery R & D" month, and the results were exciting, not yet "perfect, working!" but at long last all the pieces seem to be in place to achieve that on some try very soon.

   I did finally get the magnetic variable torque converter in the housing under the truck and working. It ran around the driveway fine and more than once, but needs still stronger magnetic rotor interaction. This is achievable and the next step.

   I did a sample plate of HDPE plastic molding (Plastic Recycling 2.0) in the kitchen oven. Some parameters need changing a bit. 500°F is too hot, 5 or 10 minutes in the oven is too short. More below.

   This month also marks four full years of tracking the power from my solar panels. Naysayers say we can't transition to renewable energy but with all due allowances for difficulties, it is in fact happening everywhere and if I had around 50 or 60 'sun panes' on my roofs instead of 18 they would be supplying as much power annually as I actually use.

Magnetic Variable Torque Converter: Build + Tests, Video Link

Magnetic Torque Converter - February 2023 Tests (Video 7 minutes)  https://youtu.be/MFbFC5YkvTM

Since the alume disk was getting too warm, I changed the bearing
support a little to provide clearance for heatsinks on the disk

Disk with the heatsinks.
Since the back surface of the disk was uneven I built up the middle
with three layers of graphite foil, which is a very good heat conductor.

   In the tests in September the theory for this variable converter was proven to work, but what was the optimum level of magnetic interaction? I suspected what I had was rather light. I added sideways magnets to the magnet rotor to make it something of a "Hallbach" configuration with more flux, and with more of the flux coming out the active side to interact with the alume disk. Did this double the flux? Probably it was at least 1.5 times more. I tried it out in the garage after I did it and I could tell it was better.

   Then I realized a planetary gearset with a higher reduction ratio would magnify the effectiveness of the flux and I ordered a 10 to 1 to replace the 5 to 1 reduction unit I had. At this point, the effective magnetic interaction between the two disks became 3 to 4 times as strong as in the initial tests.
   Now I've reassembled the unit with the "bare bones" of an enclosure with a steady bearing on the long shaft, and I drove the truck around the driveway. In general I was pleased, but in driving over obstacles, or trying to, I realize that the magnetic interaction should be still stronger. The alume disk shouldn't be turning backward, really, at any point even in the slowest driving with the total design reduction when it is stopped being 10 to 1 (planetary) times 2.2 to 1 (at the differential) for a total of 22 to 1.

I tried to drive one wheel over a 2 by 4 in the garage. It wouldn't go without a run at it at any pedal press I wanted to apply.
It was revving up too much without moving the truck. I was sure it should go and I put two large carpentry clamps into the mechanism to
hold the body of the planetary from turning. Thus fixed at 22 to 1 reduction, it hopped over the board easily with a light touch on the pedal.
It demonstrates that still stronger magnetic interaction between the disks is required.

   There is one more way to get more magnetic interaction before going to larger or multiple rotors. The present 10 inch alume alloy disk is only about 11mm thick. It was just what I had on hand. If the thickness was increased to 19 or 20mm (3/4+ inch) it would probably improve by about 1.5 times. Then, if the disk was pure alume instead of alloy (from last month's conductivity figures tabled for heatsink purposes), it would be about 1.42 times better. Multiplying these, the magnetic effect should be about doubled. So that is my next step. (Where do I get pure alume? alloy seems much easier to come by. Pure copper of course would be about 2.4 times better than the present disk even in the 11mm thickness, but too heavy and costly.)
   Further, if the diameter was increased so the rim was 1/4 or 1/2 inch beyond the magnets it should catch a little more of their magnetism at the largest radius for a lesser but noteworthy increase, maybe 10 to 20%.
   A significant benefit to increased interaction will be that the heat generated into the disk should drop by more than half, since less slip means less power wasted into it.

   So... from "it worked" to [I trust] "it's good" seems to be: original * 1.5 to 2 (Hallbach) * 2 (increased gear reduction) * 2 (better alume disk) = 6 to 8 times more effective flux - headed for an order of magnitude. Now I'm almost surprised it worked as well as it did at first in September.

   I also noticed that with steel screws holding the heatsinks on the rotor, there was a bit of magnetic cogging, where the screws wanted to align with the magnets. It then occurred to me that if an amount of steel to make the cogging sufficient but not overpowering was added to the alume rotor deliberately, when less torque was required such as cruising along level road, the disks could magneticly lock together and the mechanism would all turn as one with essentially 100% efficiency. 90% is great. 100% is better. And the alume rotor would cool off. When more torque was required the cogging force would break free, automaticly unlocking them and going back to variable conversion.

   Onward and upward!

"New Chemistry" Battery Research & Development

   After 4 consecutive months of efforts I think I'm just about there for making batteries that work and may be practical to use. Almost. (Still with horribly labor intensive construction.) I've made 3D printed cases for externally clamped flat cells and epoxied them shut so they don't leak. Even more labor intensive? At least it works!
   And I've discovered the way to get much better performance out of positive electrode powders is to soak them in acetone, which (I believe) helps build more conductive epitaxial crystal structures at the nano scale. This follows on discovering that soaking separator papers in toluene prevents the positive electrode nano-powders from seeping through to short to the negative side, and that painting the same separator with sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate seems to keep zinc ions from penetrating through from the negative side to the plus.

   I'm experimenting with a manganese oxide "+" electrode (among other interesting "+" side chemistries). Manganese is known for not recharging well from MnOOH back to MnO2 in alkaline cells. I am seeing if it will recharge at a pH below 14 when also treated with the acetone. So far it appears to be working, but it's too soon to be sure. Manganese-zinc is the well known combo of non-rechargeable dry cells. If it can be made to recharge, it will open the door to cheap, high capacity batteries potentially to the scale of grid power energy storage where a whole power grid can charge with solar during the day and run off the batteries at least into the evening - maybe even until morning. They'd be more than fair for electric transport, too, which would make for substantially lower cost electric vehicles.

   But I found where Ovshinsky et al had not only created the good metal hydride for Ni-MH batteries, but his team had also improved the nickel oxyhydroxide chemistry to give it higher capacity - even above the "theoretical" one electron per nickel atom. This makes nickel-zinc look really attractive for higher energy and still relatively low cost EV batteries.

Home Solar Power: 4 years

   With the improvements I made to the wiring many months ago including some new plug-in grid ties, two new solar panels on a pole and three on the carport roof bringing the total to 18 panes, the solar production for the fourth full year of operation was almost double that of each of the first three years - about 3800 KWH instead of 2100. (1.8x) That is about 1/3 as much as my average total annual usage from BC Hydro, and certainly much more than my electric car uses.
   Certainly one loses a lot with too-thin wires from the panes, also with grid ties loaded up to near their maximum ratings with panes instead of, say, to half their rating. ...at least that seems to be true with cheap plug-in grid tie inverters.
   Annual totals are at the bottom of this report. Luckily the weather isn't usually what the pictures show. (March 3rd)

Solar Panels, Four Years
6 on house roof + 3 just propped up on lawn. (What month is this again?)
(BTW the 10W solar panel in the window is for my bedroom lamp - ~10 years now, same Ni-MH "D" cells)

4 on cabin roof

2 on a pole (wired to carport)

Um, the 3 panels usually facing south on the carport roof.
A tremendous wind ripped them out a few days ago and dumped them on the garage roof.
One is obviously broken (corner of frame is bent). Hopefully the other two aren't.
I'm waiting for nice weather to go up and put them back -
this time with fat lag screws instead of just deck screws.

Plastic Recycling 2.0 Demo

   I tried again to make a little "sample size" HDPE "tile" from a bleach bottle. (I waited until I was baking and heating up the oven anyway. Not a very common occurrence!)

   I'm not sure what possessed me to change from the previous 9-1/2 pound weight to a 6 pounder. It wasn't enough.

   I added some "racing stripes" from some tear-off strips from 5 gallon HDPE plastic bucket lids. This time I set the kitchen oven to 500°F but I left the mold in for an hour instead of just 5 or 10 minutes. The result was that the "tile" looked scorched around the edges but still hadn't flattened right out and filled the corners. And it was stuck to the mold quite badly and hard to separate, especially from the two face pieces without bending them.
    I didn't notice any odor with the HDPE in the oven, although the window was open a bit and I didn't sit in the kitchen during the process.

It looks lumpy but these former pieces of plastic are in fact all melted into a smooth surface top and bottom. Only the edges are uneven, and scorched. (Too hot, for too long, and insufficient weight on top.)

   The silver color on the (white bleach bottle) plastic is polishing compound that was on the mold surfaces. It won't be there on any subsequent cast.


1. 500°F (260°C) is too hot for polyethylene. Probably 450°F (232°C) would have been fine; maybe still lower.
2. It does need to be in the oven long enough for all the plastic to heat up to the desired temperature and to flow. This depends on how much plastic there is as well as how thick the pieces are and the oven temperature.
3. 6 pounds of weight on the lid didn't provide enough pressure to squeeze the melted plastic out to fill the corners, even in this very small mold. (~14 x 21 cm) (Why did I swap the 9.5 pound weight I used previously for a 6 pound?)
4. The smaller the cracks around the edges are, the less material needs to be trimmed off the edges after molding.
5. The higher the sides of the mold, the bigger the chunks of plastic can be and the less cutting is needed to fit them into the mold. The low sides of this mold were a nuisance.
6. Spacers in the corners or adjusting screws are useful to make sure it doesn't come out wedge shaped. (or does for shingles.)

   Certainly recycling HDPE plastic into "tiles", sheets or plates, is pretty simple this way - especially if as it seems, one can just use the kitchen oven. One only needs to make a simple box mold. Molds for making tiles up to about 16 by 21 inches will fit in most electric ovens. In India and elsewhere they make floor and paving tiles in similar ways. They'd be great for plastic roof tiles or panels. (They need testing for flammability before use in or on top of dwellings. Would they light up from a glowing cinder, or just melt a bit? I'm not sure what test results may already be available. Consider that cedar roofing shingles plus a woodstove are a notorious combo for burning down houses.)
   In a town in Argentina I saw they were making houses from plastic "bricks" and the program was slowed by having a hard time finding enough waste plastic.
   For more ideas, look on youtube.

(I'll try in the kitchen again this month - and with PP.)

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

Scattered Thots

* People once thought lichens were a type of plant. Then someone discovered they were actually two organisms: an alga that photosynthesized to provide energy plus a fungus that can scrounge nutrients out of rocks. The biology world was indignant, but the discoverer presented indisputable microscopic evidence. They had to create a new word, "symbiosis".
   Recently it has been discovered that that too was incomplete: most lichens are actually an alga and two different types of fungi.

>>Lichenologists thought that the fungi in the partnership all belonged to a group called the ascomycetes. Almost on a whim, Spribille broadened his search to the entire fungal kingdom, and found that in almost all the macrolichens - the world's most species-rich group - he [also] found the genes of basidiomycete fungi.
"There's been over 140 years of microscopy" says Spribille. "The idea that there's something so fundamental that people have been missing is stunning."<<

   That something so major went undiscovered for 140 years since the original "symbiotic" discovery only surprises me a little. Of course it suggests that much has probably been missed in many fields, contrary to the supposition of many that most broader things must already be well known. Hence my work looking for valuable things that have been overlooked in areas of batteries, torque converters, BLDC axial flux motors and so on, where one would expect that anything simple and "obvious" would have already been found, probably long ago.

* It's hard to realize just how much the mass media indoctrinates us with incereasingly brazen American oligarchy propaganda, a narrative being repeated over and over, often as presuppositions to whatever is being said:

"Putin, who invaded Crimea, and who launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, has now done this..."
   They can't just begin with "Russia has now done this..."

   In the oft repeated prejudiced preamble, first everything is blamed on the leader, by constant repetition making him sound like a villain, as if none of [whatever] would have happened if anyone else was in charge. ("Turkey, our staunch middle-eastern allay" suddenly became "Erdigan's corrupt regime" and "Erdigan's tinpot dictatorship" in news items in the weeks before the attempt to assassinate him. I became sure they were going to do so. [Huh? He wasn't elected? The Turkish parliament suddenly has no power?] But they failed, and the repetitious damning references to Erdigan suddenly dropped out of the news.)
   Then, we are supposed to forget all about preceding causative events like the 2014 American sponsored violent coup in Ukraine that ousted the elected government for a US hand-picked new one (who conquered Ukraine?), the ongoing eastward expansion of NATO contrary to solemn promises, the ongoing nazification of Ukraine (as reported with concern on BBC more than once in 2015 until they were apparently told to stop) and totally ignoring Russian concerns and their warnings reiterated for many years. The fact that Crimea and the Donbass and 3 or 4 other "Ukrainian" regions were always Russian except for the period when they were transferred to Ukraine for internal reasons within the framework of the USSR, and that when given the chance they voted to be and are glad to be parts of Russia again, is never mentioned.
   ...And even having been repeatedly told otherwise, the highly paid talking heads will say the same things again next week and next week until most of us simply assume they must be true. And all the news is blasted out at a machine-gun pace without a pause between sentences to assimilate what was just said don't think just accept the words next topic is __! Goebbels would be proud.

   And that's just one subject. But I've perhaps said too much and instigated too much cognitive dissonance in some readers already!

* Of the seven core human values/motivators, Equality has to be right at the top. A society can't be sustainable without equality of opportunity and treatment. Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz gave a couple of talks available on Youtube about the social costs of inequality, and how "rent seeking" (extracting someone else's piece of the pie from them) became the preferred model for "earning" wealth rather than "wealth creation" (adding to the size of the pie through production, service).

Joseph Stiglitz: The Price of Inequality - Talk (2012/06/24 - One Hour)

If an hour video seems too long, here's another talk he gave, obviously less in depth.

The Costs of Inequality: Joseph Stiglitz at TEDxColumbiaSIPA (Talk 2013/03/11 - 16 minutes)

* Something not addressed by Stiglitz is overpopulation. Of course overpopulation results in competition for resources rather than co-operation, and this competition is a chief contributing cause of inequality. There is no remedy for this except a smaller population, a three times larger planet that can sustain 8 billion people over the generations being unavailable at this time.
   The Club of Rome first sounded the alarm in the later 1960s after running computer projections that indicated that continued population growth could only be sustained for a few decades and would end in a huge collapse. In a recent youtube video Neil McCoy-Ward shows footage from an actual 1973 Club of Rome report projecting declining Quality of Life from around 2000 and a population collapse starting around 2020. Certainly quality lives have become much harder to come by lately. The greater majority are now just scraping by.

Neil McCoy-Ward -- with Club of Rome projections 1973 (50th anniversary)

   Recent crop and herd reductions or failures and problems all over the food supply chain globally would seem to indicate we are headed imminently into the drop. In sub-Saharan Africa hundreds of millions face imminent starvation, and the Africans are no longer being helped by nations who used to have surpluses but now are headed into shortages themselves. In the USA every single county now reports there being food insecurity, and over 50 million people are turning to food banks for sustenance. Crime is rising rapidly.

   Many giving warnings in recent years are surprised how long our unsatisfactory state of affairs has continued without collapsing, but the Club of Rome report 50 years ago seemed to have had the timing pretty well pegged.

(Eccentric Silliness Department)

* Notice: no, it's not ice

* Woodchuck could chuck wood... Can a complacent communist economist excel with "Excel" at tax calculations?

* Quarantine: Being forced to stay at home, read the Quoran and drink tea.

* The closed caption said Germany was supplying Ukraine with "Leper tanks". NOW I know why Ukraine is losing!

* And Britain is sending "Sea Cucumber", er, I mean, "Sea King" helicopters. In Canada these are notorious for falling out of the sky into the ocean.

* What's this coffee bag at the back of the top shelf? How long has it been up there?
Egads, is that the expiry date?

   "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

[22nd] Some kind of lethargy took over... and battery stuff. Anyway I cut a piece of plywood to extend the bearing holder out 4/5 of an inch so I could put three 10mm tall heatsinks on the alume disk. Later I finally went under the truck and dismantled the whole assembly. Prime candidate for what was slipping: it looked like the SDS hub wasn't closing tightly enough on the shaft, which may be a bit undersize. I'll run a zip disk through the slot to make it wider and be sure it can close enough.

[23rd] yikes! Now that it's dismounted and apart and I'm ready to make all the changes, it's blowing a storm and -5° out there. Not conducive to working in the unheated shop, and I don't suppose even 3000 watts of portable heaters would make it anything like warm. Dang, I think I'll sit by the woodstove instead.

[26th] I've done bits and pieces here and there (while confessing to be presently much more interested in batteries). It has warmed above zero... and then gotten colder and snowed. Most of the detail items on my list are done.

[27th] I finished the list items and put the heatsinks on the alume disk. The surface wasn't flat, and I propped them up with 3 layers of graphite "foil", having discovered that solid graphite is probably a better heatsink material than alume itself. (or even than copper?)

   Then I reassembled the housing, and the rotating mechanism. (My back already hurts. I'm I really going to start crawling under the truck to install it again? Maybe tomorrow!)

Torque Converter 100% Efficiency on the Road?

   I had worked out efficiencies once under way to be in the 90% range. That seemed acceptable as it is apparently better than "automatic transmissions" even tho they have been much improved during this century. But an interesting "feature" presented itself. With even the small steel screws holding the heatsinks there was a noticeable amount of magnetic cogging between the two disks. It occurred to me that provided the motor is easily able to overcome that cogging, when torque requirements are small the alume disk can magneticly "stick" to the magnet disk and the entire mechanism will turn at 1 to 1 with 100% efficiency. Perfect! So to get this when torque requirements are lower - perhaps as when cruising on level pavement - a certain amount of magnetic steel might well be added to the alume rotor to get it all to synchronize - automaticly - when conditions favor it.
   Potential drawbacks: 1. The pedal will have to be pressed far enough to overcome the cogging to start moving from a stop. Then the vehicle may "lurch" into motion. 2. There may be some vibration when the converter isn't running at 1 to 1. How serious these potential objections would be needs to be determined. There may be a reasonable amount of steel to make them trivial yet still get the 100% in most cruising. It's something for future "fine tuning" experimentation.

[28th] Heating garage up to 13° so I can work in it. It clicked "on" the instant I moved it up from 5°.

   Weight: housing (before epoxy) 13 pounds. Rotating mechanism: 23 pounds. Heavy enough to lift... but I should be thankful I can handle them separately, and I don't need a chain hoist, jack or something!

   The housing went on okay, but the mechanism wouldn't push into the splined socket on the motor, which had always gone easily before. The shaft didn't quite line up. It seemed the housing had become slightly trapezoid. I took out some screws to loosen things up, and worked it in, but it still wasn't straight. Good enough for the test, but to avoid premature wear I'll want to address that before I epoxy up the housing. Then one of the heatsinks was nicking one of the 2 by 6'es as it went by. Rather than do it all over again I let it click. Again the trouble was probably the trapezoid.

   When at length I had a camera on underneath and drove out of the garage... it worked! I went quite slowly and the result was "catching" on every little lump or root in the grass and when going upslope, having to press pretty hard on the pedal to get moving again. But move it did. Pushing through the snow required some extra torque too. The alume disk still got pretty hot - I got just a whiff of the heat from in the cab.
   I had only a video of the mechanism, and somehow the camera was aimed too far forward and didn't show the rear driveshaft. Having no cameraman I set another camera on a tripod. I made another circle of the driveway and got the footage of both the mechanism and the moving truck. I drove a little faster this time and it went quite smoothly. I didn't smell heat from the disk. It was probably pretty warm, but even at a still pretty low speed I didn't have to press the pedal so far, so it probably wasn't as hot. And doubtless the spinning heatsinks made a difference. But as I think about it, there isn't any good place for the air to enter near the center to be thrown to the outside by the heatsinks for good air circulation. I can drill a few holes in the bearing holder plywood. (Start of new list!) I still like the idea of venting the disk to the windshield to help defog, but it would be a considerable job.
   In my rough driveway, I estimate that even with the 10 to 1 reduction planetary, the hallbach rotor magnet configuration and the disks almost touching each other, the magnetic coupling was barely adequate; by no means excessive.
   Things that could help increase it would be a thicker (than ~11mm) alume rotor, using pure alume instead of alloy, and making a more optimized hallbach magnet rotor. (Pure copper is still better, but it's heavy and costly. Again, conductivity ratios: Alume alloy 167 / Pure alume 237 / Pure copper 401. Pure alume 237/167= 1.42 times better than alloy. 401/237= 1.69 times better than pure alume, or 401/167= 2.40 times better than alume alloy. A 3/4 inch thick pure alume disk would probably be about twice as good as the alloy one I used.) Beyond that, it would have to be larger diameter rotors, or even multiple rotors. (The Chevy Sprint with the already-bought 7 to 1 planetary straight to the wheel is likely to want 12 inch rotors, the best I can make or get.)

   Later I took a third trip around the driveway for no special reason. I also tried to drive over a 2 by 4 behind one wheel on the level garage floor. Using a fair amount of pedal, it wouldn't go from a stop, without a run at it. Just like with the 5 to 1 planetary in my original concept tests, except this 2 by 4 had all square corners and so was a bit more challenging. For sure still more magnetism would be helpful. This sort of a torque converter was surely entirely impractical before the creation of powerful rare earth magnets.

Magnetic Torque Converter - February 2023 Tests (Video 7 minutes)


[March 1st] I thought that with the 10 to 1 planetary reduction times the 2.2 to 1 rear differential reduction, 22 to 1 should easily drive over a 2 by 4. I put in a couple of carpentry clamps to keep the body of the planetary from turning. Sure enough, the truck hopped over the 2 by 4 in both directions with a slight touch of the power pedal. (The disadvantage to such a fixed ratio being, of course, that the motor would be over-revving even at a quite low speeds. With the variable torque converter it wouldn't run too fast even at 200 KmPH on the highway. ...BTW, I don't think I would dare run this truck at over about 60.)

   Conclusion: The magnetic coupling surely isn't as strong as would be desirable. When the ground is dry I'll have to try it on hills. But it should be good enough to drive around, and my next step is to epoxy up the housing and make it really solid, and fill in the open walls so as to keep road dirt out.
   But to finish I think I want that 3/4 inch thick pure alume disk, which should be around double the magnetic coupling of the present ~11mm alume alloy disk. That should be at least close enough to an "ideal" strength of magnetic coupling. And, the magnetism doesn't stop right at the edges of the magnets. I'm sure making the alume rotor at least 1/4 inch, or better 1/2 inch or more larger radius than the magnet rotor, would be just that much better. (Egads, that would make it an 11+ inch rotor instead of 10 inches! I'd have to expand the housing.)

   (And while I'm at it, another 12 inch diameter disk for the Sprint. With a 12 inch magnet rotor, that should be around 2.6 times more torque than this one... which without the truck's 2.2 to 1 differential reduction means only about a 1.18 times torque improvement to the wheel. But the Sprint is lighter. Or again maybe a 13+ inch size to catch more outer edge magnetism. Hmm... can I actually fit this in under the hood?)

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects

No Reports

Electricity Storage

New Chemistry Batteries

   Here we are on the fourth consectuvie month of battery R & D, and I think I'm awfully close to making cells that actually perform well. A couple of vital new things were learned, and a 3D printed case designed.

3D Printed  Battery Cases

[13th] I went through my old 3D printed battery case designs and found one from 2013. Solid plastic might be heavier than packaging tape, but other than that it (unsurprisingly) seemed to have most of the things I wanted: in particular a divider to keep electrolyte materials away from the edges of the separator papers and a small reservoir at the top for liquid. Why wouldn't I just use that design?
   I doubled the height of the cell (making it like the ones I've been making lately) and tweaked various other dimensions, then printed a sample one in PLA plastic. Just a model to inspect: PLA will disintegrate from the alkaline electrolyte and it is aggravating that the "new" printer won't print ABS properly. However, I should think PVB will work okay. I printed the back (the bottom on the printer bed) in just three .3mm layers and discovered that I could put my mouth up to it and force air through it. But it was half the weight of the ones made from purchased ABS sheets and much better adapted to the job. I will likely wrap them up in packaging tape to keep them from leaking anyway. (Doesn't work.)
   As one new innovation I may put in a thin frame after the separator papers are put in, to keep the upper electrode away from their edges during assembly as well as the lower one.
   Then, and more importantly, I will make a front piece with ridges (or a thick, lightweight "hollow" piece) that fits just inside the rim. It can be pushed into the box to compact the electrodes as much as is useful, the ridges or thickness making it stick out from the box and against the alume clamp regardless of exact thicknesses of the materials within. This seems like a much better plan than anything I've come up with before. Again wrapping in packaging tape may be the simple way to prevent leaks.

[14th] The next day I tweaked a few things and then had a hard time with the 3D printer - again. (It worked so well yesterday!) I looked on line. Hairspray was recommended as a possible fix to get things to adhere better. Or glue stick. Of course you don't want the plastic adhering so well that it's hard to get off, so it's a tradeoff. The heated glass bed is great if it sticks, because the part just comes right off once the bed is cool. But the parts lift too easily during printing. Clean glass (rub with acetone) and warm, dry filament are vital. I might try printing ABS with the hairspray idea. (...worked well with the PVB.)

The entire complex shaped case less the main front cover weighed 31.35g, but the front cover, 3mm thick, weighed 31.6g and actually took longer to print! That makes the whole case 63 grams. That front cover just can't be good for energy by weight! (Hmm, I forgot about the idea of printing a thinner sheet with ridges - maybe to look like a heatsink with fins?)

Copper Wire Strands Current Collector?

   I had also been thinking that expanded copper mesh for a zinc current collector was nice, but not very common or cheap. But what about fine stranded wire? I cut open a short length of a #6(?) wire from "cab tire"(?). It came apart into 7 bundles of fine stranded wires.

   I took one bundle, about 7 inches long, and combed it out. It was just 2 grams. (The copper mesh was 4-5g.) A bit of a mess, but if one had a system, it could be well spread out without big gaps. And the zinc itself would plate onto the copper in charging and do a lot of filling in.

[16th] I bought some hairspray and some glue stick. (They still sell glue stick!?!)
   I didn't see anything I didn't like in the second model. I changed the upper cap a bit to cover two gaps at the upper electrode terminal strip. I printed that and adjusted a dimension slightly so it fit better.
   I cleaned and sprayed some hair spray onto the printer bed, then I printed a "for real" cell case with the rather costly PVB (poly vinyl butyrate) filament. None of it lifted off the bed during printing - Yay!
   I decided to go for the main cover just 2.1mm (7 layers of plastic) thick. If it goes all the way in I'd have to add some extra posode material.

[17th] For the copper wires current collector idea I had been thinking of drilling holes in a piece of plastic for small nails in a pattern to string the wires across and cover the whole electrode with even distance between wires. That sounded tedious... wait a minute! I can 3D print a piece of PLA complete with the holes!

[18,19th] I printed the "pin toad". I had envisioned the wires stung across taut like on a harp. It didn't really work out that way. and I didn't get them interlocked at the bottom. And it took too long. (It would have been easier and doubtless neater with one long strand instead of a bunch of short ones.)

When I took it off, it was just a mess. I suppose one could weave some strands across, making it a loose "window screen" weave. Or wrap long strands around the zinc sheet, although that would leave half on the wrong side of the sheet to make indents into the separator paper. Perhaps best to use the extruded mesh until I run out, and meanwhile hope for an inspiration.

   I used the mesh and put a zinc electrode into the 3D printed case. Then I prepared separator papers and put them in place.

Keytones! (Epitaxial crystalline growths?)

[20th] I wetted my nickel hydroxide mix [TE News #176] with methyl ethyl keytone and put about 30 grams into the cell. Then I cut a cupro-nickel current collector, painted the active face with calcium oxide, and set it on top. I closed the top and wrapped the whole cell with packaging tape, then put it in the clamps. The clamps seemed to press the front fully down to the sides, and it was only charging at 30mA. (But it didn't leak - yay!) I took it out, slit the tape, pulled the top off, and added another 10 grams of Ni(OH)2 mix. (Now around 3.6 amp-hours) This time it definitely didn't press right down. In fact, it had "too much" material at the bottom and I had to get a couple of longer screws. Then the re-wrapped cell leaked, badly. So I took it out again and wrapped another layer of tape on. Then it only leaked a tiny bit, and I left it. Shining a flashlight through it from behind and tilting it, I could see there was only a bubble of air in the top reservoir. But I should have made the filler hole bigger - to see in and also so a pH paper strip would fit in - so I adjusted the 3D print design for next time.
   The cell started off with somewhat higher charging currents than usual - maybe double, but not that order of magnitude I've been after. 55, 60 then down to 45mA after an hour. With 4 amp-hours of Ni(OH)2 to charge it was still going to take 4 days to charge. When I put a load on, the voltage would drop down to some level, but it didn't continue dropping and dropping from there the way all my previous cells have done ever since I started experimenting and had learned enough to get battery-like results. In fact, it even seemed to rise up 10-20mV after 20 or 30 seconds under load. What an improvement! It could hardly be anything but the ketone - that was really the only thing different. Like wetting the separator paper in toluene (or varsol), wetting the positive electrode with a keytone was unintuitive but vital. It certainly took too many years to figure it out! (No doubt there are many other workable processes to do similar things, and I'll just take the first ones I've found, but one must realize that some process for something seems to be required in the first place. Perhaps these things aren't required in pH 14 alkaline solution, and since everyone doing rechargeable aqueous cells until now has gone with pH14 KOH, that explains why such aren't mentioned in the literature - not that I've found, anyway. Separators are much discussed, but it didn't seem related to electrode powder leakage.)
   It still leaked a bit. In a few hours there was no water in the reservoir and the currents were dropping - probably drying out. (Initial charging was proably using water, too.) I slit the tape and took it apart, down to removing the top current collector. The nickel electrode was about 3 to 4mm thick. I'll remark that that's a pretty thick electrode, to match only a thin slice of zinc - the reason to find some other positive elctrode element(s). I didn't see that any had been converted from turquoise Ni(OH)2 into black NiOOH yet, although there was probably a little, perhaps hidden under the surface.

   About half the electrode substance stuck to the cupro-nickel current collector and half stayed in the box. I had been looking them up and thought methyl-methyl ketone (AKA acetone) should be better than methyl-ethyl keytone, and I availed myself of this fortuitous opportunity to let it all dry out and wet the outside portion stuck on the current collector with acetone, with no chance of it affecting the separators or the other electrode. When I put it back together there should be enough difference to notice any significant further performance improvement.

[21st] I put the electrode back. It went nicely back into place without any of the powder crumbling or falling off and jamming things up. I taped it up, put it back in the clamps, and filled it. It started charging at only about 45mA - again 4 days to charge all that NiOOH.

[22nd] Performance seemed to be up which was great news, but my plan for sealing the cells simply by wrapping them in packaging tape seems to be a failure. They often seem okay at first but leak worse and worse as the hours pass. Supposedly PVB can be solved with alcohol, and it should be easy enough to seal up the top reservoir area. As for sealing the main front cover, my confidence level is low, and even the thin back wall could be slightly porous and electrolyte seep out.
   Maybe what I need to do is "pot" them - dip the whole cell in some kind of epoxy or something? Hmm... one might perhaps epoxy them into sets, like 12 volts worth, going thick on the ends for rigidity, and forget the alume clamps?

[23rd] Having at long last found this ketone/acetone method of getting more out of nickel oxyhydroxide, it occurred to me to look up the subject on line. Sure enough, more info! The article (May 2020) said it was standard practice "in the scientific literature" to heat the nickel hydroxide to 300°C. That converted some of the hydroxide to oxide. Hmpf! In all I've read none of it bothered to mention this small but apparently vital preparation detail. Perhaps that's why my electrodes have always had such poor conductivity and performance. (What if I just started with nickel oxide?)
   But the article spoke of heating the hydroxide to 900° for an hour instead. It was said that in theory that would break it down and ruin it. They tried it anyway and found that the electrode made from it generated 50% more electricity than usual even after 6000 cycles! Their focus was about using the nickel hydroxide electrode as a cheaper catalyst (than platimum or paladium) to hydrolize oxygen out of water, but they also tried it as a battery positive electrode.

   That should mean that instead of 90 amp-hours per kilogram, it would yield about 135. The theoretical limit of 289 AH/Kg is still a ways off. How about if I heat some up - maybe just to over 300° (about 500°?) for a first try - and after it cooled wet it with acetone? Could it do even better? After all these years, suddenly I find two performance improving techniques in two days!
   Fortuitously I've just bought a controlled temperature electric furnace for melting metals! It goes up to 1100°. The larger crucible should hold quite a lot of the powder. (Since I haven't potted the cell yet, I think if it comes out easily I'll take out the Ni(OH)2 and heat treat it (complete w. the monel & samarium oxide powders), then acetone again. Then I'll treat a new batch of just Ni(OH)2 powder.)

   This time most of the electrode stuck to the metal current collector. It didn't stick to the separator sheet, so it all came out easily. There was just a bit of black (presumably NiOOH) right on the current collector. Not much charged! I put it in at 500° for 25 minutes, then ground it back to powder and re-did the electrode. Most of the powder had converted into black nickel oxide, and there was only 27 grams instead of near 40. (Why am I starting with nickel hydroxide instead of just nickel oxide from the pottery supply shop, again?) Let's see:

Ni-OH-OH (59+17+17=93) => NiO (59+16) (59+16=75) + H2O (18) boiled off, or .8 times as much weight. "Should" have been over 30 grams left, but it might not really have been 40 to start with, and I lost a little on the way.

Tub of black nickel oxide. A bit of the source material, turquoise
nickel hydroxide, is seen around the edges of the cell above it.

   If it gets 150 AH/Kg, that's 4.05 amp-hours instead of 3.6, and with less material. (One can always dream!) A little acetone, grind it with mortar & pestle. (it became fine powder again almost at once - black powder.)

The rest of the jar of NiOHOH: 78 grams. Put it in crucible, in metal melting oven @ 500°C for 25'. It "boiled over", strewing powder all around the lid area. (Yuk!)

I mixed a little epoxy (25g) and smeared it all over the cell except the top, and with a couple of pieces of sheet polyethylene to keep the epoxy from the alume, screwed it into the clamps. I set it by the woodstove to set and put the remainder of the cup in the freezer to keep for a day or two in case it needed touching up.

   On line again, I found a patent by Stan Ovshinsky & crew (company "Ovonics".) Ovshinsky not only created the thin film transistor (TFT) that gives us our flat screen monitors & TV's, but the nickel-metal hydride flooded batteries of GM's EV-1 fame, that first made electric cars sporty, long range and long lasting in the late 1990s. Some of these batteries lasted 20+ years. I knew he had formulated the metal hydride that made these batteries possible, but I didn't know they had made important improvements to the nickel oxides side as well. Combos of 3+ elements mixed by special techniques to give more than one electron valence change per nickel atom... ooh! This is going to take some reading to get the gist of!

From Ovonics Patent: (Think GM EV-1 battery):
Nickel hydroxide positive electrode material exhibiting improved conductivity and engineered activation energy
[0051] This discrepancy between theoretical capacity and the capacity achieved by the prior art can be explained by
the fact that nickel hydroxide has an enormous number of available sites for hydrogen storage, but that many or most
of those sites cannot be effectively utilized. This is because:

* the NiO-H bond is outside the thermodynamic window accessible for use in a sealed, alkaline electrolyte cell;
* the competing O 2 evolution reaction;
* poor conductivity where highly charged nickel oxihydroxide material cannot be fully discharged or is at least severely
* rate dependent, or pockets of charged material may exist even after discharge due to such poor conductivity;
* the inaccessibility of those sites because the surface of the particles does not allow electrolyte penetration, and the
* unoptimized crystallite size make the conductivity and "active surface area" of the crystallites insufficient.

[0060] The benefit of using dopants in addition to, and as a substitute for cobalt, cannot be over emphasized. Cobalt
is very expense relative to the other battery materials, and therefore, significantly influences final NiMH battery cost.
Cobalt also is uniquely capable of being almost completely substituted for Ni and soluble within the nickel hydroxide
host matrix. The instant inventors believe that nickel hydroxide materials modified only with cobalt have a tendency to
be single phase. Because these materials avoid becoming "multiphase", and disordered, they cannot provide the following
desirable properties:

* formation of a spectrum of NiO to H binding energies
* formation of small crystallites (improving accessibility)
* increased conductivity
* multiple electron transfer per Ni atom resistant to swelling and operable over a wide range of temperatures
* engineering local and intermediate range order

[0061] The instant inventors have found that combinations of elements (such as Ni-Co-Zn-Mg-Ca or
Ni-Co-Zn-Mg-Ca-Mn-Cu) show synergistic behavior relative to the expected electrochemical effects
from just the individual elements alone.

   Anyway, this cell is sealed in epoxy. How or whether it works is in limbo, and I don't think I'll be taking apart to make any changes, but it's less likely to leak than any previous cell!

   I filled it to the brim with weak KCl solution (thinking there's probably enough CuCl2 in it already and some KCl) but of course it took time for it to penetrate into the zinc electrode and then across the separator sheet, so I filled it several times until it stayed full.
   It didn't seem to leak. But the charge jumped right up to the supply voltage and it only started charging at 10mA. In an hour it didn't go higher. It would go up a little for a bit if I drew some current off it, but was soon back to 10mA. It seemed really disappointing. Had heating the nickel hydroxide to oxide wrecked it instead of improving it? Did I do it too hot or for too long? There was nothing to do but leave it overnight and see how it was in the morning.

   I suspect another cause of low currents is painting the separator sheet with osmium dopant instead of painting it directly on the zinc. With zinc granules and powder it seemed like it would use way too much, but now I'm putting in actual zinc sheet again, and I should coat that instead. (Too late for this cell, now epoxied shut!) The zircon can be put in with the zinc powder, and the 'extra' parchment separator sheet can be done away with.

[24th] In the morning the cell charge was up to 17mA. The voltage wasn't staying up yet and quickly dropped under 1.5V - not too surprising since it was taking so little charge. I tried a 60 Ω load. It was less than impressive except for one thing: again, unlike all my previous cells, the voltage didn't quickly start fading. It fell from 1.4xx to 1.038V when I put the load on, but after 20 minutes it had risen to 1.110V instead of falling off. After 25 minutes it was still 1.109V. When I removed the load it rose in 1/2 a minute to 1.309V, and 1.314V by one minute. When I put it back on charge it started out drawing 90mA and only gradually worked its way back down while making up for the load energy, being still 34mA after 10 minutes. A few minutes later a 10 Ω load started at .600V and rose considerably in a minute to .651V. Then 1 Ω started at .100V and rose to .126V, then dropped to .125V at the 1 minute mark. Again charging started at over 90mA.
    I can only hope the cell continues to improve bit by bit for quite some time. In mid afternoon, then late afternoon, performance was creeping up marginally but perceptibly.

Manganese Dioxide?

   The remarkable change in the performance of the nickel oxides from wetting the powder with acetone got me thinking about MnO2 again. MnOOH or Mn2O3 (valence 3) is known to not recharge (to MnO2, valence 4)... but that's in pH14 alkaline solution. What would happen in salt solution at a lower pH, and if it was treated with acetone? A friend said he had once tried recharging an ordinary salt dry cell (pH 6?) and it had recovered 70% of its charge. Surely at least some of the MnOOH or Mn2O3 had to recharge to MnO2 to do that? (He said on the second recharge, it leaked. Probably the zinc can was weakened and there would be pressure inside during charging.)
   A perpetually rechargeable manganese zinc cell would be very low cost (in principle) and very high energy by weight: dynamite! (It could even be made by recycling old dry cell materials.) I decided it was worth trying. If it worked it would be, at least, the obvious choice for power grid level stationary energy storage. And it would be a cheap EV battery too, and quite lightweight even if not "the ultimate".

   Having thought of it, in spite of the many things I should be doing, I just had to try it. I had another 3D printed battery case. I had some MnO2 from dry cells. One more expanded copper mesh grill. One more cupro-nickel sheet cut. And some varsoled watercolor paper separators. I had the epoxy in the freezer, which would soon harden if not used...
   I put the copper mesh (4.25g) in the case, and a zinc sheet (13.6g) on that. I painted the osmium dopant straight onto the zinc. Then I mixed some zinc powder with a bit of zircon (3.0g+13.6g=16.6g Zn) and spread it around on top. Then I painted a separator paper with SDBS.

[25th] I took the dry cell MnO2+graphite and added a little Sm2O3 to raise the oxygen overvoltage. I put in lots of acetone and mixed. I filled the cell to the brim with this. I painted the current collector with CaO (=> Ca(OH)2) and put it on top.
   Then I got the epoxy and made a horrible mess. I turned the cell over to do the back first and the front came off and spilled powder. I did finally put it together, with epoxy and powder all over the counter. I got some polyethylene sheets into the clamp and screwed everything down. I set it near the woodstove to set and managed to clean up the counter with many paper towels and a fair bit of acetone. My black fingers (in spite of one plastic glove and "I can keep the other hand away from the epoxy" -- ha ha) were another story. Next... mid afternoon! Time to get on with my day.

   When I unclamped it to look,  it was still a mess. An area of the back had powder all over it and the case was sunken in. The remaining acetone in the MnO2 evidently had melted the back. Still, it didn't look hopeless and after I scraped the powder away I filled the cell. It didn't seem to leak. (fyew!)

   Then I clamped both cells -- first time there've been two cells in the clamp!
   It read 1.05V right off the bat. Let's see, MnO2-Zn at pH 11 is about +.35 - -1.15 = 1.5 volts. About the same as at any pH. I set the power supply to 1.60V and charged through 0.1 Ω. I must have got more things right this time, because the charging current started way over 100mA - maybe 200. It soon dropped to 110-125mA... and stayed there! There, at least, was something with an order of magnitude improvement, at least, over 10 or 20mA.
   A few hours later it seemed to not be performing well, but it was leaking after all. (Sigh!) I figured it was that messy back area, but the leak was actually around the edge of the front face. I left it overnight by the woodstove for the cracks to dry out before smearing some more epoxy on it here and there, and put the Ni-Zn cell back on charge.

Black powder seeped through the poorly "toluened" separator
[26th] The Ni-Zn cell, however, right from the start hadn't seemed to hold charge. I was hoping it was just the slow charging, but right from the start, the more it was charged, the faster it discharged until it was down around 1.3 volts. This time it had actually reached 2 volts where it should have sat happily, but the charging current was up instead of down, and as soon as the charge was disconnected it began its relentless and rapid drop in voltage. I guess somewhere in the compacting the separator sheet must have ripped at the edge or something. Being sealed with epoxy I can't take it apart. At least not without totally destroying it. I suppose it's worth sawing open if I can figure out what's wrong. Or I could just assume I know what's wrong, and just lower the lip inside (another millimeter?) so the bottom zinc electrode area is thinner and the separator doesn't touch the lip until it's being squeezed in by the upper electrode.

   I got the last of the epoxy out of the freezer and touched up the Mn-Zn cell. In the -25°C freezer it still wasn't hardening much yet after 3 days.
   But the Mn-Zn cell is doing the same thing as the Ni-Zn one, but with higher currents. I supposed it was because the zinc material doesn't fill the whole cavity, so when the powder is put in and compacted, it pushes into the voids at the edges and rips the separator. Nope! I chiseled the Ni-Zn cell apart at the seams and didn't see any signs of ripping except what I caused opening it. What I saw instead was a bit of black on the wrong side of the separator sheet. Some of the nickel oxides nano powder had seeped through it, creating a short.
   I knew I wanted toluene (methyl benzene) and not varsol! (Maybe the Co-op Home Centre or Home Hardware would order me some toluene if I asked? Looking it up on line, I found that naphtha was mainly xylene (dimethyl benzene) and trimethyl benzene. Maybe naphtha camp stove fuel is the best thing I can get right now? That, and treating the paper more than once. I had two treated sheets left and I doused them with varsol again. Then I found some Coleman camp stove fuel. 3rd time lucky? I doused them with it. But "Naphtha" is an ambiguous term of various formulas. The methyl benzene ones are "solvent naptha". But Coleman camp fuel is evidently "petroleum naphtha" which is quite different. But none of them guarantee specific chemicals or in specific percentages. Hmm... Varsol is largely "solvent naphtha", ie, di- and tri-methyl benzene.

[27th] I looked on line and found toluene in 1 liter cans at Home Hardware. I phoned Home Hardware in Masset. They had it! Apparently I had somehow neglected to phone the one place of three on this island that might - and did - have it when I was looking for it 2 or 3 months ago. I bought it over the phone and called Port Air Cargo to deliver it to me. (Sigh, 40$ instead of 20$. But it's too far for the Leaf and there's a brake sticking on my Toyota Echo that needs fixing before I try going anywhere in it again. That's likely to cost much more than the toluene! Repair will have to wait until it stops snowing and is warmer.) It came Wednesday, March 1st and I doused the two separator sheets once more, this time in the desired stuff! Between that and 4 dousings, hopefully I can start making battery cells that actually work properly and last a long time!

[28th] I 3D printed two new cell cases. The second one was because somewhere the devious software had switched itself to "print support structures" and it filled in the lower slots and the filler hole - ug! Why would it do such a thing on a printer it knew had just one extruder and no soluble filament? It had been printing the slots just fine with almost no sag. (to my initial surprise) I could drill the hole out, but it would be difficult to cut the two thin slots where they need to go without wrecking the whole print.

To be continued...

Electricity Generation

My Solar Power System

   I think maybe I like "photo panes" as a (somewhat) short form for "solar panels", or "panes" for "panels".

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 [before] 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.

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

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

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

31st 4233.39, 7.05,   7.71,   1.79 => 5.78 [4666@17:30]

  1st 4234.63, 7.19,   8.50,   2.38 => 2.76 [55Km; 4713@17:30]
  2d  4236.10, 7.29,   9.46,   3.10 => 3.25 [4751@18:00]
  3rd 4236.96, 7.38,   9.85,   3.45 => 1.69 [90Km; 4797@17:30]
  4th 4238.16, 7.45, 10.56,   4.04 => 2.57 [50Km; 4840@17:30]
  5th 4239.53, 7.56, 11.33,   4.60 => 2.81 [4880@17:30]
  6th 4241.88, 7.65, 13.13,   5.89 => 5.53 [60Km; 4919@18:00]
  7th 4244.94, 7.75, 15.03,   7.57 => 6.74 [4952@18:00]
  8th 4245.74, 7.82, 15.37,   7.87 => 1.51 [60Km; 4995@18:00]
  9th 4247.36, 7.93, 16.75,   8.80 => 4.04 [5029@18:00]
10th 4249.96, 8.06, 18.90, 10.11 => 6.19 [90Km; 5071@17:30]
11th 4251.09, 8.09, 19.49, 10.60 => 2.28 [50Km; 5112@18:00]
12th 4253.22, 8.15, 21.28, 11.95 => 5.33 [5146@17:30]
13th 4257.76, 8.23, 24.74, 14.57=>10.70 [5174@18:30]
14th 4260.40, 8.34, 27.21, 16.15 => 6.80 [5211@17:30] SNOW!?!
15th 4261.01, 8.46, 27.59, 16.49 => 1.65 [60Km; 5255@17:30]
16th 4264.66, 8.55, 29.60, 18.29 => 7.55 [35Km; 5294@18:30]
17th 4266.49, 8.66, 30.67, 19.18 => 3.90 [5339@20:00]
18th 4268.18, 8.77, 31.64, 19.95 => 3.54 [55Km; 5371@18:00]
19th 4269.15, 8.87, 32.17, 20.38 => 2.03 [5404@18:30]
20th 4272.59, 8.97, 35.00, 22.46 => 8.45 [5422@18:30]
21st 4275.27, 9.05, 37.42, 24.00 => 6.71 [5454@18:00]
22d  4279.99, 9.23, 41.07, 26.92=>11.47 [60Km; 5480@18:00] MINUS -2° and gusty winds? (probably -5° last night?)
23d  4282.27, 9.31, 41.95, 27.94 => 5.26 [5542@18:30] -5° Today, powerful wind gusts blew over carport solar panels.
24th 4284.16, 9.42, 42.30, 28.80 => 3.21 [5586@18:00] -0°, snow. Fixed roof, didn't get sunpanes back up. One is bent, must be broken.
25th 4286.92, 9.50, 43.00, 30.33 => 5.07 [55Km; 5631@18:00]
26th 4288.24, 9.59, 43.84, 31.06 => 2.98 [5667@18:00]
27th 4288.94, 9.67, 44.59, 31.45 => 1.92 [5706@18:00] Snow covering most of the panes.
28th 4292.58, 9.75, 45.81, 34.26 => 7.75 [5745@18:30] Snow melted off panels.

1st 4294.21, 9.86, 46.09, 35.00 => 2.76 [5781@18:00] Snow melting in rain. Didn't get carport panels fixed yet.
2d  4296.29, 10.0, 46.94, 36.48 => 4.55 [50Km; 5817@18:30] More snow! Some sun too.
3rd 4296.92, 0.09, 47.32, 36.84 => 1.46 [85Km; 5861@19:00] Still snow on panels.
4th 4303.26, 0.21, 48.70, 41.14 =>12.14 [30Km; 5895@19:00] Snow musta melted.
5th 4310.38, 0.30, 50.05, 46.08 =>14.40 [5921@19:00]

Chart of daily KWH from solar panels.    (Compare FEBRUARY 2023 (left) with January 2023 & with February 2022 - but note number of solar panels differs from last year.)

Days of
__ KWH
February 2023
(18 solars)
January 2023
(18 solar panels)
February 2022
(15 s. panels - 2
mostly in shade)










Total KWH
for month
93.79 102.14
Km Driven
on Electricity
713.1 Km (odo 92583)
811.9 Km
(~130 KWH?)
(~130 KWH?)

Things Noted - February 2023

* Nothing much

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:   25.47 + 18.58  = 44.05 KWH Solar [1185 KWH used from grid] (1 solar panel moved to DC system only -- 11 panels)
Feb:   47.18 + 33.22  = 80.40 KWH Solar [1121 KWH used from grid]
Two years of solar!
Mar:    81.73 +  55.22 + 2.2 (DC) = 139.15 KWH Solar [1039 KWH grid]
April: 161.83 + 112.35 + .44(DC)  = 274.62 KWH Solar [680 KWH from grid]
May:  156.25 +  97.22 + 1.29(DC) = 254.76 KWH Solar [678 KWH from grid]
June: 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:  204.35 + 121.21 + 4.06(DC) = 329.62 KWH Solar [426 KWH from grid; 150(?) KWH used by Nissan Leaf]
Aug:  176.19 + 102.91 + 5.37(DC) = 284.47 KWH Solar [477 KWH from grid; 165 KWH (est) used by car]
Sept:   94.35 +   51.34 + 3.30(DC) = 152.29 KWH Solar [590 KWH from grid; 155 KWH (est) used by car]
Oct:    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:   34.69 +  18.92 + 3.82 = 57.43 KWH Solar [1474 KWH from grid (ouch!); 140 (est) used by car]
Dec:   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: 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: 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:128.53 + 82.29 + 3.66(DC) = 214.48 [1124 KWH from grid; 160 KWH (est) used by car]
April: 251.29 + 149.87 + 3.01(DC) = 404.17 KWH Solar [911 KWH; est. 170 KWH used by car]

May: 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)
Jun: 234.54 + 2.10 + 160.70 + 139.18 = 536.52 KWH [from grid: 864 KWH - dang bitcoin miner!]
July: 232.12 + 4.57 + 143.03 + 139.65 = 519.37 KWH Solar [from power grid: 710 KWH; 165 KWH (est) used by car]
Aug: 205.57 + 4.20 + 157.88 + 137.47 = 505.32 KWH Solar [from grid: 561 KWH; 145 KWH (est) used by car]
Sept:165.52 + 3.97 + 132.24 + 104.29 = 406.02 KWH Solar [from grid: 856 KWH; car used (est): 165 KWH]
Oct:   97.96 + 2.86 + 78.76 + 59.04 = 238.62 KWH Solar [from grid: 1067 KWH; car used (est): 143 KWH]
Nov:  47.37 + 3.30 + 37.81 + 26.43 = 114.91 KWH solar. [from grid: 1504 KWH; car used (est): 120 KWH]
Dec:  31.05 + 3.11 + 29.46 + 16.35 = 79.97 KWH Solar. [from grid: 1266 KWH; car used (est): 135 KWH]

2023 - (House roof, lawn + DC + Cabin + Carport, Pole) Solar
Jan KWH: 40.57 + 3.06 + 28.31 + 21.85 = 93.79 Solar [grid: 1163; car (est): 130]
Feb KWH: 59.19 + 2.70 + 38.10 + 32.47 = 132.46 Solar [grid: 1079; car: 110]
Four years of solar!

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!
4. March2022-Feb. 2023: 3793.37 KWH Solar [used 12038 KWH from grid]

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$
4. 455.204 ; 1896.69$ ; 3793.37$

   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. (Feb 28th 2023: And it's probably well over 1$/KWH by now the way inflation of diesel fuel and other costs is running.)

Haida Gwaii, BC Canada