Turquoise Energy News Report #178
Covering March 2023 (Posted April 8th 2023)
Lawnhill BC Canada - by Craig Carmichael
(CraigXC at Post dot com)

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

Special Feature: Federal, Provincial and Municipal Local Volunteer Grievance Panels: No cost, timely and fair adjudication of minor disputes between Individuals and Government (See in "In Passing")

Month In "Brief" (Project Summaries etc.)
 - Magnetic Variable Torque Converter - Renewable Energy Symposium #2 - Magnetic Cooling with Gadolinium? Nah! - Copper Heatsinks? - A Better Air Compressor? - A Working Battery! (for a while)... Exploring Battery Making Video Series - Solar Frame Fix - Magnetic Variable Torque Converter - "New Chemistry" Battery Research & Development - A Second Means of Taming Zinc Ions! - Exploring Battery Making Videos - Plastic Recycling 2.0 - EV from Victoria Visit - Gardening

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
 - Federal, Provincial & Municipal Local Grievance Panels - 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!

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects
* Open Loop Air Heat Pumping

Electricity Storage: Batteries
* This month's progress

Electricity Generation
* My Solar Power System:

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

March in Brief

   This month has a special feature outside the realm of 'green energy' and electric transport. I'm relating what I believe should be a big help for people who seem to be getting treated unfairly by government or big faceless corporations - especially telecom companies - often by some part of a bureaucracy applying bylaws and statutes in an unreasonable manner, making unreasonable charges or providing poor service. A volunteer Grievance Panel in each town or region, similar to a municipal Board of Variance but broader in scope, gives people somewhere to turn when they feel they are being or have been treated unfairly.
   I have been thinking about this for some time, and have finally written it up in semi-coherent form in the In Passing section, below. I didn't get it finished until April... and then came up with a couple of valuable modifications, broadening the scope to include any "major institution" rather than just government bureaucracy, even after I had initially posted this report. So I rewrote it and reposted it a couple more times, and wasn't satisfied it was good enough until April 10th. The changes are worth it! I will be sending a paper copy to my member of parliament, who is someone that just might like the idea and promote it energeticly.

Magnetic Variable Torque Converter

   I tried for much of the month to get a piece of pure alume for the rotor, to get more electromagnetic interaction with the magnet rotor than with alloy. Double might be about right. I knew it wasn't common, but I wasn't prepared for this... Nobody seemed to have it. at all. One place said they could get it in but I'd have to buy a whole sheet. That would be well over 1000$ - plus shipping! Finally one place said they would sell me a piece, 1/4 inch thick instead of 1/2 inch, 2 x 2 feet... for 1100$! Yow!
   At that point, I decided copper would be (much) cheaper, available, and after all the best - the most conductive - more than double the alume alloy, so I could use a thinner piece. Then someone had many Kg of copper bits and I bought them from him at copper spot price. So instead of buying a slab I started thinking I would cast the rotor in copper. A concern is that the crucible only holds 1Kg of bits, where the rotor will need about 2-1/2 Kg of copper. Will it work okay if the copper is cast in two or three melts to fill the mold instead of all at once? Somebody on youtube said you shouldn't do that. I guess I'll find out. But first I'll try casting copper heatsinks for a Peltier cooler for practice, and also to see how much better the cooler performs than with alume alloy.
   Another guy on youtube said he made crucibles out of fire extinguishers. I could perhaps make one large enough for 3Kg of copper out of a propane bottle. (carefully purged before cutting!) That wouldn't fit in my little metal furnace, but perhaps I could fit it into my mini-kiln. OTOH, he was just melting alume [alloy, sigh!], a lower temperature, and he said they only lasted a few pours. Would it last one pour with copper?

   This is sure some serious "scope creep" just to get a metal disk I thought I could simply buy!

   There was a second Renewable Energy Symposium on the 11th & 12th, at the Haida Heritage Museum, following the one in September 2018 in Old Masset centre. I decided to get a table and show mainly the battery and torque converter work I had been doing, plus the updated handheld bandsaw mill and some "Plastic Recycling 2.0" molds and moldings.

   I said I was interested in "TLL Yhada" and the 2 MW solar project at Masset Airport. The panels will cover the grassy field to the side of the runway, and batteries will provide power at night.

The previous HDPE melts had had no discernible smell in the kitchen oven, but the odor with the PP   
ropes that started out with a big air space between the mold's lid and the wall was quite objectionable. 
   I did a few new "sample size" pieces in the kitchen oven the week before to take to the event, where I discovered, since I could control the temperature, that 400F was about right for both PE and PP.) I started typing up information pages about the battery research on the 5th, even before finishing the February TE News Report.

BTW - Smell of Melting Plastic: It would seem from this limited experience that melting polyethylene has little or no odor, but polypropylene smelled pretty strongly.
   I will not hesitate to do even a big piece of HDPE or UHMW in the oven in the kitchen next time, but an outdoor oven seems to be needed for polypropylene.

   The weekend went by quickly with much talking to interested people. I said to those that stopped, "Here it is: four totally different projects." There were people interested in each of them.

   Mid morning of the 15th ("afternoon" according to the clocks, which for no apparent reason and seemingly against the wishes of much the general population have gone ahead a second hour onto "afternoon wasting time"): Yet another dusting of snow last night, and now it's again pouring rain or sleet, 3.6 outside my door. It's been like this daily since mid to late February, except sometimes with strong wind too. Occasionally there's a bright spot in the clouds where the sun is. I'm getting tired of it, and it's keeping all outdoor projects at bay.

Magnetic Cooling with Gadolinium? Nah!

   I saw a youtube video about air conditioning. Something stressed as a "horrible problem" was the amount of electricity they use, putting a strain on power grids. Somebody has to explain to me why air conditioners wouldn't be powered by solar panels. Opposite of heating where there's no solar power when heat is needed, the hotter it is the more likely there's plenty of solar power to run an air conditioner.

   Another thing in this video was a brief mention of "other ways" besides compressor/refrigerant cooling, including magnetic refrigeration. That of course would use gadolinium. That got me thinking again that there are surely means of heat transfer to and from the gadolinium by solid copper (or graphite) instead of the complex (and may I say bizarre?) ways of doing it with helium gas and the like. A graph shows temperature change in gadolinium entering or leaving a 1.1 Tesla magnetic field being about 2 to 3.5C or K, maximum effect around 295K (22C) and down to 1.6 change at freezing. (Gadolinium alloys can modify the center temperature, so maybe 3 everywhere in a fridge or freezer, so maybe 8 stages to allow 24 fridge cooling?) One Tesla is "neo magnet" permanent magnet territory. Or maybe the field can be got up to 2 or 3 Teslas (Hallbach magnet configuration?) and need fewer cooling stages.

   I visualize a piece of gadolinium coated on opposite sides with copper or graphite, perhaps moving back and forth. On its outward swing it contacts a graphite coated magnet, which is cooled by a fan. So it heats up, but its heat is drawn through the copper and or graphite. Then it goes the other way where it cools as it exits the magnetic field. Here the other face (or better, somehow the same face) contacts the cooling side copper and transfers its coolness into that. If instead of a back and forth "swing" it is traveling say in a circle, the copper/graphite heat transfer contacts could be rollers - or the Gd could be in the form of a roller - to avoid friction. Each stage transfers to the next by a solid copper or graphite bar, hot to cold, hot to cold.

   But I'm still waiting... since about 2015 now... for a breakthrough Peltier module with a higher COP at higher temperature differentials. That would probably make the whole magnetic cooling idea obsolete and not worth pursuing. I think it will happen.
   Somebody was recently claiming a room temperature superconductor (seen on WION, youtube -- I heard of one in the 1980's or 1990's, too! The new one sounded like a quite different alloy.) and I'm sure various such "groundbreaking" things are inevitable given enough time.

Copper Heatsinks?

   I did have one further thought: If I have to cast a copper rotor for the torque converter, maybe I should try casting something smaller and simpler first? How about sand casting a copper heatsink, in a simple, open mold? In fact, having recently charted the performance of the Coleman camping cooler with its alume heatsinks (TE News $174), I could take impressions of those in sand, fins down, and cast them, then see how much colder the cooler would get. Shouldn't need air vent holes that way. I'll have to see how flat or bulging the top flat face comes out. It has to be honed to a perfect flat.

   It would be interesting to see how those perform in the cooler. (If they do as well as I hope, I'll do a big one for my Peltier module shallow chest fridge!)

A Better Air Compressor?

   Moving right along... also on youtube I saw a rather radicly new design of air compressor, the "Lontra", much more efficient than any previous one. It had two rotors at 90 to each other. Through most of the cycle the main rotor acted like a circular bicycle pump, pushing air out the outlet port. Then it reach the "end" just past the output port, and the gap in the other rotor, spinning synchronously, reached the gap in the main one and they passed through each other, virtually but not quite touching, letting almost no air pass between and closing off the output port. Meanwhile the whole circle behind the main "piston" had filled with new air to be compressed on the next cycle. With narrow air gaps covered by wide pieces for low leakage there were no parts in friction with each other, and motion was continuous rotation rather than reciprocating.

The wide "seal" coverage in a small area - a tiny air gap with no parts touching - has much
less leakage than a "screw compressor's" large area seals with narrow coverings of the gaps.

   This might be just what is needed for high performance with the open loop air heat pumping. Apparently a company with a number of large compressors was saving 30% on electricity for them by switching to these. That's huge! That's as much saving as recovering the remaining compression after extracting the heat from the compressed air. (If it could use the remaining compression of the cooled air too, perhaps with a separate piston ring, the COP could go up, up! If COP 10 sounded unrealistic before, it's definitely getting closer with these!)
   Sounds like it's just as well I never got around to building the tricky "ROVACS" or the complex "Liquid Piston" rotary design compressor yet! This would have to be simpler to make, and I can't help but think there must be a way of making a small "Lontra" type with just one rotor and some air closing flaps, and some even simpler end-of-stroke "move away to let the piston past" mechanism.
(Hah! - Have a steel piston moved along by magnets in an enclosed non-magnetic tube needing no leaky openings to connect it to the motor? And the magnets also move/activate the "end-of-stroke" mechanism? And if the pressure is too high, the magnets can't hold the piston and let it slip, preventing dangerous pressure buildup if something is blocked? Hmmmm! Fantastic idea... or just Silly?)

   OTOH, for a small, low power compressor, why wouldn't an actual reciprocating "bicycle pump" mechanism with low inertial mass be just as good, or close enough? It would certainly be simpler to make than any "Lontra knock-off" I can think of making. It only needs to go up to 50 or 60 PSI for the heat pumping application. (Most compressors shut off around 120 PSI.) The lower pressure should relax the requirement for robustness considerably.

A Working Battery! (For a while)

   I started the month by trying manganese-zinc with all the new techniques. I was hoping that the acetone treatment would make the Mn2O3 / MnOOH (valence III) recharge to MnO2 (valence 4), but it didn't work. Performance continually deteriorated.

   So I took out the MnO2 side and put in a nickel oxide (NiO) mix also containing my usual monel (cupro-nickel ~65:35), samarium oxide and calcium oxide. With all the latest refinements. With a [leaking] wax seal. This did work. As usual starting apparently totally discharged, the performance gradually increased over two days and more, and it would put out 4 or 5 amps. A for real, working battery!

   How ironic to start out with the idea that there must be battery chemistries that haven't been tried, and end up with common nickel-zinc as the first combo that's working well. But even in that there are things in that that are new and unique. Nobody seems to have done it before with KCl salt electrolyte, and no one else seems to have discovered that unlike all single element metals, cupro-nickel doesn't oxidize away in the positive electrode at moderate alkaline pH levels. Somehow the copper and nickel seem to protect each other.
   Hopefully the nickel powder mix can't penetrate the methyl-benzene treated paper and the zinc ions can't penetrate the sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate painted into the same paper and so nothing will start making low resistance paths between electrodes. Solving the zinc ion problem (as I've said before) has been a "holy grail" of battery making for 150 years - including another 15 since I began my own experiments.
   The other thing that has revolutionized my previous generally poor results is soaking the positive electrode powder mix in acetone (methyl-methyl keytone). I can't say I understand it clearly, but I think it dissolves the oxides and makes for epitaxial crystal growths, mixing different substances at a more molecular level instead of just separate jumbled powder particles. The difference is a couple of orders of magnitude in current capacity.

   But the cell leaked. I kept filling it, but after a while performance started deteriorating. Thinking about it, the SDBS in the separator sheet might become more and more diluted among other problems. pH would start to drop if the Ca(OH)2 got too diluted, too. I think I'll go back to the idea of potting the cells in epoxy to prevent any chance of them leaking.

   Toward the end of the month I turned the cell design sideways and put some tiny holes in, to let gas bubbles rise over a short path and into the upper reservoir, which can hold more liquid.

   I started making a new cell (3D printed front cover) but didn't get it finished owing to competing attractions. (Just needs compacting + epoxy, and a new shape of alume clamps.)

Another Means of Taming Zinc Ions!

   Assuming indeed using SDBS stops zinc ions as it seems to in my experiments so far and hence makes a zinc cell last far, far longer, there now seem to be two ways of doing it, because someone else claims to have prevented zinc ion migration with modified chitosan (crab shell material). I plan to look at this further as their technique of using it was different than mine of painting it into the separator sheet. They impregnated their material with zinc (powder?) and then put it right on the surface of the zinc of the electrode.

Exploring Battery Making Videos

   Regardless of success or lack thereof, I have accumulated a number of exciting developments/discoveries worth sharing and I started my planned Battery Making video series on Youtube with four videos:

Exploring Battery Making with Craig - Intro (Long - 25 minutes)


Exploring Battery Making #2 - Preparing a Separator Sheet


   In this I've given away two of my greatest "secrets": about the toluene for preventing penetration of the paper by nano-powders, and about the SDBS which I believe is the answer to the 150 year quest for trying to keep zinc ions from killing batteries.

Exploring Battery Making #3 - Getting/Making Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate


   This one is about extracting SDBS from Lemon Fresh Sunlight dishsoap by ersatz "chromatography" in case others find it as hard to buy as I did.

Exploring Battery Making #4 - A Zinc Electrode


   I had also earlier taken clips of making the powder for a nickel manganates electrode. I put them together and added another one at the end about dissolving the powders in acetone to get everything mixed at the molecular level within epitaxial crystals. So I have the video. But I haven't proven that I've made ~~NiMn2O4 yet, or that it works as a rechargeable electrode.
   Then, with the next cell all ready to close up and epoxy, didn't get back to it in March. I want to make sure it actually works before I publish the nickel manganates video, and to put up the actual electrode assembly video and at least initial testing of the cell at the same time. But somehow it's "work outside" season again and the days have too few hours.

Solar Frame Fix

   In February a powerful wind with even more powerful gusts blew over my "A" frame of solar panels on the carport roof. These three panels installed in this sunny location out of the tree shadows at a good angle (45) last May (2022) add more output to the system than any other three panels. After waiting for better weather I finally got the frame repaired and screwed back up on the 22nd and 23rd. One panel was broken so I set it up with two. (I don't think I could have lifted it with all three panels on it!)
   Then it got windy so I stayed off the roof, and then I cut down three alder trees. The biggest one was leaning and in spite of a rope on it didn't fall in the direction I cut the hinge. It hit my neighbor's tractor shop and bent the gutter. (thankfully not worse! and thankfully he's not around at the moment.) I had to repair that and get the limbs and tree off his property, so other things got put off.

   But after well over a month since the wind incident I couldn't bear to start April with one pane still missing, so I went up on the morning of March 32nd, got a new one up on the roof without dropping it on the way up, bolted it on and reconnected the wires. I soon saw 850 watts on the power monitor from those three panels plus the two on the pole. It started out a nice day, but a couple of hours later it was snowing!

The 2 solar panes on the pole and the 3 on the carport roof are quite visible from the highway...
so if nothing else it's bad publicity to have them broken or missing!

   I must confess that I had been careless in the original (and in fact never quite finished) installation. Some of the "no screws showing" roofing sheets on the carport had slid down a bit, and I had wanted to reposition them before putting in screws on a couple of legs of the frame, so a couple of the six legs weren't fastened. And other screws only went through the sheet metal roof into nothing. Those ripped out, then with the back free the frame would have tipped forward in a blast of wind and the screws on the front side were yanked out or broken. (I had just used 3 inch #10 deck screws, but I'm pretty sure they'd have held fine if all all the legs had been secure.) This time I had adjusted the slidden roofing (as easy as tapping the bottom edge with a hammer with a wooden block between - if only I'd known) and I fastened pieces of wood in the "ceiling" under the roofing to securely hold the screws of the three back legs. It would take a substantially bigger hurricane to yank it off now. (Then again, looking at some tornado-destroyed towns in southern USA in March, anything is possible these days.)

EV from Victoria Visit

   Someone named Angus showed up here on the 9th in an old Subaru Brat 4 wheel drive pickup truck he had converted to electric. It had a Nissan Leaf motor and three big Tesla car batteries behind the seat. (36KWH? or was it more?) I forget what the motor controller was (a Tesla model, IIRC), but there wasn't room under the hood for the regular Leaf controller, and he had got up to 320KW out of the motor that the Nissan controller normally limits to 80KW!

   It seems there are now enough EV's at auto wrecking yards that one can do some lovely economical EV conversions if one can figure out the microcontroller stuff that commercial EV's are full of for the batteries and controllers. He got the truck in Mexico and so it was in good condition instead of rusted out.

   He had come up from Victoria to work tree planting, and someone there (Tom!) said he should stop in and see me.
   He had 3D printed a J1772 fitting. He charged his truck at my charging station and we talked about EV's and such for a couple of hours.
   He had also charged at a new charging station in Masset. Fine thing - I've been waiting for them to put one in there for years and I have to find out it's been done from some visitor to the island!
   He had designed some coupler plates and other fittings to fit the Leaf motor to his transmission et al, and found there was a market for them, so he started BratIndustries.net and now sells them for several vehicle models.

   He had driven it to Rose Spit along the beach at low tide. Yup, you want a four wheel drive to do that. That beach is notorious for claiming vehicles that get stuck in the sand until the tide comes in!


   Well, it was too cold to do much outside. Even into April it was pretty chilly. (and in 3 weeks the blackflies will be out!) I was too busy to get any seedlings going. (Ag, I'm late!) Over the winter the cherry tomato and peppers in the bay window with a light over it continued producing fruit. I had put up 'tablecloth' curtains to reflect the light back at the plants, but that made it pretty dreary inside and I mostly unhooked them. The lettuce under the LED light also kept making leaves, which I plucked as desired.
   Vainly hoping it just might come back in the spring, I kept watering the walnut tree daily all winter. (If only I had done that when it had leaves!) No sign of anything so far.

   I put down some cardboard from grocery boxes to kill the grass for gardning. The idea was great. But from last time I did it 3 years ago, I'm still plucking bits of packaging tape from the garden, so this time I decided to pull it off the boxes in advance. It's a party killer! 2-1/2 hours of peeling tape off the cardboard, and then ten minutes to lay them out on the ground. The fact of packaging tape stuck on the boxes magnified the time I spent doing it tenfold!

   Overgrazing makes deserts. Here, although it's too damp for a desert, my own chickens illustrated overgrazing when I moved their yard over a little bit. The green strip didn't last.
   I'm making a smaller yard, with wheels, that will be far easier to move to new sections of lawn. This large, pivoting-corners one was supposed to be able to move easily, one wall at a time, but when I had to staple chicken wire over the roof to keep critters out, it didn't really work. (And chicken wire isn't good enough anyway. Raccoons can rip it off or tear it. I'm using heavier fencing wire on the new one.)

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

Grievance Panels

of Local Volunteer Citizens
to Hear and Rule On
Individual Complaints about Dealings with Major Organizations
(Concept Outline)


   In a democracy ultimate power of decision rests with the people. Individual leaders come and go. Autocracy in any form cannot be sustained over a long term. Only representative democratic government can be made socially sustainable over the generations, and only if its enduring institutions are structured so that they can evolve and solve each underlying problem that arises in ways that benefit society, as that society grows and changes over the years, decades and generations.
   With the gradual rise of large, bureaucratic institutional organizations, new structures of governance have been needed for long over a century to bring effective representative/democratic government back on course. The problem is that until a new structure has been invented, until a new concept is brought to light, we don't know what it might be and we are groping in the dark to "put out fires" because we have not created a structure for solving the underlying problems that cause the fires.
   Here is an idea that I believe could go a long way toward restoring fair and equitable treatment of society and individuals by institutions and the bureaucracies that have grown up around them. It is surely only one of several new things that need to be created to obtain social stability and eventually social sustainability, but I think it fills in one existing "democracy power vacuum" blank in the picture quite well.

   Major institutions or organizations have over many decades built bureaucracies which are faceless and anonymous. Examples of "Major Institutions" include government at all levels local through national, corporations especially such as utilities, and educational and health institutions.
   When members of the public have a problem with one, they are generally unable to meet or to be heard, directly or indirectly, by those heads of such institutions who have the decision making power - only with employees who are not empowered to solve or smooth over many of the problems an individual or the public in general may have in their relations with that institution. Many examples could be cited. (A few follow down below.)
   As a result, our major institutions have become feral. They are no longer bound to be and too often are not, tame, civilized, responsive and reasonable in their dealings with the people and society they exist to serve.

   Sometimes an employee may even be part of the problem. Civil enforcement officials may apply bylaws or terms in situations which were not envisioned by legislators, and the results work harm instead of good, often to individuals, families or small business owners caught by unreasonable demands.
   What recourse do people have? They can hire a lawyer and go to an overworked court of law, but the verdict may not come soon enough to matter, and even after all the expense and time taken from their productive work -- which may generally cost them more than their budget can bear and more time than they have, the judge might have to rule that, yes, such is the law and it has to be applied equally and complied with regardless of its appropriateness or fairness in this individual situation.
   So with "the cure being worse than the disease" (and perhaps ineffective too) people usually simply submit to what they feel is an injustice, undesired by society as a whole and unintended by their elected representatives but demanded by bureaucracy.

   The Grievance Panel provides a local place for the Complainant to be heard in good time by his respected peers to gain what they collectively, on the facts presented, consider to be a fair decision or settlement in his dealings with any Major Institution without the lengthy and costly process of filing suit in a formal court of law, and unlike in a court regardless of whether a demand being made is technically legal or not, and without reference to "precedents" of similar but rarely identical situations. Panel judgments based on interpretations of reasonable versus unreasonable, fair versus unfair, will help prevent misapplication or abuse of authority and of corporate power. Repeated complaints on a specific issue or directed at a specific institution will help point out problem areas.

   A local Grievance Panel would be similar to the present municipal Board of Variance, but of broader scope, operating in each locality on complainants' issues regarding any major institution, public or corporate. It is composed of peers - volunteer citizens not in the pay of the government or the corporation involved, who have not contributed to the antecedents of the situation and who have no personal stake in the outcome.
   While most complaints about government are likely to relate to property, and most complaints about utility corporations to unfair charges or poor service, the scope of the panel is not to be limited to those areas.

   All panel decisions may be appealed to a court of law if either party is dissatisfied with the ruling. The onus is on the losing party to initiate legal action if desired. Rulings in favor of the complainant may require the government or a corporation to cancel a fee or fine levied or to promptly refund money already paid, to cease restrictive requirements, to permit actions it was prohibiting, or to provide a service it was withholding.

   In the event that panel members are really unsure how to rule, if the case is too complex or vague, they may elect to not make a ruling. A tie vote is also considered to be "no ruling". The ruling (or lack thereof) will be written down and signed by the panel members, and both parties will receive a signed copy on paper.

   Here are some suggested parameters. These have not been thoroughly thought out or researched, and so further consideration before actual implementation is desirable.

1. These local panels give individuals a place to turn for a speedy decision if they believe that a major institution or an agency or agent of that institution has demanded something unreasonable, unfair or unjust from them, or is refusing to provide something it should. It hears only civil matters, not criminal, involving only disputes between any major institution and a citizen, household or personal small business, and its decisions may be overruled by any court. The onus is on the disagreeing party to take it to court if it wishes to contest the decision. The scope of the panel is not limited to any particular subject or area.

2. This is a volunteer advisory panel comprised of one's peers, concerned local citizens. It is anticipated that many or most civil disputes will be settled agreeably at this local level without recourse to law courts. Preferably the panels will come to have some experienced and respected people as well as a few younger students or beginners. Judgment should always be a group function to reduce the effect of individual biases and there must be more than two persons on a panel. (I'm anticipating three will be the most popular number - after all they are volunteering their time - but four or five or even more is certainly possible, especially if new members are in training.)

3. An individual who believes a demand or problem related to an institution is unfairly harming his interests may apply to be heard by the panel by any convenient means. This complainant (or applicant) will be heard personally, and no monetary charge will be levied for the hearing.
       If, for example, a fine, fee, action demand or refusal to act itself was asked by the institution, the institutional party will be asked if they wish to present their case, in writing or at the hearing or both. Preferably the applicant should also make his case in writing before being heard live. A form for doing so may be provided. "In writing" may include submission on line. In addition to releasing the complainant from a demand, or demanding that the institution act to provide service to the complainant, the panel in finding for an applicant may rule that fees or penalties pending or applied should be promptly canceled or refunded.

4. The panel will meet regularly not less than monthly (or more often as is deemed desirable) at scheduled times posted in advance, in an agreed public meeting space provided free in a government building. If there is insufficient time to hear all cases, another meeting shall be held within 2 weeks to clear the backlog, and every two weeks thereafter if and as necessary. If there is more than rarely too much work to render speedy judgments for all, a second panel of further volunteers may be required even in the same locale.

5. Selection of Grievance Panel members. Any citizen may volunteer or may nominate someone to be a member of the panel, and if seconded such nomination shall stand for three years. I have no clear idea who should select members from the volunteer list. Perhaps present panel members should select them, or at least have a good say. Members of nearby panels might also be called in for the decision. Terms will be for (?)two years, and no one shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. (ie, (?)four years.) Those with violent criminal records should be excluded, and others with criminal records as well unless the seven year statute of limitations has passed and they have committed no new breaches. (Again they would still have to found acceptable by the other members.) Municipal councils might perhaps have a veto power over known "troublemakers" - the antisocial and those not of sound mind.
   I anticipate that owing to the local, volunteer and plentiful nature of grievance panels and their diverse fields of activity, it should be very difficult to "stack" grievance panels in any meaningful way to the benefit of any one major institutional entity or related group of entities, but perhaps this aspect of panel member selections should be thought through to pinpoint any possible "loopholes".

6. For the purpose of eligable institutions,
"major" should be defined, or specific institutions should be denominated as "major" and the list updated when required.

7. The volunteer panel members shall not be liable to penalties or fees as a result of their decisions, including if a decision is overturned by a court.

8. Doubtless parameters already exist for the operation of municipal boards of variance, and one suspects they may differ by municipality, in different provinces, or in different countries. At least a few of these should be studied before going too much farther than the above on setting up operating parameters for grievance panels.

Some Examples of Apparently Unfair or Unintended Situations Potentially Warranting Complaint

1. (This happened to a friend of mine - his own parents' property after they passed on. He tore down the old house and was going to build a new one. And I'm pretty sure I've heard of similar cases, although specifics aren't coming to mind. The municipal inspector made no effort to help him solve the difficulties his requirements imposed. He had nowhere to complain about these requirements.)

The homeowner can't get needed permits for months or even years. He has nowhere to complain and finally sells the property as-is in frustration, but the developer who buys it quickly has all the needed approvals - surely because he knows how to "grease the wheels".

2. A BC couple decided to buy farm land in a rural area in Nanoose and grow produce, and to make their own restaurant serving that produce on the property. They looked into everything first and carefully planned it, but when they actually went to do it one absurd hurdle after another was set before them by local officials.
   One I recall was that while they had not intended to serve alcohol at all, but owing to a BC bylaw intended to protect BC local wineries they were forced to get a liquor license, divert acreage to growing grapes and hops and serve alcohol. If they weren't even going to serve alcohol, their restaurant should have been completely outside the scope of this bylaw.
   There were others. The last one, having already seriously diverted and delayed their plans and spent tens of thousands of extra dollars to comply, was that they weren't permitted to build their long planned house because they already had built the restaurant and weren't permitted to have two buildings on one farm. [Huh?]
   They were in a rural area where there was no Board of Variance because rural regulations are supposed to be few and simple. Any rational person on a grievance panel surely would have looked at any of the demands and said that they were outrageous. (And if that got the unreasonable employee(s) tamed or fired, so much the better for everyone! I'm sure no elected officials had any idea all this was happening and would have been aghast. But would they have been able to fight their own bureaucracy and change it? A grievance panel would (I'm certain) rule in favor of the enterprising couple.) I saw the story on youtube.

3. I have heard that BC decided after some years of severe forest fires to ban burning after March 31st. That may be reasonable in the south where it's already starting to get a bit dry, but in the north the snow hasn't even melted yet, and even here on the coast it was too cold to work outside until the last few days of March. I'm cutting trees for firewood into early April ASAP before there's too much sap. Now I'm supposed to leave the branch piles on my lawn to get tinder dry, until next winter? That's definitely more of a fire hazard than burning them this spring after they dry enough to burn. But if I do might I get a $1000 fine? In some areas burning might not be practical until May or June. Perhaps not the concept but the specific dates applied to the whole province need to be modified by region. (OTOH we already had laws about burning and fire hazard ratings that depend on whether it's wet or dry! Don't those make more sense? And aren't most forest fires started by lightning?)

4. There was a news story (USA) where police shut down a childrens' lemonade stand for "running a business without a business license". (I think they may have fined the parents... can't remember. The whole story sounded absurd.)

5. Someone (USA) had grown a vegetable garden in their fenced front yard for years. A municipal employee came along and told them to rip it up and plant lawn immediately or be fined 1000 $/day! (After hearing of this the municipal council specifically made a new bylaw permitting vegetable gardens in front yards, so what the employee demanded was clearly not the intent of the city's bylaws! By then they had had to rip out their garden.)

6. The Old Tobacco Shop (I probably have the name not quite right), for ages in downtown Victoria, was told by a municipal employee that advertising tobacco was illegal and that he would be fined if he didn't take the store sign down. Another municipal employee said his sign was antique and came under heritage designation, and that he would be fined if he removed it.
   Likewise, someone was told to remove a dam on his property or be fined. (IIRC he actually wanted to remove it.) But the dam had been built by beavers and the wildlife department told him he would be penalized if he removed it.

7. Not only government but other large institutions sometimes need to be reigned in. Feral Canadian telecommunications companies are notorious. One fraud was perpetrated by Telus in (?)2009: when people (fed up with high monthly charges) switched en masse to Shaw phone/internet/cable TV service, which had recently solved technical problems and become widely available. Telus pretended to not know and continued billing people as if nothing had changed. They did it to me. They lied to me twice on a phone call. Most people would fear for a black mark on their credit rating and pay for some extra months. As an electronics tech I had tested the line and knew they had cut it from their office when I switched. A formal complaint to the "commissioner of complaints for telecommunications services" ("CCTS") in Ottawa got my fraudulent charges dropped - it didn't start a criminal fraud investigation or help anybody else. As usual it wasn't worth any individual's time to take Telus to court or start a class action lawsuit.
   Then in 2017 when I moved from Victoria to Haida Gwaii, people simply couldn't get through to me. It turned out later that Telus was deliberately and brazenly blocking calls to cell phones all across Northern BC. The motive would seem to have been to force everyone to switch their mobile phone service from "whoever" to Telus. The orders for such outrages have to come from the head. No subordinate would dare attempt to foist such schemes on the public.
   After who knows how much trouble they caused to how many people, the CRTC forced them to stop blocking calls. But instead of arresting this CEO for Betrayal of Public Trust, in 2021 or so a former head of Telus was appointed head of the CRTC - doubtless this same criminal who had caused all the trouble in previous years! (He was soon spotted in a pub having a beer with the CEO of Bell Telephones, a company that the CRTC is supposed to be regulating.) What are the chances now of getting positive action from the CRTC when there's a problem with Bell, Telus or other major telecom companies?

   Dozens of complaints upheld by independent grievance panels across a region or nationally could not be hidden away in a drawer at the CRTC and would in fact constitute abundant evidence of failure of fairness by the institution or criminal conduct by its leader.

Probably all of us can think of things that have been unfairly/unjustly put upon people, even on themself. I should think an impartial place to take such complaints to be heard by one's peers, those unpaid volunteers who didn't help create the situation and who have no legal obligation to say "Well, I'm afraid that's the law (or "the way it is") so suck it!", is exactly what's needed to iron out many of the problems individuals have with major institutions, to bring some fair decision making power back to the people and, with local Grievance Panels everywhere, to get timely decisions instead of too costly and too long delayed.

An Opposite Example

   Here's what can happen when there's an impartial volunteer panel of one's peers to complain to:

1. Long ago (1978?) I met someone who took his complaint to a Municipal Board of Variance. A corner of his garage stuck out a few inches and the eaves at that corner maybe 18 inches too far onto the boulevard and he was told by a city official to move or demolish the garage. It had been that way since before he bought the place and was in no ones' way. No one had complained about it. Technically the official was within the law, and a court would probably have so ruled. It's easy for government to put heavy burdens on individuals and families virtually on a whim when there is no penalty to itself for doing so.

   He said he went in with all kinds of documents, photos and arguments, ready to fight. They looked at his application for a variance for a moment, and probably the photographs, (or had already looked at the submission?) and without further comment the head of the board said "Granted." and it was signed. No need to tear down his perfectly good garage!

   Isn't that how it should be? My proposal is essentially to extend the scope of such independent local tribunals, and allow them to work with a complaint of any sort against any major institution. Grievance panels everywhere may pass on unspecified minor matters of contention, bringing the power of thousands and thousands of volunteers from all around the country to adjudicate according to "reasonableness" the many individual disputes not warranting the attention of the few paid workers, a court or a lone "ombudsman".

[Some further remarks are in the next issue, TE News 179, and in defience of chronology I am adding this link here.]

Scattered Thots

* For a number of years, farmers have been going out of business in droves. Rising costs for everything, poor weather and now scarcity and cost of fertilizers has reduced crop yields and now rising interest rates on their large loans have tipped more of the remainder over the edge. Billionaires like Bill Gates buy up the land cheap, hundreds or thousands of farms. They're "just an investment" - they have no intention of farming. So there are no farms to be had by erstwhile new farmers, and a staggering amount of producing acreage has been and is being lost.
   And the reduced yields are of course affecting those farmers that remain. As food costs rise (50% food inflation over 3 years according to Neil-McCoy-Ward on youtube), the Canadian government has decided hand out extra money to those on pensions and assistance to help cover the increasing costs.
   What I want to know is how this helps farmers to stay in business and to increase the food supply? Prices can only continue to rise rapidly if there isn't enough to go around. Ah well, all the disastrous bad decisions by those of influence are doubtless all part of the "Great Reset" or Christ Michael's "Correcting Time" plan or whatever it is you want to call what is rapidly coming to a head like an oncoming derailed train.

* We Discovered Why Trains Keep Derailing

-- Now 1700 derailments per year. It turns out it's the wheel bearings. When the grease dries up the wheels melt off. Of course there are a few other factors like the railroads now being owned by "hedge funds" who have no interest in or knowledge of running railroads, and who have pared labor and maintenance to the bone for a temporary increase in profit margin.

-- 31G$ merger tween CANADIAN PACIFIC and Kansas City Southern was just approved by US REGULATORS! When did CANADIANS approve anything like this?

-- "Six major railroads left IN AMERICA after mergers over the decades"
One was CN! When did CN become an AMERICAN railroad?!?

* In a mine near the town of Ytterby, Sweden, four elements were first discovered and all named for the town: Yttrium, Ytterbium, Erbium and Terbium. Someone went to Sweden and while he was there he asked just how that town name was pronounced: "Ooterboo." (!) This seems to make little sense except that in Cryllic alphabet "Y" is pronounced "oo". (But the rest of the letters are latin. ? )
   This means that two of the elements would be "as written" but the other two apparently are correctly pronounced "Ootrium" and "Ooterbium". ? And that's probably how they're pronounced in Sweden.

* People keep "finding" or is it "creating" "new elements". But the highest atomic numbered element that can be created by neutron bombardment is 100, Fermium. And the Urantia Book says that if there are more than 100 electrons orbiting a nucleus, it disrupts virtually instantaneously. And this element, #100, is the highest numbered element that was found in the fallout from hydrogen bomb tests, along with all of the lower numbered elements.
   Thus we see that anything beyond Fermium is a highly artificial, short lived curiosity that never could nor will ever be found in nature. Anything beyond that doubtless exists only as a positively charged ion with no more than 100 electrons orbiting it. It bugs me seeing these silly names of "elements" beyond 100 that can never be seen or made use of in any way, absurdly "extending" periodic tables. (Apparently Fermium was named not for Enrico Fermi, but for the French word "Ferm" - "Closed" as in "case closed, there's no more elements".)

* Colonel Douglas MacGreggor was saying all fall and winter that he expected the Russians to make a main assault sweeping through Ukraine as soon as the ground froze hard so they could roll through the open fields instead of just along the paved roads. Recall that in WWII the Germans were stopped in the autumn by the mud in Ukraine. (There weren't any paved highways in Ukraine back then!) His theory was never put to the test because it stayed warm and stayed warm -- there was virtually no winter in Ukraine, and indeed all Europe was asking "What happened to winter this year?" (That also surely prevented a disaster with heating fuels. But I digress.)
   Now it is expected that they are waiting for the spring rains to end and the ground to harden for the same purpose, because still or again it's all mud and that has hampered even local operations on both sides. My next question is: will it rain all summer now? That would seem to be the fitting next step to keep this senseless war from ending.
   It has become a grueling and horrendous war. Since autumn it has become like World War One with trenches and fortifications and neither side daring or able to advance very far, very fast, even when it makes some sort of breakthrough, because units on the move are spotted by observation drones and become artillery targets for mass annihilation. Weapons of destruction are advancing to the point that the combatants seldom even see each other. Soldiers are killed at too great ranges, mostly by artillery including shells, rockets, missiles, "suicide drones" and now "thermobaric" weapons. Strategy and tactics are changing rapidly and radicly.

* D. Trump claims if elected president again he would end the Ukraine war "within 24 hours". I've said before that Biden could do the same any time he wanted, but I gave him a week. Remember how after the 2014 US sponsored coup in Kiev the BBC and other journalists were so concerned about the rise of neo-nazism in Ukraine? Then remember how the issue died out of view for four years? The shelling of civilians in Donetsk petered out. It all seemed to go into low gear as the military-industrial-congressional-banking oligarchy in Washington had to work behind Trump's back, because he surely would never have approved of what was being done.
   Now with this "threat" to end the war and make vital reforms ringing in their ears, fearing he might regain the office, they presume to arrest him on what are at most minor misdemeanors that (even if true and if the statute of limitations has not long since expired on them) might merit a fine or two -- and that no other "honest Abe", "clean as a whistle" political figure seems to have ever been penalized for.

* As long as people with hearts full of greed and hatred are in charge including behind the scenes in unelected positions of influence - and such types have now managed to expel nearly everyone else - our societies will continue to deteriorate into chaos. National and regional governments will finally fail and as I've said before, civilization will have to be rebuilt from the family and community level up.

* We could go far beyond just "ending the war". If it were possible I would prefer to see the Ukraine issue settled the democratic way. Each oblast (or perhaps regions broken up even smaller) would be offered something like the following choices, in a manner not so dissimilar to parts of Europe after World War One:

1. Be part of Ukraine
2. Be part of a new "Western-Rus" country (by whatever name it might pick)
3. Become part of Russia
4. Become part of Belarus
5. Become part of Poland

   There might even be a few more choices - Hungary and Bulgaria (IIRC) as well as Poland (Lvov region) and Russia (at least Donbass, Crimea) lost lands to Ukraine by decree under Stalin and Khrushchev. And the boundaries of the plebiscite might extend somewhat beyond Ukraine's present borders in case some nearby might want to join Ukraine or one of the other options. (East of the Dniester in Moldova ("Transnistria") where they speak Russian might like the "Western-Rus" option... and why does poor Moldova have no access to the Black Sea, so near? Can we not fix that at the same time?) And if Lvov might want to rejoin Poland, perhaps the part of Germany given to Poland should also have a vote as to which administration they would prefer to be under?
   Voting would of course be by choice ranking so that voting for what one wants most doesn't prejudice one's chance of getting what one wants second most or even third. Obviously each region would be interested in specific choices and not in all of them. Fine! This is the voting system that will work in all cases.
   Wouldn't that produce the best outcome - the bulk of everyone getting what they most - or at least second most - want? No fuss. No war.

   There may be many who would prefer the "Western-Rus" option. We will probably never know. Presently the regions under Russian control were only offered whether to join Russia or not, under conditions where they desperately need Russia's military help and while Russia has a brilliant and well liked leader who will be gone some day not so far off. So it's no surprise they voted over 90% "Da!" (Two choices is of course far better than no choice at all - as is presently the case in all the regions under Kievan control!)

   Unfortunately there's far too much politics and too many politicians with too many agendas, with too little imagination and too few ideals to allow adoption of such a satisfactory, democratic solution under present conditions. So we have war instead.

* I thought we in the West didn't like Lenin, Stalin or Khrushchev? Yet we want to restore Ukraine's 1991 boundaries, the very boundaries those despots created by transferring more and more bordering regions into Ukraine? Why do we want to ratify and approve of Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev creating this polyglot region which subsequently became a "country"?

* Putin has canceled 20 billion US$ of debt owed to Russia by African countries. These debts were mostly accumulated during the Soviet era by countries espousing the USSR's communist philosophy. Doubtless some of the original debt has been long since repayed, and one wonders how much of this remainder could ever have been when nations across central Africa are now starving. Still it is a magnanimous gesture. The USA never forgave Britain its World War Two debt. IIRC the last payment was finally made well after Y2K.

* I had found that my cell phone was making my leg vibrate and pulsate right where it sat in my pocket. I stopped carrying it and the problems gradually went away. Then I thought some trouble with my right leg must be from my car key fob, and I stopped carrying that too. But nothing changed. Now I think the key fob had nothing to do with my right leg troubles. It is surely far lower power than the cell phone, and hopefully not transmitting very much.
   (I think it's little mites coming off the firewood and getting into my pores in my thigh. I've been wearing a glove now to keep them off my hands, and killing them on my leg with a drop of witch hazel, applied and wiped off after a moment. But they keep coming back. I got a whole bunch again recently, all at once. I was perplexed and then realized it was from the sawdust (complete with mites) coming off the chainsaw and hitting my right leg when cutting firewood! I'll wear rain pants or something else impervious next time. Is it only me they manage to infest?)

(Eccentric Silliness Department)

* Lightning never strikes the same shrub twice.

* Master mathematician Jesus warned us that "Greed is the square root of all evil."

* Military spokesman says "enemy underground stronghold must be raised to the ground."

* "There are consequences for abolishing consequences." - "Uncle Frank" (Youtube video comment)

   "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

   One day I drove the truck out of the garage to show it to someone. Well out of the garage, something went clunk and it was slipping. Murphy's law in action! We pushed it back in.
   But this gave me an idea: I could cut a short keyslot into the socket of the driveshaft - not the usual "drifting" (is that the right name?) for which I had no tool, but carefully cutting right through one wall with the angle grinder, making a key to fit, and putting a pipe clamp (or something much heavier) over the whole thing. It would be much harder for it to break loose and slip if there was a shaft key in it. (I am simply assuming that's the join that's slipping. could be rong.)

[10th] I was rong. It was the alume rotor again. (I'll do the above shaft key anyway.) The SDS hub just wasn't tightening down on the shaft. I think I'll cut deeper grooves into it so it reduces diameter more easily. Also I'm looking for a thicker and slightly bigger chunk of pure alume to make a new rotor with stronger magnetic interaction, so I'll be changing that whole little assembly. (Somehow I have a feeling there's a piece or two at the refuse transfer station, but the snow has kept me from being able to see much there. I keep thinking it'll be gone in a day or two like usual, but no luck for weeks so far. When some melts, it soon snows again.)

[21st] I contacted a metal company in Winnipeg about getting 1/2 inch pure alume for the disks, including looking forward to doing a 12.5 inch one for the Sprint (or the Echo?). I asked for 10.5 inches, since the magnetic field of the 10 inch magnet rotor doesn't stop abruptly at its outer edge. The web site said they had "1100 alloy" (pure alume)... but they didn't.

[29th] I tried a couple more places over some days. I knew pure alume isn't as common as alloy, but I didn't know it was virtually impossible to get. Metal Supermarket said I would have to buy a whole sheet (5 feet by 10, was it?); they wouldn't cut it. Just the shipping would be horrendous, never mind the price of the whole sheet. Only one place offered me a cut piece: 1100 $ for 2x2 feet, 1/4 inch thick! (I suspect that might be the same price as a whole sheet: they would cut it and keep the rest!) Did I have to melt down pop and beer cans? But even if I did, I couldn't cast the whole rotor in one melt with my small crucibles, and pieces melted separately absolutely haven't the slightest tendency to stick together.
   Later someone mentioned that only the main part of the can was pure alume. The top and the tab are alloy. In that case one would have to melt down an awful lot of cans to get a kilogram for a rotor.

Cast Copper Rotor?

   At that point I started thinking buying copper would be cheaper - or at least, available - as well as being even more conductive. (Something like 401 versus 237 for pure alume versus 167 for alume alloy). If I used copper I could go thinner. 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch copper, closest to the magnet rotor, would probably work about as well as 1/2 inch+ of pure alume. I could even cast just a ring of copper (ie, with no center) to interface with the magnets, and bolt it to the present rotor?
   This day I visited Steve. I lucked out. He had 5(?) containers full of scrap copper bits, which were sitting on the front steps at that moment because he was moving from his house (he sold it) to a nearby one (free rent for fixing it up). Come to think of it, I have a few scraps myself, but he had a lot weight of copper. He wasn't sure what he was going to do with them. And I had that new furnace for melting metals including copper. So now I thought of casting it instead of buying a piece and having it shipped here. Maybe (unlike alume) if I cast copper in two or more pieces they would fuse together? It was still likely to be a couple of hundred dollars or more to buy a 10.5 inch square piece, 1/4 inch thick.
   He said to take a couple of the containers. I got them home and weighed them 31 pounds - 14 Kg! That should be way more than enough, which would be 2-3 Kg... perhaps castable in one melt, tho with a very full crucible. A larger (12.5 inch) one for the Sprint might be 5 or 6 Kg, so it would do me for that potential project as well. Also at the present spot price of copper, that's over 150 $ worth, which I'll pay him. Plenty potentially for both rotors, and even at that price much the cheapest idea yet.

   And copper should give the optimum result. Why would I settle for anything less, anyway? It's easy to separate the rotors a bit if the interaction is too strong. "Too strong" is the opposite of the problem so far.

   I think I need some more molding plaster and silica to make a smooth high temperature mold. I've had some in a bag for years, but looking at it, it's only enough for a piece of jewelery or something. Or maybe I could use sand and just use the plaster/silica mix to make the inner face smooth? So... looks like a mold box, and a model disk/ring piece from (?)plywood must be next.
   Hmm... the thin but tall graphite crucible that came with the little furnace holds 1Kg of copper pieces. The ceramic cup crucible that I thought was bigger holds 750 grams. So much for perceptions!

   Someone who's done it before recommended I not try casting copper. I plan to anyway. Outside of course. Safety gear. I do note that I should be blowing the air away and not breathe any. I think the electric furnace will offgas much less than the oxyacetylene torches I've seen people using to melt copper on youtube. (And they were melting only tens or 100 grams or so. Melting a Kg would use up a lot of gas!)
   One other consideration he mentioned was that melted copper can turn to "jello" and not pour. In that case zinc had to be added. But these scraps are about 3% zinc already. I trust that's not enough zinc to seriously reduce the conductivity but enough to solve the potential problem.

Other "Green" & Electric Equipment Projects

Open Loop Air Heat Pumping

[24th] I saw the "Lontra" air compressor, essentially a "bicycle tire pump" bent around into a circle and always pumping around that circle. It was said to be 20 or 30 % more efficient than any other large air compressor. And hence probably 30 or 40 or 50 % more efficient than a small compressor. This would start to bring to life that promise for a heating COP of 10 or more that the technology (including the passive outdoor heat exchanger) seems to hold.
   How could it be made more simply? Something I might manage to do. On this morning an answer came to me. The circular piston assembly could be an inside [or outside] ring gear, with the teeth of the gear even with the inside edge of the piston so as to span 360 without interruption. At the point in the outer pipe where air is brought in anyway, a gear would go through the inner side to mesh with the ring. Bearings on the piston ring assembly or inside the pipe would guide the assembly so it never rubbed on a stationary wall, instead "floating" on the bearings. The end valve that blocks the circle pipe while the air is compressing would have to be double and fit around the piston gear assembly. (Dang, a leaky spot!) The two pieces would retract to the top and bottom as they were hit by the piston itself so it could pass to begin the next stroke. (Of course there would be a one-way flap or valve to prevent the compressed air, once having left the circular pipe, from returning.)
   How to get the piston ring assembly into the pipe? On the face of it, this looks virtually impossible. It would seem that the pipe will have to be made as a top and a bottom side that bolt together. Materials: alume pipe and UHMW-PE piston assembly? Rats, I have an entirely too coarse set of gear cutters. I'll need to order one that cuts much finer teeth. (And how will I hold the ring to cut the gears, unless it is very small? Well, maybe it doesn't need to be anything like as big as I've been thinking? Maybe I'll keep it under 10 inches diameter so it fits on my lathe, too.) And in fact, maybe it doesn't need to be gears... maybe for a small unit it could just be a rubber(?) cylinder rolling against the side fo the ring? Bonus: if the pressure got too high owing to some blockage, the cylinder and ring would slip. (Is that a bonus or just a way to fast wear-out?)

   ...Or maybe an actual simple "bicycle type" pump with a long, narrow tube with a low mass piston and reciprocating parts, would also be quite efficient? The worst inefficiency in a bicycle pump is the skinny hose the compressed air has to go out through. That can easily be changed! It only needs to make 50 or 60 PSI, so it doesn't need to be as robustly built as a higher pressure one. I'm sure it would be much the easiest to make, which could finally get the project moving along. I'm now leaning to this. But I'm still wondering for it how to employ the cooled, exhausting, but still compressed air to help pump the new air, which as I recall saves 29% of the energy.

Electricity Storage

New Chemistry Batteries

   At the end of February I had wrecked my nickel mix by accidently soaking it in toluene instead of acetone. I figured it probably wouldn't work well after that and discarded it.
   So instead I put together a revised manganese-zinc cell about the start of the month. I used wax to "pot" it, but this wasn't very successful as it still leaked even after taking a heat gun to it and remelting it.

I put in a copper mesh current collector and painted it
with zirconium silicate to raise the hydrogen overvoltage.

   It didn't seem to discharge itself between electrodes, but it was somewhat short on MnO2. I had simply used all the dry cell MnO2+graphite (+Sm2O3) that was left over, a few grams. The voltage dropped much faster in a discharge test than the previous cell, and it only put out one amp. Charging current also seemed to be halfed. It did gradually charge up to 1.5 volts, but it took a couple of days and after half a day it was only drawing 12mA.
   Subsequent tests showed continually reducing capacity, so maybe trying to recharge to MnO2 just wasn't working well. Nobody else has got it to work, so should I be surprised? But I also consider that the fine dry cell nano-powder isn't the best for all the particles. I found some coarser "granular" manganese dioxide in my stash. I also looked at Mn metal powder and regular MnO2 powder under the microscope - three quite different shapes and sizes. Variety might help? What else could I try? What would be a good additive or process? Monel powder?
[7th] It seemed to stabilize... at the unsatisfactory low level, but it wasn't getting worse. It might have to do with the cell leaking, too, so I should try again to seal it up. Instead I decided to redo the MnO2 electrode and see if I could get better performance.

[9th] I took the cell apart by melting the wax with a hot air gun (the big advantage of wax over epoxy).
   Neither the MnO2 powder nor the zinc came cleanly off the separator paper so it ripped up and I redid it. I cut 5 new separator papers from a sheet of watercolor paper and soaked them with methyl benzene (toluene, toluol) twice, the second time being just as they were about dry from the first time.
   When the toluene was dry I painted them with sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate. At first I had the SDBS mixed quite thickly, but it seemed to me it wasn't penetrating much into the paper, so I thinned it with more water to be sure it would soak in.

   I changed the manganese electrode completely. Instead of dry cell MnO2 I used the somewhat "granular" MnO2 from the pottery shop. Instead of graphite to raise conductivity I tried monel powder (from AEE, <325 mesh). And I added some Sm2O3 to raise the oxygen overvoltage (not sure that's necessary or useful with MnO2 as its reaction voltage is lower than NiOOH):

MnO2 - 44.8 g - 88%
Monel powder - 5.8 g - 10%
Sm2O3 - 1.0 g - 2%
'50 g' (51.6 g)

I mixed these in a beaker, then I poured in acetone until it was over the top even after I mixed it in and all the powder was soaked - a little deeper than I had meant - and left it overnight to evaporate. (No more melting PVB battery cases with remnant acetone!)

[10th] Overnight wasn't long enough. It's interesting that the height of the mix in the beaker is considerably lower than the original dry powders. It has been considerably "compacted" without even any pressure, which surely has good prospects for being more conductive.
   It finally occurred to me to spread the powder out on the metal current collector sheet to finish evaporating the acetone, which I could still smell in the beaker, albeit faintly now. I used 24.15 grams - half of it. Theoretical for MnO2 is 309 AH/Kg. 88% of that is 272. If it gave an actual figure of 200 that would be almost 5 amp-hours worth, with the cell being 1.5 volts. And theoreticly, if one allowed it to become Mn3O4 at .3 volts less, there's another 2.5 amp-hours at 1.2 volts to be had on top of that - and yet another 2.5 AH at 1.0V for Mn(OH)2 - before the battery actually "dies" entirely, assuming there is 10 amp-hours worth of zinc. And assuming the Mn_ can be recharged properly to MnO2 from each of these states.
   I did my best to seal the edges of the cell by melting wax with the hot air gun. It leaked anyway. I set it on its back with the top slightly raised. That way it's a "dish" with sides.

   I filled it and the voltage gradually rose to .90V. I put it on charge @ 1.6V through .1 ohm. It seemed to take charge much better than most previous cells. The acetone soak is obviously very helpful:

~17:30 ~260 mA
17:35 203 mA
17:46 178
18:00 161

(Of course one may ask why it would need charging if it starts out with MnO2 and zinc metal. I don't have an answer, but my cells always seem to need initial charging to attain their expected voltage. Perhaps there's enough air in the cell to oxidize the zinc when electrolyte is added?)

At this point it supplied a momentary 'short circuit' (.1 Ω) with 1.67 amps. A 10 Ω load brought it down by 100mV from 1.3 to 1.2V. Promising performance.

18:05 160 mA
18:42 115

Performance is still good. With a 30Ω load, the voltage sits at a stable point for at least  instead of dropping by the second. I'll hazard a guess that the manganese oxides are charging just fine at pH11 or 12 instead of 14 - at least with the acetone treatment. Has no one else tried this pH range before? As I've said, everyone seems stuck on 'totally caustic alkali' pH14. And of course metals do different things at different pH'es. ...or is it the acetone?

20:32 61 mA
24:32 36 mA

[12th] Well, repeated tests showed repeating deterioration - lower voltages each time and lower charging currents after each test. I guess Mn2O3 really doesn't recharge to MnO2 after all, regardless of the acetone treatment. Nor does Mn3O4 seem to recharge to Mn2O3. I don't care to know if Mn(OH)2 recharges to Mn3O4 because the cell voltage would be too low to consider - around 1/2 a volt. Well, it had seemed to be worth a try.

New Nickel Oxides Electrode

Inner and outer face of a used cupro-nickel current collector.
The outside seems essentially untouched. The side against the electrode
has patches that look like orange copper and others that look like silvery nickel.
Anyway it's reusable when cleaned off!

Back to nickel. I opened the cell and separated the "+" side. The Mn oxides were pretty stuck to the separator paper and I hope the toluene is doing it job of keeping them from getting through to the other side. But scraping them off the cupro-nickel current collector was where it was pretty tough going. It was obviously well bonded and thus had a very good connection. After cleaning it the current collector had the usual mottled colors of nickel and zinc in patches on the electrode side, and still seemed quite solid. This still surprises me, knowing the either copper or nickel alone would have oxidized away.

   The zinc sheets however separated from the separator paper pretty easily - mostly fell right off. Zinc ions didn't seem to be penetrating it. Yay!

   I put a new (treated) separator paper on top of the zinc. Then I mixed a new batch of nickel oxides. I used the more compact NiO rather than Ni(OH)2. Any that is exposed to the electrolyte will turn into hydroxide, but if there's any that's interior and doesn't get wet it should stay in the more compact & conductive NiO form. I figure it'll compact better and stay more compacted. And I wonder why others start off with the hydrated form Ni(OH)2 rather than NiO. Maybe it's because they make it in solution from NiSO4? But all you need to do is heat it to over 300C to convert it to NiO. I suppose it probably relates to how it performs at pH14. I had 62.8 grams of NiO so I mixed half of it and kept the same proportions as last time, saving the other half in case I wanted to try a different mix later:

31.1g NiO    - 88%
4.4g   Monel - 10%
0.8g   Sm2O3 - 2%

   Then I soaked it in acetone and stirred it. It went from lumpy to creamy smooth. I left it overnight.

[13th] It still smelled of acetone but was again a dry powder. But dust didn't drift out into the air every time it was disturbed like before. Also I didn't notice a shrinkage like with the Mn oxide. I repainted the current collector with CaO and put 22.1 grams of the mix into the cell. 36.3 - 22.1 = 14.2 grams. It looked like there was too much left over so I weighed it. 27.8 grams! Apparently a considerable amount of the acetone's substance got incorporated into the powder. Or hadn't yet evaporated when I weighed it.

27.8 - 14.2 = 13.6 additional grams. So about 6 would have been in the 22 grams that went into the cell, so the cell had about 16 grams of the dry mix ingredients. 16 x 88% = 14 grams of actual NiO, which by hydrating would convert to 17 grams of Ni(OH)2. If it would make the theoretical 289 AH/Kg, that would be 5.0 AH. That was certainly all the powder that would fit into the cell, maybe 3+ mm thick before compacting it.

   The Ovonics patent for getting more out of nickel oxides spoke of mixing 3 or more metals 'at the molecular level' to get higher oxides and higher capacity, but it was mostly Ni(OH)2. I guess I have 4: NiO, Copper from the monel powder, samarium oxide, and the calcium oxide painted onto the current collector. But no cobalt or zinc oxides, and incorporated in a completely different way with the acetone. How 'molecular' it is would be an uneducated guess by me. But anyway, testing shows a level of improvement in my cells that can hardly be attributed to anything else but the acetone.

Copper Mesh, Cupro-Nickel Mesh?

   I was waiting for inspiration on copper mesh current collectors. I finally had one. Never mind trying to make something from copper wire: go on line! (Duh!) Aliexpress had a few types and I ordered about 10 square feet from one very economical source. Then I looked for cupro-nickel mesh for the positive side. Nothing at Aliexpress, but there was a company in India [GanpatInd.com] offering various types. It was "inquire" rather than "shopping cart", but it looked like they might be accommodating - maybe even make up whatever you ask for. Cupro-nickel 70:30, ~20 mesh per inch, ~.5mm wires. Ship to BC, Canada. Let's see what they say! [No reply - from two companies.]


   Back to the program... I put the cell together, filled it (it leaked a bit - but I expected it to be worse.) and it said only about .5V. I put it on charge, 2.25V through .1Ω and it started off just under 600 mA (14:05 PM). In 10 minutes it was up to 640mA - presumably as Ni(OH)2 charges to NiOOH it becomes more conductive. I momentarily gave it a .1Ω load. It put out 2.7 amps. At 25 minutes, 3.4 amps. Minimum target is 5 amps (50mA/sq.cm of interface area. Maximum expectation is 20 amps - 200mA/sq.cm.) If not ideal yet, it's in the right order of magnitude. It looks like it just might be there once charged! It now needs some thicker wires and more secure connections than alligator clips.
   Recalling that when I was pressing down on loose cells by hand to improve conductivity there was a limit to how much was useful, I loosened off the clamping screws a little. I still am leery of ripping the separator paper, and besides, a bit more space for electrolyte within the electrodes might be helpful as long as conductivity is still good. It didn't seem to hurt the performance.

   I suddenly thought of something long forgotten... When I was trying to make batteries ten years ago, I would put a 3D printed vertical grille next to the separator paper. Thus the electrodes were separated not only by the paper but also by a blank space, filled with electrolyte of course. The original idea was to give gas bubbles a space to bubble up to the surface. But that was also why powder seeping through the paper wasn't killing them, at least not immediately, even tho I hadn't treated the paper with toluene as I'm now doing. It seemed to solve some problems. If I keep finding my cells shorting out maybe I should go back to that?

   Over the afternoon and evening short tests showed improving charge retention and performance. Hopefully the above paragraph is superfluous. But maybe I should change the orientation from "tall" to "wide" so bubbles don't have so far to go to the top, and a wider water reservoir.
   Charge had dropped to 225mA, but after a load test it hit 790 for a bit.

[14th] Improvement continued. In the morning voltages were getting higher, charge current was down to 180mA and it put out 4.39 amps into a .1Ω load - over 43mA/sq.cm. (And probably another .2Ω in the wires, but the current was measured across the .1Ω resistor.) That's getting up to the lower edge of "acceptable" for actual use. By early afternoon it was over 5 amps momentarily - definitely getting there!

[15th] Further improvement - charge retention after a minute is up 10mV to 1.993 V and so are the 30 Ω load voltages, dipping under 1.8 V only by 10 minutes of discharge. After 15 minute load tests current into .1 Ω is around 4.3 amps.
   In the afternoon I went to do another 30 ohm, 15 minute load test. Charging current had dropped another 10 mA to 135. What a change to see gradual reduction continuing instead of it starting to climb because there was something getting across the separator! But it's only been two days. It may yet disappoint me.
   I went to get coffee, and promptly forgot about it until it had gone 29 minutes. It was still putting out 1.719 V, and the millivolts per minute drop seemed to have got very low. In the early minutes it was a few millivolts above any previous run.
   How long could it now run, delivering how many milliamp- or even amp-hours? Time for a longer discharge test approached. Before bed I ran a[nother] 1/2 hour 30 Ω load test. Results were identical to the previous one virtually to the millivolt. Again it was losing under 3 mV/minute by the end. But charge retention after 1 minute off charge was down a bit from 2.000 V to 1.992, as was the maximum current into .1 Ω following the load test, from 4.1 to 3.9 amps. Slightly disturbing. Did that mean it was too soon to start sealing cells in epoxy... or that leaking was the problem giving varying results, and I should.

[16th] After squirting in a bit more water I did another morning load test. It retained to 1.999 V after 1 minute, and after that virtually all the voltages were about 6 to 8 mV higher than the previous night, 1.721 V at the 30 minute mark. Current into .1 Ω was about the same and so was initial recharging current. So improvement was there but seemed to be "law of diminishing returns" now, and it was probably time for a long load test. Things to do... Maybe this evening?
   In the evening charge current was down to 120mA. I ran a load test with 20 Ω instead of 30. It ran for 20 minutes before dropping below 1.7 V instead of 30. 2-1/2 hours later I did one with 10 Ω. Sourcing 180 mA instead of 60 or 90, the voltages were somewhat lower and I went for 1.6 V instead of 1.7. After 15 minutes it fell below 1.6 V and I ended it. It recovered to almost as high a voltage as the other tests. I'd say performance was about the same, or maybe I should say "proportional" to the load.
   Since the "RS232 Serial to USB Keyboard" adapter part arrived a week or two ago, maybe I should finish making and programming a basic version of the battery load cycle tester for running longer tests.

[17th] In a second 10 Ω load test voltages were 20-25 mV higher, and the test ran 18 minutes instead of 15 to drop to the same voltage - 20% longer. The only worrisome counterindication is that the momentary 'short circuit' current into .1 Ω after running the test keeps dropping bit by bit, now down to 3.5 amps. That's still probably triple previous cells.
   Late I ran a longer 20 Ω load test, for an hour. Toward the end it was dropping only 2.5 mV/minute and seemed to just be into its stride. At the 1h:04' mark it was down to 1.577 V and it would have delivered over 85 mA-H. If that rate continued it could have run another 30+ minutes down to 1.5 V, and still longer the lower one wished to run it to - perhaps another hour beyond that  from 1.5 to 1.4 V. On most "definitive" capacity tests I've seen they run cells down to .9 volts, but when they hit a certain point they start dropping rapidly. If I want to see if it has amp-hours instead of milliamp-hours, I need to get that automatic load cycler running. What to do next?...

[18th] I decided to see how long the cell held its charge. It was quickly apparent that it had developed some resistance path between electrodes because the charging current was up a bit. And when disconnected, in one minute it was down to 1.993 V where it had previously been holding over 2.0 V. In about six hours it was down to 1.718 V. Next question: is it the zinc, the nickel powder, or something else? Could something have got around the edge of the separator sheet? I suppose it will get worse, and then I'll have to open the cell and look.
   Or maybe I'll glue in a 3D printed ring of PVB around the edges above the separator sheet, pressing its edges together to really ensure nothing can possibly bypass it around the edge, and see if that cell lasts for weeks and months without acquiring that seemingly inevitable self discharge that starts to creep into my cells.

   Later it finally occurred to me why a leaking cell would also deteriorate: If there is no leak, the water inside the cell is essentially stationary. If there is, adding water/electrolyte at the top that leaks out at the bottom means water is gradually flowing through the cell, so I would expect that the SDBS is gradually getting washed out. When it weakens enough zinc dendrites will start crossing the separator sheet.
   So just the fact that the cell is leaking is probably enough to cause its demise, perhaps within weeks.

Nickel-Manganates Again

   In the meantime, I'll assume the problem is solvable. Having added a bit of bleach to my jar of previously made powder and let it dry, I poured in acetone and stirred it up. At one point the spoon "lurched" at a lump and I splattered some on myself and was glad I had put safety glasses on, as getting acetone in your eye(s) will blind you. (None actually hit my face. Still!) When enough acetone is added, the mix loses all its lumps and becomes creamy smooth. My supposition is that it dissolves the oxides, which then reform into new, epitaxial crystals as it evaporates. Epitaxial means that instead of a pure crystal of one substance, the crystal is a hybrid of two or more metals. In this case of course, especially manganese and nickel oxides. So instead of having a grain of manganese powder and a grain of nickel powder, one has a grain containing both, more or less mixed at the molecular level. And I surmise that's why previously I had disappointing results with the idea: charging and discharging the electrode wasn't sufficient to have it form the desired combined substance. So I'm trying again now that I've discovered the acetone (methyl-methyl keytone) trick.

[19th] I redesigned the case to be short and wide instead of tall and thin. That way bubbles don't have so far to go to get to the top and come out in the top reservoir. And acting on the assumption that zinc ions or nickel oxides powder has been creeping around the separator sheet, I made a thin frame to insert and maybe glue to the cell edge, over the top edges of the sheet. That way it will be sandwiched all the way around the edges.

   It took me 4 tries to get it the right size, and just as I finished the last one, it occurred to me that since the objective was to seal the edges of the separator sheet, I might be better off if I could run a bead of beeswax, or maybe heat glue, around the edge of the paper instead. But how to get a thin bead?

[20th] Maybe instead of a heat glue operation I could 3D print a whole cover with triangular edges? The idea would be that it would push the powder inward as it was pressed in, and the sharp edges... Oh wait. If the paper was even slightly smaller than the space the points would miss it and it could lift up. (It is amazing on taking apart dry cells to see how carefully everything is sized and shaped so the electrodes just miss touching each other. 9 volt cells tend to be very interesting.)
   The nickel-zinc cell I made on the 13th continues to perform about the same, each test being very similar to previous ones. The self discharge hasn't got worse like it usually does. But it still leaks. I keep filling it and there's salt all around it. Is there anything I can do to stop leaks besides potting the whole cell in epoxy?

   I've been minimizing the use of the osmium film, painting it sparingly on one surface of the zinc sheet. But I'm getting  a maximum of around 5 amps from this cell. 20 would be nicer. It occurs to me that I might get higher currents if I also spread some 'extra' into the zinc powder I sprinkle onto the top of that sheet.

   I had read that PVB plastic (poly vinyl butyrate) couldn't be solved in acetone or methylene chloride, but that it could in alcohol. I decided to glue the top cover on. Nope. Isopropyl alcohol? Nope. Acetone? Yup - glues! Am I remembering wrong what I was rather surprised to read, or was the author "out to lunch"? (But I think I read it in more than one place?)

   When I actually assembled the cell I used heat glue. But the bead of glue was thick enough that I think the PVB "picture frame" would be better. Next time.
   I also 3D printed a plastic lid to fit better than the ones I cut from ABS.

   With the cell this far along, ready to squeeze thin and epoxy shut, I didn't finish it in March (and even well into April.)

Video Series

   I'm glad I didn't get my planned video series started until now, because having so recently figured out most of the problems I was able to speak with much more confidence than a month ago, or even than a couple of weeks ago, without having to say "Well, here's some great discoveries and techniques but I really haven't been successful yet." I'm going to have to retake many of the "hands on" battery making clips to show the latest things.

   In the morning I decided to take a few clips to start my planned video series Exploring Battery Making with Craig. I ended up typing a few more pages and taking all the clips. Somehow in spite of a few distractions during the day I kept up the momentum and put together the video in the evening. I redid the final rendering three times (at 15 minutes per) because somehow on just one video clip, the audio came out garbled. No rhyme nor reason. It kept seeming to be fixed in the editor, but when finally rendered into a single video file it was bad again. The "KDenLive" movie editing program must have had the bad version cached somewhere - even tho I exited and restarted it. I ended before 4 AM PDT, which is really "only" 2 AM by the sun in Haida Gwaii. Still a rather insane time to be up until with dawn about 3 hours off.

[21st] I finally removed the bad clip from the video compilation, renamed the file, and brought it in again. This time it came out right and I uploaded it to youtube.

Exploring Battery Making with Craig - Intro


   In the evening I contacted another company in India about cupro-nickel mesh for the positive current collectors, the first one having not replied. (Why are they all in India?) This one didn't reply either.

[24-25th] I continued editing clips for my video series. On the 26th I uploaded:

Exploring Battery Making #2 - Preparing a Separator Sheet


   In this I've given away two of my greatest "secrets": about the toluene for preventing penetration of the paper by nano-powders, and about the SDBS which I believe is the answer to the 150 year quest for trying to keep zinc ions from killing batteries.

[April 3rd] Some others seem to have solved the zinc problem now too, using modified chitosan. Their technique is a bit different in that they bond their substance to the surface of the zinc instead of putting it in the separator sheet. One suspects they know what they're doing better than I, and that I should investigate that.

Exploring Battery Making #3 - Getting/Making Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate


   This one is about extracting SDBS from Lemon Fresh Sunlight dishsoap by ersatz "chromatography" in case others find it as hard to buy as I did.

Exploring Battery Making #4 - A Zinc Electrode


   Somewhere in that I'll have to dig out my now decade+ old method for making acetaldehyde using hexavalent chromium to make the osmium doped film on the zinc. I'm almost out of it anyway so I need to make more. Of course, one can buy acetaldehyde from a chemical company.)

   I had also earlier taken clips of making the powder for a nickel manganates electrode. I put them together and added another one at the end about dissolving the powders in acetone to get everything mixed at the molecular level within epitaxial crystals. So I have the video. But I haven't proven that I've made ~~NiMn2O4 yet, or that it works as a rechargeable electrode. I decided to wait for a successful result before uploading it. That means making another cell.
   Then, with the nickel manganates plus side put in and the cell all ready to close up and epoxy, I cut down the alder trees and didn't get back to the cell in March. The "formulating a nickel manganates" video is ready but I want to make sure it actually works before I publish it, and do the actual electrode assembly video at the same time.

   As I went along I started thinking that there probably weren't many DIYers who were going to want to tackle all the intricacies of making batteries. My target audience then is probably electrochemists who will see value in some of the things I show, and present or erstwhile battery manufacturers who may want to set up actual production.
   As usual, some industrialist will doubtless make a fortune for being the first to market. And maybe more than one of my chemistries will be put to use. The inventor gets nothing for changing the world, but if I tried to sell the several ideas or a plan to manufacture them myself for money, no one would pay me any attention. I still remember getting "We don't fund that sort of thing." from the government NRC-IRAP technology representative. And being turned down for the "new battery" competition. A lifetime with several creative "world's first" or "world's best" accomplishments seems to mean nothing when one seeks capital. Especially without  "PhD" after one's name.

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". That would be somewhat unambiguous as people usually speak of "windows" rather than "window panes". And they are, mostly, a pane of glass.

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

28th 4292.58, 9.75, 45.81, 34.26 => 7.75 [5745@18:30] Snow melted off panels.

01st 4294.21, 9.86, 46.09, 35.00 =>   2.76 [5781@18:00] Snow melting in rain. Didn't get carport panels fixed yet.
02d  4296.29, 10.0, 46.94, 36.48 =>   4.55 [50Km; 5817@18:30] More snow! Some sun too.
03rd 4296.92, 0.09, 47.32, 36.84 =>   1.46 [85Km; 5861@19:00] Still snow on panels.
04th 4303.26, 0.21, 48.70, 41.14 => 12.14 [20Km; 5895@19:00] Snow musta melted off panes.
05th 4310.38, 0.30, 50.05, 46.08 => 14.40 [5921@19:00] Sun but still freezing at night - snow is not all gone, crunchy not slushy.
06th 4316.60, 0.38, 51.32, 50.36 =>   9.85 [?]
07th 4319.98, 0.47, 52.27, 52.60 =>   6.66 [5981@18:30] -3.2 this morning. PM until evening: More snow!
08bc 4324.53, 0.54, 53.26, 55.08 =>   8.09 [55Km; 6015@18:30]
09ab 4332.01, 0.62, 54.64, 60.08 => 13.94 [someone else charged their car here 2 hrs; 6063@23:30] Sunny, still cold.
10sk 4337.64, 0.70, 55.98, 63.42 => 10.39 [85Km; 6096@18:30]
11mn4338.75, 0.78, 56.12, 63.85 =>   1.76 [40Km; 6133@18:30] Rain, snow, wind, bletch
12on 4341.79, 0.85, 56.69, 65.48 =>   5.31 [40Km; 6168@18:30] some sun, then mor snow
13qc 4345.29, 0.93, 57.49, 67.63 =>   6.53 [6207@25:30] mor snow overnite, ice
14ns 4348.54, 1.05, 58.14, 69.34 =>   5.73 [6234@18:30]
15nb 4353.89, 1.13, 59.13, 72.30 =>   9.38 [20Km; 6260@19:00] snow, or hail, on porch in AM?
16nf  4358.23, 1.24, 60.13, 74.87 =>   8.02 [6287@19:00] Snow is all gone!
17pe 4362.21, 1.32, 61.03, 77.50 =>   6.59 [90Km; 6318@19:00]
18th 4363.33, 1.40, 61.14, 77.94 =>   1.75 [55Km; 6363@18:30]
19th 4365.88, 1.48, 61.56, 78.93 =>   4.04 [6393@19:00]
20th 4369.74, 1.55, 62.29, 80.97 =>   6.70 [6417@18:30]
21st 4376.70, 1.63, 63.77, 85.58 => 13.13 [6443@19:00] A genuine mostly sunny day! Even kind of warm. (8?) Fixed Echo sticking brake
22d  4382.85, 1.71, 65.57, 89.05 => 11.50 [20Km; 6472@19:00] Resurrected "A" frame on carport roof w. 2 panes. #3 was broken.

23rd 4387.23, 1.79, 67.82, 91.49 =>   9.15 [6499@19:00] Reinforced "A" frame properly so it can't get blown over again. (I trust.)
24th 4392.12, 1.87, 71.02, 94.56 => 11.24 [90Km; 6527@19:00]
25th 4397.68, 1.95, 74.16,   3.21 => 11.99 [55Km; 6564@19:00]
26th 4402.89, 2.02, 77.18,   6.13 => 11.22 [6579@19:00] Too windy to put up 3rd sun pane on carport.
27th 4411.89, 2.13, 82.49, 12.70 => 20.99 [6605@19:00] Genuine sunshine! (now too busy for 3rd pane)
28th 4420.97, 2.20, 87.75, 18.50 => 20.21 [6628@19:30] MORR sunshine! (cut down 3 alder trees)
29th 4429.90, 2.28, 93.24, 24.69 => 20.69 [55Km; 6660@19:30] Yay for sunshine! (splitting firewood) SAY! The Nissan Leaf is down to "11 bars" battery health. (As of when? I don't know but quite recently I'm sure.)
30th 4434.70, 2.37, 95.55, 27.35 =>   9.86 [55Km; 6692@19:00] Cloudy. Later, drizzle.
31st 4442.07, 2.47,   4.11, 31.78 => 16.01 [90Km; 6726@19:00]

1st 4448.62, 2.54,   8.64, 35.60 => 14.97 [55Km; 6758@19:30] Frost overnight, decent - calm*, then snow, sun, snow, drizzle.
* Put up new 3rd solar pane on carport roof on this morning opportunity.

2d  4457.97, 2.62, 15.92, 41.57 => 22.68 [6784@19:30] Sunny but cold. (High 6.5?)
3rd 4464.26, 2.70, 20.83, 45.45 => 15.16 [6813@19:00]
4th 4467.39, 2.78, 22.26, 47.03 =>   6.22 [25Km; 6848@19:00]
5th 4470.00, 2.85, 23.39, 48.36 =>   5.14 [60Km; 6874@19:00] Cold, drizzle, strong wind, big waves & misery. Not working outside.
6th 4473.05, 2.93, 24.82, 50.02 =>   6.22 [65Km; 6906@19:30] Drizzle. Wind finally calmed by evening.
7th 4479.48, 2.99, 29.40, 54.06 => 15.11 [90Km; 6931@19:30] Worthless bitcoin minor OFF, maybe for the summer? (not that it's anything like warm out!)
8th 4483.25, 3.07, 31.42, 56.16 =>   7.97 [6947@19:30] More wind, clouds & such crap

Chart of daily KWH from solar panels.    (Compare MARCH 2023 (left) with February 2023 & with March 2022 - but note number of solar panels.)

Days of
__ KWH
March 2023
(15 then 17 solars -
repaired 2 carport
panes on 22nd)
February 2023
(18 then 15
solar panels
after huge wind)
March 2022
(15 s. panels)














Total KWH
for month
Km Driven
on Electricity
 954.9 Km
(140 KWH?)
713.1 Km
(~110 KWH?)
1001.6 Km
(160 KWH?)

Things Noted - March 2023

* Daylight rapidly longer and longer as sun crosses equator at spring equinox.
* Best March for solar ever by a long shot, thanks in no small measure to 3 sunny days at the end of the month as well as fixing 2 of the 3 carport panels for the last 10 days.

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

As these tables are getting long, I'm not repeating the log of monthly reports. The reports for the first four full years (March 2019 to February 2023) may be found in TE News #177, February 2023.

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!
Mar KWH: 149.49 + 2.72 + 53.85 + 92.08 = 298.14 Solar [grid: 981; car: 140]

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