Clean Renewable Energy Projects Report

by Craig Carmichael
researcher, award winning inventor and product developer
March 6th, 2008

I seem to have had key pieces to the future of clean energy dumped unexpectedly in my lap all within the last two years, and it's all coming together about now. If these things can be successfully commercialized, they could potentially quickly solve our two most basic and seemingly intractable energy problems. Here's (a) a way to harness an abundant source of clean renewable energy: ocean waves, and (b) the rapid elimination of the gross burning of petroleum products for transportation energy, by retrofit "plug-in hybrid" electrification of vehicles already in use.

First in this amazing chain of designs, I started doing a floating ocean wave powered generator in spring 2006. Then I sat on it for over a year because no one seemed interested. Calls and emails about it to those who I thought should have been most excited in responsible positions went unanswered. Finally I got to show the design to an official at the BC Ministry of Energy in October 2007. He told me, in essence, that it was the most promising looking wave power design to cross his desk. Based on that, I went ahead and made the prototype on my own time and resources. It was finished in January and currently awaits suitable weather for a successful test. Problems in the three test attempts to date were: a construction oversight, an unseen jammed drive chain, and on the last try, not enough waves to spin it. So, it hasn't had a chance to run yet.

The "proof of concept" wave power capture unit at Cattle Point with some nice waves. Anchored floating operational units, preferably of durable and low maintenance ferrocement construction with expanded foam buoyancy, would have five larger but similar power capture float structures and mechanisms in a robustly built star pattern, which would make them almost unbreakable, unsinkable and unflippable in storms.

Economic calculations indicate that a wave power "IPP" company based on these designs should be able to offer BC Hydro wave electricity at a lower price than other technologies, eg 5 cents per KWH where the norm is now 7-8. That would mean stationary Hydro bills from clean sustainable energy, instead of gradually rising rates.

For the wave power test prototype, I made a permanent magnet generator that I gradually realized after testing its specs would make an ideal electric car drive motor. A pair of them, mounted directly in two wheels on most existing cars, could electrify them. No gears, no transmission. The wheels would stick out just 2.5 inches extra with the motors inside. After charging the batteries at any electrical outlet, they would be able to drive 40 kilometers or so for about a penny a kilometer before turning on the engine, covering most people's usual daily driving. How much oil would that save?
The new axial flux electric machine design, the Turquoise Energy MPMG now under the hood of the wave power generator. Very similar units with flat magnet rotors could turn today's cars into plug-in electric hybrids via an add-on retrofit.

With relatively light, cheap motors that disrupt nothing of a car's existing systems, controls can be created with known techniques. The crux, then, to turning today's cars - your car - into plug-in hybrids, is a suitable battery, one that isn't too bulky or heavy to put in the trunk and lasts many years. But I found nothing decent for sale bigger than a Ni-MH "D" cell. It looked like it would take several thousand dollars worth of them, and even at that they would only last 1000 recharges.

In early January I checked all over the internet and found a number of great battery ideas. So I proceeded to synthesize them along with some original ideas of my own into a new large and simple battery design. I ordered a lot of strange chemicals and set to work. I discarded things that didn't work out or seemed too difficult, and kept the winners and found more of them. I've ended up with a battery that's considerably more economical and with around twice the energy storage of what I originally set out to make. It's an economical nickel-metal hydride variant battery design with very good energy density, extra high current drive, and it should last a vast number of recharges. This is a clean, green battery. If it should ever end up in a landfill, it has no environmentally toxic metals or materials. The electrolyte is dish soap.

I've just made the first 6V Turquoise Battery. It's the equivalent of perhaps 100 of the Ni-MH AA cells shown with it. Two should be equivalent to a much larger and heavier regular car battery and should, at the very least, outlast the car.

Two dozen six volters like this or a twelve-pack of twelve volt batteries in the trunk will make a 144 volt, 7 KWH hybrid car battery that will take your car 30-45 Km on 45 cents worth of electricity.

A good way to see these projects succeed commercially rather than rust on the shelf is to invest in them. Nothing like this can be done without money, and indeed I've gone into debt to finance these prototypes without any sort of pay just because they're what I see as the future. Sufficient resources and human energy can accomplish great things. Anyone interested, please contact me.

Turquoise Energy Ltd.

Victoria BC Canada