Turquoise Energy Ltd. News #109
  covering February 2017 (posted March 3rd 2017)
Victoria BC
by Craig Carmichael


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

Month In Brief (Project Summaries)
- Improved Piggott Alternators - Solar Panels & Grid Tie Inverters on AliExpress.com - Turquoise Energy Motor Controllers? - Unipolar Motors and Controller - Chevy Sprint & "Ultra Efficient EV Conversion" Project - A Reader Reports on batteries in real life use: Lead-Acid battery life extension, NiMH D cells, Li-MnO4, Lead-Acid off-grid - Nickel Air Cells - Wind Turbine Ships & Boat.

In Passing (Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
- Advanced Fast Catamaran Ferry - Make a small catamaran? - Arctic Warming - Easter Island: "the old story" of a Civilization Grown Too Large - Quarkcoin Cryptocurrency - Small attempts at humor

- In Depth Project Reports (NONE this month) -

Electric Transport - Electric Hubcap Motor Systems (no reports)

Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects (no reports)

Electricity Generation (no reports)

Electricity Storage - Turquoise Battery Project (NiMn, NiNi, O2-Ni), etc. (see month in brief)



February in Brief

   The pause in projects continues as I continue to prepare and to pack away everything for the move to Haida Gwaii. There are no 'detailed project reports' this month. However, I continue to think about things and to look up info on line. Somehow catamarans became something of a focus.

 - I saw a video of a very fast catamaran ferry that could cut travel time to and from Haida Gwaii and handle
   twice as much traffic as the present two ferry vessels together. I recommended it to the member of the BC
   legislautre for the north coast. But it sounds like nothing is likely to be done.
 - Small two-hull designs for mounting floating water flow electrical generators.
 - The idea of making my own catamaran (20'? PP-epoxy/foam sandwich?) with an advanced hull shape for
   deploying the generator vessels... and for fishing... and maybe to cross the strait if the ferry isn't running.

   Some funding for some of the many projects would be great, and I'm starting to think of contacting with contacts for that purpose. There may be some local funding as well.

   Detailed plans for moving to Haida Gwaii continue to unfold as dates get closer. It would be good to send a vehicle on up ahead so I'll have one when I arrive, probably in advance of the barge carrying most of my stuff.
The Dodge Caravan has had a trailer hitch put on and I have fitted a tow bar to the Chevy Sprint. I had thought to put the Dodge Caravan, towing the Sprint, on an earlier barge and have them hold it for me in Masset, but now a friend has offered to drive a vehicle up via Prince Rupert for me if I pay for that, which would give him a small and unique vacation with his young son that he couldn't otherwise afford, and perhaps cost me little or no more, since there's a discount on ferry fares this month. Well, the Caravan is the vehicle for that, and he'll just have to drag the Sprint along!

Improved Piggott Alternators

  
Looking up info on line led me to generators/alternators on aliexpress.com . Some comparisons between the "Improved Piggott Alternators" I've started building (using the specs I estimated in November & December, TE News #107, #108) and some commercial models might be illustrative.
All these have permanent supermagnets and all claim very low start-up torque. I figured the "coreless" unit is most like the Piggott since the shape is similar and neither has an iron core. The price puts it in a league of its own.

Name
Power (KW)
@ RPM
O.D. (mm)
Length (excl.
shaft, mm)
Weight (Kg)
Price
(Canadian $)
(Incl.delivery)
"Coreless"
5 KW 100
710
150
135 Kg
8100
Model G-1000
1 KW
450
185
190
17 Kg   
810
Model G-5KW
5 KW
300
233
285
85 Kg
3043
Improved Piggott
(coreless, 1 stator/2 rotors)
2+ KW
(est.)
1000
356
110
16 Kg
?
Improved Piggott
(coreless, 2 stators/3 rotors)
4+ KW
(est.)
1000
356
140
21 Kg
?
     

"Coreless" 5KW, 1KW, 5KW commercial low RPM alternators

   Admittedly the others compared are very low RPM, especially made for wind power, while I went for 1000 RPM. Higher RPM shrinks the unit for the same power. My reasoning is that a flat or poly-V belt drive can provide any desired generator RPM from any source RPM with very low losses and little noise. Of course, two shafts then need to turn, where a windplant propeller might be mounted directly on the generator shaft. That's really the common case where a low RPM alternator matching the propeller speed is valuable. For moving water power as I've planned it in recent issues, a belt has to come out of the water from the submerged shaft to the generator anyway, and any ratio pulleys can be used.
   Have I even gone far enough? - 1500 or 2000 RPM should be safe enough with the 12" rotors, and everything could be substantially smaller yet, reducing copper, magnet and every other mass to attain a given power. Perhaps what I'm really illustrating is that smaller, lighter machines are attained by making them higher RPM.

   In fact, simply running them at 2000 RPM instead of 1000 might work out nicely. Theoretically, 4 KW would turn into 16 KW. That would surely overheat, but perhaps it could be 8 KW. The 24 volts would become 48 volts - which is apparently better for grid tie inverters.

   2 and 4 KW Piggott generators might be marketable in Canada if they can be sold for 1000 $/KW or less. This might be achieved. At 2000 RPM, and 4 and 8 KW for the same machines, half that price should be possible. Another possibility then would be to make smaller ones, perhaps with 10" rotors or smaller at up to 3000 RPM, for smaller units.
   Or they might be better sold simply as components of high performance floating hydro power plants, Tesla turbine wind plants, and ocean wave power units.

Solar Panels & Grid Tie Inverters on AliExpress.com

   In looking for solar PV cells on AliExpress.com for the "pebbled" solar panel glazing project, I also ran across 100 W panels (18 V intended for charging 12 V batteries) for ~142 $C ("35% off"), "free shipping". They were a little smaller than others of that rating, and I ordered 5 for the roof of the Miles electric truck. I may never need to plug it in in the summer if it's sunny! They arrived in about 12 days, and seemed so nice I ordered another 6. With a roofrack, 3 would fit on the Sprint roof to charge should the project ever be completed. The other 3 I could probably sell up north complete with charge controllers at a profit. To facilitate that, I looked for a typical 10 amp lead-acid battery charge controller, and found some for ~15 $C at a store called "Yoosmart" which also seemed to be called "BigStoreHK".

   On the left was shown other categories of electronic products at the store, all intended for solar and wind power. That led to also ordering a 1000 Watt, 120 volt, grid tie inverter (~141 $C) for larger solar panels. I actually have more panels than that will utilize in full sunshine, to put on the roof once I'm in Haida Gwaii.


   There was also a grid tie inverter intended for wind power which took 3 phase AC input. It had a programmed "Dump Load" output as well, to give the windplant more drag to hold it back in higher winds. A 600 watt one was around 350 $C, and 2000 W for around 500 $C. This struck me as being a simple way also to connect a Piggott alternator to the grid for hydro, tidal flow, or wave power as well as wind power. Apparently they can be paralleled if they won't handle all the power from the generator. That might be practical for 4 to 8KW or so. (I didn't order one at this time. But if they can handle the power, they'd be ideal at least for small pilot installations.)

   So it would seem that some or most of the ancillary electronics equipment I thought might be useful for alternative energy is already available at reasonable prices - if you order it direct from China. (OTOH, I just bought a new violin case. It was both the cheapest and the sturdiest looking case in the store... and it was made in Canada.)

Turquoise Energy Motor Controllers?

   My motor controllers have not been particularly successful. The only one presently working is the one I use to run the electric outboard, operating the smaller Caik motor at 24 volts (and up to about 60 DC amps) instead of the Hubcap motor at 36. In repairing the Kelly controller I can't help but think, well... it has 4 transistors per leg and mine only have 2. Obviously it can handle more current. And recirculating AC currents in the windings are often higher than the DC current from the battery, so it isn't an obvious conclusion that (say) 80 amps DC doesn't make for more average AC coil current than 2 transistors can handle. In particular utilization is low in reluctance motors.
   Perhaps a good experiment would be to repair a controller and put 3 transistors in each leg instead of 2 and see if it works better at 36 volts and higher currents than before, or if it still blows at about the same point. Maybe all I need to make my controllers more reliable is more power transistors? OTOH, the controllers tend to blow below 60 amps at 36 volts, but that same current seems okay at 24 volts, suggesting other factors.

Unipolar Motors and Controller

When I tried out both the unipolar Electic Caik motor and the ARM reluctance motor, they didn't seem to have much "oomf". I was quite disappointed as well as perplexed. Measurements on the ARM motor showed that nearly all the current was being recycled (heating up the recirc diodes) rather than being consumed by the motor to make torque. Since this applied to both motors, I can't help but think that the motor controller was probably most of the problem.

   Another thought is that since I discovered it was best to use power mosfet body diodes as the recirc diodes, my unpolar reluctance motor controller using half as many mosfets in 3 legs simply didn't save any parts, only a couple of wires to the motor. And making the mosfets into 'active' diodes opened the possibility of shoot-through currents, which I really wanted to avoid. So I might as well go to the 'traditional' reluctance motor controller configuration with 6 mosfet legs, which is safer. In a typical reluctance motor controller with 6 wires to the motor coils, the currents always have to go through the coil and shoot-throughs aren't possible.
   This equally applies to the "permanent magnet assisted" reluctance motor with its promise of almost magically improved performance. (Hmm, I saw a quote recently... Arthur C Clarke?... something like "The more advanced the technology, the harder it is to distinguish it from magic.")

If the [permanent magnet assisted] ARM motor can be improved to the sort of performance levels it ought to have, it would be well worth pursuing the project to the electric outboard and vehicle running stages.

Chevy Sprint & "Ultra Efficient EV Conversion" Project

   I gave thought as to whether or not I wanted to pack and keep the manual Sprint transmission I bought. It was in pieces and I had hacked up the one shaft because it had a spline that fit the differential where the drive shafts normally go. It still had its own differential and the motor input shaft. It was still potentially a good Sprint transfer case if fitted with chain sprockets on both shafts. It had a lot of holes for now superfluous things, but by filling them it could still potentially be sealed so the chain could run in oil.
   The differential's input gear would have to be replaced by a chain sprocket. There wasn't a lot of room, and I decided that a #40 chain with 40 teeth was about the biggest that would fit. I had found the 36 tooth one seemed to jam in my experiments, but I think that was mainly because things didn't exactly line up. And maybe because I hadn't oiled it? By using the precision oil-holding housing and shafts of the transmission unit, the alignment should be perfect. (Now, where could I find a splined socket shaft to fit the transmission input shaft? The only one was in the original hydraulic torque converter.)
   The whole transmission/transfer case could probably replace the case I had made out of plate steel, probably with a new plate to mount the motor and the other drive of the differential variable transmission, the variable belt drive. If the input shaft had an 8 tooth sprocket to turn the 40 tooth one, that would be a 5 to 1 reduction. That would permit the variable belt pulley to run pretty high RPM with reduced torque. The smallest I could find was a 12 tooth gear, only 3.33:1, or about 3 to 1 again. That would have to do!
   Another idea that has occurred to me would be to abandon the differential variable transmission, not because it's not a great idea but simply because it's a big project for one person who has a number of other projects on the go, and there are other options for the car.

First option: It looks like even the ultra-efficient car will need two Electric Hubcap type motors for basic decent performance on the road. (They could be a double unit with one shaft.) The car starts moving okay at 10:1 with one motor, so theoretically a fixed 5:1 chain reduction (if a 9 tooth sprocket can be had) would allow start-up torque and allow 55-60 KmPH travel. That might be okay in town, but soon it won't really satisfy my needs since my driveway will end at a highway.

Second option: use the 3.3:1 chain drive, but also gain a 2:1 variation using a single variable belt pulley with a fixed pulley, allowing (eg, again with 2 motors) from 7:1 to 3.5:1, for better start-up and around 70-80 KmPH. Or 6:1 to 3:1 to ensure top speed over 80. That would be a somewhat simpler project than the differential type, but of course the 2:1 range of variation is quite limited.

Third Option: Get a good reluctance motor working (preferably with permanent magnet assist), and attach it with a further reduction gear (plastic gears? Poly-V belt?) so the total reduction is around 10:1 allowing good start-up torque, and with the super high speed a reluctance motor's steel rotor can safely go, highway speeds would be efficient.
   This would of course advance the improved motor projects, or perhaps would imply they had already been advanced to a practical stage before finishing the Sprint.


Finally we turn to batteries, the perennial bugaboo of electric transport and off-grid electrical storage...

Reader Batteries Report: Lead-acid, NiMH, Li MnO2

   A reader says he has been using lead-acid batteries extensively in his commercial lawn service, and has accumulated some good statistics. He says:

"Curious, that I have experimented with the addition of sodium sulphate to sulphuric acid electrolyte. My results from 80% DOD cycles for 6V GC [golf cart] and 12V deep cycle batteries (2 bat packs used in electric mowers) were about 30% increase in cycle life."

   That's less than I had been hearing, but certainly valuable nonetheless. And 80% discharged is more than the 60% DOD usually recommended. He hasn't had very good results with NiMH D cells either, considering their price.

"NiMh (D cells) just haven't worked out either. I've never even gotten 500 cycles and the cost is $650 - 700 KWH of storage. Too many bad cells. What an aggravation."

   This is somewhat surprising, but only mildly so. Mine usually have gone bad after being overcharged, so possibly it's related to charging. Except for a few specific problems, they seemed to have been doing okay in the RX7-EV, but they went downhill as a gas car starter battery and had to be replaced after 5 years, so perhaps I've been overestimating their longevity. Like lead-acid, it seems to be a battery that deteriorates if not kept strictly within expected operating and charging conditions. The big flooded NiMH cells that have been suppressed by Chevron (perhaps on orders of the Rockefellers?) should last longer than dry cells.

He is currently trying out lithium - manganese oxide:

"My testing this year is Li Mn2 O4 (Think Chevy Volt and Bolt). Very promising on cycle life; but unsure of actual time longevity. "Experts" claim that BMS must be used. Ce/heat equalization problems. I'm trying to work out the best cycle to use to avoid all these problems without having to use the expensive BMS (1/2 the cost of the battery). Anyhow, the pricing/cycle life is much better than other Li ion technologies. My test bed is a 48V Hustler Zeon 42" zero turn rider."

" This year, I'm replacing [lead-acids] with (3) 50 AH 48V Li Mn2 O4s in parallel = 48V @ 150AH weighing 120 lb.. I'm hoping for years of 2 hr run times. Cost $2550 vs $1000 for the LAs. I'll keep you abreast, if you are interested."

   Until and unless we have low cost, lightweight batteries that last a lifetime without aggravating issues, we're all interested!

   He also says he lives "off grid" and comments on batteries for that purpose:

"I have customers (besides myself) who have gotten over 30 yrs out of industrial 2V FLA cells and 1.2V NiFe (Edison) cells WITHOUT electronic control. I match PV charging voltage to particular cell cycling parameters. To make it work requires much more battery storage than normally recommended (More upfront cost) but vastly increased life and better over all cost."


Nickel Air Cells

   I didn't start anything new, but I did at long last pull the graphite felt and fiber/cloth out of the full strength bleach in which they had been sitting for several months. The idea of bleaching them was to oxidize the surface to graphite oxide, and thereby hopefully prevent the graphite from causing self discharge. I believe that has been the only real problem with every chemistry I've tried that otherwise worked. In particular I think it was the main or only problem with the last-tried 2-1/2 volt nickel manganate / manganese cells.
   The graphite itself looked much the same and hadn't disintegrated. The graphite felt seemed fine. The cloth was badly coming apart all around the edges, even to an inch in or more with loose fibers floating everywhere. Since I never inspected it, I don't know if that happened gradually or immediately, or if it happened when the bucket was moved.
   But the liquid looked pretty much like fairly strong tea, indicating that some reaction had taken place - or at least that something had leached out of the fiber. When I get set up again, I'll try the felt and the cloth in new cells.

Wind Turbine Ships & Boat

   In a 2011 documentary I saw about geoengineering (URL below in In Passing), there was a bit of a sideline about wind powered boats that have some sort of vertical axis wind turbine instead of a sail. Apparently the first ship with two spinning towers was made by one Fletcher(?) in Flensburg, Germany in 1925, which proved the concept. Here is a small catamaran version, also from Germany. It seems to move along at a good clip when there's wind.
   The details weren't well explained, but somehow it works by a creating low pressure area on one side of the spinning cylinder. The boat is drawn toward that, and pushed by higher pressure opposite. It seemed from something said that it wouldn't go straight upwind. Unless the cylinder is much more efficient than I (without having looked into it) would give it credit for, if I was doing it, I would prefer to make some more conventional windplant - perhaps a Savonius or Darius turbine VAWT, or the Tesla turbine windplant - and power an electrical propulsion system with it. One could steer and travel in any direction without stalling, and store power in batteries for windless conditions. Another possibility would be to mechanically link the turbine to a propeller shaft.




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

Advanced Fast Catamaran Ferry

   After chancing on a "Mega Machines" youtube video about "The Fastest Ferry in North America" (up to 90 KmPH/55 MPH), I started considering such fast catamaran ferries, perhaps powered by BC natural gas, for Haida Gwaii, which is presently quite isolated owing to long travel times for ferries and costly small plane flights. The 91 meter advanced Cat, made in Tasmania, Australia, would greatly improve travel times on the long northern ferry routes. Building a boat to handle 3 meter tall waves without people staggering about, or even in this ferry's case not even have food and drinks slide off a table or spill while traveling at 75 KmPH through those waves (while carrying 200 vehicles), it has to be Far larger than anything I could attempt to build. So I recommended that the BC government buy one for BC Ferries. But from the reply it didn't sound like anything was going to happen.
   Also attaining the speed requires more energy than can be stored in batteries. It might perhaps be a good case for engines or turbines burning hydrogen and having water for exhaust. (Or as I suggested, natural gas fuel might appeal to the government, as a LNG pipeline is to terminate at the sea in the operating area.)

Route
Present ferry Travel Time, vehicles carried
Advanced Catamaran Ferry
Prince Rupert <---> Skidegate (Haida Gwaii)
7 hours, around 100 vehicles
2-1/3 hours, around 200 vehicles
Port Hardy (Vancouver Island) <---> Prince Rupert
18 hours, ~100
8 hours, ~200

   It can be seen that by travelling twice as fast (and more) and carrying twice as many cars as the present ferries, one 91 meter (300 foot) advanced catamaran ferry could carry twice as much traffic as both the present 400 foot vessels.
   New potential fast ferry routes that would help link BC's major population centers to the north coast to open it up, could be: Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) to Port Hardy, 5-1/2 hours; and Port Hardy to Skidegate, 7 to 8-1/2 hours depending on the route (which would in turn depend on weather and sea conditions). Running these routes depends on having enough traffic to warrant it. But Vancouver Island was opened up by good ferry service that may not have seemed justified until after it was introduced.


Make a Small Catamaran?

   I keep thinking of designing and building a small catamaran myself with foam and polystyrene-epoxy construction, mainly for use in deploying tidal flow and ocean wave power units, and maybe for fishing. I made a sort of similar boat with fiberglass-epoxy long ago. I once thought I knew what the best design for catamaran sailing hulls was - long, thin displacement hulls like everyone used before about 1990. In the early 1980s I had an 18' Unicorn class sailing catamaran that I thought was ideal. Then there was a picture in a magazine (~1990?) of a 12' sailing catamaran that planed over the water like a motorboat and went faster than my 18'. Then there was the fast cat ferry, said to plane but with its hulls clearly cutting through the water at the front. What was the shape of its hulls and how did it really work, apart form its brute horsepower? And it had elevators and a special rudder to keep it level and straight at high speeds and in high seas. Then there was a smaller catamaran ferry, that looked like it would handle any sea by virtue of diving right through the worst waves and shedding them over the sides and even the roof without taking on any water. Then there were catamarans with submerged hulls, like two long, thin submarines, which rode smoothly and were capable of high speeds. (probably with less power than a "planing hulls" design.) The submerged hulls sit in deeper, calmer water, and only narrow vertical sections cross the surface where the most turbulence is.
   Then to power it there's the various wind turbine ideas, perhaps coupled to my Electric Caik outboard motor to drive the boat.

   But I have conflicting design goals. Ideally, I want a minimalist craft, with lightweight polypropylene-epoxy on foam sandwich construction, where a person could easily drag a thin cartopped 20 foot hull down the beach to the water, then the other, then the center section and finally all the attachments, assemble it, and be ready to sail. But unless it's really minimalist, this is likely to be impractical. And 20' would definitely be the longest for cartop. It would have to use the one Electric Caik outboard motor and couldn't hold very much in the way of battery storage. Even a stable dinghy should be enough to set up a catamaran water-flow power generating unit that is itself floating, so that would be fine for that! But is it something I'd want to venture out into Hecate Strait fishing on? Or in a pinch, sail to the mainland? What are my actual goals for this boat?
   The next step up would be to have a trailerable boat, all assembled and ready to go. In that case I'd like to have one Electric Caik motor in each hull. To be trailerable while asembled, the maximum width would be maybe 8 or 9 feet, and the length maybe 25 feet. (I should probably look into trailer towing regulations.) I really don't want a boat I have to leave in the water to grow barnacles.
   Another perhaps incompatible wish is that it give a relatively smooth ride in waves up to a meter tall or more. This would probably be with the 'submerged hulls' type of design, and also would require that the lower part of the body be at least a meter above them. In that case, the hulls with their protruding walls up to the main deck start to look not only long, but tall, that is to say, quite substantial and not very 'minimalist'.

   A final thought before I close this off is that instead of 'elevators' at the back, it could have a flap/float hinged out to the front of each hull which would generate power in waves. These would be lightweight and only generate power on the up swing. Thus the power would be made and the bows would start to rise before a wave reached the hulls in front, helping to stabilize the craft so that it wouldn't rock back and forth as much, again making for a smoother ride in choppy waves. Well, that would be a pretty ambitious project in itself! And it gives rise to further bizarre thoughts about a hinged craft whose 2 or 3 hull sections could each follow and ride the waves somewhat independently, making it hopefully virtually impossible to flip over under any circumstances.

   I think I have a lot of thinking to do before I try to build a boat that attempts to meet my vaguely anticipated needs, much less as an advance to anything in the state of any particular art of watercraft.


Arctic Warming

   I've said much of this before, but maybe this larger presentation will make a more coherent overall explanation of how disrupted wind patterns are rapidly changing the climate.


Idealized "equinox" normal wind circulation patterns of the Earth

The sun heats the air most in the tropics, and the warm air rises.
Cooler air from higher tropical latitudes to around 30° north and south
is drawn in at the surface to replace it. The warm air blows away from
the equator at high altitudes and cools.
These effects create the Hadley Cell
vertical circulation pattern that defines the tropics.

Air cools and sinks around the poles, drawing in air from lower arctic latitudes at high altitudes.
The cold air flows at surface levels to replace it, defining the Polar Cell vertical circulations.

The weak Ferrel Cells defining the temperate zone from 30° to 60° are mainly driven
by the other two and are quite variable and dependent on the jet streams.

The rotation of the Earth twists these circulations into the easterly tropical trade winds,
the temperate westerlies and the polar easterlies at ground level, with the four jet
streams at high altitudes marking the high and low pressure zone boundaries of the cells.

Various factors, especially the changing seasons, clouds and topography (land,
mountains and oceans) cause these patterns to ebb and flow widely.

   Even as global temperatures rise overall and summers break all heat records, people in various temperate regions have been having exceptionally cold winters. This experience understandably leads many to doubt the entire "global warming" phenomenon. But in the arctic it's a different story. Permafrost is melting. Trapped methane is being released from beneath it on land and in the sea at an alarming rate, and this powerful greenhouse gas is further warming the arctic and the world. Glaciers are melting, and global ocean levels are rising measurably as they do. Grass is growing in the far north where it never grew before. I note that since I'm moving to Haida Gwaii and have been watching the temperatures for a couple of months, it has been typically a degree or two warmer there this winter than in Victoria, 5 degrees (of latitude) farther south and usually Canada's warmest place. (This finally reversed later in February.) On February 9th, theweathernetwork.com had an article saying that the north pole had a couple of times been up to 30°C (54°F) warmer than usual this winter. That is to say it hit around 0°C instead of staying around -30. And the pole now "normally" averages 4-5°C warmer than normal in winter.

   A look at winds in the article and on nullschool.NET (animated global weather maps) showed that warmer winds from the Atlantic gulf stream area were blowing up over eastern Greenland (hastening or causing the rapid melting of that continent's glaciers) and the western Atlantic, and up over the pole. Displaced cold air from the Arctic was being blown southward down the Pacific, where the coast has been having unseasonably cold weather. Another arctic stream headed down around Bear Island into Russia where Moscow was also having its coldest winter since the 19th century. (It even snowed in Saudi Arabia.) Thus we see that the normally very cold winters at the north pole, and to a lesser extent the south pole, are being dispersed into temperate regions.
   Changes in the vertical temperature gradients in the atmosphere have disrupted the normal cell flows: the upper atmosphere is warmer. The jet streams have become chaotic and the common winter polar vortexes in the polar cells, that separate the arctic and antarctic frigid zones from the temperate zones, are giving way to haphazard cross latitude winds. And being warmer, the upper atmosphere holds more moisture. As glaciers generally melt in the arctic and antarctic, new ones have been forming at higher elevations at any latitude owing to precipitation from moister air high up. All this is why I have been calling it "Arctic Warming" instead of "Global Warming".
   Unless the polar icecaps mostly melt away, it's unlikely we'll have another serious ice age, just these isolated mountain glaciers. And we will also probably not have another major continental ice age because we don't have any sort of highly elevated large region of land that inaugurated the original ice ages, such as apparently occurred in northern North America a couple of million years ago.

   What has happened? Surely we've been pumping enough greenhouse gasses into the air for long enough to cause some global temperature rise - there's 1/3 more CO2 in the air now than in pre-industrial times. But it goes beyond the most dire predictions of the 1990s. That seems to leave some very strong change or changes in natural weather forces, or else geoengineering, as possible explanations.
   Changes in natural forces are normal and there are cycles that aren't well understood. For example, recently it has been found that the Sahara desert apparently becomes a lush green region for part of every 22000 years in accordance with a cyclical wobble in the tilt of the Earth's axis. When the wobble is right, winds from the Indian ocean shift to the north and bring monsoons into the Sahara region. The rains there ended rather sharply around 6700 years ago but should return in several thousand more years.
   While changes in natural motive forces behind the usual vertical wind patterns around the world might be a partial explanation, the disruptions seem too severe and the changes too rapid to believe that's the main or whole answer. The rapidly spreading and now virtually global "secret" geoengineering "global dimming" program, attempts to reduce insolation to the surface of the Earth of the last decade or so, presumably attempting to keep it from warming, seem to be a more likely explanation. According to Dane Wiggington (mentioned below), the program was actually started just after world war two on a small scale, and for a time it appeared to be a success. When warming started happening anyway (in the 1970s?), they "doubled down" and increased the size of the program, and then did so again in the 1990s, and apparently again since then. Those behind this now mind bogglingly huge undercover program seem to have a fixed idea that having sun rays reflect off bright particles sprayed into the atmosphere will reduce sunlight striking the Earth, thereby counteracting the effects of global warming. The first part of this is correct: many days that would be bright and sunny have a milky or cloudy haze over the sky or large parts of it, which starts as "contrails" that appear or very gradually appear behind jets. Sunlight reaching the ground has been said to be globally reduced by 20 to 30%. They spread and spread instead of dissipating. A common "spreading to one side" pattern shows that some particles are larger than others and so they descend through the sky at different rates. Since the winds at different altitudes vary, the particles dropping faster move across the sky at a different rate than those staying aloft higher, so the lines often seem to be "smeared" across the sky. This haze is well known to greatly reduce the effectiveness of solar panels. But the theory about that cooling the Earth like volcanic dust does and reducing the effects of global warming is flawed.
   Dark volcanic dust in the stratosphere absorbs sunlight, heating the upper air and reducing convection to the ground. At night it absorbs infra-red from the ground. The stratosphere warms day and night while the ground cools. And as the dust settles, the effects diminish and stop, usually within weeks, or months for very large eruptions. On the other hand, bright "Chem spray" is said to be derived from waste coal ash, and evidently it contains a lot of bright aluminum oxide. It seems to reflect infra-red rays as well as it does visible light. So at night it reflects heat back to the ground, reducing radiant cooling into space at night like an overcast sky does. All the actual water vapor in the jet exhaust in the heavy and almost continual air traffic contributes to it too as 'regular' water vapor overcast. And now it appears microcrystals of salt - sodium chloride or perhaps barium sulfate - are probably being sprayed as well or instead. These salts attract water, which condenses around them to form still more clouds. This action would seem even more unsound, as water vapor is known to be a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
   So the program appears to have the opposite effect to the one desired: it keeps the Earth, and the sky above it, warmer. The vertically more even atmospheric temperatures would reduce convection in the atmosphere, weakening the normal north-south vertical circulation patterns. Those normal patterns plus coriolis forces of the turning Earth cause the 'prevailing winds' and the jetstreams that separate the torrid, temperate and frigid zones, and as we see these have become quite disrupted.
   Also the warmer upper air prevents rain from condensing, so the upper atmosphere has become much more moist. Thus normal lighter rainfall patterns of the temperate regions are now often replaced by the severe droughts and the sudden "rivers from the sky" or perhaps they might be described as "monsoon" deluges causing the "once in a thousand years" floods that have been making the news so frequently they're now going unreported except locally where they happen.

   The 13th was a holiday and the morning in Victoria BC was quiet. Perhaps the winds were also just right. As I wrote some of the above, I could clearly hear the low rumble of each heavy jet as it roared off the runway at Whidby Island air force base many miles away, one every few minutes. People at the east end of town have been complaining about the ongoing noise. There aren't 2% that many scheduled transport flights around here. And they obviously aren't small 'carrier fighter jets practicing touch and goes' as has been claimed, but are quite visible flying overhead as the largest and heaviest of military jet aircraft -- on what mission but spraying the sky?, which was as has become usual here from 2015 on, half covered by lines and thin patches of high altitude drifting 'haze' on an otherwise sunny day. A clear blue sky all day quite suddenly became a rarity here from about spring 2015 on. Like Dane Wiggington, I noticed the effect because my solar panels became ineffective. I couldn't charge the Mazda RX7-EV from them any more, because the low voltage alarm would go off repeatedly within a half hour whenever I tried. Each time I noted that a thin haze had drifted in front of the sun.

   In a 1/2 hour youtube interview on USA Watchdog dated February 18th 2017, Dane Wiggington (GeoengineeringWatch.org) spoke of Planet Facing Converging Calamities Because of Chemtrails. He mentioned the methane releases, the mass die-offs of sea life being reported daily around the planet, and the ionospheric heating by microwaves, and said it has been ongoing since 1946. It seemed to be working at first. Then when there were warm years, more than once they doubled down and doubled the size of the program until it is the global monster it is today. He mentioned sea level rise and salt water invading aquifers, collapse of major ocean fisheries (like the whole Bay of Bengal), and species going extinct, and claims that if it isn't stopped within the next ten years, the planet will go into a runaway positive feedback loop and rather quickly lose its ability to support life. He says that without downplaying all the environmental harm that's been done by various human activites, the geoengineering has the most potential for causing global genocide of anything except a nuclear war. He also doesn't think it can be kept hidden much longer, that the general public must soon become aware of it. But climate scientists have been muzzled on pain of being fired or perhaps worse, and the media as usual lies by omission. An elephant in the newsroom? Which one?!?

   How little thought has gone and is going into the theory behind such a monsterous program of environmental and biological calamity? There are predictions of a coming time of terrible natural disasters going back as far as the Bible. None of them mentioned we would be causing those disasters ourselves!

Here is a National Geographic documentary from 2011 about various means for trying to influence Earth's climate, which I found on the 25th, recently posted on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhrMxmMNWq8

Among other potential weather altering ideas, two types of aerial spraying, of salts and of sulfates, are described. Ideally it would be done at 100,000 feet, but current planes are limited to under half that altitude. What it didn't suggest was that such large scale meddling in our climate was already taking place, and to an extent the interviewee made no suggestion it might be thought 'necessary' by those doing it. The narrator concludes with a "Reality Check" about each of the techniques, "One thing I've learned is that no technique I've seen is without its price." In a prescient sentence he asks if preventing ocean level rise by spraying will come at a cost of droughts and floods in some areas - just such phenomena as we see.
   The concept of spraying salt or unusual salts is illuminating. Salts are mostly hydrophyllic, and the spraying of microcrystals of salt is intended to cause water molecules to condense on them and form clouds. This may explain something I've been seeing: individual big jets flying by and apparently doing nothing, leaving no trails, and yet the sky is full of spreading, linear trails. Of course the salt isn't visible, but the effect becomes visible later as the salt attracts water molecules and turns into clouds.

Some images from www.GeoengineeringWatch.org

 
'Chemtrails' aerosol spraying - Satellite view of geoengineering off California coast (NASA), where several years
of extreme drought threatened to turn this entire fertile but always rather dry state into a desert wasteland.

 
Public concern about Geoengineering


Easter Island: "the old story" of a Civilization Grown Too Large


   I watched a documentary about Easter Island. Whatever or wherever the origin of its Polynesian people, they evidently made a considerable civilization. But when the Dutch found the 62 square mile island in the 1700s, there was only a small population of rather primitive people, who knew little of the civilization that had preceded them. As the murky story unfolded, it seemed it was a prototypical one of a civilization: It flourished, and the population grew beyond a level that could be supported, and there was a disastrous collapse. On such a small island, the collapse involved the felling of every palm tree and the wiping out of all the local bird populations. With the trees gone, no boats could be made to go fishing in, and with little food to be had on land, only a small population could be supported: the collapse involved an ecological catastrophe that made it permanent. And it's only one more story (if an especially dramatic one) of a civilization prospering and then growing to an unsupportable population, then collapsing with huge loss of life.

   The planet as a whole should take a lesson from this. In the depression of the 1930s in the USA, many game animals became scarce as the hungry hunted for food. Today Venezuelans have eaten their zoo animals, pets, pigeons and flamingos. What tropical species there might be disappearing forever? Next Brazil appears to be collapsing, and some other countries on that continent are in none too good shape. Human populations everywhere are far higher than in the 1930s, and it may only take an financial or economic catastrophy to cause many species extinctions in the USA as well. Might there soon be no elk, no deer? Other parts of the world are so heavily populated it will be worse. Could Africa become devoid of many game animals? Could lions and elephants be exterminated like sabertooths and mastodons? What about fish and marine mammals? Extinctions will impoverish the planet for future generations.
   And according to some disease watchers, there is an alarming rise in avian influenzas among poultry occurring almost worldwide, that have been crossing the species barrier and spreading to people. With disease organisms becoming antibiotic resistant and factors of overcrowding of domestic and food animals as well as people, a global pandemic breaking out in poultry or other domestic animals and spreading to the human population may be only years away, and is likely within the next couple of decades. And crops have been having various setbacks and failures owing to wild weather in recent years. An epidemic will spread rapidly if people aren't eating well and their resistance is down. It becomes increasingly likely that billions will die.
   Is this what it will it take for the world to realize there is a point where further population growth is unwise and will lead - has led - to impoverished lives and reduced potentials of personal growth for large numbers of individuals, and another where it is suicidal and will lead to a collapse of civilization - this time a global one? When will social sustainability around the core values of Life (Quality of life, Growth, and Equality - applied in Compassion, Empathy, and Love) become part of our everyday planning so we can have a lasting global society?


Quarkcoin Cryptocurrency

   Having heard about a new cryptocurrency that was made to be better and even more secure than Bitcoin perhaps 4 years ago, I had intended to check it out... but then I forgot its name and never remembered it again. For some reason, recently it came quietly to mind. Quark or quarkcoin has the advantages shown on this 2013 info-poster at quarkcoins.com:



   It was perhaps just as well I couldn't remember it, because the value of Quark collapsed after its inception in 2013, amid a deluge of new cryptocurrencies - mostly just minor variations on bitcoin. But it does appear to be the most advantageous one. In particular it has the shortest time to confirm transfer of funds, ie, to verify payment has gone through - a couple of minutes. This is a big advantage for local and in-store purchases, where bitcoin is frustratingly slow, often 1/2 an hour or more. It seems to me that the more people actually use bitcoin in transactions, even on line, the more frustrated they will get with its delays.

   There are far more quarks than bitcoins, but even so its price drop to 5 or more for a penny is downright embarrassing. But if people start looking around for something like bitcoin but faster, quark could make a comeback. So I found an exchange still trading them, bleutrade.com, signed up, put in .1 bitcoin, and bought 73,000 quarks. One can also mine quarks on one's computer and expect to eventually get some, whereas it would take a miracle to get any bitcoin by mining them on a machine not made specifically for the job and burning hundreds of watts of power. I set my quarkcoin wallet on "mine", and may perhaps get a couple of thousand of them (3.68$) in two or three weeks. If getting a bitcoin is like slaying an elephant, getting quark is like collecting ants.

   The .1 bitcoin I spent was worth about 140$C at the time. As of March 3rd one bitcoin has hit 1800$C. My first bitcoins were 67$C each. If quark does nothing, my investment sits in limbo and was wasted. But if it finally takes off it could become a fortune. Even at a penny each it would be 700$! Hmm... what am I writing, an investment newsletter? Quarkcoin is more like a lottery at this point!


Small attempts at humor

* If deer have antlers, what do ants have?

---

* Political Spin... Pretty much the slanted reporting he usually gets from the media outlets mentioned...

"Lunch with the prime minister"

   President Trump invited the prime minister for lunch on his mega yacht, the prime minister accepted and during lunch, a puff of wind blew his hat off, right into the water.
   It floated off about 50 feet, then the wind died down and it just floated in place.
   The crew and the secret service were scrambling to launch a boat to go get it, when Trump waved them off, saying "Never mind, boys, I'll get it."
   The Donald climbed over the side of the yacht, walked on the water to the hat, picked it up, walked back on the water, climbed into the yacht, and handed the prime minister his hat.
   The crew was speechless. The security team and the prime minister's entourage were speechless.
   No one knew what to say. However that afternoon, BBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, NYT and WP reported: "TRUMP CAN'T SWIM!"

[author unknown]

(Justin wearing a hat? Must have been some other PM!)


* Regulations Gone Amok


No bikes, no skateboards, no jogging, no dog poop...
The fine print may explain it, but the picture
on the seaside walkway clearly says: No walking!



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