Energy Ltd. News #69
by Craig Carmichael - November 4th, 2013
Unexplored region of the spectrum: Ultra Short Wave Space Rays, "Lambda
Rays" with up to 10 terra electron volts per photon, constitute the
main radiant energy of the universe!
Month In Brief
- Lambda Rays - Torque Converter Flywheel - Battery electrodes - huge
evacuated heat transfer pipes, expanding spray foam, fridge control PCB
& Thermoelectric Refrigerator.
In Passing (Miscellaneous
topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
- New Models for Society - Money 3.0: Cryptocurrency - Is WW3
The Roc, Fandor or...
Argentavis?: Giant Flying Bird Fossils found (30' wing span!)
Electric Transport - Electric
Hubcap Motor Systems
* More Mazda Miscellany
* Variable torque converter transmission quest, continued: episode
XVLIMX, "The Flywheel" (part 1 of "n").
Other "Green" Electric Equipment Projects
* CMBR - not much energy there
* Expanding the electromagnetic spectrum past gamma rays: 10 terra
electron volt "Lambda rays" pack a wollop
* "CLBR" Radiant Energy Harvester construction continued: control coils
drivers circuit board.
* A vertical axis wind turbine improvement idea?
Electricity Storage - Turquoise
(NiMn) Battery Project etc.
* Single 2.6 volt cell lights a 2.9 volt LED (if not too brightly):
Take that, lead-acid!
* Seems there should be more Ni than Mn in the Ni(OH)2 + KMnO4 mix, so
should really be "Ni-Mn", not "Mn-Mn".
* Using still more nickel and less permanganate might reduce the
initially high self discharge (use Ni:Mn 60:40 to 65:35 - proportions
Sanyo dry cell design)
* Next Plastic Jar Cell, PJC2: "double" cell with four plates instead
* Adding monel adds weight to posode: now 44g (negodes 50g);
advantages of using monel.
* Smaller electrodes and faster production?
No Project Reports on:
solar cells (will probably abandon), LED Lighting, Pulsejet steel
plate cutter, CNC Gardening/Farming Machine (sigh, maybe summer 2014?),
Woodstove/Thermal Electricity Generator (will probably abandon),
Peltier & vacuum pipe heat
pumping, Ultra-efficient torque converter transmission, individual EV
battery monitor (will probably cancel).
Newsletters Index/Highlights: http://www.TurquoiseEnergy.com/news/index.html
Construction Manuals and information:
- Electric Hubcap Family Motors - Turquoise Motor Controllers -
Nanocrystalline glaze to enhance Solar
Cell performance - Ersatz 'powder coating' home process for
- Electric Hubcap 4.6KW BLDC Pancake Motor Kit
3KW BLDC Pancake Motor Kit
- NiMH Handy Battery Sticks, 12v battery trays & Dry
Cells (cheapest NiMH
prices in Victoria BC)
- LED Light Fixtures
(Will accept BITCOIN digital currency)
...all at: http://www.TurquoiseEnergy.com/
(orders: e-mail email@example.com)
October in Brief
October was another month
of things started, things continued, and nothing of note finished. I
did quite a bit of needed work unrelated to inventive
projects. The new board for the 3D printer came early on and I
installed it... but I haven't turned it on yet. The
main things I worked on, in what little time I seemed to find to do
project work, were the radiant energy collector, the variable torque
converter transmission, and electrodes for a new battery.
A potentially valuable if short job that I did complete
was that, having solved the problems of manganese negative electrodes,
I sent a considerable e-mail to the chief engineer at Changhong
Batteries telling how to formulate high energy nickel-manganese
batteries with all their favorable properties. If they make them and
advertise a bit, they
won't be able to meet the demand. So far, I have received
no reply. I'm hoping they're trying out my formulas to see if they
really work. They do. I've also been in converse with a person wants to
make air-manganese batteries. It seems like an interesting project.
CMBR photons have little energy - But each "lambda
ray" photon of newly discovered "CLBR" area has extreme energy
From various hints and in a casual conversation with
someone whose great knowledge of
physics was evident, it seemed that the Cosmic Microwave Background
Radiation (CMBR), in spite of the chart showing it rising higher than
else, in spite of Wikipedia saying it constituted "most of the radiant
energy in the universe", actually doesn't contain a lot of energy.
Regardless of the quantity of photons in it, the energy of photons is
proportional to their frequency. With a wavelength of 2mm
each photon has little energy - just one milli electron volt. A
thousand CMBR photons are required to make up the energy of a single
photon of visible light.
I didn't have time to lose faith in the idea, or question
the reality of the
many seemingly bona fide cases where substantial energy was said to
have been harvested, because I soon stumbled upon a newly discovered
extension to the electromagnetic spectrum.
It seems "gamma rays" of frequencies up to
2.9*10^27 Hz, being generated by
various astronomic (stellar?) sources, were discovered in about 2007.
But although the gamma ray spectrum is
rather loosely defined, this is really 10 thousand times, or 14
octaves, higher frequency than its "top" end. At this sub sub atomic
wavelength each photon packs 10 terra electron volts of energy, and
would probably just pass right through living tissues and much matter
without interacting. Again, that's the energy of 10 trillion photons of
visible light, so space doesn't have to be very densely filled with
them to be worth harvesting. An
insightful book intimated that these "short space rays" would have 400
times the energy of all other radiation impinging on the Earth, and it
was stated that they would "metamorphose" with sudden changes in
electric field - just such sharp on-off changes as are a common feature
of the control coil systems in all the "free energy" harvesting
machines said to work. Since no one seemed to have given the new
ultra-short rays a name yet, I've borrowed from "gamma rays"
(γ) in Greek alphabet tradition and am calling them "lambda rays" (λ)
herein. (Later I noticed that lambda is also used to symbolize
"wavelength" itself. I'm sticking with it.)
Torque Converter Flywheel test setup. The box for batteries
The extended electromagnetic spectrum with the new and almost uncharted
short "lambda" ray wavelengths at the left,
with some wild guesses as to the power and range of the "Cosmic Lambda
Background" (CLB) energy radiance.
Prototype dual control coil driver circuit for two control coil Lambda
(where the radiator was) dwarfs the
actual 24v, 30AH NiMH
battery and makes a good spot to set small tools & parts.
On the torque
added a flywheel to the slipping element of the planetary gear. I had
some hope that if the flywheel was allowed to gain speed, then the
tension rope was pulled, enough of the momentum of the 18 pound
flywheel would be transferred to the car to start it moving.
This idea didn't seem to work very well. In fact, the
theory had a
flaw in that the flywheel energy really would go into heating up the
tension rope. To create the right effect, the flywheel would have to be
on the motor
shaft. (The shaft does stick out the back end of the
motor... but not very far. If it's long enough, there's room there for
a flywheel. But
I suspect a longer shaft is needed.)
But a worse
problem was that when there was sufficient force to maybe do something,
the flat drive belt slipped, and when it did, it slipped off the side
of the pulley. I could put on a stronger spring if I could find one,
started to think I was better off with the original chain drive, with
its 4 to 1 speed reduction/torque increase, at least for testing. I
pulled the whole
thing out of the car, took it apart and changed it back to the chain
sprockets & chain, but I didn't get it put back in the car by
I decided to make a new Ni-Mn battery with more nickel in
the posode in proportion to manganese. But making the electrodes was
slow and I didn't want to spent a pile of time on it. I did get them
made, but I haven't assembled the cell yet.
In the process, I've decided for the future to make
that I can compact on the flat in a single 10 ton pressing, and to make
a set of several compaction boxes all in one piece of 1/2" steel so
that several electrode boxes for a battery can be filled all at once
then pressed with one pressing each. My idea is to get the plate of
boxes precision cut by
I found in a TV show that the evacuated pipe "heat diode"
idea is already in common use in the arctic on a grand scale,
extracting heat from the permafrost in winter to make it colder, so it
doesn't melt in the summer. Large vertical evacuated pipes line the
sides of buildings and highways. Otherwise heat from buildings or from
dark pavement melts the permafrost, and when it melts, the building or
road sinks into the ground, unevenly, and is ruined.
I also found at a home show that some contractors spray
urethane foam insulation, which is R7 per inch, and would consider
filling forms such as the walls and bottom, and the lid, of a fridge,
for perhaps 120-150$ to do one if you brought the forms to them. This
comparable to buying rigid polystyrene foam sheets, which are only R5
per inch, and if all was set up with the surface materials placed in
the form, to be glued on by the expanding foam as it was sprayed,
labour cost for the body of the unit would be very low. R21 in 3 inch
thick walls (or even higher in thicker areas since they don't need to
all be the same thickness) is better than R20 in 4 inches, and better
than what I achieved in a little over 3" with some of each (perhaps
And I decided to do a proper circuit board design for the
fridge controls. Then it can be easily duplicated. (Yes, I'm
still turning the prototype on and off manually.) The possibility of
manufacturing entire almost silent thermoelectric refrigerators for a
price that isn't ridiculous is in sight.
(Miscellaneous topics, editorial comments & opinionated rants)
New Models for Society
"You never change things by fighting the
existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes
the existing model obsolete."
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER
I like this philosphy, and
as these newsletters show, I try to build new
models - it's exactly what I do! And I try not to spend time fighting
and protesting against things. But the reasons for non-adoption
of new energy and new organizational models are
socioeconomic, so I have come to spend much time studying the subject,
and many words describing my
perspectives on existing socioeconomic systems and their various
dysfunctionalities. Surely if we understand the existing conditions
better we'll be better able to build new models without them having
similar faults or vulnerabilities.
And the biggest vulnerability I try to
show about the existing social and economic models is that they have
allowed a few families and small cliques of people to ensconce
themselves into positions of control and power: people who
exhibit various and often manic or even psychopathic character flaws of
greed, fear, opportunism, ruthlessness, immorality and lust for power,
and who fight
tooth and nail against creation and implementation of beneficial new
of them would like to impose a dictatorial state where they imagine
everyone will do as they say and everything will always go according to
their plans. Some of them just want everybody's money to
flow or continue flowing in their direction. They all want monopolies.
They control 80% of the world's economy. They manipulate public and
governing body opinion with calculated misinformation and "false flag
events", subverting and corrupting the mechanisms of
law, government, and even education to suit their own ends. Having such
people running civilization is monsterous!
Generally these hypocrites pay no more than lip service to
of the majority or to humanity's future while they claim to act in our
best interests. The richest 400 individuals in the USA have more total
wealth than the poorest 160 million. To them a billion dollars is
"a drop in the bucket" and wanton destruction of the environment or a
war killing millions can be a useful "means to an end", while
those trying improve the world and create a better future mostly
struggle to eke out funds just for
personal sustenance. How can such a situation have come about?
If we can create new socioeconomic models that instead
promote people who have practical ideals, ideas, experience, talent and
drive to improve things, our lives tomorrow will be very different and
better in many ways, instead of worse. Opportunities and vital need for
major changes will soon be upon us, and the social order won't settle
down again for a millenium.
Money 3.0: Cryptocurrency
But as our "pyramid scheme" financial system heads for
inevitable collapse, a surprising new model for currency has sprung
into existence. It relies on the internet for transactions, so it
before. It has many advantages over government printed money and our
present banking institutions, and it's virtually impossible to prevent
its growth and spread. It allows for no "central authority" that can
alter the terms, "the playing field", at whim. The rules are "baked
into the cake". It brings the power to
hold wealth, invest, and transact, directly into the hands of
individuals with no counter-party (bank or other financial institution)
risks or fees, and it
ends inflation - erosion of savings.
First there was barter. Then gold and silver became the
first currency (1.0): valuable, durable and divisible, but small and
carried -- at least in common, lower value transaction quantities. That
was followed by paper money, which at first represented a claim on gold
or silver (2.0), but was more convenient to carry, in any amount. Since
most people didn't want the actual gold but merely its
representation of value, it was found that gradually more and more
money could be printed
without having the actual gold to back it. (2.1, 2.2, 2.3, ...) It
"fiat currency" instead of "money" and can no longer be redeemed for
gold - a gradual change of the original terms of issue. In theory this
should work fine, but in practice more and more money is printed over
the years, and at an accelerating pace, through greed or a wish to
carry out programs such as wars which are otherwise difficult or
impossible to finance. But with no additional goods or services being
available in the economy, the increasing quantity of currency in
circulation erodes away the value of each unit - a hidden continual tax
on long-term savings. It always ends with some crisis reorganization of
the currency or hyperinflation and currency collapse. (...2.999999999?)
Some anonymous but utterly brilliant genius
dreamed up a new way to have "virtual" value units: with a computer
elaborate data encryption and automated transaction records keeping.
it first appeared in 2009, bitcoin seemed like a joke. People "mined"
discarded, or lost during computer upgrades, thousands of them. But
with the initial purchase of a pizza delivered for 10000 bitcoins, it
became the first cryptocurrency, a digital means of holding
value units, or sending them from anyone to anyone anywhere in the
world over the internet without any third party intervention. Since it
was written into the program that there would never be more than 21
million bitcoins, ever more slowly "mined", there's no ongoing
divisible down to 8 decimal points, 10 nano bitcoins (one
"satoshi"), so no matter how
many people want them and how high the value goes, there's enough
fractions of a bitcoin to transact business.
It's harder than
gold or cash to steal (not quite impossible without precautions), and
indeed one must give one's heirs some info if they are to inherit it.
When US government agents 'busted' the 'Silk Road' drug cartel, they
seized the computers but they are unable to access much of the wealth
stored on them. Unless those arrested divulge the necessary passwords
and info, those bitcoins may be forever lost.
That people are recognizing
the value of bitcoin is illustrated by its rise in price. It goes up
and down, but it has gone from nothing per bitcoin in 2009 to 11$ when
I first saw it but didn't buy any (rats!) in fall 2012, to 50$ by April
to 250$ and rising almost daily as I write. Every financial system
every "bail-out" and "bail-in" and every spot of publicity it gets
takes it higher, making it the world's best performing investment at
this time. The US debt debacle and partial government shutdown may take
credit for much of the recent rise. Some think it'll become a commodity
to invest in on the ComEx, in which case the sky will be the limit for
its eventual price as marked in other currencies. There are other
digital currencies such as "litecoin" and "goldcoin" based on the same
software, which has been made public domain, but they seem so far to be
pretty much eclipsed by the original "bitcoin".
Info on bitcoin and how to get started is available at
Is WW3 Still On?
George Galloway and his colleagues led the UK parliament
to vote "no" in September to prime minister Cameron's emotional appeals
to join with the USA in attacking Syria. This, as well as Russia
pointing out that the war wouldn't be limited to Syria, was
probably a major factor in Obama backing off of the long
planned assault on the
land lying between oil-rich Iraq and the Mediterranean Sea. The USA has
killed about a million people in Afghanistan, Iraq, the middle east and
Africa since 2001.
Now the US has sent 100 armored vehicles into Syria "to
provide protection for the UN chemical weapon disposal teams". Watch
for this infiltration to stir up trouble and lead to more and more
infiltration and 'incidents' for which the USA will 'retaliate' with
more and more forces until, the kleptocracy hopes, Syria or a
sufficient part of it for 'safe' transport and petro pipelines from
Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea is under their control. Evidently both
USA and UK preparations for seizing control of Syria are proceeding in
of the negative legislative votes, showing that such representative
democracy as remains in these countries is not in effective control of
And Israel and Saudi Arabia are spewing rhetoric and
at Syria and Iran (Iran electing a new president changes nothing, it
seems), and saying the USA is being too soft and indecisive, not
showing leadership. From Netenyahu (sp?) one has come to expect
inflamatory speech and attempts to goad the USA into attacking Arab
lands (making enemies and provoking their hostility will probably cost
them their national life)... but Saudi Arabia?
I'm wondering vaguely if this is part of a plan, that these American
actions are deliberately choreographed to make the USA seem "pacifist"
by comparison, so that it will look like Obama is only invading Syria
"with reluctance", as if it's being "forced on him".
The latest news, however, is that the Syrian Chemical
Weapons cleanup has been completed before the deadline, leaving the
again without any decent pretext. In an "unrelated" story, women of
Damascus are joining the
Syrian army to try to help oust the rebels, owing to the ongoing
carnage and starvation conditions.
The Roc, Fandor or... Argentavis?: Fossils Found of "Giant Eagle"
There are legends that there were once birds that carried
people through the air, variously called "rocs", "fandors", and perhaps
"griffins". Although described by travelers to Southeast Asia up until
the 1500 s, the stories of giant flying birds seemed implausible to
Giant flightless birds have long been known to science.
Fossils of a group named "gastornis", often taller than a man, were
first found in Africa in the late 1800 s, later in North America. The
African and North
American birds are really the same. (Camels and horses too apparently
crossed a land bridge between S. America and Africa, then became
extinct in North America.) The American species name, "diatryma", has
Phorusrhacidae are another genus, better known as "terror
birds" because of their huge size and hooked, tall but narrow beaks,
which it is assumed made them apex predators. One species even seemed
to have arms rather than wings, making it pretty similar to late model
feathered theropod dinosaurs except for its bird tail and toothless
beak. These birds date way back to the Paleocene or Eocene periods
shortly after the dinosaurs, but some lived into
recent human times.
In October I found a whole BBC TV series from the 1990 s
called "Paleoworld" on Youtube. One day I watched an episode called
"Killer Birds". (Search youtube for "Paleoworld Killer Birds".) It
contained a big surprise!
Fossilized bones from a recent giant bird that flew,
called argentavis magnificens, were found in 1980. (The bones were
about 6 million years old.) It's thought to be closely related to
condors, the largest flying birds today (making "fandor" an especially
appropriate name). The find astonished the finders.
It's been estimated from the fragmentary fossils that it
weighed 170 pounds, stood 6 feet tall, and had a 7-9 meter (23-30 foot)
wing span. That rivals the largest pterosaurs like quetzalcoatlius
northropi (10-11m wingspan) and Tropeognathus mesembrinus (8.2m) of the
Weight estimates for Q. northropi have been increased from
70Kg to 200-250Kg, suggesting that 170 pounds (80Kg) for argentavis may
also be a substantial underestimate. The wing span is that of a small
perhaps as large or larger wing area than northropi, suggesting it
could certainly carry a person or two.
Contrary to the Wikipedia article and illustration, Paleoworld said
evidence was that argentavis had a feathered head like an eagle, not a
bald one like a condor.
This is supported by Marco Polo: "It was for
all the world like an eagle, but one indeed of enormous
size; so big in fact that its quills were twelve paces long and thick
in proportion. And it is so strong that it will seize an elephant in
its talons and carry him high into the air and drop him so that he is
smashed to pieces; having so killed him, the bird swoops down on him
and eats him at leisure."
L: Two Quetzalcoatlus pterosaurs compared to a man.
R: Argentavis - Fandor - Roc (approx. same scale)
[images from Wikipedia.]
That such giant
birds would spread around the globe, and that they were apparently
still living in southeast Asia as recently as the 1500 s isn't so
surprising. There are very old written records of people hunting cave
bears, which are otherwise considered to have been "prehistoric"
creatures. There was a huge wave of extinction from about 2000 to 500
years ago which also saw the extinction of all the giant flightless
birds such as the moa of New Zealand and the aepyornus of Madagascar.
Other creatures, mostly large, to succumb during this period were the
dodo of Mauritius, the aurochs of Poland (ancestor of the domestic
cow), pygmy mammoths on an arctic island in Siberia, and pygmy mammoths
in southeast Asia, where their predator, the giant
"Komodo dragon" monitor lizard, still persists. The pygmy mammoths were
far smaller than the two remaining elephant species, and are almost
"pig-like elephants" seen being carried aloft (and they may have
A friend said she recently saw impressive Argentavis
at the Museum of Natural History in Houston Texas, but there seems to
be little public awareness about the now 33 years old discovery. For
example, these remarkable creatures weren't mentioned in the popular
BBC series "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts". Thus
people are still incredulous about tales of giant birds that people
and also of the more recent 'historic' accounts such Marco Polo's. (But
people ride ostriches, proving that if there were giant birds, there
would have been people crazy enough to ride them!)
The descriptions of
the living roc are of real interest, as the roc, fandor and argentavis
magnificens are surely the same bird. "The quills" - "12 paces long" -
doubtless meant the wingspan - ie, all the quills together - and
indicates around ten meters.)
It's been said they were intelligent and affectionate, but
they were also carnivorous and would pick up large animals and simply
drop them from a good height to kill them. Here then was the
evolutionary survival advantage of their huge size. This advantage
would have become a liability if and when they started taking domestic
livestock. People would
then have eradicated them - most easily by destroying their eggs, which
fits in with at least one of the stories. Southeast Asia no doubt was
last place they were eliminated from as wild game gradually
disappeared, and with the various sea islands probably providing safer
grounds than most regions.
I edited the Wikipedia articles to reflect the strong
likelihood that the Roc, Fandor and Argentavis are one and the same
bird, which actually did exist. (You saw it here first!) But at least
the "roc" article had been changed back when I looked at it again later.
Hubcap Motor Systems - Electric Transport
More Electric Mazda: 1 Megameter Driven
With the latest two new batteries, driving range seems to
have gone up a little as noted last month. On the 18th I drove 3Km in
the morning, then in the evening about 8.5 Km each way to a friend's,
with a 3 hour charge at his place, total 20Km. Voltage was just
starting to droop as I neared home, and it probably would have gone
another 3 or 4 Km before dropping off badly - barring any steep up
hills. It's still just an 'around town' car, but it's comforting to
have some cushion in range.
I didn't record the exact mileage when I first got the car
running in mid April, but I hit 1000 total Km (1 Mm) driven somewhere
this month, the six month point. Excluding the costly NiMH dry cell
batteries (1200$?), I've probably spent around 500$ on lead-acids. The
car now has 6 of mine, 3 borrowed ones, and 2 NiMH's of 90 cells/90
I've also spent 360$ extra on insurance over 6 months to
have two cars on the road - even tho I can only drive one at a time and
do no more driving than before. The
batteries should last a while now, but the insurance keeps right on
costing - 36¢ a kilometer a this rate and probably almost as much
for the Tercel.
I'm more interested now in trying to make a "Lambda ray
collector" than the individual battery monitor. The cable to connect
any one battery to a
voltmeter in the car isn't a great substitute, but it does give the
essential ability to see a single battery's voltage under load while
driving to identify problem batteries. Without it it was pretty much
planetary gear torque converter transmission:
Theory for how to start car moving?
What's it for again?
In driving the electric Mazda, I get the impression that
the higher the gear I use, the lower the current is by some small
percentage - provided the torque needed isn't too high. The
original owner said he used 2nd gear up to almost 50 Km/Hr and 3rd
that. Obviously it worked fine for him. But to use the least energy I
find myself starting up instead in
gear on the slightest downslope, and shifting into 4th or even 5th when
cruising along the street. RPM of the motor stays under 1500 to 2000
The motor is rated to go much faster, but the low speeds seem more
economical; cruising currents seem a little lower.
Where it's desired to have a clutchless electric car,
they're generally fixed into 2nd gear. Reverse is accomplished by
reversing the motor rotation. In that type of conversion, the top speed
is about 80 Km/hr and the motor is whining away at higher speeds.
So there are two inefficiencies: the gears
churning oil, and running the motor above the speed that's
needed for optimum performance and economy, in order to have sufficient
torque at low speeds.
The variable torque converter optimizes motor speed for
load and speed conditions, and
if it doesn't lose a lot of power internally, it's doing better than
the typical 30% (manual transmission) to 40% (automatic, 4WD)
transmission losses. It all adds up to a smaller motor and either less
weight, space and cost for batteries or greater driving range.
Thinking back to a year ago, when I engaged the tension on
the torque converter pulley, the motor and the pulley slowed down
immediately with no complaint - and with no movement of the car. It
occurred to me at some barely conscious level that if the motor had
more mass, a flywheel effect, the car might start moving as
the motor slowed down. (The same just might have applied if I'd yanked
the lever back rapidly instead of slowly engaging it. But there wasn't
much mass - only the magnet rotor had any notable inertia.) The theory
is that once the
car is moving, the slipping planetary gear torque converter should
provide any desired reduction ratio to keep it moving.
I decided then that I would have to put in a separate
clutch to slowly engage the wheels with the planetary gears already
spinning in order to get the high reduction ratio working, with a speed
greater than zero on the output shaft while the car was stopped. I
didn't get that working properly (the belt slipped off the side of a
pulley), and while the pulley finally got a side piece put on it to
prevent recurrence, the good weather of the whole spring, summer and
fall went by without another test.
The new theory is that if the planetary gear tension
pulley were also a flywheel with mass, when the tension was engaged, as
it slowed down it would impart its momentum to the output shaft,
starting the car moving. Once the car is moving even a little, the
variable reduction should work as planned.
Thus, instead of an extra clutch operated by a left foot
pedal and via slipping the flat drive belt, the driver pushes the shift
lever forward to disengage the tension and allow the planets assembly
to rotate freely. He then revs up the motor and starts the assembly,
with the flywheel, spinning up to whatever speed proves practical and
necessary. He then pulls back on the shift lever, variably engaging the
flywheel to the drive belt (non slip) and to the wheels.
It occurs to me that I could also have extended the motor
shaft to the outside end and stuck a flywheel on the motor to give it
more momentum and attain much the same result. If I have trouble
fitting the flywheel on the pulley, or if it's inadequate, I'll try
that. But a flywheel on the slipping element will help keep the rate of
slip even, an additional benefit.
I had the assembly, with the clutch, together but hadn't
tested it. The question was now whether to test the unit that way, or
shoot for the flywheel idea without trying the clutch. I hate testing
because I always seem to blow a motor controller. Then I thought I
could leave the clutch end assembled and still put the flywheel on. If
the flywheel didn't get the car moving, I could then try pressing the
I later realized that the theory had a big flaw: if the
inertia of the pulley went into turning the output gear, the car might
indeed move. But it actually goes into heating the tensioning rope
regardless of whether it's attached to an output gear at all. The idea
should (I think!) work if the flywheel is on the motor shaft, and its
energy would be transferred to the output when the low inertia slipping
gear is rapidly slowed.
So I went dumpster diving and scrounged two 11"/270mm
single plate disk brake rotors from a scrap metal bin outside an
to use for flywheel weights. This wasn't quite what I'd been looking
for, which was 8" double plate rotors. But nothing else in the bin
looked at all usable. Of course the larger the diameter, the
greater the flywheel action. After I got home I measured to verify the
diameter would fit in. (I might have to lose the cable speedometer -
the least of my concerns at this point!) It was well I'd got single
plate rotors instead double plate - they'd likely have been too wide.
So it appears I lucked out and got rotors that will work better than
what I was looking for.
I cut the centers out of them with the angle grinder,
drilled holes, and bolted the three pieces together, one rotor on each
side of the pulley. There's just enough room for them, but I had to
make adjustments... and remove the new side from the drive pulley. Its
bolt ends stuck out too far and intersected those of the flywheel.
Later I painted the flywheel.
Too bad I didn't think of this in September 2012, when I
seemed so close to having a working system. Somewhere on the verge of
consciousness I had been wishing the motor had more inertia. Now I
wondered if I could I
have been just a couple of heavy chunks of metal away from moving the
Of course, the flawed theory - putting the flywheel on the
slipping gear instead of directly on the motor shaft - and the slipping
drive belt, led to the test being unsuccessful. I wonder if there'll be
a bit more weather conducive to working on it, and time to get to it,
Top: Cut pieces, with planet gears pulley
Bottom: Assembled - 18 pounds
Test install in car
Cleaned & painted and installed for test run
Electricity (Energy) Production
CMBR(?)... "CLBR"(?) Radiant Energy Harvester
I got into a conversation with some passerby as I was
showing the electric Mazda to another person. He said the CMBR is
surely nowhere near strong enough to harness
any significant power from. He muttered some calculations about fourth
powers of kelvin black body temperatures of sunlight (6000K) versus
CMBR (2.7K or so). He quoted something from Richard Feynman. It would
seem my average neighbor is much better educated than I am. I was just
glad I at least knew who Feynman was. I've never read his physics, but
I've read "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" (by Feynman).
The Feynman quote below that I saw on a 'free energy' site
seems to indicate there's something else, something more. And yet, CMBR
seems to have the right characteristics to match some vague
descriptions of what's being harvested: it's "radiant energy" and it's
in the "EHF" band. But then, different people had a lot of different
ideas on what they were harvesting. Feynman's impressive biography on
Wikipedia said he had been ranked 'one of the 10 greatest physicists of
all time'. I seem to remember his 'empty cup' quote from the book, too,
but I don't remember any explanation being given. at least nothing I
understood. I thought maybe I should read some of his physics. Then I
stumbled onto something else entirely - something very promising.
Short Space Rays - "Lambda Rays"
By the time I'd
looked into this topic, I was pretty sure I was wrong about the
CMBR. The main energy to be harvested surely comes from an incredibly
high frequency, high power, atom-nucleus(?)-wavelength band of
radiation which, as it hasn't so far been given the dignity of a name,
I'm calling "lambda rays".
On the 12th I happened
across The Urantia Book narrated on youtube. Somewhat
intrigued, I listened to a couple of sections and stumbled
across paper 58, section 3. There it was stated that there was a very
short wave radiation created by atomic disruptions in the hydrogen
clouds of space and elsewhere, which doesn't affect living tissues, is
all around us in our region of space, and is 400 times as powerful as
any other radiation. This radiant energy was called called "short space
rays" and again that term, "space energy", was used.
It seems that gamma rays, the
shortest wavelength in the traditional electromagnetic spectrum, are
normally considered to extend from around 10^19 Hz up to
2.4*10^23 Hz, with photon energies of sub mega to over
mega electron volts. (per Wikipedia, Electromagnetic Spectrum)
But light from quasars may include "gamma" radiation from
80 to 500 giga electron volts, and even shorter "gamma" rays have
recently been detected at up to 2.9*10^27 Hz from
"astrophysical" sources and having energy of over 10 terra
[trillion] electron volts per photon. (Wikipedia) This verifies that
space rays" frequency
band described in The Urantia Book does indeed exist, extending the
'traditional' view of the spectrum into a
previously unknown, or at least unexplored, region. And evidently these
shortest rays have quite different characteristics from gamma rays.
This last wavelength is much smaller than the diameter of
an atom, and over 10,000 times and 14 octaves smaller - and more
powerful - than that of gamma rays as they are loosely defined above,
which themselves span a vast range of 14 octaves
from bottom to top. Perhaps it's something like the diameter of an
14 octaves is at least as much difference as separates the
far ultra-violet from the far-infra-red, which have quite different
radiative effects. I think we should have a new, separate designation
Sticking with the "Greek" theme popular for shorter
wavelengths, how about "lambda rays"? (Hellenic letters zeta, eta,
theta and iota aren't taken, but they're easily confused with each
or with other things. I just don't like "kappa". "Lambda" (λ) seems
unambiguous - except maybe to shepherds - and the lower case form is an
upside down gamma (γ).)
Important differences in characteristics between gamma
rays and lambda waves would include:
a) Lambda rays have no effect on living tissues; gamma rays cause them
b) Lambda rays are much more penetrative. They evidently come straight
through the atmosphere and perhaps through solid matter without
reacting. Gamma rays are mostly blocked by the atmosphere.
c) Lambda rays can be metamorphosed by sudden changes in gravitation,
temperature, or electrical field. (per the Urantia Book article)
Surely it would be this last characteristic that should
allow us to harvest energy from lambda waves with coils driven by sharp
square waves providing in the range of over 100 volts of suddenly
electrical and magnetic fields. There was no suggestion from
the Wikipedia article that the new short space
ray band could provide energy that could be harvested, but each photon
at such frequencies has
incredible energy - giga even to terra electron volts, so if their
energy can be effectively converted to motion of electrons in a wire,
ie to 'normal' electricity, as the
evident successes of a fair number of people would indicate, the
concentration of them in the "cosmic lambda background radiation" or
"CLBR" needn't be high to produce a lot of power.
The discovery of rays at frequencies up to 10^27
spectrum another 7 orders of magnitude above
the top of this Wikipedia chart.
Expanded EM background radiation chart with vague ideas of
the extent of the "Cosmic Lambda Background Radiation".
I still don't understand Feynman's "incredible energy in
an empty cup" statement. Energetic as the short rays are, a 'cupful'
certainly wouldn't 'boil the world's oceans'.
Regardless of theory, I carried on with building the
'transformer' unit with the speed of molasses that seems to have
overtaken all my endeavors lately, and on the 8th I wound two of the
control coils/transformers - on iron powder cores (despite the fact
that iron laminate cores were said not to work). But these were the
control coils, not the collection coil, and the magnetism would be
I foolishly turned winding forms in the shape I desired,
of ABS plastic on the wood lathe, forgetting that epoxy sticks to ABS
until I started winding the first coil. It took quite some pounding to
release the plastic after hardening the epoxy in the oven for an hour
at 150°f/65°c. I chipped a small piece off the coil, but the
plastic didn't break. No important damage. For the second coil, I cut a
couple of liners from polyethylene sheet. These kept crumpling up and
getting in the way of the wires, so I unwound the gooey epoxied wires
and cut new ones from thicker poly. These merely kept folding in under
the wires as I wrapped, and had to be pulled out every 1/4 turn.
Meanwhile my epoxy was already hardening in the little cup as I spent
over an hour winding this one coil. By then it was late and I went to
clean the epoxy off my fingers where I'm sure most of it ended up.
The next morning I considered that this was the only
design that used three control coils. The others I'd seen had only two
(except one that had four), and even here the paper indicated that only
two pulse frequencies had been used to get energy, so two of the coils
must have been operated together (or together but inversely). I decided
to omit the third coil
until and unless I couldn't get results. I hoped I wasn't straying too
far from the design that was said by two parties to work, but I'm
starting to get the feeling from all the designs and the general
principle that there are oodles of configurations that will work.
Pins and Needles
In most radio applications, one wants an antenna that is a
wire rather than a plate. With a CMBR wavlength of 2mm, it occurred to
me that most wires are a quarter wavelength or more thick, if
not one or more wavelengths. This makes them in essence plates of a
sort rather than antennae. To get down to fine portions of a
wavelength, one would need as an antenna a sharp point such as a needle
or pin point. And some energy harvester designs do include such a point.
On the other hand, if it's lambda waves...?
I had a couple of dreams or visions in the night. The
first one had
a microwave oven working with the door open. The second was of my hands
being badly burned - right through - in patches - as if perhaps by
focused microwaves or other focused radiation. I decided I had better
keep my distance from the unit when it was in operation, and definitely
not try to reach in and adjust the spacings to obtain 'best tuning' on
a meter as I had thought I would do.
Then I decided to operate the whole unit inside a
microwave oven. If the energy is lambda waves, it'll probably go right
through the walls. Whatever it's converted to had better not!
Preliminary Two-Coil Driver Circuit and PC board layout.
At first I thought I'd try
using mosfets and gate drivers
I'd purchased for motor controllers. But looking at the schematics, I
the MOS gate drivers were capable of delivering several amps. These
guys were serious about fast switching! And the coil drive
mosfets they drove were rated for 500 volts. I decided I'd better order
the exact parts indicated, and they arrived early in the month. On the
20th I started designing a circuit board to mount them on. The gate
drivers were only available in 8 pin SOIC surface mount packages, so
using a proto-board and hard wiring was out.
I changed the power to 12 volts for everything, adding two
"pre-driver" transistors to up the gate drive transistor pack voltages,
and had the board designed in a couple of days, but didn't
get it made. Somehow I didn't seem to have any thin, glossy magazine
paper around to print the pattern onto. On the 27th I noticed the same
glossy catalog I'd used before, sitting on a messy table. I printed and
etch the board, and by that night soldered on the components. I tried
the 'brush with a sponge soaked in etchant' etching method, but it took
the usual half an hour or more to etch the board. I tried both ferric
chloride and hydrogen peroxide/hydrochloric acid, including adding some
more of each. I bought some new ferric chloride and ammonium persulfate
etchant at the electronics store.
I found I'd made a couple of small mistakes in the layout
and I revised it (as shown) for next time.
Vertical Axis Wind Turbine - idea
I didn't do any work on this (and I'm not sure I will),
but an idea for an improvement did strike me. As far as I know, it's an
original thought, because I haven't seen it elsewhere, and it doesn't
Consider the rotor turning clockwise in the wind: The wind
hitting the left side vanes contributes to rotation. That hitting the
right side is a force counter to the rotation, reducing the torque
available to turn a generator. Only the shape and angle of the vanes
prevents these forces from being equal, and provides turning force. One
might consider that essentially the wind hitting the front-left 1/4 of
the rotor provides most of the turning force. The wind hitting the
front-right 1/4 is counterproductive.
The idea is that one might put a cover over the right side
of the rotor. That way, there'd
be zero counter-force. The cover would be free to turn and face any
direction. A tail vane would keep it aimed the right direction for the
wind. The front face of the cover might also be designed to deflect
wind so that wind from beyond dead windward would hit a vane at a
favorable angle and contribute to rotation, increasing the wind
frontage utilized and hence the torque.
In a manner similar to propeller types, the tail of the
cover might also be mounted offset and at an angle so that when the
wind is too strong, gravity is overcome by wind pressure to cause it to
change its position and cover the front of the rotor (or maybe the
back) instead of the side, thus reducing the turning force.
Two questions in my mind are (1) whether this would be
worthwhile and (2) whether it would spoil the VAWT's big advantage of
working well in shifting, gusty winds. I suspect the first answer is
that the extra torque attained would be worthwhile. I suspect the
second answer is that a lightweight cover, having no centrifugal force,
would shift position with wind direction quite rapidly compared to a
So it should be worth a try, and so also the center axle
extend to the top of the rotor and above to allow for mounting the
cover's top bearing. That's a modification of the original plan, best
done in advance rather than cut too short and then redone later.
I certainly get more exciting ideas than I'm able to turn
into real products!
Electricity Storage - Turquoise Battery Project (etc.)
Main Discovery Points for October:
* The voltage of these cells, 2.4
to 2.6 volts, is high enough to make a 2.9 volt LED glow, and even give
off useful light. I don't think
there are any commercial non-lithium cells that will light a 2.9V LED
even a bit. Since the current is low, the LED glows for hours - all
* I composed and sent a letter to Changhong Batteries in China inviting
them to make nickel manganese batteries, giving enough chemical and
construction details that I hoped they would take the idea seriously,
pointing out their potential for replacing lithium types.
* Owing to the ambiguity of the terms "anode" and "cathode" - which
according to their 'direction of electron flow' definition switch
electrodes depending whether the battery is charging or discharging - I
made up my own unambiguous terms, "negatrode" and "positrode". Nobody
seemed to have adopted these, and later I shortened them to "posode"
and "negode", thinking they might be more acceptable. Now two people
have written me for more information - using
my original longer terms, "positrode" and "negatrode". Ooh! There's
some saying about problems with "changing horses in mid stream"...
New Cell (well, at least the electrodes for it)
The performance of PJC1 gradually dropped, but not
consistently. I attributed this to several factors:
- the ceramic box surrounding the posode, regardless of porosity, kept
the electrodes farther apart. It had substantially better current drive
before I installed the box.
- the broken terminal piece on the posode, replaced by a piece of
graphite sheet stuck in behind the current collector, doesn't make the
best contact, and also it moves around and probably keeps breaking the
skin of the electrode, so the self discharge keeps coming back.
- I had overdischarged it at least twice. This wouldn't do the zinc
current collector and conductivity powder any good.
- The posode had considerably more manganese in proportion to nickel
than it was supposed to. I surmise from more than one source that the
nickel is needed to stabilize the higher oxides of manganese, perhaps
forming nickel manganate or nickel permanganate. An ideal ratio might
be around 60:40 Ni:Mn element weights or atoms. (Ie, deducting the
weights of attached oxygen, hydrogen and potassium in the molecules.)
I decided the proportion of nickel to manganese in the posode should
be raised some to improve its stability. To test these points and
ideas, I decided to make a new
cell. I decided also to make it a 'double' cell, with two of each
of plate. This should also double the current capacity even without
increasing the current per interface area.
I used almost the same mix as before:
- 50g manganese powder (<300 mesh)
- 30g granular manganese powder
- 70g manganese dioxide
- 40g fine zinc flakes/powder
- 2g antimony sulfide
- 6g zirconium silicate
There was a bit of the old stuff left, so I added it in to
get a little over 200 grams.
Each 64 x 64 x 3.7mm electrode took (conveniently) 50g of
powder, to which I added a few drops of Sunlight dishsoap and a bit of
water. When I compacted them, I used a smaller spoon and added less
powder to the compactor slot each time. As a result, it took about 8
pressings to fill the space instead of 5 or 6. But I think I got better
compaction, since previous electrodes took a few grams less material.
This should hopefully make for better current capacity and higher
utilization. I used about 1.5-1.6 Mg (megagrams) or metric tons of
pressure, somewhat over 600 Kg/sq.cm.
I dried the electrodes in the oven at 250°f for 1/2 an
must have been too hot, as the electrodes took on a cupped shape.
Turning them over and giving them another 1/2 hour helped a bit. I
torched them for only 3 or 4 seconds instead of 6 or 7. This will
probably be better.
Again, the torching should serve to oxidize the manganese
surface to MnO and break up the particles a bit, giving more reactive
surface area... and (the propane flame having limited oxygen), to
reduce the MnO2 to Mn2O3, Mn3O4 or MnO. MnO2 and any state more
oxidized than MnO is "overdischarged" for a negode, and having less
will initially corrode the zinc surface less. In fact, it's this
reaction between the overdischarged MnO2 and the zinc current collector
that makes it hard to simply zinc plate some other metal to use as a
current collector: it corrodes the plating right off, exposing the
Nickel-Manganese Posode Mix
I looked again at a nickel-zinc/alkaline dry cell design
publication by Sanyo, where I remembered they used had manganese in
their nickel posode mix. In fact, their mix was 60%-95% gamma nickel
oxyhydroxide and they tried using 5-50% manganese (Mn atoms per Ni
atoms) making up 90% of the total, plus 5% graphite and 5% potassium
hydroxide pre-mixed into the electrode. The gamma NiOOH was made by
adding bleach to beta Ni(OH)2. In the end they settled on 35 or 40% Mn
compared to Ni.
So I asked myself, what's the difference between their mix
and mine? Well, they used less graphite than I did. So what? And they
started with a lower Mn oxide instead of KMnO4. But they added KOH,
which would provide the "K" to make KMnO4 upon charging. Other than
that, it's basically only that they seemed to be using less manganese
and more nickel.
I had settled on 60% Ni(OH)2 and 40% KMnO4. But what was
my actual proportion by element? I really hadn't worked it out. Ni(OH)2
has an atomic weight of about 93 with the nickel being 63% of that.
KMnO4 weighs about 152 of which 36% is Mn.
("K" and "O" and "H" make up the rest to 100%)
.252/(.252+.216)=54% Ni, 46% Mn.
So even here there was much less difference than I thought
there was. My "Mn-Ni" electrode is really more than half "Ni", so I
could, and probably should, just call it "Ni" like Sanyo, and call my
cells Ni-Mn. Not only is there actually more Ni than Mn, it's likely to
make it more acceptable to more people, "Ni" being a trusted electrode
The next question is: Why didn't Sanyo have problems with
self discharge? It just might be the pH 14, since at pH 14, MnO2 goes
to MnO4-- (manganate) before it to MnO4- (permanganate). But MnO4-- is
also soluble, and its creation doesn't mean it wouldn't then charge to
permanganate -- unless oxygen is generated right between about +.55 and
+.66 volts. That's not impossible. Nor is it impossible that nickel
manganate could be formed and nickel manganate might be insoluble. In
fact, they did mix nickel sulfate and manganese sulfate in KOH (or
NaOH) to form their Ni(OH)2 and Mn oxide or hydroxide mix.
Perhaps instead of permanganate (KMnO4), I'll try using
use their technique of adding a little KOH to the mix. At least there'd
probably be no self discharge initially.
Regardless, I don't think Sanyo thought all this through,
since they also tried other metals besides manganese, such as certain
rare Earth oxides, which are essentially inert as used. They only
settled on manganese because it worked better. They ended up with about
the same mix as I my initial ones. If they had substantial self
I decided that the most likely thing was the proportion of
Ni to Mn elements.
I came up with a little spreadsheet chart of an "ideal"(?)
Substance wt% % Ni or Mn Total Ni or
Mn Ratio Ni:Mn (wt%)
Ni(OH)2 19 63
But what I did was simply to add some monel (Ni:Cu alloy
~69%:31%) to the
remaining quantities of the last two batches. It should be close
enough. The dense monel also raised the density of the electrode
overall, making it almost as dense as the negode. (I hope it doesn't
swell too much as it converts to hydroxide!)
The advantage of monel over other forms of nickel is that
when the nickel becomes nickel hydroxide and oxyhydroxide as the cell
charges, the copper in the alloy becomes copper oxide in 'solid
solution' with the NiOOH/NiOHOH and improves electrode conductivity.
The reason other alkaline battery makers don't use it is because they
use pH 14 (KOH) electrolyte, and at pH 14 only, the nickel won't
oxidize to hydroxide - the monel will remain monel. In the Turquoise
Battery, nickel can be in the form of metallic particles, oxide,
hydroxide, or oxyhydroxide. It'll all end up as hydroxide (discharged)
and oxyhydroxide (charged). (And considering the organic sulfates I'm
using to chelate the electrode materials, maybe nickel sulfate
would work well too.
A disadvantage to using monel powder is that metal powders
are much coarser than fine oxide/hydroxide powders (nano scale), which
thus have very high surface
area for their volume - but lower interconnectivity to conduct current
through the electrode. For that reason I prefer to use some of each.
Something else that might be tried would be to add fine
copper oxide powder to fine nickel hydroxide powder to improve
conductivity through the fine powders. This might be less effective
than the monel, where the interior of each particle will remain in
metallic form, conducting better through each particle to the current
It would be nice to be able to make batteries a lot
faster than at present. One hurdle is the edge compacting. Taking
several fills and pressings to compact each electrode takes quite a bit
of time. I have the 20 ton hydraulic press. If I sized the electrodes
to take, say, 10 tons for proper compaction on the flat, things would
be speeded up considerably. That would be around 40*40mm. That's only
39% the area of the present 64*64mm electrodes, so 2-1/2 times as many
electrodes would be needed to get the same capacity. But they should be
way faster to make, and less prone to breaking.
Cutting a square piece of [stainless] steel for the
'punch' is simple, but then the problem arises of how to cut a nice
square hole that size in a piece of 3/8" or thicker steel for the
'die'. The angle grinder with a zip disk won't fit without grinding big
slots in all the corner areas. I saw a video of cutting steel plate up
to 3/8" with a jigsaw, and I can confirm that it works. It's slow, but
these are short cuts. Another way would be to take it to a CNC abrasive
waterjet place. There you'd get 'perfect', smooth cuts, and again the
cost would be low because the cuts are short. You could even have
several of them made in one piece of metal, which could all be loaded
first and then pressed one after the other. (Now that sounds
faster - I'm starting to like this idea!)
Another potential advantage is the possibility of pressing
the electrode substance directly onto the current collector, which
would sit in the bottom of the 'die', and hence hopefully getting a
very good connection.