Tag: Generator

Winding a High Temperature Field Coil

Once I completed building the core for the new prototype, I faced the problem of winding a field coil around it. As this coil will be heated along with the core, I’m not going to be able to use regular magnet wire, as its insulation is only good to 200°C. To get around that problem, I’m using bare copper wire and then forcing high temperature cement between each strand so they don’t touch and short out.

The core pies are welded so they are connected electrically, but the completed structure is not physically strong. In order to prevent it falling apart, I need to use an external brace. Here are those reinforcement pieces before clamping them around the core. At first, I thought I could use that wooden insert as both a winding key and to hold the core together when the long bolts of the external brace are removed during the winding process.

parts to assemble the core

Here is the problem:

Before bolts are removed

Note that once the long bolts are in place, they prevent the copper from winding around the core and must be removed.  So I abandoned the wood insert and made a metal one which grips the clamping bars much more tightly.

The square rod sitting alongside is what will make the whole unit turn.

Showing the metal inside clamp-winder

In order to provide a constant space between the strands in which to place high temperature insulating cement, I wound the copper with string alongside it. Once a layer was completed, I removed the string and filled the space it left with cement.

How copper is wound onto the core
Starting to wind the core

As each layer needed to dry before I started the next one, this turned out to be a long project.

To make what I’m doing more clear, this is a cut-away drawing of how the windings wrap around the core and are insulated from one another.

A cut away view of the windings
A cut away view of the windings

There are 12 layers of windings, but I only drew two in this picture of the core’s top half because I’m lazy. Insulation shown in this picture is for electricity, not so much for heat.

Oil from Algae

I recently read how our military runs an ongoing research program to find ways of turning algae into an oil-like fuel usable in motorized equipment. I think that’s good, for military planning, finding a source of fuel not dependent on an oversea supplier has got to be a top priority. If war ever engulfs the Middle East, the nation’s strategic oil supply would not last long. However, in my opinion, oil from algae doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that can supply the vast amounts of energy our highly-mechanized armed forces require.

It got me to thinking how this algae-into-oil project receives funding and has serious scientists and engineers willing to work on it. Yet, try as I might; I’m unable to find anyone who’ll give the principles of the ferromagnetic generator even a cursory examination.

I suppose it’s because of the way research funding works. Turning algae into small amounts of oil has already been done. Now, it’s a matter of getting the process to produce real-world quantities. So a scientist knows from the start he’s going to get some positive results even if they’re not spectacular. Continued funding and encouraging peer-reviews are assured.

Not so with the ferromagnetic generator. While this idea would allow solar power to become tomorrow’s energy bonanza and far outstrip even today’s oil production, there’s no up-front assurance of success. Which means anyone researching the new generator risks complete failure–and failure implies peer-embarrassment along with the dreaded possibility of increased difficulty in getting any more grants.

Still, I can’t help thinking that if we feel desperate enough to spend real money on the algae-into-oil project; it would make sense to risk a little cash on a concept that, if successful, would completely end our dependence on foreign oil. Plus, it would put to rest any worries about global warming and create so many new jobs the economy would once again thrive.

Perhaps my problem is that I’m a dreamer, and not a realist.

Back to Work

Continuing Work.

After the rather inglorious demise of my last prototype, I’ve spent a long time going back to the books and reviewing the underlying physics and reconsidering every aspect of my idea. I suppose I hoped to find some flaw in my thinking that would assure me this idea held no merit and I could abandon it and get on with my life. However, several months later all I can say for sure is that there is nothing yet understood that makes it impossible to electrically change the Curie Point of a ferromagnetic material. My way of doing it might be wrong, or more likely with my crude prototypes I’ve never gotten all the conditions exactly right, but everything in physics suggests Curie Point manipulation must be achievable.

The website describing my work has been up for almost a year now and I’ve yet to get any feedback. I have made attempts to bring it to the attention of those who might have an interest in finding a way to cheaply exploit solar energy, but so far my efforts have been without success. I suppose it’s because oil and coal are well established and cheap–if you discount all the hidden costs and suffering associated with them. There still exist vast untapped carbon-based resources, and while they last, it’ll be hard to get anyone, who’s not concerned about our children’s future, interested in making an investment in an idea that has no track record or assurance of success. One politician did respond to my letter by patiently explaining how the future increase of automotive fleet mileage standards would make such radical concepts as the electro-hydrogen economy unnecessary.

Without proof of concept you have nothing! Make it work and then come back and talk to us–right now the risk is too high.

That’s been the response from all those who I’ve contacted.  Myself, I believe the higher risk lies in not checking out every possibility, no matter how farfetched, of ending our current death spiral with coal and oil. The CO2 in our atmosphere increases exponentially as many less developed countries increase their standard of living and emulate developed-world consumption. The climate becomes less and less predictable, petro dictators commit unspeakable atrocities upon their people, and the financial system still teeters on the edge of collapse. So why not make a small investment to create an electro-hydrogen economy that would create thousands of new jobs instead of sending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas every single year?

Why is an idea that might provide American workers with plentiful and high paying jobs met with such universal distain? I suspect it’s related to the same mind-set that makes people damn a president who has the audacity to claim less-affluent people have the right to see a doctor when they are sick. Yet only a few years ago they cheered another president for starting an oil-war with borrowed money and creating a ten trillion dollar, economy-wrecking deficit. I sure don’t understand the current rabbit-hole craziness of people and politicians.

So it’s back to work for me. Another prototype coming up.