Category Archives: Alternative Power

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How to make DIY high voltage capacitors

How to make DIY high voltage capacitors. I start by showing a few different high voltage capacitors I’ve made over the years followed by an explanation of how denser electric field causes breakdown of the capacitor dielectric/insulator. I then show what the voltage rating on commercial capacitors means. I next show how to find breakdown voltage, also known at dielectric strength, online and use it in calculations for how thick your dielectric should be. That’s followed by a breakdown voltage test with a homemade high voltage power supply, an analog volt meter and an ammeter. I then show how the shape of capacitor plates influences breakdown voltage, as well as the effect thin plates has on ionizing air. That leads to using corona dope, resin or wax to insulate the capacitor plates. In the final breakdown voltage demonstrations I show the use of current limiting resistors and lastly how standard breakdown voltage tests are done.





A first version of it was invented in 1762 by Swedish professor Johan Carl Wilcke. It is a simple manual capacitive generator used to produce electrostatic charge via the process of electrostatic induction.


The electrophorus consists of a dielectric plate (originally a ‘cake’ of resinous material such as pitch or wax, but in modern versions plastic is used) and a metal plate with an insulating handle.The dielectric does not transfer a significant fraction of its surface charge to the metal because the microscopic contact is poor. Instead the electrostatic field of the charged dielectric causes the charges in the metal plate to separate. It develops two regions of charge — the positive charges in the plate are attracted to the side facing down toward the dielectric, charging it positively, while the negative charges are repelled to the side facing up, charging it negatively, with the plate remaining electrically neutral as a whole. Then, the side facing up is momentarily grounded (which can be done by touching it with a finger), draining off the negative charge. Finally, the metal plate, now carrying only one sign of charge, is lifted.



Betavoltaic Technology

City Labs, Inc., a Florida corporation, designs, develops, and manufactures proprietary long-life betavoltaic batteries used in defense, electronics, homeland security, and medical device technologies.  Dr. Peter Cabauy and Mr. Denset Serralta, co-founders of City Labs, recognized that chemical (lithium) batteries suffer from significant drawbacks. These batteries are short lived, need to be replaced frequently, are limited to narrow temperature ranges, have explosive and toxic risks, and are generally low in energy density.  Billions of dollars of lithium batteries are sold annually with such limitations.Voltaic operation conversion of radiation into electricty_3

The City Labs team developed the NanoTritium™ betavoltaic battery, which is a small, reliable, long-life power source capable of continuously working in adverse environments for over 20 years. The Corporation’s technology creates energy through the use of tritium (a radioisotope of hydrogen) that is now safely utilized in many products such as medical tracers, exit signs, watch faces, and gun sights.

The basic concept of operation for a betavoltaic is shown in the below figure. Beta particles (derived from tritium decay) enter the power source’s semiconductor p-n junction, creating electron-hole pairs (EHP) as they interact with lattice atoms. Typically, a 5.0 KeV beta particle will create nearly a thousand EHPs, and those created in or within a few microns of the intrinsic (or depletion) region contribute to the generated current collected at the contacts. The holes are accelerated to the p-side collector,whereas the electrons are accelerated to the n-side collector. The subsequent open-circuit voltage is proportional to the band-gap energy of the semiconductor material.

City Labs’ patented NanoTritium™ technology is recognized by an independent third-party as having the highest reported combination of power- and energy-density for any betavoltaic power source.  Defense agencies and contractors have affirmatively vetted City Labs’ technology for various defense-related applications. In July 2010, City Labs was awarded a $1 million dollar U.S. Air Force contract for development of a betavoltaic power source for the security of defense weapons. It has soldits Generally Licensed batteries to Lockheed Martin, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and other defense agencies. In 2012, City Labs successfully launched the first commercial version of its NanoTritiumTM long-life betavoltaic battery for defense electronics encryption.  Recognizing the superior market potential of affordable high energy-density betavoltaics to power medical devices and sensors, the Corporation has filed patents for an improved higher-power battery that it seeks to refine and manufacture.

Peter Cabauy, PhD is co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and a director of City Labs, Inc. In 2002, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Applied Physics. His thesis work was in Quantum Information Physics at Argonne National Laboratories (ANL), and he co-authored a publication with his thesis advisor, Dr. Paul Benioff, a seminal pioneer in the field of Quantum Computing.  While completing his doctorate, he also worked on a microelectronics research project at a Department of Defense (DOD) Laboratory.  In 2003, he founded and directed the Office of Entrepreneurial Science at Florida International University advising in intellectual property matters, and laying the groundwork for its technology incubator program.  In 2005, Dr. Cabauy co-founded City Labs where his diverse experience in technology entrepreneurship, experimental and theoretical physics has been instrumental in both structuring the company and developing its product line.

Off-grid home ends year-long study with surplus energy

Net-zero energy test home ends year-long study with surplus energy

Braving a harsh winter with snow-covered solar panels, the Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF) in Washington DC has come up trumps in a year-long study of its energy harvesting capabilities. Located on campus at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), researchers used computer simulation to replicate the energy consumption of a family of four. At the end of its first 12 months, there was a large enough surplus to power an electric car for 1,440 miles (2,317 km).

The 2,700 ft sq (252 sq m) two-story construction was developed to look like a regular home, but function as a laboratory for clean energy research. Much like the Honda Smart Home, NIST’s effort combines stable ground temperatures with geothermal systems to minimize heating and cooling loads throughout the building. Another factor in overall energy efficiency is a doubling of insulation levels, sealed by special sheeting that reportedly heals itself when pierced.

“The most important difference between this home and a Maryland code-compliant home is the improvement in the thermal envelope – the insulation and air barrier,” says NIST mechanical engineer Mark Davis.

On July 1 2013, the research team began the experiment by moving a virtual family into the home. A computer simulator syndicated the energy consumption with that of a typical American family of four, the inhabitants going about everyday activities such as taking showers, watching TV and charging laptops. There was more at play than a life-sized game of The Sims, however, with the researchers able to gain realistic insights into the energy efficiency and how viable planting such a home into a real-life American neighborhood could be.

The energy surplus and the home’s claim to net-zero living was compounded by a stretch of severe weather. For 38 days through winter, the 32 photovoltaic panels were largely covered in snow and ice, hampering their ability to harvest energy from the sun. But over the 12 month period, the home generated 13,577 kWh of energy. This surpassed the virtual family’s energy usage by 491 kWh, an excess that could in theory be directed toward an electric vehicle or back into the grid.

“We made it, and by a convincing margin,” said Hunter Fanney, the mechanical engineer who leads NZERTF-based research. “From here on in, our job will be to develop tests and measurements that will help to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s housing stock and support the development and adoption of cost-effective, net-zero energy designs and technologies, construction methods and building codes.”

Despite boasting the aesthetics of a typical suburban house, adoption of the technologies used will largely come down to cost. NIST estimates that fitting out a similar-sized house with all the bells and whistles of its test home would cost around US$162,700. On the upside, it puts savings in electricity costs at $4,373 for the year.

Further research will center on how the measurements of the home can improve its energy efficiency and addressing the difference in up-front costs and long term savings. NIST is hopeful its findings will lead to improved energy efficiency standards as a resource for builders, regulators and home buyers.

The video below gives an overview of the project.

Source: NIST

Off-grid Smart house

Norcal veteran coder customizes with sensors off-grid home

Loren Amelang once helped code for Silicon Valley companies, but he’d always been sensitive to environment so when his employer installed fluorescent lighting and wouldn’t let employees use their own lights, he decided to move to the country and craft his off-grid dream home.

Today he lives with “clean air, a great view, free hot water and free power, and a decent chunk of free heat”. The entire south side of his home is covered in solar capture devices: 1600 watts of photovoltaic power, solar hot water panels, a sunroom/greenhouse and a solar hot air collector. The sunroom/greenhouse provides most of the free heat via the ‘solar flue’ that moderates it in warmer weather or circulates some of it into the house when needed, and the concrete walls that stabilize the temperature over time.

DIY smart house info



The Global Energy Movement

The UBUNTU Movement is part of the Global Energy Movement and we have a very good understanding of what is going on in the world of energy supply. It is the most fiercely guarded sector of our planet. Any one that threatens to upset this control is swiftly removed. But free, alternative and renewable energy has been discovered and presented to the world many times in human history. The most famous example is that of Nikola Tesla – who was funded by JP Morgan – one of the global banking elite and founder of the Federal Reserve System in the USA in 1913. Morgan was the one that destroyed all of Tesla’s research and credibility because the energy source that the brilliant inventor gave to the world for FREE – could not be metered. And so Morgan realised that he would not be able to charge people for the consumptions of electricity and decided to throw his lot in with Eddison, who did exactly what he was told. Many have tried to recreate Telsa’s radiant energy that could power everything imaginable – from cars, homes, boats to aeroplanes, but so far no one seems to have succeeded. Or have they?ubuntuparty
There are thousands of scientists and inventors who have developed Free Energy devices, but they fear for their lives as they have seen many colleagues being bribed, silenced, threatened and even killed for the devices. Once these scientists know that the environment is safe to show off their inventions, they will come out in their thousands to give the world such technology for free.

The War on Renewable Energy

The War on Renewable Energy | Jesse Ventura Off The Grid – Ora TV

There is so much more to say on this subject it is not funny. We as humans need to be using more renewable Energies to help get rid of our dependency on oil.

The Earth is a mess! And Jesse Ventura knows we have to clean up Washington before we can start on our planet. So today on #OffTheGrid, he’s running down the Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity and all of the other Poll-Cats waging war on renewable energy. How do you stay green? Tell the Governor about it at

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