[Lab] Homemade Capacitor

Paul & Andrea Mumby themumbys at gmail.com
Fri Oct 28 12:41:45 EDT 2011

I have been wanting to design an easily buildable Stirling Engine for some
time now. Using solar heated water tubing as a heat source and heatsinks for
cooling that could be deployed anywhere without complicated fabrication
abilities (such as required to make photovoltaic cells). If you can perfect
a rehargeable battery from household items it could work as a means to store
the generated power from the stirling engine.

Depending on purpose and area of deployment the stirling engine is
interesting because it can convert virtually any thermal differential into
energy. So in absense of space or sufficient solar energy, regulat wood
burning fires could power it just as well. Or any other heat source... hell
you might even be able to somehow harness body heat to power it, but i
suspect the differentiagl eouldnt be enough for a less sophisticated (and
therefor likely less efficient) engine design.

- paul

Sent from my Android tablet.
On Oct 28, 2011 12:10 PM, "Emily Daniels" <emily.daniels at gmail.com> wrote:

> @Andrew- way ahead of that. Already grew and tested piezo crystals at home
> from cream of tarter and washing soda. The problem with Rochelle salt is it
> is fragile and can crack and fragment easily under pressure. In my salt
> mixture I combined Rochelle salt with Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate) and
> heated it to liquid then poured it into the candy molds. In seawater
> Magnesium acts as a sound absorber- meaning it can carry vibrations over a
> distance. The piezo crystals suspended in the Magnesium seems to allow a
> reverberation to happen, despite it's nearly solid state. Both salts are
> highly hydroscopic and suck in moisture from the air, allowing some movement
> of ions in the mixture. I channel the electricity generated through a copper
> and an aluminum wire spiralled for maximum surface area and inserted an inch
> apart in the solidified solution. The copper wire acts as the anode and the
> aluminum is the cathode.
> @Darcy I saw your homemade hand crank- really neat! In this experiment I
> was trying to challenge myself by creating an energy source from common
> household items so that a person with limited access to electronic
> components could make it without relying on refurbished piezo buzzers and
> the like. Seems I have a way to go..
> Emily
> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM, Andrew Plumb <andrew at plumb.org> wrote:
>> Colin's "Homebrew Piezo" blog post may be a good place to start:
>> http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/03/collins-lab-homebrew-piezo.html
>> Andrew.
>> On 2011-10-28, at 11:29 AM, Emily Daniels wrote:
>> > Hi Folks,
>> >
>> > I've been working on a design that I thought would be a different type
>> of battery but it seems to discharge too quickly for that, but so far it can
>> take a charge of 6V DC in 30 sec from a 9V battery and discharge about 3V
>> when a load is applied (in my test case a 3V LED) in about a minute. It has
>> a resting charge of .6V DC and 1V AC per cell. I have 4 of them wired
>> together for the above load tests. It's a type of dry electrolytic cell made
>> of a non-toxic salt mixture in a hard sugar candy shell with piezoelectric
>> Rochelle salts (yes you could eat it but I don't think you'd want to) and
>> I'm wondering if anyone has any experience generating electricity from heat
>> or vibrations of Rochelle salts or quartz that they could help me with. I
>> already tested the cells on top of a subwoofer and by heating them with a
>> hairdryer, which both times there was a .1V fluctuation, but not a build up
>> of charge, and I cracked a cell. Thanks!
>> >
>> > Emily
>> >
>> > --
>> > Emily Daniels | emilydaniels.com | @emdaniels | awesomefoundation.org
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
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>> --
>> "The future is already here.  It's just not very evenly distributed" --
>> William Gibson
>> Me: http://clothbot.com/wiki/
> --
> Emily Daniels | emilydaniels.com | @emdaniels | awesomefoundation.org
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