Monday, March 29, 2010

American Farm Windmill to Wind Turbine Conversion

How to Convert a Windmill Into a Wind Generator
By Richard Laurens, eHow Contributing Writer
Reprinted from

Preface by GRNNRG.ORG

One of the problems with residential Wind Turbine is their appearance. A big 2 or 3 blade wind turbine is asthetically unpleasing for the user and his or her neighbors. An American Farm Windmill (12-18 blade) seems to be much more acceptical and can be built relatively cheep, fast and good, meeting the needs of electric power and pleasingly asthetic design. GRNNRG.ORG was created and founded to address such concerns and other concerns like it. One by one we will attempt to eliminate objections to green energy conversion. One more down and more to come.

Typical farm windmill

A typical windmill can be converted to generate enough electricity to power a modest sized home. Using the windmill to recharge a battery bank suited to the needs of the home is the simplest and most effective method of wind power storage. The average backyard engineer can convert a windmill to generate electricity in about four hours.

Step 1
Convert the drive shaft of the windmill to turn a generator. Most old windmills were constructed to pump water from the ground, either for livestock or people. As utility companies began to supply water to any homestead inexpensively, such windmills fell out of use. Their main drive shaft turns a pump at the base, which is connected to the water supply in the ground. As the wind turns the vanes, the water is pumped into a reservoir. This shaft must be disconnected where it meets the pump, and windmills can vary in this respect. Some will have the force put to the pump at a 90-degree angle, and some will drive the pump directly without power differential. When the shaft is disconnected, it will be at an angle or straight. The main conversion of this shaft is to weld a large sprocket close to the end of the shaft so that it can turn a bike chain. The shaft measures about 2 inches wide, and can be fitted with the sprocket by sliding it over the end once it is disconnected from the pump. Weld the sprocket so that it can handle the amount of force required to turn the generator.

Step 2
Mount the generator with the main pulley fitted with a smaller sprocket than the windmill's drive shaft. Typically, alternators and generators will have a pulley at the end, to be driven by a belt. Weld the bicycle sprocket to the end of the pulley to allow the unit to be driven by the chain. Place the generator/alternator at the base of the windmill, and align it so that the pulley sprocket can be linked to the chain attached to the windmill shaft. Usually the frame of the windmill will work for this mount, but in some cases it is necessary to raise the generator up on cement blocks or another heavy-duty structure.

Step 3
Assemble the battery bank and wire it to the generator. Analyze the power requirements of the home to determine how many 12-volt deep cycle batteries are required to power the home at its peak usage. (20 batteries wired in two series of 10 will provide 24 volts of power with several amp-hours of draw.)

Step 4
Install the inverter and wire it to the home. Wire the inverter to the leads on the battery bank. The bank--which will have one negative and one positive terminal--will run through the inverter, which "steps" the power up to 110 volt, suitable for use in the home. Inverters come in different wattages and different levels of quality; the wattage should match the power requirements of the house. Run the standard 110-volt power lines from the inverter to the home's fuse panel with the outdoor cable.

Step 5
Test all connections with a voltmeter to ensure a circuit path, then release the brake mechanism on the windmill to activate the power generation.

Tips & Warnings
Get a high quality, "true sine wave" inverter for use with delicate electronics such as computers.
Do not work on "live" electrical equipment. Always disconnect the power first.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Star Energy-Laser Hydrogen Fusion Energy Production

Energy of the Stars
Amazing research testing is being done at Lawrence Livermore Labs. They amplify 192 laser beams and focus them on to a couple of Hydrogen isotopes... viola', they have energy. Fusion Energy, the stuff stars are made of.

This following is a reprint from Lawrence Livermore Labs Public Relations Department.

News Release

Contact: Lynda Seaver
Phone: (925) 423-3103
January 28, 2010
Initial NIF experiments meet requirements
for fusion ignition

New physics effect achieves symmetrical target compression

LIVERMORE, Calif. — The first experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) have demonstrated a unique physics effect that bodes well for NIF’s success in generating a self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction.

In inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments on NIF, the energy of 192 powerful laser beams is fired into a pencil-eraser-sized cylinder called a hohlraum, which contains a tiny spherical target filled with deuterium and tritium, two isotopes of hydrogen. Rocket-like compression of the fuel capsule forces the hydrogen nuclei to combine, or fuse, releasing many times more energy than the laser energy that was required to spark the reaction. Fusion energy is what powers the sun and stars.

The interplay between NIF’s high-energy laser beams and the hot plasma in NIF fusion targets, known as laser-plasma interactions, or LPI, has long been regarded as a major challenge in ICF research because of the tendency to scatter the laser beams and dissipate their energy. But during a series of test shots using helium- and hydrogen-filled targets last fall, NIF researchers were able to use LPI effects to their advantage to adjust the energy distribution of NIF’s laser beams.

The experiments, described in an article in today’s edition of Science Express, the online version of the journal Science, resulted in highly symmetrical compression of simulated fuel capsules – a requirement for NIF to achieve its goal of fusion ignition and energy gain when ignition experiments begin later this year.

“Laser-plasma interactions are an instability, and in many cases they can surprise you,” said ICF Program Director Brian MacGowan. “However, we showed in the experiments that we could use laser-plasma interactions to transfer energy and actually control symmetry in the hohlraum. Overall, we didn’t find any pathological problem with laser-plasma interactions that would prevent us generating a hohlraum suitable for ignition.”

Using LPI effects to tune ICF laser energy is “a very elegant way to do it,” said Siegfried Glenzer, NIF plasma physics group leader. “You can change the laser wavelengths and get the power where it’s needed without increasing the power of individual beams. This way you can make maximum use of all the available laser beam energy.”

In the Science Express article, Glenzer, MacGowan and their NIF colleagues reported that “self-generated plasma-optics gratings on either end of the hohlraum tune the laser power distribution in the hohlraum, producing symmetric X-ray drive.” Glenzer said the gratings act like tiny prisms, redirecting the energy of some of the laser beams just as a prism splits and redirects sunlight according to its wavelength.

Glenzer attributed the new LPI phenomenon to the size of the test hohlraums, which, while somewhat smaller than actual NIF ignition targets, are two to three times larger than hohlraums used in previous ICF experiments at other laser facilities. He said the increased amount of the high-temperature, low-density plasma in the areas where the laser beams enter the hohlraum was responsible for the spontaneous generation of the plasma gratings.

The technique of slightly shifting the wavelength of some laser beams to control the transfer of energy between the beams and equalize the laser power distribution in the hohlraum had been predicted and modeled by NIF scientists using high-fidelity three-dimensional simulations. In last fall’s experiments, an initially asymmetric target implosion with a “pancake” shape was changed to a spherical shape by the wavelength-shifting technique, validating the modeling results.

The NIF laser system began firing all 192 laser beams onto targets in June 2009. In order to characterize the X-ray drive achieved inside the target cylinders as the laser energy is ramped up, these first experiments were conducted at lower laser energies and on smaller targets than will be used for ignition experiments. These targets used cryogenically cooled gas-filled capsules that act as substitutes for the fusion fuel capsules that will be used in the ignition campaign that begins this summer.

Before the wavelength-shifting effects were tested, the only way to adjust the laser energy reaching the walls of the hohlraum, where it is converted into X-rays that heat and ablate the outer surface of the fuel capsule and cause the compression of the fuel inside the capsule, was to adjust the relative energy of the laser beams in the early stages of a shot, during preamplification.

By taking advantage of the LPI effects in the target, as the beams crossed at the entrance of the hohlraums, the scientists could make use of minute wavelength adjustments, ranging from a fraction of an angstrom to a few angstroms (an angstrom is one ten-billionth of a meter, about the size of an atom). With the LPI scheme, “you can run every beam at maximum power and have another distribution mechanism to achieve symmetry,” Glenzer said.

The test shots proved NIF’s ability to deliver sufficient energy to the hohlraum to reach the radiation temperatures – more than 3 million degrees Centigrade – needed to create the intense bath of X-rays that compress the fuel capsule. When NIF scientists extrapolate the results of the initial experiments to higher-energy shots on full-sized hohlraums, “we feel we will be able to create the necessary hohlraum conditions to drive an implosion to ignition,” said Jeff Atherton, director of NIF experiments.

At the end of the experimental campaign, the NIF lasers set a world record by firing more than one megajoule of ultraviolet energy into a hohlraum – more than 30 times the energy previously delivered to a target by any laser system.

“This accomplishment is a major milestone that demonstrates both the power and the reliability of NIF’s integrated laser system, the precision targets and the integration of the scientific diagnostics needed to begin ignition experiments,” said NIF Director Ed Moses. “NIF has shown that it can consistently deliver the energy required to conduct ignition experiments later this year.”

NIF’s next step is to move to ignition-like fuel capsules that require the fuel to be in a frozen hydrogen layer (at 425 degrees Fahrenheit below zero) inside the fuel capsule. NIF is currently being made ready to begin experiments with ignition-like fuel capsules in the summer of 2010.

NIF (, the world’s largest laser facility, is the first facility expected to achieve fusion ignition and energy gain in a laboratory setting. NIF is an essential part of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Stockpile Stewardship Program, which ensures the reliability and safety of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile without live testing. NIF experiments will also be used to conduct astrophysics and basic science research and to develop carbon-free, limitless fusion energy.

The NIF fusion ignition experiments are part of the National Ignition Campaign (NIC). NIC is a partnership among the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, General Atomics, and Sandia National Laboratories as well as many other national laboratories and universities.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory that develops science and engineering technology and provides innovative solutions to our nation's most important challenges. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

More Information:
LLNL’s Public Affairs Office (

National Ignition Facility (

National Ignition Campaign (

Symmetric Inertial Confinement Fusion Implosions at Ultra-High Laser Energies
Science, January 28, 2010

National Ignition Facility achieves unprecedented 1 megajoule laser shot
news release, Jan. 2010

NNSA announces important milestone in the National Ignition Campaign
news release, Nov. 2009

The journey into a new era of scientific discoveries
Science & Technology Review, April-May 2009

Building fusion targets with precision robotics
Science & Technology Review, Nov. 2009

Dedication of world’s largest laser marks the dawn of a new era
LLNL news release, May 29, 2009

Simulations explain high-energy-density experiments
Science & Technology Review, Jan-Feb 2009

Schwarzenegger touts energy innovations at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility
LLNL news release, Nov. 2008

Preparing for the X Games of Science
Science & Technology Review, August 2007

Meeting the Target Challenge
Science & Technology Review, August 2007

First NIF experiments validate computer simulations on road to ignition
LLNL news release, Dec. 1, 2005

On target: designing for ignition
Science & Technology Review, July-Aug. 1999

National Nuclear Security Administration (


January 28, 2010

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue • Livermore, CA 94550 Operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration