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Publisher's Backpage - FreedomsPhoenixEzine September 2012 (The Battery Project)

Written by Subject: Battery Project
(I'm getting lots of inquiries about the Battery Project... here are a lot of the answers from Sept's Edition of the Digital Magazine that is for Subscribers... but I share this with all... to save me time :)
It looks like I'll be able to start the first experiments this weekend. Most of the equipment is here and the raw gasses I need so I'm just assembling things now and getting all of the Video & Lighting equipment in place to record all of the fun.

Freedom’s Phoenix September 2012 e-Zine Edition encouraged this month’s writers to think about how humanity might organize itself if individuals were energy independent.

Individual countries might be able to provide energy for each of their citizens with cheap or even free energy but then the people are dependent on the government for energy. Fifty million Americans are now dependent on the United States government for Food, so you can understand why I anticipate more demands of subsidized and free energy for the masses.

Electronic Debt Cards are administered by large banks like CHASE Bank and have been around since the Clinton Administration. What many did not know was that these cards could be used for cash withdrawals, trips to strip clubs and the purchase of alcohol and cigarettes. In June of 2012 the Internet was a Flame with the story of a man insisting on being sold cigarettes using his government debit card. The clerk refused, so she was fired.

It was then that I connected a few more dots in my understanding of our enslavement.

This Edition of the e-Zine allows me to introduce you to our project of 2013 that I am very excited about that has been a splinter in my mind for decades but was unleashed by the serendipity of June 2012.

My wife Donna and I traveled the country during the entire month of June and continued to broadcast the radio show from the road looking for ‘freedom in an unfree world’,… and we found it. Freedom wasn’t to be found in any particular place, it’s not which American State you find yourself in that most influences the level of freedom you enjoy, it’s your state of mind that has the greatest impact.

My pursuit of happiness has included the understanding that happiness is impossible as long as we seek permission to be happy or wait for it to be provided. But what are the important things to understand about the world that would best serves our interests?

I understood that using coercion to redistribute American’s wealth so cigarettes could be bought by those that couldn’t afford them was at the very least bad public relations for ‘government mandated reallocation of American’s resources’. So why do it? 

The wealthiest people on the planet can only consume so much electricity. By 'spreading the wealth' the American livestock can maximize the consumption of food and power. The products that we are constantly prodded to consume represent a massive amount of electricity. And no matter who wears the Shiny Badges of government, the energy owners get paid and the banks all get their cut of every transaction as well. Scratch the surface and I wouldn't be surprised to find that banking and energy interests are at least as intertwined as they were at the beginning of the electrical age (watch the Tesla documentaries and you'll understand)

At the same time the welfare cigarette story was breaking Donna was driving us through the middle of the country while I multi-tasked the use of my phone and computers. My friend Bob and I were talking on the phone about his doubling his solar panel area due to the great drop in prices for photo voltaic power production and during that conversation the mind fog cleared a little more.

Bob is one of the supervisors in charge of the refuelings at the Palo Verde nuclear power station. And even though he lives less than 10 miles from the power plant, he is totally Off Grid (Solar, Wind, backup Generators, Battery Banks, Water Well, Septic, Satellite Internet & TV and Cell Phone).

Over 8 years ago Bob decided to buy 8 acres of cheap desert land and build a home for his family close to work rather that commute over a hundred miles a day on congested highways that were slowing down at a steady rate. Powering the home site would have cost 20-30 thousand dollars for even a power company employee of a nuclear power station less than 10 miles away to “hookup”.

Bob decided to start with a well insulated 2x6 Palm Harbor home that would provide 2600 square feet of quality living space as the foundation for an increasingly self-sustaining life for his family. Sea going shipping containers would provide storage and work space to help with the constructing of various out buildings and improving their quality of life.

Shea Bob (as we affectionately refer to the homestead) required enough solar panels to power the home during the day and charge enough batteries that would be used to power night time needs. Generator backup would provide any additional needs and irregularly power the motors that would pump his large water tanks full of excellent water from his 300 ft. well. Steady power has been generated for almost a decade from an array of solar panel that measure about 6ft. x 16ft.

Wind was an irritant until a used 5ft. windmill was purchased and placed on a 30 ft. pole to augment power production and the charging of lead acid batteries.

Other experiments using solar air heating during the winter months here in Arizona were very promising, but the reduction in solar panel costs provided a simpler solution to various power needs. When solar panels became available at 1/3rd the cost of older and less efficient technology it was time to add more capacity and invest in future electrical needs and future ‘quality of life insurance’ should hydrocarbon fuels become too expensive or non-existent in the coming Zombie Apocalypse (aka dollar collapse).

By Bob doubling his solar array he was able to wean himself of his Summer time generator that powered his large air conditioner/life support in Arizona’s desert for a few months of the year. Two small window units could now be powered to keep the living areas cool without the use of his propane or diesel generators. Now Bob was getting truly self-sustaining.

Solar power technology is rapidly increasing efficiency but battery technology for home power storage has lagged far behind. Bob was facing his 3rd total battery replacement and knew that the technology available would require another total replacement of storage batteries in a few years for thousands of dollars.

Bob was creating the power that he needed for day operations while creating enough additional power to charge batteries for night time use, but the batteries would soon go bad and require a lot of money for their replacement.

Bob discovered that there was a battery developed over a hundred years ago by Thomas Edison that used Nickel and Iron instead of lead. They have a very interesting history and powered Electric cars for many years. The batteries were passed from generation to generation and were used in remote areas like mines and railroads heavily until 1972 when the Exide Battery Company bought Edison Storage Battery Company in New Jersey and promptly discontinued production.

The Internet revealed that a Mid-Western company was reconditioning and repackaging old Edison Batteries and that they were available for sale. Chinese companies were making the batteries new, at a cheaper cost and offering financing via their distributors in southern California… China won.

Another benefit of Nickel Iron batteries is their ability to be discharged all the way down without damaging the battery. 1000 amp hours of lead acid batteries can only be discharged down to 500 amp hours before damaging the storage ability of the batteries in the future. 500 amp hours of NiFe (Nickel Iron) batteries would produce the same usable storage capacity.

Living Off Grid was getting very doable. Remote locations of raw land without utilities are a fraction of the cost of urban areas and a small portion of the savings can be applied to the production of energy.

I’m not going to throw a lot of numbers out since cost are dropping like a stone and each of our needs are very diverse. $5000 - $20,000 seems to be the ballpark. There are also many different types of systems that are customized to different climates etc. Government programs abound and there are several tax incentives. But I do need to warn you that solar systems that sell its extra energy back to the grid get only wholesale prices and when the grid goes down so does your access to the solar generated power. The power company switches off your solar power to your house when you need it most due to the threat those solar powered homes would continue to electrify the grid and electrocute power line workers doing repairs. There are methods to allow you to remove yourself from the grid and use the power when you need it most but these options are forbidden, discouraged or not available depending on the program and where you live. We have friends that live near us that have their 1700+ sq ft home set to 75 degrees F during the 115 degree days of Arizona Summers with a $19 - $30 electric bill. But if the grid’s power went out they would not get a single spark of electricity.

The bottleneck is the battery. Long lasting, durable, energy dense and inexpensive batteries are waiting to be developed to help change the way humans live across the entire planet… and I suspect that They/Them/Those that benefit from our being herded into cities know this. I have been following Energy, Battery and Super Capacitor development on FreedomsPhoenix for several years and a pattern has become apparent to me.

Eisenhower’s final farewell speech wasn’t really focused on the Military Industrial Complex as much as on the threat of a “danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite”. The Military Industrial Complex seemed to be a side effect of technologies developed with the use of individual American’s resources but with the goal to serve the interests of The State rather than the interests of the individuals that made the developments possible in the first place.

Years ago a YouTube on Anti-Gravity research sparked a memory of a science article on experiments that were confirming an Anti-Gravity effect predicted by Albert Einstein. Then the planet was scrubbed clean of the research and the university researchers responsible for it vanished. And I’ve seen this pattern over and over. I wrote about my observations in a popular FreedomsPhoenix article over 4 years ago. The Secret to True Anti-Gravity Revealed.

While Bob and I passed the time getting caught up on his new developments at Shea Bob (aka ‘Moonbase Bob’) I was doing Internet research.

Since the publication of “Buckyball – Magic Molecule for New Materials in Popular Science in August 1991 I have encouraged my children to make career choices based on my opinion that the future will be very different based on these discoveries. In “The Graduate” with Dustin Hoffman the main character was advised with one word as he graduated from college in the late 60’s… “Plastics”. Well, I have a word for Generation Next… “Nanotubes”.

The interest at the moment that I have with nanotubes as they apply to the production of high density battery storage is there size… nano = very very small (billionth of a meter).

I wondered out loud to Bob on the line if there had been any research on increasing the surface area of Nickel Iron batteries by plating the nanotubes with nickel and iron. Nanotubes are a thousand times more conductive than copper wire, many times stronger than steel, flexible and have many other traits. But I was interested in their conductivity and the massive surface area they promise.

You may have experienced an advertisement that detailed how much surface area an activated charcoal water filter has to purify drinking water, “This small filter has over 3 acres of filtering surface area…”. The smaller the particles, the greater the surface area. So instead of a plate containing the Nickel (cathode) and a plate for the Iron (anode), what if you could have a cell that was like a small kitchen sponge made of pure nanotubes or nanotube thread spooled that would be electroplated with atoms of Nickel and Iron. So I searched - Nickel Iron Nanotube.

Two days before I looked Stanford University reported on their University news site the research detailing the answer to my question. Stanford scientists develop ultrafast nickel-iron battery

To improve the Edison battery's performance, the Stanford team used graphene – nanosized sheets of carbon that are only 1-atom thick – and multi-walled carbon nanotubes, each consisting of about 10 concentric graphene sheets rolled together.

"In conventional electrodes, people randomly mix iron and nickel materials with conductive carbon," Wang explained. "Instead, we grew nanocrystals of iron oxide onto graphene, and nanocrystals of nickel hydroxide onto carbon nanotubes."

This technique produced strong chemical bonding between the metal particles and the carbon nanomaterials, which had a dramatic effect on performance.

"Coupling the nickel and iron particles to the carbon substrate allows electrical charges to move quickly between the electrodes and the outside circuit," Dai said. "The result is an ultrafast version of the nickel-iron battery that's capable of charging and discharging in seconds." “

Driving across country for another week on our return trip home I had time to do some more research. What I discovered didn’t surprise me. My generation waited impatiently for the development of Space Travel and Exploration by individuals for decades. In June of 2004 it was made clear to the world that there was to be no more waiting,… and several of us were there. Made the signs and got the t-shirts.

In 1984 a new form of Carbon was detected and almost 30 years later we are barely out of the laboratory. I’m not waiting anymore… I know better.

I remember reading the Buckyball article and thinking how easy it was to create this miracle substance and my imagination soared as I did my best to inspire my children to “think big” (my two sons are both machinists for the past 6+ years at a large aerospace manufacturing company and still in their mid 20’s… I think I might even get some professional help :)

Within hours I understood several things,… Nickel Iron batteries (and other types) would benefit enormously from nanotube technology. Simply… imagine an internal battery plate that is shaped like a playing card… now imagine the same space taken up with billions of nanotube fibers. Now imagine a car starting battery the size of a stick of gum, and a house sized spaceship with an electrically conductive skin (shields up Captain) that is thinner than a hair, resists meteors and weighs less than your smartphone. Remember the foil that couldn’t be cut or torn that was claimed to have come from the Roswell, New Mexico UFO site in the 50’s?... that kind’a stuff.

Freedom’s Phoenix allows us to create new categories and even parallel site Special Editions for special projects so that we can fully benefit from a totally Open Source Project on whatever interests us. FreedomsPhoenix Battery Project is where we started to accumulate Internet research and will later create a Special Edition where we will chronicle our research and experiments as well as post entertaining ‘Mad Scientist’ videos (already got my Einstein/David Bowie wig and lab attire). Oh, and most of the equipment for production of the nanotubes has already been delivered :)

I’m going to post a few videos now along with some links to pieces of equipment that we will use to inspire the participation of others in this effort. From past experience I know that this effort will be far more productive from the open involvement of anyone interested and serious about learning about the future and how we can end our dependence on collectivist control grids and truly Declare Our Independence.

This month’s cover demonstrates our vision of electrical power being far more ubiquitous than our initial efforts might lead you to believe. But while we may be at the edge of the envelope in what we hope to accomplish we are still in proven technological areas within our capability. Of course there are other uses for the material but I am focused on the concept of Not Waiting for a government program to free me from an energy dependence that relies on the funding of the beasts that are devouring us… plus it’ll be fun!

The first videos describing our experiments are only days away.


Nova: Carbon Nanotubes:
Spinning Carbon Nanotubes:



1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Brandon W.
Entered on:

 It's great to see that you are making progress building your own cells. Have you read Walt Noon's article from Nuts & Volts?