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Topics - GuyFawkes

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General Discussion / Cars again.
« on: May 25, 2009, 04:26:18 PM »
Just done some driving, Exeter in Devon to Canterbury in Kent and straight back.

Total distance 470 miles.

Total journey time inc stops 6 hours.

Average speed 78.3 mph, actual speed mostly pegged at 85 mph.

Total fuel consumption in money £40

@ £1.04 a litre that is 38.46 litres.

That is 12.22 miles per litre.

@ 4.54 litres to the imperial gallon that is 55.48 mpg

@ 3.785 litres to the US gallon that is 46.35 mpg

These mpg figures are at 80 mph on A roads and motorways, up hills and down dales, oh yes, drivers window and sunroof wide open which doesn't help the drag any.

Car is a 1995 Citroen Avantage estate with 4 pot naturally aspirated 1.9 litre diesel, I paid 400 quid for it.

Rather than repost the whole thing here, pop over to Bruce Perens site, Technocrat, and have a read.

Original Lister Cs Engines / CS cold starting porn.
« on: November 15, 2007, 03:20:14 PM »
I was out playing with the D in the workshop today, stripping and cleaning the "carburettors" (in quotes because it ain't exactly like a Holly which I was doing a dodgy video of by request, so I thought, handycam in hand, let's start the old Start-o-matic so the americans can see what it's all about.


1/ It's been sat outside for a year.
2/ Hasn't been started for at least 3 months.
3/ Watch the sequence, crank on decompressor, realise I've left the glass on top of the exhaust stack (to keep rain out) remove glass, then manually open rack from closed position, fires up first injection event.
4/ alternator disconnected, servicing the bearings see, so belts off.
5/ governor linkage disconnected.
6/ bit of low speed running.
7/ sat on blocks, not mounted properly on concrete.
8/ little bit of pushrod rotation and rocker action.
9/ open rack fully from low rpm to see how she smokes (stale pump diesel)
10/ bit of just about full rpm running.
11/ shut down decompressor and watch her idle down, 70 seconds to come to a stop.
12 note handycam accentuates mechanical noises, listen to the breather "chuff" to get a feel.

Video currently uploading to google video (NOT youtube) fairly high quality, 640 x 480 and just under 7 minutes in length.

will post link as follow up as soon as upload is complete

General Discussion / Spam, Viagra and other crap.
« on: August 04, 2007, 05:51:16 PM »
OK, I've been away a while, but this stuff makes it totally unworthwhile even having this place bookmarked on the "show 10 most recent posts" page...

It is trivial to prevent, all new users require admin authorisation and authentication e-mail.

No email authenticated and admin authorised membership, no posting priviledges.

Perhaps you don't realise how much these spam scripts contribute to hogging the server and slowing it down for everyone else....

Also worth pointing out that this board is running version 1.05, while the latest release version is 1.1.3, this also attracts malicious activity....

Make no mistake, this issue takes literally a few minutes and a few mouseclicks to check radio boxes in the admin area to fix.

If it isn't fixed pronto the problems will get worse, and I'm sure I won't be alone is just walking away from it.


General Discussion / it just struck me
« on: December 12, 2006, 11:46:18 AM »
there are a lot of parallels between the discussions going on here and the discussions of people who were going to sell up, build a yacht, and go sailing off into the sunset, in the boat community there used to be a lot of places to buy cheap boats, these places were basically the first sensible stop with access to an airport on the planned itinerary, when the missus came face to face with the reality of liveaboard as opposed to the dream captain bligh had been feeding her, and jumped ship permanently.

nobody tells the truth, even to themselves.

by way of example.

I can generate electricity with my start-o-matic from UK pump diesel for 45 pence per kilowatt hour.

if I use red diesel its 20 pence per kWh

if I use the cheapest fuel available, bunker, its 10 pence per kWh

Mains electricity is 10.5 pence per kWh here, so I can match or beat mains prices.

well, no, cos I can pull zero watts or 25 kilowatts at a flick of the switch off the mains, the start-o-matic will do the flick of a switch and power on demand thing, albeit with a delay of 30 to 45 seconds, but it will be a bitch when the fridge and other stuff cuts in and out overnight, plus there are my phantom loads.

no problemo, say the dreamers, you yourself posted a link to a large battery bank and inverter spec, 2000 UK pounds for the batteries and 500 for the inverter.

then you run the lister periodically to charge the batteries.

well here comes lie #1

2.5 kW start-o-matic running 12 hours a day will output 30 kWh

I can pull 30 kWh in one hour from the mains, I don't have to spread everything evenly over 24 hours, DC equivalents of washing machines etc aren't easy or cheap to come by, so lister + battery bank + inverter is no a like for like comparison with mains fucntionality for a kick off

here comes lie #2

power stations can't start and stop willy nilly, so they struggle to meet demand when everyone wakes up in the morning, whereas an hour before they had wads of excess generating capacity going to waste, rather like the last minute empty seats on a plane.

our battery bank can be charged any time, it is nonsensical to charge it from a lister at 10 pence per kWh excluding my time and energy for maintenance and running, when you can charge it from the aforesaid off peak elecricity (called economy 7 here) for 4.5 pence per kWh

here comes lie #3

economy 7 battery charging, battery bank and inverter, with no lister anywhere in the circuit, will still only deliver 30 kWh per day for your 2500 quid capital investment, CHARGING the system costs 30 x 4.5p = 1.35 pounds assuming 100% efficiency, DISCHARGING the system means yo have to figure amortisation of the capital costs, lats say ten years. which will give you about a quid a day in capital costs. which for 30 kWh and still assuming 100% efficiency is going to add 3.3 pence per kWh produced, so 4.5 + 3.3 = 7.8 TRUE pence per kWh, include actual efficiences and losses and it works out around 9.4 pence per kWh.

so 9.4 pence per kWh as opposed to 10.5 pence per kWh for on demand mains electric in any quantity I like, not such a good deal

here comes lie #4

yeah well, when mains electricity goes up, I will be a winner.

this is the basis of the oldest confidence trick on the books, it is for people who literally cannot tell the difference between SPECULATION and INVESTMENT, because it is nothing more than rash speculation dressed up as investment to make it more sellable.

if energy costs go up, then EVERYTHING is going to go up, so your biodiesel or bunker or whatever costs are going to go up too

if energy costs go up then the cost of shipping EVERYTHING goes up, and EVERYTHING gets shipped, not just the 200,000 mile ceasar salad

here comes lie #4

what we are facing is a shortage, like housing in a city, causes prices to rise, there is never no housing available in the city, the supply never runs out, it is just you can't afford the standard you are used to, so EVERY SINGLE PLAN that does not involve you having a radical change in the way you percieve and use energy is a ponzi scheme at best, course this ponzi scheme is easy to sell, cos nobody wants to know about rationing.

you all know what I have been saying about CARBON is the energy source in ALL our fuels, propane, butane, kerosene, avgas, unleaded, 100 octane, all the diesels, they are all CARBON fuel sources, forget hydrogen and shit like that, it stands no chance, not as a fuel, and now we have the CARBON ECONOMY which is political speak for CARBON CONTROL which is CARBON RATIONING which is ENERGY RATIONING which is the only thing you can do unless you want anarchy, riots and the collapse of civilisation.


 Carbon 'credit card' considered
Carbon "credit cards" could be issued as part of a nationwide carbon rationing scheme, Environment Secretary David Miliband has suggested.

An annual allowance would be allocated, with the card being swiped on various items such as travel, energy or food.

Mr Miliband said people who used less than their allowance could sell any surplus to those who wanted more.

A feasibility study says many questions remain on such a plan, but Mr Miliband says "bold thinking" is needed.

Mr Miliband told the Guardian that the scheme had "a simplicity and beauty that would reward carbon thrift".

Mr Miliband, who commissioned the feasibility study, said the scheme could be working within five years.

   You cannot just rely on the state
David Miliband

Individuals and communities had to be empowered to tackle climate change - "the mass mobilising movement of our age".

"You cannot just rely on the state," he said.

The feasibility study was carried out by the Centre for Sustainable Energy for the Department of the Environment (Defra).

It says there are questions over whether a scheme would be acceptable for politicians and the public, but could be fairer than imposing carbon taxes.

The report seeks to separate a carbon trading scheme from the proposed ID card scheme, to avoid it being attacked on the same civil liberty basis as identity cards.

'Consistent radicalism'

Defra said the government was now developing a work programme "which should provide the information to lead to a decision on whether or not a personal carbon allowance is a realistic and workable policy option".

Mr Miliband predicted the environment would be a key issue in the next election, requiring Labour to "change our policies and our politics in fundamental ways so that we are seen as the change in the next election".

"I'm a great believer in the Arsene Wenger school of management - which is, you don't worry about the opposition, you just get your own act together," he said.

He insisted that climate change required "cumulative, consistent radicalism" rather than "one shot wonders".


Environmental measures in last week's pre-Budget report, including a 1.25p per litre increase in fuel duty and a doubling in air duty, were called "pretty feeble" by green groups.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth said the principle of using a limited "budget" of carbon per person was sound, but the implementation - especially as it would involve a government IT project - was a cause for concern.

Friends of the Earth climate change campaigner Martin Williams said: "What worries us is that it could take quite a long time to implement it and really we don't have that long to tackle climate change."

At a meeting in Downing Street on Monday, the prime minister met business, media and religious leaders to promote "collective action" against climate change.

The Bishop of London and the chief executives of B&Q, BSkyB, the Carphone Warehouse, HSBC UK, Man Investments, Marks & Spencer, O2, Starbucks UK, the director general of the BBC and Tesco formed a partnership to publicise "practical, simple solutions". A public campaign will be launched in March 2007.


self deceit and ponzi schemes that you buy into cos they sound nicer than the alternatives won't help, they will cost you dearly.

General Discussion / You lay out your stall, sit back, watch, wait.
« on: December 09, 2006, 03:43:11 PM »
I do this here, george does it at utterpower, it a pretty common scenario, basically you set out a stall showing off your wares, whether these be real things people can buy from you, goods or services, or ideas that people can buy into, like a good governor linkage design, and then you sit back and watch which bits generate an interest, and what sort of interest.

I lay out my stall with various ideas and titbits of information, I sit back and watch who wanders up, which bits they pick up and analyse, and what further responses they generate.

If I put some really cool and really useful items out on show, and still get no real response, it is obvious that people aren't looking for really cool or useful items, or maybe they are but don't know one when they stub their toe on it.

One such titbit is the hydrogen content of fuel, complete carbonisation is the aim for efficiency, the greater the hydrogen content of the fuel the lower your maximum efficiency is going to be. The more moisture drawn into the engine with the fuel or air charge the lower your maximum efficiency is going to be. I even point out that rudolf diesel, inventor of the diesel engine, started out with dry powdered anthracite, extremely high in carbon, extremely low in hydrogen and moisture. This was not an accidental choice, it is an almost ideal fuel from an efficiency point of view only.

So how many people pick up and examine this item on my stall? nobody.

If, as a stall owner, my main interest or aim was to get items sold, I need new and entirely different stock. For example I could make up a duplex chain and sprocket kit to couple engines to gen heads, or I could make up a megasquirt injection kit for dual fuel running (pump diesel start and idle), or I could make up a start-and-stop-o-matic control kit, and if the price was right I'd sell them.

Or I could set up as a snake oil salesman and cater to the beliefs and wants of the people out there, rare earth magnets to align the fuel molecules and increase combustion efficiency, cogen kits to extract heat from exhaust gases, and so on.

Instead I get people telling me efficiency isn't what it really is, it is in fact making the wife smile, or it is in fact buying a days worth of fuel with 15 minutes labour in the day job, or it is in fact anything else that allows the user to take any one of a million short cuts.

Grease is commonly used to lubricate threads, but if I warn people not to use grease on oxygen tanks bob will pop up and demand formulae to prove that a highly energetic chemical reaction will take place. Wanting to learn something is laudable, refusing to accept anything without proofs is dogma. I suppose I could go out and produce intricate drawings complete with formulae to prove that the easiest way to remove a stubborn bearing race from a shaft is to run a penetrative stick well across it and crack it, but I don't see why I should, I did not demand these proofs, it seemed a possible idea and lo and behold when you try it it works perfectly.

Thing is, I can recall many real world examples where people who were struggling with small pullers were told this, "but I don't have a stick welder" was the response, and so instead of going out and buying / borrowing / hiring a stick welder, they go out and buy / borrow / hire a 40 ton hydraulic puller.

Several hours later when then engine starts slobbering oil out of the damaged new oil seal that was pushed over the riveted by dint of 40 tons of pressure from the puller bearing shaft, this is seen as a new and separate problem, and an indication that the engine itself was "shit".

This is the FUNDAMENTAL problem here, we have people who define efficiency as keeping the wife happy and therefore getting laid that night standing alongside people who understand what efficiency is, and all of them claiming they are after the same thing.

Run your engine inefficiently, fuel wise, and you have a lot more than heat going to waste up the flue, you have excessive heat, excessive chemical reactions and by products, and that ALWAYS leads to a lowering of reliability.

Why do exhaust pipes rust so badly, much faster and worse than anything else in an engine? Because the hydrogen in the fuel or in the moisture drawn in with the fuel is turned into superheated steam in the exhaust, and superheated steam eats iron like acid.

Wow, you wife is happy you managed to start the genny quickly after the power went out, will she be as happy when the exhaust splits and the barking wakes her / kids / neighbours up? will you be as happy when you need drills and stud extractors to do what should have been a 5 minute job?

The irony is we have the very same individuals on the one hand worrying about coking in the head, and on the other hand claiming their definition of efficiency is correct.

The irony is we have the very same individuals on the one hand worrying about getting the most electrical juice out per pound of fuel in, and on the other hand claiming that these things are pretty invariable and inviolate anyway because the formulae says so.

Andre blanchard quite correctly says GF is on about the second law of thermodynamics, some one else says behold our GF translator, while still blatantly proving they do not understand the second law of thermodynamics.

Do you think I did not simply say "second law of thermodynamics" because I am ornery, or because I strongly suspect I might as well have talked about quantum mirroring?

An EFFICIENT engine is one that fully carbonises all its fuel (carbon) while producing the minimum amount of hydrogen or other byproducts such as superheated steam vapour. An EFFICIENT engine therefore has a low exhaust gas temperature, and more important low exhaust gas heat capacity (the two are not the same, 500 degree steam holds a lot of energy, 500 degree carbon monoxide holds little energy), an EFFICIENT engine is therefore going to be extremely INEFFICIENT at simple cogen heat recovery from the exhaust.

If you want simple cogen heat recovery you need an INEFFICIENT engine, which is outputting lots of superheated steam vapour.

If you want complex cogen heat recovery then you need an EFFICIENT engine with EGR (exhaust gas regeneration) or some similar technology.

What we have here are people who want to route exhaust gas through a steam radiator to heat their study, which requires an INEFFICIENT engine to generate the maximum heat from the radiator, but they want to call this efficient, because it is easy, fast, cheap, and within their ability to cobble together.

The efficient engine has fully carbonised fuel, low hydrogen byproducts, low exhaust gas energy, the inefficienct engine may have fully carbonised fuel, but high hydrogen byproducts, high exhaust gas energy.

What works for extracting energy for one type of exhaust will not work for the other.

Turbo diesels work really well with high hydrogen content fuel or damp days, the superheated steam drives the turbine both well and efficiently, as the hydrogen content drops you need to add energy, going from a passive steam turbine to an active gas turbine, with fuel introduced after the the exhaust stage of the prime mover.

The real kicker is EFFICIENT engines last much longer, every last one of the inefficient byproducts works to limit engine longevity and shorten service intervals, from decoking to oil changes to bearing pressures and lives.

A 3kW suitcase generator will use WAY WAY WAY more fuel than a 3kW lister(oid) type generator, the differences will not be 5%, the suitcase generator is INEFFICIENT.

Exhaust gas TEMPERATURE is not the same as exhaust gas ENERGY. A Pound of water holds more energy than a pound of air or a pound of alloy, and a pound of steam blows away a pound of water in energy content.

If we say there are 140,000 btu in a gallon of diesel, and it takes 120,000 btu to make a pound of steam.
(both ballpark figures but they serve to prove the point)
If we say diesel is 85% carbon by weight and 15% hydrogen (not far out) and that a gallon (imperial) of diesel weighs about 8 pounds, we have 1.2 pounds of hydrogen, so if every pound of hydrogen combines with 8 pounds of oxygen to make 9 pounds of water, and no other byproducts containing hydrogen are made (this is of course not the case) there isn't enough energy in the diesel to turn all the water produced by burning the diesel into steam, we will have a small amount of steam, and a large amount of hot water vapour (technically steam is not a vapour, it is a gas, if you can see it it is a vapour, not a gas, a "steaming" bath or kettle produces vapour, not steam, a whistling kettle will produce steam, but an inch away from the whilstle when the "steam" becomes visible it is really the point where the steam condenses back into a vapour)

Any energy that goes into making steam or  hot water vapour (quite apart from the negative chemical effects of this on metals) is not available to power the piston down and produce useful work.

Deliberately doing this reduces cylinder pressures and temperatures, because the energy goes into making hot water vapour or steam rather than hot expanding gas under pressure (the steam component WILL push the piston down somewhat, the vapour component wont add any pressure to the system) and lowering cylinder pressures and temperatures can DRAMATICALLY lower nitrous oxide NOX emissions, which is apparently a "good" thing.

You all know all those california cars with strict emission laws return the best mpg of any car sold in the states, right?

The NOX emissions, paradoxically, are irellevant to the fuel you use, 70% of the air we breathe is Nitrogen, much of the rest is oxygen, just drawing it into a combustion chamber along with fuel is all you need to make NOX, the more efficient and powerful the engine, the more NOX it produces as a result, the answer to this is make the engine less efficient, thus producing less NOX, (different emissions for diffrent fuels, cos different fuels have different hydrogen content, and this is what controls your efficiency and therefore exhaust port emissions) and then add power sapping ancilliaries in the exhaust and intake system to reduce emissions and overall efficiency still further.

You CAN make an engine ___NEARLY___ totally emission free and enviornmentally friendly on hydrocarbon fuel, but you have no net output of useful work, all useful power will be absobed by the system, and nearly because nothing is free with no losses, no frictionless surface and no loss of energy, second law of thermodynamics is the reason you either have efficiency or low emission on an engine, not both.

The hydrogen engine that makes water as a byproduct?

yeah, cept hydrogen ain't a fuel, unlike carbon, you have to liberate it from somewhere, which takes a lot of energy and emissions, and when you burn it unless you are carrying LOX you are still drawing in nitrogen so you still have emissions of NOX to deal with, and BECAUSE it will produce just water vapour and steam BECAUSE there is no carbon in the fuel you get a lot less effective and efficient engine than one that runs on carbon anyway.

but hey, you are all right.

efficiency doesn't matter, your definition of making your wives happy is right, and "green" shit, EPA, peak oil, and everything else is totally unconnected innit.

sure would make for a nice simple life to believe in spoon fed crap like that, our leaders know best because they have our interests at heart, not their own.

our queen deserves respect because she is the queen and has our best interests at heart, she isn't really living on the fat of the robber barons who terrorised and stole lands and property from generations of people and got fat living off the labours of still more generations.

ditto the president, of head of general motors or texaco, they all worked with the sweat off their own brows to amass everything they have, and at no time did they every shit on anyone else along the way.

the real threat to these people have always been the skilled tradesmen and artisans who took pride in their work and knowledge, because sooner or later the ungrateful peons / serfs / subjects / employees / bastards always set up guilds / unions / whatever to protect their interests and their pride in their work and trade, but just like the guilds of old were infiltrated, manipulated and crushed, the unions of our time were infiltrated, manipulated and crushed.

offshoring ain't new, its hundreds of years old, finest italian armour, finest damascus blades, rolls royce can no longer find suitably skilled employees in the uk, so they are outsourcing, and there are no skilled employees in the uk because of outsourcing, killing the unions, bogus subsidised trade deals and generally making sure the population at large were neither educated adequately nor allowed to acquire skills which might make them think they are above their station in life.

You people should go read up on freuds cousin, bernaise, guy who did the worlds fair for GM etc, adviser to presidents and policymakers every since, the man who publicly stated that people were too stupid to be allowed to make their own decisions, but needed "guiding" to make the right decisions, to vote for the right people.

United Fruit, that coined the phrase "Banana republic", a government, a foreign, democratically elected, non marxist / leninist / communist government, was deliberately overthrown, in a campaign orchestrated by bernaise, and nixon went over there and played along the theater with the new puppet government, with cia pilots pretending to be "freedom fighters" bombing the populace, just so United Fruit could continue to exploit the people and country and make massive profits, and ever since then nobody in central america has trusted the states.

Like I say, I set my stall out, you can tell more about people from what items they don't pick up from what items they do.

Were the dinosaurs made extinct 60 million years ago by the impact that made the gulf of mexico, are the carbon dating records correct, are we all made of star stuff, or is the earth only 3000 years ago because someone says the bible says it is thus? I have read the bible cover to cover, it does not say any such thing, instead we are told we must simply accept someone elses interpretation of what the bible says, even though none of them can quote any passage in the bible that quotes any dates anywhere on the timeline claimed.

NOX is "bad" and "carbon emissions" are bad because equally unqualified assholes with an agenda say it is so, and how dare you question them..... lets face it, most people are not educated enough to question them, so they only have to rubbish the few scientists and engineers out there who aren't worried about their funding or who place integrity before tenure.

lorenzos oil wasnt made by bumpkins fucking around with a home chemistry set, it was made by people who studied like buggery and educated themselves will all the text books and thus tracked down a brillant researcher with lab experience who fabricated the thing they had deduced should be possible, but all people get out of it is that some bloke in the street can be smarter than the establishment, COMPLETELY missing the point, the bloke in the street can MAKE HIMSELF smarter than the establishment, but that  is too much like hard work.

So ok bob, I'll be your nigger in the woodpile, feel free to leap to the defence of those who can't be bothered to study the laws of thermodynamics, yet tell us they are working on experiments at home that lead them to believe that they are going to achieve results that would require the overthrowing not only of the laws of thermodynamics but by consequence the entire newtonian physics we know today.

Newtonian physics isn't like democracy, or religion, or love, or anything else, it neither needs nor requires your belief or understanding, it has its own set of laws that existed long before the earth was formed, whether you take that date at 4.5 billion years or 3000 years ago.

You only get to fly if you accept that newtonian physics is 100% correct, and build an airframe as a result of that.

We have gone so far beyond the point where a village could build a ship and then paint eyes on it for gods to watch over them, no knowledge of newtonian physics was required for that.

We communicate via technological devices that simply cannot function unless all these laws are correct, yet we have people using this very medium in ignorance of said laws and claiming that they can find a way around them, because in ignorance of these laws they are not aware that what they say is possible is frankly impossible.

there are few things more hilarious and symptomatic of the frailty of human nature than religious and political websites claiming adherence to beliefs that were they even remotely possible, much less true, they would preclude the existence of said websites and all the technology that underlies them, and their only counter to this simple logic is that you must discard all logic, and have FAITH.

FAITH that there is a God
FAITH that the president is looking out for you and not riding you
FAITH that the laws of thermodynamics do not apply to you

I ain't buying. Nor am I setting out anything like that on my stall.

I'm not telling anyone they can't do the things they say they want to do.
I'm just telling them it won't work, that is in many ways a worse crime.

Fundamentalist Christians and Fundamentalist Moslems all come together in one place, to discredit any scientist or engineer who dares to say that both their belief systems are insupportable, given the observable facts.

Lets start with some counter intuitive but nonetheless correct stuff.

there are four forces in physics, not three, not five, not nine, not any number other than 4. These four are

1/ Electromagnetism
2/ Gravity
3/ Weak nuclear force
4/ Strong nuclear force

Everything that happens inside an internal combustion engine, of any description, is defined by the electromagnetic force.

If you think this is hard to reconcile, for example what happens when you run out of lube and pick up a big end shell, it has nothing to do with gravity, it has nothing to do with the weak or strong magnetic forces, therefore it must be electromagnetism at work, even though there is no apparent electricity of magnetism evident, the failure of the oil shear etc happens at the molecular level because of electromagnetic forces and laws.

Similarly efficiency can be counter intuitive, just because there are 140,000 btu locked up in a gallon of diesel doesn't mean you can get 140,000 btu out of a gallon of diesel, what it does mean is that whatever part of the 140,000 you did not get out as obvious work done or obvious waste heat is still locked up somewhere in the system.

It takes about 1000 btu per pound of water to boil said water, this is an approximation of course, winter tap water is colder than summer tap water, not all boilers are equal, the council of industrial boiler operators will tell you about two identical stoker fired boilers in indiana, identical design and constructed side by side, both burning exactly the same fuel, but with very different performance characteristics....

so anyway, lets say it takes 1000 btu to boil a pound of water, and lets say we have a very efficient diesel boiler that has an efficiency of 70%.

1000 btu per pound of water.

1000 / 0.7 (efficiency) = 1428 btu applied to boiler heat exchanger.

of course the diesel flame is not homogenous or perfect, different parts of a flame are at different temperatures and different combustion efficiencies, so let say again we have a highly optimised flame that is 70% efficient.

1428 btu / 0.7 = 2040 btu potential energy in diesel burnt.

140,000 btu in a gallon of diesel, so 140,000 / 2040 = 68.6 pounds of water boiled per gallon of diesel.

so, is this boiler 70% efficient, because 70% of the heat energy generated by combustion of the fuel is transferred to the water, or is it 0.7 x 0.7 = 0.49 or 49% efficient, because only 49% of the heat energy contained in the fuel is transferred to the water?

If we say it is 70% efficient then we are saying 1000 btu is going into the water and 428 btu is going up the chimney

if we say it is 49% efficient then we are saying 1000 btu is going into the water, 428 btu of HEAT energy is going up the chimney, and 612 btu of wasted fuel potential energy is going up the chimney.

Nobody will buy a 49% efficient boiler when there is an identical boiler sat next to it that is 70% efficient, but the 49% efficient boiler is the only one telling the truth.

it gets worse.

we have boiled our water, now we wish to keep it at boiling point, ready for use, ok lets make is 99 degrees centigrade at sea level so we avoid issues about phase change and latent heat.

obviously maintaining our boiling water at a steady temperature is going to take far less energy that boiling it in the first place.

So lets say our boiler is badly insulated, and it takes 1000 btu to boil a pound of water, but 100 btu to keep it at that temperature for an hour.

so our burners, which we were told worked at a peak of 70% efficiency, and now turned right down, just enough to maintain the water temperature.

efficiency at this setting is no longer 70%, it is 50%, the water is 80 or 90 degrees closer to the flame temperature, less slope, less ease of energy transfer.

we are losing 100 btu to radiation, convection and evaporation from our WATER, so at 50% efficiency we need to apply 150 btu of heat to the boiler heat exchanger.

100 btu will go through the heat exchanger to the water, 50 btu will go up the chimney as waste heat.

but wait, at lower flame settings the combustion process is also less efficient, it is no longer 70% efficient, it is lets say 40% efficient, so 150 btu required at the heat exchanger / 0.4 = 375 btu of fuel.

140,000 btu per gallon of diesel / 375 = 373, since up there we boiled 68.6 pounds of water with our first gallon of diesel fuel, 373 / 68.6 = 5.43 hours that we can maintain our 68 pounds of fuel at boiling point with our second gallon of fuel.

OK, time to recap, bring back in the common sense.

We just boiled from cold 68 pounds of water, just over 6 gallons, about a cubic foot, quite rapidly with a pretty efficient diesel boiler in a few minutes, we did this for a gallon of diesel, so we are quite happy.

We then keep this just over 6 gallons of water "on the boil" for nearly six hours with our second gallon of diesel, which seems pretty reasonable, quite efficient no?


look at those sums again.

Takes 100 btu per pound of water to MAINTAIN temperature, now it doesn't matter if it is 100, or 10, or 1000, but for our example I chose 100 btu.

it takes 150 btu of heat to transfer 100 btu into the water to MAINTAIN its temperature at boiling point.

Is efficiency 50%? or is it 0%, because there was no net energy increase in the water.

But we consumed fuel with a POTENTIAL 375 btu to get our 150 btu of heat.

375 btu of fuel energy = 100 btu transferred into the water + 50 up the flue as waste heat + 225 btu wasted fuel potential energy up the fuel.

if efficiency was 0% when we used the marketing droids 150 btu figure, what is efficiency when we use the true 375 btu figure? has some interesting whitepapers for those who want to look at this.

so back to listers.

140,000 potential btu in a gallon of diesel.

3400 btu in a kWh

so 140,000 / 3,400 = 41.17 potential kWh if we have 100% efficiency.

my 6/1 2.5 kW s-0-m burns a gallon every 4 hours so 41.17 / 4 = I should be getting about 10 kW out of it, I can get 2.5, so what is efficiency? 25% OK

If efficiency is 25%, and a quarter of the 35,000 btu worth of diesel burned every hour is coming out as electricity, where is the rest going? Waste heat? IS it fuck.

35000 btu hour fuel use, eg quarter gallon of diesel an hour.

2.5 x 3400 = 8500 btu coming out as electric

35000 - 8500 = 26500 btu left per hour.

26500 / 3400 (kWh) = 7.794 Kwh

does anyone here know of a lister that rejects heat like 8 x bar electric fires? I don't. There is about a kilowatt (3400 btu) to be had in radiant heat and and kilowatt (3400 btu) in the coolant circuit and a kilowatt and a half (4900 btu) in exhaust heat.

3400 + 3400 + 4900 = 11700

26500 - 11700 = 14800 btu disappearing into the ether, except it isn't, it is potential fuel energy, not heat, disappearing up the exhaust pipe.

if you install it in your basement you can trap the radiant and coolant heat, 6800 btu, and mebbe a quarter of the exhaust heat, 4900 / 4 = 1200ish btu, 8000 btu


35000 btu an hour, 8500 is coming out as electric. as an electricity generator it is 25% efficient.

35000 btu an hour, 8000 is coming out as useful heat if you cogen with the lister in the basement, 23% efficient

add em both together, 35000 btu, 16500 coming out as useful energy, 48% efficient.

35000 btu an hour as a space heater running at optimum efficiency = 70% efficient.

35000 x 70% = 24500 useful btu
35000 x 48% = 16800 useful btu

24500 - 16800 = 7700 btu, or about 2 kWh

and I say it that way because if you could find some theoretical stirling engine or heat pump that was 100% efficient, you could get that 2kWh back and equal the lister, near as dammit, on electrical generation while beating it hands down in cogen mode.

of course, the entire 24500 useful btu is THEORETICALLY available to power your stirling engine or peltiers, mega insulate your home and build in a dedicated heatsink area where all the heat energy is lost to the outside enviornment, if you could make your house 50% efficient as an insulator you would have up to 12000 btu of heat energy at your ideally located heatsink site up in the roof space, and since you only need 8500 btu of that 12000 converted to electric to equal the electrical output of the startomatic, you only need 65% odd efficiency.

could be done, should only cost about 300,000 bucks per household.

so efficiency ain't what you think it is, a 70% efficient space heater will never heat up a building with no doors, it will eventually chew through all the fossil fuel on the planet and still not warm up the building, except perhaps by global warming.

you cannot create or destroy energy, you can only transform it, and for mankind we can only get any kind of useful work out of that if we make that transformation happen in such a way that there are steep slopes, high differentials and such like, there are gigawatt hours of energy tied up in the temperature of the atmosphere, but you'll never run a truck off it. the slopes are too shallow and the differentials are too low.

efficiency is about making those slopes steeper, not creating or destroying energy, but making the slope steeper so it is easier to catch, the harder it is to catch, the less efficient it is.

if you measure your efficiency by the steepness of the slope, as most of you seem wont to do, you by definition exclude the energy required to make that slope steep enough in the first place.

here is an analogy for you.

Reality TV competition #1, the one you all want to play at.

Make a vehicle that will carry a man the maximum distance around this track on a gallon of diesel. points for speed and distance covered in 24 hours etc.

Reality TV competition #2, the one I am telling you all you ARE playing, like it or not.

Same as above, except your ENTIRE workshop (no gas axe, plasma cutter instead) is either hand tools or electrically powered, and you have 72 hours to build the car from scratch, and everything electrically powered must be driven by energy derived from your precious gallon of diesel, whatever you have left over in the generator after building the car you can tip into the car fuel tank to run the car)

Only after waking up to reality show #2 will you understand efficiency.

I should be in bed, the girl should be in bed, but we've just had a heart to heart and it's time to pull an all nighter setting things right.

The subject of the discussion was, "don't work hard, only assholes work hard, work smart instead"

Kitchen drainer full of washed and dripped dry dishes, sink with a bowl full of cold soapy/greasy water, dirty frying pan etc on the side.

So I got her out of bed and we had a heart to heart.

1/ The dry dishes are not clean, even though they were washed, if they are allowed to drip dry instead of being dried and polished and put away they are NOT clean, and you will know this the instant someone you care about walks in the house and you peer at the plate / cup / spoon for marks before you give it to them.

2/ the bowl full of cold soapy greasy water now has a ring around it, so the crap needs slinging and then the bowl itself needs washing before you can wash all the dry dishes and then the unwashed dishes. The dry dishes and unwashed dishes cut down on your workspace too.

3/ the unwashed dishes and pans are now dried on, in the case of the teflon frying pan, only when I have had women in the house have I ever had to buy a new one, when left to myself I fry, wipe clean while still hot, eat the food while letting the pan cool and then put away, in any event leaving food to dry on takes more energy in hot water, more soap, more elbowgrease and wear on cleaning materials and surfaces of cookware, more time, more effort.

I said to her it wasn't because of my boyish good looks and charm that when I was employed (as opposed to self employed) I could turn around to my boss and say "how about a bloody pay rise then?" to which they would say "why?" to which I would reply "because I am already doing half your fucking job too" that I used to get the pay rise and not the sack, it was because I work smart, not hard.

working smart is no different to any other ability, it can be self taught and the more you persevere the better you get at it, anyone can do it, most don't.

working smart is draining the coolant before you pull the head so you don't dump coolant inside the piston and sump, working smart is knowing you are going to drain the coolant, have the receptacle ready, the hose, the valve you are going to open has been inspected so it doesn't just sieze on you, or break, working smart is tipping the coolant back in when the head is back on, it goes in exactly (you checked the level first) so you know no leaks and no airlocks.

working smart is the coolant aspect of that particular job is done with maximum efficiency and minimum effort.

mr belk did what looks like a lot of work building his concrete base, he didn't, he SAVED a lot of work by working smart, because the concrete base made every other job faster and easier and also able to be done to a higher standard, and it will continue to save hours and hours of time forevermore, in more ways than you can shake a stick at.

some other dude posted a pic of a butane bottle converted to a fuel tank, suspended on a spring to show fuel load by spring extension, with a long copper pipe (copper leeches into the fuel and fucks up your injection pump permanently) that is required by the springy tank that introduces about a dozen other problems, and a water hose that vibrates against it that introduces another bunch of problems.

mr belk can mount a day tank, solidly next to his listeroid, seamless steel pipe with a couple of spring loops for good measure, and a simply weight - chain - roller on tank lip - weight cum float a la lister to indicate fuel level at a glance.

one of these methods is working smart, one is working hard.

the working hard one matey is always going to be fiddling around his engine, looking very busy.

the working smart one mr belk is going to stick his nose in for a quick look around now and again and walk away, looking like he ain;t doing much.

Break jobs down into discrete sections, and make sure they really are discrete sections and not arbitrary ones you imposed on the job. eg you don't paint a car cos you have paint and a spray gun, and then do all the mechanical jobs when you get the parts and tools.

Once you have (mentally, this is still PLANNING stage) broken jobs into discrete sections make sure you have all tools and materials required for that section, plan the job and thing about the implications, do not invent a spring balance fuel tank and then discover that it has affected the plumbing job.

Don't start that job until you can finish it, and finish it means doing 100% quality work.


I've got a mate, we were talking about this a while ago, he spent years on the fishing boats, and in more or less his own words he did running repairs, often bodges, and made lists of work to be done when the ship was back in harbour, including fixing up any bodges, and this work was done by shore based engineers, so he learned to bodge jobs, and twenty years later he still has to fight to unlearn that tendency, he is a smart cookie and quite capable of doing extremely good work, but it is not the job, or the tools, or his knowledge that ever stopped him, it was the approach or attitude.

sometimes that attitude is imposed, customers don't want a good job, they want a cheap job done fast, car mechanics will know all about that one.

trouble is you LEARN that, and then take it home with you and make it your own.

The USA used to be not "a" but "the" industrial powerhouse of the planet, as the uk was before it, if I could wave a magic wand and turn every last worker in the USA overnight into a smart worker instead of a hard worker, within a week every other economy on the planet would start to feel the impact and effects.

being a smart worker was a fundamental part of my engineering apprenticeship, nothing from learning how to sweep a workshop floor and how to use a hacksaw was exempt from it, though you only get it afterwards looking back.


if you buy a 24 furrow plough you are going to want laser straight field hedges, a perfectly oblong field that is totally flat, devoid of all trees and rocks, and of uniform soil / water content / sunlight, throughout.

you then want a uniform crop for your ginormous combine to chew through.

the point is that buying that 24 furrow plough will make you work hard, not smart.

if you work smart you MAY find yourself needing a 24 furrow plough, or you may not

a lot of "craftsmanship", eg that shit that makes some other dude make a job look easy that you find difficult, it down to him working smart and you working hard, you can't simply copy him because you are totally omitting the thought process which is what makes him work smart which is what the craftsmanship is.

I stood over an 18 year old girl with no practical skills and talked her through every step of restoring a beat up old dented and peeling bike tank to something that looked as good as anything in a showroom, so don't be fooled, a lot of craftsmanship is NOT hidden away in skill and experience that takes you 20 years to learn, it is hidden away in the mental approach to work, by being my voice controlled robot she had no skill and no experience, and no working smart skills, by my working smart directions, and still produced first class work, gained skill, gained experience, and gained working smart skills.

she forgot them, hence the dishes, because of other shit going on in her life distracting her from what counts.

20 years + on and I am still fucking ashamed at some of this piss poor work I did when I got into a downer and was drinking and suchlike, I had all the tools, the skills and the experience, but I wasn't approaching the work right, I wasn't working smart, so I did some shit work that I am still ashamed of decades later, and get this, I didn't kill anyone or injure anyone, I didn't even break anything that I know of, but I know those jobs will have had to be re-done since then, which shouldn't have been the case.

anyway, that's all for now, back to the grindstone, catch y'all on the flipside

General Discussion / Concrete vs resilient - v 3.0
« on: November 25, 2006, 01:00:30 PM »
Started a new thread cos I don't wanna get bogged down in an existing one.

This thread is NOT about concrete vs resilient mounting per se.

This thread is probably my swansong on here, at least for some months, life getting busy, kid on the way and all that.

Forums like these either get more popular or die with time, if they get more popular then they get to the point where there is a critical mass, and that is usually somewhere on the high side of 200 members.

Once you get 200 / 250 plus members, you recreate a phenomenon you can get with 20 members if half of those 20 members decide to use the forum to flame each other, and that is lines being drawn in the sand, this is human nature, you can't stop it happening.

When you get lines being drawn in the sand people pick where they stand for all sorts of reasons, logic usually has little to do with it, but once you pick your spot that is pretty much that, you conform because that is human nature.

When you get a technical or semi technical forum such as this one, it is reminiscent of the early days of Usenet, when many of the forums were populated by technical people, with varying levels of experience or skill in any given area.

The whole concrete v resilient mount thing is a good example, it is next to impossible to discuss this intelligently with people who do not get it, because the medium does not lend itself to communicating the basics, so you are limited to communicating with people who already understand the basics.

In Mk2 of this thread procrustes is trying to beat the limits of the medium, he is posting S-N graphs, I know from this that he has the same basic vocabulary, technically speaking, so we can have a meaningful conversation, but when we start talking about hitting glass bottles with hammers, that is an analogy too far, the noise level just saturated the signal, no useful communication can ensue.

Bend a piece of steel wire repeatedly and it will break, this is because you have exceeded Hookes limit, not because you have gone anywhere near the fatigue limit, because you have not, fatigue by definition is forces that when taken individually (one complete cycle) are way below the minimum required to show ANY outward signs of deformation, wear or damage.

The math is very complex, give me my books, a complete set of parametric data on the engine of choice, a large blackboard, and a day and I can do the math and show you in person how it works and explain it in as much detail as required until you get it.

Give me a text only based medium such as this and as long as I have a hole in my ass I will never explain it to anyone who doesn't already get it, that's a fact....

Yes, a Listeroid with all its design changes is most definitely not a Lister, so that brings in a whole new set of variables.

But the bottom line here is you will simply not be able to effectively communicate across these lines drawn in the sand, if you are stood in the section that wants the engineering done right, no if's but's or maybes, and they are stood in the section that wants a turbo, or wants a trolley mount, or wants to run at 1000 rpm, or wants to do anything that was not envisaged in the original design, or wants to arbitrarily include things like human comfort in the equation.

As soon as that happens you just get polarisation, the more you try and communicate across that gap the more you emphasise that line in the sand, soon you are digging footings and laying a 48" foundation for a block wall, eventually you'll mount gun turrets on the wall and plant anti personnel mines in the perimeter.

In all technical subjects in all technical forums, it is only a matter of time before you encounter a subject where the two sides can cumminicate effectively, but only if they both agree to commit real world time, real world hardware, and real world money, so I can prove (and bet my life on it) that concrete mount is correct, but we need bob to come to me here in the uk, or vice versa, we need about 4 to 8 weeks of time, we need a minimum of two identical engines to start with, we need a budget for data acquisition hardware, we need living expenses, etc etc etc.

Lacking these commitments, there becomes no way to resolve certain issues when they go beyond a certain point, it becomes a zero sum game, everyone who participates is certain to come out of it worse off than when they went in, all that effort went into making a line in the sand into a fortified wall.

This is the reality of forums, some subjects cannot be addressed beyond a certain point which really just constitutes a straw poll of everyone's current opinion, once I know what camp you hail from, further communication on that subject is less than pointless.

A nice example is the Jehovah's witness knocking on your door, they are quite sincere in their beliefs, and quite prepared to spend hundreds of hours in serious reasoned discussion and debate, but you will never convince them that there is no god, just a system, once you realise this the best, quickest and easiest way to deal with them is when they knock on your door answer it and say "I have witnessed" (eg you have seen something sometime in your life that made you think there was the hand of god or some deity in it) and they will turn around and walk away, and walk away happy too.

I suppose I should justify / explain my position, lines in the sand, etc.

I try to get people to drop "common sense", which while common is invariably wrong, see examples about which way to turn motorcycle handlebars to turn right, so I point out lights flickering in 6/1 + gen head systems, point out 5% variations in RPM over the 4 stroke cycle, point out only one quarter of one revolution shows the RPM increasing, the rest of the time it is winding down, point out stresses involved, point out BMEP and piston area, point out that ALL torque developed at the crankshaft MUST also be present on the cylinder walls, no action without equal and opposite reaction etc.

That is as far as I go, I'm not here to big up my own status as some sort of guru, I'm not here to teach people, I'm not here to earn money, I'm not even here to arrive at some consensus about who is right and who is wrong by means of a reasoned debate.

I don't want your vote, I don't want your adoration, I don't want your money, I don't want to "beat" you in some sort of point scoring game. I don't want to convert you, or lead you to seeing the light. I don't even want to you "witness" seeing Newtons second law as applied to listers.

If I want anything, I want knowledge to be free and flourish, you do that by spreading the word, some times it takes hold and flourishes and you know that it will get passed on from that point, some times it doesn't and that's the breaks.

Mr Belk says he can feel the valve train by putting his hand on the block, while the other engine tore up a piece of concrete big enough to park a loaded semi / articulated truck on.

Gino got his bearings made and set up the old fashioned / correct way.

I'm happy Mr Belk had that moment, I'm happy Gino had that moment and met the bearing guy, if I had 0.0000001% of the credit for either of those things happening then there is my reward right there. I don't care if everyone else plays with spreadsheets and rubber mounts everything and turbos it too and puts racing stripes on it as well.

I'm gonna stick around these forums now and again, because some time in the future andy / t19 is going to get his genuine lister fired up and his first 1000 hours out of it, and he will have things to say because he has been exposed to listeroids too. Ditto the other chap on here who bought a start-o-matic from the Uk, ditto mr belk when his genuine listers eventually make it over there.

I'm really looking forwards to hearing what these people say.

I've been accused of lots of things in my life, "teutonic arrogance" was one that kinda summed it up nicely, except it aint arrogance, I KNOW what is coming to these people, but the unknown is like watching them open a christmas present, I don't know exactly how their face will look, or what words they will use to express their glee and enjoyment and personal eureka moments.

I'll go back to the video my mate posted of him starting his S-o-m for the first time, I knew he largely based his decision to buy it on my urgings, I wasn't worried he would regret it and I would feel bad about my part in that, and that video showing that look on his face when he started it up for the first time is all the reward anyone can ask for, he is another one who has that bit of information that wants to be free, been round diesels all his life but still learned something new when that lister fired up, now he is a slightly different person and any conversation he has about diesels is subtly altered forever.

Before I go, only last thing about forums.

Those lines drawn in the sand, within each sector you get further subdivisions, fawkes is de facto spokesman for nuclear disarmament, abortion, mccarthy plans and concrete mounts, so as long as fawkes is on the podium other people in the same secton content themselves with muttering "yeah" on the sidelines, is quashes debate and true consensus, even though anyone can grab the podium any time they like, it is human nature to let someone else take the flak, again reinforcing the divides and reducing the communications overall. Fawkes has been semi absent a while and others have taken up the podium place, and yet the same argument is yo-yo-ing back and forwards, one figurehead has been replaced by another, and figureheads draw flack and help to polarise issues and make people take sides and start digging fortress foundations.

If you all collectively want these forums to continue to grow and prosper, you need to be ever vigilant for these processes, learn when a discussion is approaching the zero sum, and if you cannot kill it, at least label it very very very prominently as irreverent and not to be taken seriously, and watch out for figureheads, either in yourself or someone else, because they will polarise the issues.

It's easier to do preventive maintenace and change oil regularly than it is to just run something to the ground and blow the crank, easier in the long term that is, so now you only gotta decide if you are in these forums for the long term.

usual disclaimer at the bottom, someone is paying real money and real time to provide these forums for free for everyone else, piss them off and it becomes easier for them to pull the plug than continue paying for something that other people use to compare dick sizes in.


General Discussion / Words of wisdom.
« on: November 08, 2006, 12:40:57 AM »
I'd like everyone to post one saying, one saying only, any subject, that they would answer in response to the question "what is the most useful thing you can tell me?"

I'll start it off, not by saying mine, not yet anyway, but by repeating the words Peter Brideson gave me when I asked him this question many years ago.

"You can say anything you like to your boss, as long as you are not right, that is the one crime they will not forgive."

General Discussion / Things aren't what they seem...
« on: November 05, 2006, 02:40:03 PM »
I just ran across this again while this forum was open in another window, so it cross pollinated.

Some time ago I played with the idea of putting classic spoke wheels on my motorcycle to replace the mechanically superior cast wheels.

Yes, this was for the look of spoke wheels.

It was only when my mate rode past the window with his spoke wheels that I realised something, the mental picture I had of spoke wheels did not come from my eyes, it came from my eyes looking at pictures taken with a camera shutter, the 15th to 25th of a second shutter speed of the human eye makes things look a lot different to 1/500th on a camera.

Those lovely spoke wheels are a blur, just like the cast one, except when you are parked, and if you make your wheel selection purely on how the bike looks when parked then you'd better move to california and change your name to arlen ness and give up all hope of actually riding a bike, and stick to building art.

I mention it here because I have been riding all my life, but I still, automatically, took something that was utterly false and unrealistic as being the gospel truth about how things were, and never questioned it.

General Discussion / The challenge is in the physics.
« on: November 01, 2006, 06:33:32 PM »

If you have a raging torrent running past your door it is easy to see how to pull energy out of it, even an inefficient marine style propeller on a shaft dropped into the current will rotate, and drive a dynamo, even an inefficient one, and produce a useful surplus of power.

Want more power, build a mk2 version 5 times the size, no problem because the river is so big and running so fast.

If however you have exactly the same amount of water flowing past your door every second, but it is flowing in a huge wide channel so slowly it is imperceptible to the naked eye apart from the odd small eddy midstream, it is very very difficult to extract any useful energy from it, in theory you could build a truly vast and precisely balanced and gimballed waterwheel, with a highly efficient chan drive to a highly efficient rare earth precision machined dynamo, but a few thousand tons of waterwheel made to those tolerances would cost millions, the ROI (return on investment) period is longer than the life of the machine.


A mate of mine is going on about Stirling engines at the moment, they seem great, they are hyped up to hell and back, but the reality is there are only slightly more practical and efficient that using microwaves to transmit power, eg a tesla radiant energy device.

If you have a satellite in orbit with acres of photovoltaic cells collecting pure sunlight in gigawatt quantities then you can't run cables down to a base station, so beaming that power down to a base station by MASER makes sense... the trouble is that this application is then used to justify replacement of the domestic / workshop mains extension cable, and it doesn't, but the proponents always move one set of goalposts while forbidding you from moving the other set in sync.


The challenge is building something that can pull a useful amount of energy from something that is not itself very dense in energy, we are talking light winds, solar on your roof, slow flowing currents, or low temperate differentials such as you can get from ground heat or combustion exhaust gases, and then adding them up LEGO style to get your desired power output.

For this "lego brick" technique to work you need a few things.

1/ Your lego power source needs to be compact, so no good having an exhaust heat reclamation unit that is as big as the engine itself.

2/ Your lego power source needs to be reasonably efficient, otherwise even if your exhaust heat reclamation unit can be made small enough, after one or two stages there simply isn't enough energy remaining in the exhaust gas to power the next stage.

3/ Your lego power source needs to be cheap, it needs to pay for its own manufacture in real energy terms in a fairly short period, even if it has a ten year working life and zero maintenance, it still needs to pay for itself in the first two years at the outside.

4/ Your lego power source needs to be mass producable, lego bricks could be carved by hand by craftsmen out of ivory, but you'd have to wait five years to have enough to build anything useful.

So basically is has to be small, like a lego brick, it has to be efficient, it has to be CHEAP, and is has to lend itself to mass production.....

So, if it is in any way mechanical in nature, it has to have as few parts and possible, and as few of them moving as possible, and to use as few exotic materials as possible.

It could be electronic, because electronics CAN be cheap, electronics can also be hideously expensive, so you have to be careful.

I could be plastic or ceramic, both are fairly cheap, at least while hydrocarbons and energy generally is cheap and plentiful.


These are REAL challenges, you can get electrcicty of out a copper nail and  zinc nail and an orange, but not much, remember the first red LED watches, no enough battery power to run the display unless it was momentary, button only, LCD display made the electronic watch come of age.

This is important, a NEW TECHNOLOGY made something possible within existing engineering confines, before this NEW TECHNOLOGY the only way to do it was have the EXISTING TECHNOLOGY dictate the mode of operation, eg only tell the time when you press the button to illuminate the display.

The quartz crystal wasn't new, the superhet circuit wasn't new, and button batteries weren't new, mains powered quartz clocks with mains powered red LED displays were old hat. SO if you want it in a wristwatch, something has to go, and everything has to fit in the design variable that can't be changed, battery capacity.

NB, doubling, trebling, quadrupling or even ten or 100x battery capacity STILL DOES NOT MAKE THE LED WATCH A PRACTICAL IDEA.... this is important, this is not "it sorta works", this is "no fucking way, not even close"


We have all grown up in an era where high energy was easy and cheap to get, whether it is dozens of amperes of electrical current, or the high energy of a gas flame, or the high energy of liquid fuel, we are used to high energy, we are used to the raging torrent outside our door.

Because we are used to this, the one thing we have grown up not merely not caring about, but not even seeing, is the inefficiency of everything we use.

We don't even see the heat draining away through house walls, just turn the multi kilowatt heating system up a notch, the 300 watts of tungsten filament bulbs in the same room aren't even percieved as a heat source, not even a background heat.

The consequence of this is unless we are presented with something which is high energy, we don't even know where to begin when it comes to extracting useful work out of it. We make very expensive purified potable water, and then we use to to carry vast quantities of energy rich shit away down the sewers, where we spend even more energy destroying it as an energy source.

We spend vast quatities of energy making petrol, then we burn it in inefficient engines, run it through inefficient transmissions, waste significant amounts to run air conditioning systems, waste still more of exhaust gas treatments, waste still more or rotten illumination systems, and then waste every last bit that remains and kinetic energy in the vehicles momentum by turning it into heat in the brakes.

A slow flow small car only fuel pump dispenses fuel at a rate equivalent to between a five and ten megawatt power station.


The basic Lister CS 6/1 start-o-matic came with a 2.5 KVA alternator.

That is not enough to run one domestic dwelling, it is enough to run one efficient industrial operation, eg a farm, it is enough to run perhaps ten domestic dwellings....

If it is used in one domestic dwelling then you need to be thinking instead of running at an average load of 250 VA over 24 hours I'll run the genny at 2500 for 3 hours a day and store the excess until required, eg battery banks.

UNTIL AND UNLESS you have got THAT down pat then there is no hope whatsoever for pulling useful amounts of power from the relatively low density energy sources around you.


Solar powered clocks and solar powered mobile phone chargers and wind powered radios and so on are great.

But they are utterly pointless if you are addicted to devices that require absolutely huge quantities of power by comparison, either through inefficiency, you have a poorly insulated house, so you need 5 KW of fire to keep it warm, or through laziness, so you have a 2 kilowatt vacuum cleaner, and a 4 kilowatt electric kettle.

3 HORSEPOWER for a vacuum cleaner, to do the same job as a BRUSH.

6 HORSEPOWER to boil water to make a coffee, when you COULD do the same job with a single candle flame, if you wanted to...


2 vacuum cleaners or 1 cup of coffee, just as well nature is not as inefficient, or we'd all die of energy loss in our sleep.

General Discussion / Fiat economies - long - part 1
« on: October 30, 2006, 12:18:15 PM »
Two long quotes

A "Fiat" economy is one where a type of money is given legal status by an order or decree from the state / king / emperor / whatever, it is not "I promise to pay the bearer on demand" gold backed (or other recognised commodity backed) currency.

Fiat money is in effect a rubber cheque, if you write me a cheque for products, goods or service, the understanding is that that cheque is backed up by money in your account, if the deal is that I am not expected to cash your cheque, but instead pass it on to someone else who gives me goods and services that I want, then your cheque is not backed up by money in your account, but by the belief that there is money in your account, if anyone ever chooses to cash it.

If you live around town like this you can live very well, until the first person decides to cash your cheque, at which point there will be a run on the bank, your best option may be to kill that person and dispose of the body.

This is IMPORTANT STUFF because peak oil and global warming and eco disaster and global terrorism EVERYTHING ELSE does not matter one damn if at the end of the day your cheques that you write, or the fiat currency that you use, is percieved as being worthless, not worth nothing, but literally worth less.

At that point you can still for example buy my services maintaining and repairing your lister, we just have to sit down and negotiate what you have to trade, barter in it's most basic terms, and you are shit out of luck if you don't have anything that I want or need. You are doubly shit out of luck if you think armed men are going to back you up, because if I think your cheques are worth-less, so will they, and if all they have is your worth-less cheques, they can't buy food or ammunition.

It doesn't matter if the midwest is a dustbowl or florida dissapears under rising seas, if you have worth-less cheques your problems will be more immediate and longer term... remember, my mother is old enough to remember times when workers were paid their weekly wage in wheelbarrow fulls of worth-less fiat currency cash, and their wives scrambled to take this cash to the shopkeepers before the workers shift ended, because they money was worth-less a few hours later thanks to inflation, and the only cure for that was annexing the sudetenland and the start of WW2.

Before the US House of Representatives, February 15, 2006

A hundred years ago it was called “dollar diplomacy.” After World War II, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, that policy evolved into “dollar hegemony.” But after all these many years of great success, our dollar dominance is coming to an end.

It has been said, rightly, that he who holds the gold makes the rules. In earlier times it was readily accepted that fair and honest trade required an exchange for something of real value.

First it was simply barter of goods. Then it was discovered that gold held a universal attraction, and was a convenient substitute for more cumbersome barter transactions. Not only did gold facilitate exchange of goods and services, it served as a store of value for those who wanted to save for a rainy day.

Though money developed naturally in the marketplace, as governments grew in power they assumed monopoly control over money. Sometimes governments succeeded in guaranteeing the quality and purity of gold, but in time governments learned to outspend their revenues. New or higher taxes always incurred the disapproval of the people, so it wasn’t long before Kings and Caesars learned how to inflate their currencies by reducing the amount of gold in each coin – always hoping their subjects wouldn’t discover the fraud. But the people always did, and they strenuously objected.

This helped pressure leaders to seek more gold by conquering other nations. The people became accustomed to living beyond their means, and enjoyed the circuses and bread. Financing extravagances by conquering foreign lands seemed a logical alternative to working harder and producing more. Besides, conquering nations not only brought home gold, they brought home slaves as well. Taxing the people in conquered territories also provided an incentive to build empires. This system of government worked well for a while, but the moral decline of the people led to an unwillingness to produce for themselves. There was a limit to the number of countries that could be sacked for their wealth, and this always brought empires to an end. When gold no longer could be obtained, their military might crumbled. In those days those who held the gold truly wrote the rules and lived well.

That general rule has held fast throughout the ages. When gold was used, and the rules protected honest commerce, productive nations thrived. Whenever wealthy nations – those with powerful armies and gold – strived only for empire and easy fortunes to support welfare at home, those nations failed.

Today the principles are the same, but the process is quite different. Gold no longer is the currency of the realm; paper is. The truth now is: “He who prints the money makes the rules” – at least for the time being. Although gold is not used, the goals are the same: compel foreign countries to produce and subsidize the country with military superiority and control over the monetary printing presses.

Since printing paper money is nothing short of counterfeiting, the issuer of the international currency must always be the country with the military might to guarantee control over the system. This magnificent scheme seems the perfect system for obtaining perpetual wealth for the country that issues the de facto world currency. The one problem, however, is that such a system destroys the character of the counterfeiting nation’s people – just as was the case when gold was the currency and it was obtained by conquering other nations. And this destroys the incentive to save and produce, while encouraging debt and runaway welfare.

The pressure at home to inflate the currency comes from the corporate welfare recipients, as well as those who demand handouts as compensation for their needs and perceived injuries by others. In both cases personal responsibility for one’s actions is rejected.

When paper money is rejected, or when gold runs out, wealth and political stability are lost. The country then must go from living beyond its means to living beneath its means, until the economic and political systems adjust to the new rules – rules no longer written by those who ran the now defunct printing press.

“Dollar Diplomacy,” a policy instituted by William Howard Taft and his Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, was designed to enhance U.S. commercial investments in Latin America and the Far East. McKinley concocted a war against Spain in 1898, and (Teddy) Roosevelt’s corollary to the Monroe Doctrine preceded Taft’s aggressive approach to using the U.S. dollar and diplomatic influence to secure U.S. investments abroad. This earned the popular title of “Dollar Diplomacy.” The significance of Roosevelt’s change was that our intervention now could be justified by the mere “appearance” that a country of interest to us was politically or fiscally vulnerable to European control. Not only did we claim a right, but even an official U.S. government “obligation” to protect our commercial interests from Europeans.

This new policy came on the heels of the “gunboat” diplomacy of the late 19th century, and it meant we could buy influence before resorting to the threat of force. By the time the “dollar diplomacy” of William Howard Taft was clearly articulated, the seeds of American empire were planted. And they were destined to grow in the fertile political soil of a country that lost its love and respect for the republic bequeathed to us by the authors of the Constitution. And indeed they did. It wasn’t too long before dollar “diplomacy” became dollar “hegemony” in the second half of the 20th century.

This transition only could have occurred with a dramatic change in monetary policy and the nature of the dollar itself.

Congress created the Federal Reserve System in 1913. Between then and 1971 the principle of sound money was systematically undermined. Between 1913 and 1971, the Federal Reserve found it much easier to expand the money supply at will for financing war or manipulating the economy with little resistance from Congress – while benefiting the special interests that influence government.

Dollar dominance got a huge boost after World War II. We were spared the destruction that so many other nations suffered, and our coffers were filled with the world’s gold. But the world chose not to return to the discipline of the gold standard, and the politicians applauded. Printing money to pay the bills was a lot more popular than taxing or restraining unnecessary spending. In spite of the short-term benefits, imbalances were institutionalized for decades to come.

The 1944 Bretton Woods agreement solidified the dollar as the preeminent world reserve currency, replacing the British pound. Due to our political and military muscle, and because we had a huge amount of physical gold, the world readily accepted our dollar (defined as 1/35th of an ounce of gold) as the world’s reserve currency. The dollar was said to be “as good as gold,” and convertible to all foreign central banks at that rate. For American citizens, however, it remained illegal to own. This was a gold-exchange standard that from inception was doomed to fail.

The U.S. did exactly what many predicted she would do. She printed more dollars for which there was no gold backing. But the world was content to accept those dollars for more than 25 years with little question – until the French and others in the late 1960s demanded we fulfill our promise to pay one ounce of gold for each $35 they delivered to the U.S. Treasury. This resulted in a huge gold drain that brought an end to a very poorly devised pseudo-gold standard.

It all ended on August 15, 1971, when Nixon closed the gold window and refused to pay out any of our remaining 280 million ounces of gold. In essence, we declared our insolvency and everyone recognized some other monetary system had to be devised in order to bring stability to the markets.

Amazingly, a new system was devised which allowed the U.S. to operate the printing presses for the world reserve currency with no restraints placed on it – not even a pretense of gold convertibility, none whatsoever! Though the new policy was even more deeply flawed, it nevertheless opened the door for dollar hegemony to spread.

Realizing the world was embarking on something new and mind-boggling, elite money managers, with especially strong support from U.S. authorities, struck an agreement with OPEC to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence “backed” the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup. This arrangement helped ignite the radical Islamic movement among those who resented our influence in the region. The arrangement gave the dollar artificial strength, with tremendous financial benefits for the United States. It allowed us to export our monetary inflation by buying oil and other goods at a great discount as dollar influence flourished.

This post-Bretton Woods system was much more fragile than the system that existed between 1945 and 1971. Though the dollar/oil arrangement was helpful, it was not nearly as stable as the pseudo–gold standard under Bretton Woods. It certainly was less stable than the gold standard of the late 19th century.

During the 1970s the dollar nearly collapsed, as oil prices surged and gold skyrocketed to $800 an ounce. By 1979 interest rates of 21% were required to rescue the system. The pressure on the dollar in the 1970s, in spite of the benefits accrued to it, reflected reckless budget deficits and monetary inflation during the 1960s. The markets were not fooled by LBJ’s claim that we could afford both “guns and butter.”

Once again the dollar was rescued, and this ushered in the age of true dollar hegemony lasting from the early 1980s to the present. With tremendous cooperation coming from the central banks and international commercial banks, the dollar was accepted as if it were gold.

Everything else / DC Battery Banks
« on: October 19, 2006, 04:52:21 PM »
take two 12vdc 100 Ah lead acid batteries, wire them in parallel and you get 12 vdc and 200 Ah, wire them in series and you get 24vdc and 100Ah.

Got a quote for a guy today for some dc battery banks, these are UK pound Sterling prices.

This is for a 48 vdc bank of 1000 Ah made up from deep cycle traction cells, they are premium military quality (hawker) and will last 20 years, doing it this way means you can add blocks of 1000 Ah at a time as capital allows, and they all mix and match easily. Each bank is large enough that provided you keep them off the ground and away from frost you don't have to worry about battery temperature.

So, a 48 vdc 1000 Ah bank (each cell is 570 h x 555 l x 198 w (mm of course) will weigh 1287 Kg and cost UK Pounds £1893.32 ex VAT (17.5%)

In the UK it will cost you that much to tie in to the grid, and for that you get 1000 Ah @ 48 vdc

Since in DC W = V x A that works out about 48 KWh, enough for anyone.


1/ They are massive, and top heavy, even a single spoked flywheel can weigh 150 lbs, hospital accident and emergency departments are full of injured people who got injured through nothing more than working with objects too heavy to throw around by hand, so never use one point of lifting and never lift without chocking so if there is a fall it is arrested, eg when charging a car tyre first thing you do is put the spare under the body in case the jack collapses, same pronciple applies.

2/ 6 bhp is puny, yes it is, and as I have said MANY times in the past, bhp is bullshit, just a way of measuring rate of fuel consumption or rate of thermal rejection, what you need to be aware of is the momentum of literally hundreds of pounds of dense iron moving at up to 60 mph, there is VAST energy stored there as momentum, WHEN, not if, WHEN, something unexpected happens the one thing you will not be lacking is instantly available massive amounts of momentum.

3/ Belts, anything drawn into belts will get drawn in all the way intil it meets either the flywheel or alternator pulley, and then it will get carried around the pulley and rotated 180 degrees before being released, if this is your arm and hand which is the most likely candidate, sticking it in a crocodile's mouth is likely to do less damage.... unlike a crocodile, rotating machinery is ALWAYS hungry.

4/ flywheels, they are spinning at 60 mph, anything that falls into or onto them will be instantly accelerated to 60 mph and take off in a random direction, even if "It" is an 18 oz hammer, it is not going to slow down between 400 and 700 lbs of rotating mass, instead it is going to be instantly accelerated to anything up to 60 mph. if it hits you it can main or kill you, but it can also hit anything else in your engine shed, or just slam into the fuel linkage and permanently jam the rack wide open.

5/ AC power


Those are the obvious ones, everyone can see them, everyone ignores them because until you seen them you suffer from "can't happen here"

They are obvious because they are very rapid processes.

The real dangers and the ones nobody sees until it is too late are the slow, gradual, progressive ones.

That vibration working at all your home made welds, working at all those generic bolts and fasteners you bought, working through all those mods you made and all the shortcuts the indians made.

These kinds of failures will also kill you, they are likely to be more catastrophic that the simple and rapid failures listed above.

The only people who can deposit welds that never ever ever crack are people who know practically nothing about welding.... the better the welder the more aware he is of the dangers of fractures and fatigue and the more aware he is of welding techniques and styles likely to severely limit these problems.

The nightmare scenario here is not "bob blew his crank and it will cost him 200 bucks for a new one".

The nightmare scenario is you decided to build a steel frame of your own design, the design is crap and your welding isn't up to coded standards either so sooner or later the welds are going to fail and weaken dramatically.

The nightmare scenario is you decided you could buy an industrial engine and rubber mount it for your own personal comfort, and so maximised the vibration and fatigue experienced by the engine.

The nightmare scenario is you decided you were smarter than listers and didn't need a ton or two of concrete to tie the engine too, so when things let go there is no anchor points and all bets are off.

The nightmare scenario is the crank doesn't break, but those indian gib keys worked loose, plus you were too smart to waste a few bucks on high quality bolt based hose clamps as retainers, so your spinning at 60 mph flywheel walks off the crankshaft, if it hits your home made steel frame it tears it to pieces in an eyeblink and everything else disintegrates, if it hits the gound it takes off at 60 mph with just as much momentum and destructive power as a locomotive wheel, walls means nothing to it, given a clear run over dirt it will travel well over one mile. Of course the one remaining flywheel is insufficient to balance your engine, so it vibrates even more on your inadequate flexible mounts.

If you or your family members are not maimed or killed, an innocent bystanders might be. So even if you live through it you're likely to be sued into the poor house. Which is OK, Darwinism at work.... what ain't OK is....

within three months nobody but nobody will be able to get a Lister(oid) permit, grid tied or not, for less than ten thousand bucks worth of site inspection and certification.... nobody but nobody will get permit for residential zoning of a listeroid for less than ten thousand bucks worth of site inspection and certification... nobody but nobody will get insurance, domestic or otherwise, that isn't entirely null and void without ten thousand bucks worth or site inspection and certification.

If you think some dipshit making these mistakes in one country is not going to rapidly affect the prospects for everyone else in a completely different country then you need to wake up and smell the roses.

it don't need EPA type rules to follow, all it takes is one phone call...

"mobile bob? this is your acme insurance company, we are ringing you to inform you that until you have your listeroid site surveyed, insected and passed, which will cost you ten thousand bucks, we are suspending ALL your insurance policies, workers health, public liability, buildings and contents, etc, for your premises as of midnight tonite."


the most dangerous part of a car is the nut behind the steering wheel

same applies here.

I own a custom motorcycle, it has to pass the same annual ministry vehicle inspection every year before I can insure it, no insurance means a heavy fine the first time, and the second or third time (eg the next day when plod sees you out riding) it means jail time.

this is how things get controlled in the modern world, you get priced out of playing because someone else sees an angle to make a profit, someone you can't argue with or do without, someone like an insurance company.


if you think a lister can't fracture the (stick) welds on a 6 inch RSJ frame then you probably think it can't fracture a massive concrete bridge either, go talk to mr belk about that.

does your home made welded steel frame look ANYTHING like the welded steel frames Lister made?

why not?

what do you know about engineering that they do not?

let me rephrase that.

what do you know about engineering stationary diesel engines that they do not?

I'm a marine engineer, so my answer is "fuck all" even though I know a lot more than listers about hydraulic stabilisers for example.

A large proportion of you are FUCKING DAMGEROUS because you are not just willing, but eager, to work on one assumption piled on top of another assumption.

Fucking around with stationary diesel engines, particularly aftermarket ones made to unknown standards, is a really excellent way of shortening the odds on calamity and making a date with Darwin, it achieves this in ways that no amount of playing with car, motorcycle, boat or aeroplane equipment can, and it achieves it mainly because you have a model in your head of this safe, puny, lazy, cute little 6 bhp diesel engine.... it already got past all your best defences.

You cannot look at an engine bolted to a massive concrete block and see it mentally in the same way as the same engine mounted to a steel frame and rubber mounts.

Ask Mr Belk (or anyone with military service) if there is such an animal as an unloaded weapon.

Your Lister is a permanently loaded weapon, it is just begging you to fuck with it.

SO is every business on the planet with a vested financial interest in seeing just one of you numbnuts play the odds and come up short so they can cite you as an example of why they just moved the goalposts and now everyone else needs ten thousand bucks worth of site inspection and cetification before they can get insurance.

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