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Q2:Developing more current from the Jes Ascanius system.
I was able to change the ground system to a stainless steel plate buried in the earth and wet. I also verified the same voltage using 1 or 3 modules, to be around 20 to 30 volts DC; but the voltage climbs slowly, since it is a sunny day, with no storms about unlike the first time I tried the same experiment, the voltage climbed faster to around 30 volts DC.
The pdf article in Patrick Kelly's booklet states "With two modules, it will light an LED very brightly, driving it to 2.6 volts."
I have NOT found this to be the case. even with three modules I can't get any more than 0.000006 Amps, and if I check the voltage across a LED the voltage stays on 1.65 V which is the voltage across the LED.
The capacitors I purchased cost $1.50 each and are green caps rated at 600V and 0.2 uF each.
The electrolytic capacitors cost $0.50 each are rated at 35 V DC and are 100 uF each.
The circuit is found in Kelly's booklet :-
This is the circuit for one module. Adding more modules increases the current for each module, but I have not found this to be the case. The current across the load is 0.000006 Amps, and does not really increase as the modules increase, although I did get 0.000009 Amps. Perhaps something is wrong?
I have read similar poor results from others trying this, and wonder what sort of current is one expected to achieve ? To drive a LED at 2.6 volts brightly as Kelly suggests; one should be getting at least 50 to 100 milli-amperes, and that would be something !
Another thing that is concerning is the cost of the system. I can purchase a 80 Watt solar panel for around $120, so any free electrical system producing 80 W continuously would have to match $120 for the components, otherwise it's no better than current technology.
When I set up one module and test the voltage across a LED, the voltage stays on 1.6 V
Then I tested the voltage for a simplified module 1 circuit across the load leads. I only got 3.6 V and would climb slowly...
However if I use a 4uF box shaped cap, not easily seen by camera flash, and a 220 uF +/- cap, with different diodes salvaged from 12 V battery charger, then the voltage jumps quickly and rapidly to 11 to 12 V, and climbs slowly from there. I can short the load wires and the voltage instantly jumps to 11 and 12 V climbing slowly from there. Some component is wrong, or something is very good with this circuit.
And when replaced with this circuit, the voltage is pathetic... I will need to ascertain why I get 11 to 12 V with one circuit, but not the other. Upon looking at single components, the voltage is caused by the diode resistance, the potential difference making this affect seen between aerial and earth. A different diode changes the voltage seen.
I also found one needs the fast switching diodes, the BYV27 2A 200V 25 nano second fast switching time for $3.00 each or $1.00 each for the 100V rating.
To build a single module will cost around $6 for all the cheapest components.
Shalom (for now)
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