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MidTech still awaiting circuit components
Should be in tomorrow, then they'll test to see if it addresses the
problem of heat on the circuit board. If so, we can come in to validate. UL
certification will be required before it can be hooked up to power a home, but
it can operate as an off-grid genset during beta phase.
Pure Energy Systems News
As already mentioned,
I had an awesome conversation with Doug Myers of MidTech on Wednesday.
And today I talked to his electrical technician, Dustin Law, to get an update on
where things are at presently.
Last week we posted a feature page about their generator which allegedly
produces up to 2.5 kilowatts, without any solar, wind, or fuel required,
producing no pollution. And they said the systems are available for $6500
Then, the next day, they announced that their electrical technician, Dustin, had
found a component on their circuit board that was getting too hot and could
effect the longevity of the system; so they were going to order parts to get
that addressed before opening their product for sale.
On Wednesday, Doug told me that he was expecting those replacement parts to
arrive on Friday. But today, Dustin said that the shipment had not arrived yet.
He said he had anxiously awaited for it to arrive yesterday, but it never showed
Dustin said he expects it to arrive tomorrow (regular services by FedEx and UPS
on MLK holiday), after
which he will need about two hours to get everything hooked up. Then he will be
running tests to make sure everything is operating properly, not overheating,
responding to load changes properly, shutting off properly if the load goes
beyond the limit of the generator, restarting properly.
When I talked to Doug on Wednesday, he said he had looked at our QMoGen
page, and that their "Black Box" system definitely fits into that
ballpark of devices. He said there is no hydroxy system, no water that can
freeze. He expects that annual service of the device should be adequate, as the
rotating components are engineered to operate continuously without any problem.
The "black box" portion is bolted shut primarily for safety, as that
is where the rotating components are located, not to protect intellectual
property. The cabinet includes a motor, generator, battery, circuitry, and
He said that they do modify both the motor and the generator, which are off-the
So when we do our validation of this technology, we'll be able to look inside
the black box. We'll be able to see that there is nothing hidden in the entire
black cabinet. Everything is off-the-shelf stuff. So, really, once the system is
up and running, producing 2.5 kW while in self-looped mode, and disconnected
from the battery that got is started, even one minute of such operation will
signify that their system works as claimed. But we'll want to run it for several
hours anyway. We'll want to assess what happens when the load suddenly increases
or decreases -- will there be any brown-out or spike on the other things plugged
into the system?
Dustin will be checking for these things as well when he assesses the system on
Monday after installing the replacement circuit components. He wants to be sure
it's 100% ready to go before opening it up.
We (NEST) have several people lined up to
be involved in the testing, including Steven E. Jones, Mike Waters, Chip Paul,
myself. Steve has oscilloscopes, two 1000 W heaters, several IR-temperature
reading devices (non-contact). We'll also have a private group coming in as
well, with interest in bringing this to their customer base, so they will be
there to make sure we ask all the rubber-hits-the-road kind of questions.
Running so Far
I asked Doug how long they have had their prototype running continuously, and he
said that the "6-months" statement from their East-of-Mississippi guy,
Chris, was a misunderstanding. They've been working on it for 6 months. Doug
said the longest they've had it running continuous has been 24 hours, twice.
UL Approval Matters
I've done some inquiring into UL requirements for systems of this ilk and have
learned that if something is powering a house, in the U.S., it has to be
UL-approved. This is especially true if it is going to be run through a grid-tie
with battery back-up, which sends energy out onto the grid.
Even though the grid-tie with battery back-up only sees the battery, not what is
powering the battery, regulations require that the battery charging system be UL
approved. My friend Randy Tolbert, who was my landlord before we moved to our
present location, has installed solar systems for about three decades. He's been
running his home on a grid-tie with battery back-up for 15 years. He says you
can't even tell when the grid goes down. The electricity automatically switches
from the grid to the battery, without a hiccup. Then when the grid comes back
up, it waits five minutes before syncing back up to the grid.
Unfortunately, there are not presently grid-interface connects for AC-producing
systems, to do net metering. Net metering systems that use batteries shut the
entire system down in the case of a grid outage.
A UL listing is not required if a system is being used as an off-grid genset.
But in that case, the customer needs to sign a waiver understanding that the
system is not UL-approved yet, and that the system is experimental/beta testing;
accepting responsibility for any problems that might occur. The UL listing is
primarily a liability waiver, saying that the system has been tested to comply
with the UL safety regulations, so any problems are going to be a result of
intentional misuse by the user.
Dustin explained that the "transfer switch" that they were planning to
use with their "Black Box" does not send their power to the grid. It
only serves as a relay so that if their black box doesn't provide enough power
for the home, then the transfer switch will pull from the grid to augment what
is needed. But that scenario will not be able to be implemented until their
"black box" is UL approved, otherwise people could be jeopardizing
their home warranties or home insurance.
That said, what I was planning to do with my MidTech Black Box system, once I
get it from them, once it tests out, and I raise enough funds to get one, is to
use it as a genset to power things in the home separate from the home
If the world fell apart, and the grid went down for an extended period, prior to
getting a system is UL approved, I could turn off the breaker to the grid so the
house is not connected to the gird, then backfeed the black box into the home
wiring through a male-male connection from the genset to a 20-amp portion of the
home (a regular outlet that is hooked to a 20-amp fuse); and this would enable
me to back feed up to 2.4 kW before the fuse would trip. But that would only
effect those portions of the home that are on that leg of the service panel. If
I wanted the whole home to be powered, I'd have to run an extension cord from
the genset to an outlet that is on the other leg of the service panel. But I
wouldn't be able to power anything that pulled more than 2.5 kW, such as the
electric dryer, air conditioner, electric water heater (ours is gas).
Here is an excerpt from an email I received from Doug on January 20, 2014 8:53 AM
[Mountain] (slightly edited)
Also anyone wanting to view the project ONCE IT IS COMPLETED will be required to sign a notice of disclosure
[NDA] as well as a non compete clause. I have also consulted an attorney about drawing up a non compete purchase agreement contract so that our technology cannot be used
[for reverse engineering] once it is purchased. You will be updated as that progresses.
We are also mulling around the idea of a formal release of the product upon its completion and to invite everyone at that time to inspect the completed project, because of the overwhelming response of individuals flying in from around the world wanting to inspect the black box.
We were informed that the electronics would be delivered today so Dustin and myself will be late at again tonight to install the components. We will wait until tomorrow to do our testing so no mistakes will be made due to lack of sleep. As usual once we begin installing we will not answer our phones until it is complete. Thank you for your understanding in all of this and we will be the future of energy.
Fundraiser for Trip...
I really appreciate the infusion you provided to enable my recent trip to
Oakland to visit Brillouin, etc. I hope you agree that was a worth-while trip.
I'm not even done reporting on all the great things we learned while we were
there. We've also pulled in some funds toward purchasing a MidTech unit and
After we get the green light from Doug (when they are comfortable with their
system to begin selling it, and therefore will want our validation to help in
the process), I would like to fly out there as well, to be part of that,
documenting it and witnessing it.
We'd appreciate it if you can chip in toward that trip, as well as our regular
up-keep needs. Getting a round-trip ticket from SLC - Wichita just a day away
costs around $900.
# # #
Jan. 19; Manuel M; US: $20
Jan. 20; Chris Loder (son of Ted) offered his frequent flyer miles to cover my
Jan. 10; Igor K; US; $10
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(This subtotal commenced January 19, 2014; 10:25 pm) Dates are per Mountain time [GMT-6].
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