The Basic Circuit Components Explained - Post #2
My youngest son at 1 year old. The angels together with all the hosts of stars will sing for you tonight my dear……...
INTRODUCING THE JOULETHIEF COMPONENTS
Before I will explain things a bit clearer with this circuit, let me just state that I am by no means declaring here that I am a scientific expert, I am just a backyard experimenter with hands-on experience on these approaches. What I will expose here is “why” I see it to be, some approaches as to “how”, and finally the results involving “what”. These things are from the point of view of a layman, the only confidence for me is my willingness to share, and my “luck” to have arrived at a working circuit.
I have posted this earlier in my Post #1, the joulethief circuit in its most basic arrangement:
Let us now discuss each component, this may get a little technical but I will try my best to “dummify” things:
The BATTERY - 1
Everytime we talk about electronics, power source always is the main and foremost question. Our cellphones run because of its battery right? This circuit is no different in that it needs a battery as a power source. To picture a battery’s role, imagine a river flowing and full of movements. As long as the river moves its water to seek its own level we can see that the said river is “alive”. But what supplies the river with water to begin with? As its water supply I will propose the falls (imagine the great Niagara Falls), seemingly with endless supply of water. As long as this falls have water, the river will always be “alive”. In this circuit called the joulethief, the whole circuit is the river to be made “alive”, but it is the battery that will play the role of the falls. Once the battery depletes its own power, this circuit will stop operating. Imagine the Niagara running out of water. Hope its understandable as elementary kids haha, I am really trying here.
The INDUCTOR (a.k.a. COIL) - 2
An inductor is one of the most mysterious electronic (or electric) component, as it will display certain behaviors that even modern scientists of today can not clearly explain. For example, if we let a certain amount of current (let electricity pass) thru it, the material inside the inductor (oftentimes iron) becomes a “magnet”. We all know what a magnet is right? So how come a material suddenly becomes one? And when I say suddenly, I meant a fraction of a second, many many fractions, say divide a second by a thousand (as in kiloHERTZ). A kiloHERTZ means that this inductor will become a magnet and back to being an ordinary iron a thousand times even before a second is reached, very very fast is not it? It is this behavior of an inductor that it becomes very useful in this circuit. I will add my ideas about the inductor this early, that if not with this mysterious material and component here, no amount of lighting can be achieved making it as the core component. If I may add more to the suspense, I believe as per my observations that as long as this inductor is going back and forth into being magnetic/non-magnetic, this circuit will have the ability to catch all sorts of “unknown” energy source. I am tempted to go to conspiracy theories here haha, but I will just focus first on mentoring the masses about it. OK, OK I am tempted a bit, did you know that a magnet (yes, that toy magnet you have) is one of the most “unexplainable” phenomenon on earth? Is the science of gravity telling us that the core of the earth is a magnet sucking us all into its central part? Tsktsktsktsktsk,……...
The RESISTOR - 3
A resistor is an electrical component that “blocks” current into the circuit. In my example of the river flow above, imagine a dam blocking the water flow. This dam as it blocks water will have enabled the water to fill in at its entry but it also “lessens” the water volume going out of its exit. A resistor works the same in an electrical perspective. It can not be described as a major component, but as far as the overall success of the circuit function is concerned, it can add to the efficiency of the whole circuit harmony. I will add here in advance that as far as this resistor is concerned, we can replace it with any other component to lessen the number of components further. This will be possible because all components have its own resistor value, even a simple LED have resistance.
The TRANSISTOR - 4
A transistor is an electronic component that will act as a switch if applied with a certain amount of current from its base to its emitter. Just imagine a transistor as like a closed door, if you twist the knob (like a battery positive) and insert the key (like a battery negative), then it will open up (like a transistor reacting to the positive and negative electricity). A transistor if given the correct parameters from two (base-emitter) of its three legs, the third leg (collector) will close up, letting current from the collector to the emitter. This is a very important component in the joulethief as modern transistors are able to switch (close and open) even up to a million times before a second is finished. I can not even fathom anymore how fast is something opening and closing a million times a second, I just believe it to be true because of the results that I had observed. How do you know there is a natural phenomenon called wind? We always answer, well, I do not have to see it because I can feel it on my skin, it even topples houses during storms!!! Same here as a backyard experimenter, there are still many things I can not really explain in this electric universe, but as I see the tangible results in these experiments then it is these results that I certainly will believe, not my doubts just because I can not explain. Just a bit of a trivia, if transistors were not invented, there could have been no possibility of a computer revolution in our modern age, you know why? Because inside the computers’ CPU, yes the INTEL brand of CPUs for example, inside of such very core components to enable a computer to become a computer, are billions and billions of transistors. I am maybe wrong with this now, maybe it is already in the trillions now or maybe more if we take into consideration the supercomputers as presented by governments competing for supremacy, China being with the fastest supercomputer (Sunway TaihuLight) now as I write.
The LED - 5
An LED is an electronic component that when applied with a certain amount of current on its two legs (cathode and anode), a light will emanate from its junction. The LED is just a representation of a light source in this circuit, but we can replace it with any component depending on the very things we want to achieve. For now, this LED as drawn acts as the light. Let me share this early that I will just be wasting my time here explaining these things if not for the advent of the LED revolution, especially to lighting. Lights had become much much brighter, at a much lesser power consumption due to the LED technology. So yes, it is possible to light all homes now because of this technology called Light Emitting Diode as applied to lighting.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE JOULETHIEF’S OPERATION
At A Time When The Transistor “Closes”
I will try to explain this in a current flow pattern to make it much simpler to understand. Imagine an electric current as like a river flow current, as long as it flows we can conclude that it is alive. In the basic joulethief, electric current flows “initially” in this direction:
battery positive –→ inductor –→ resistor –→ transistor –→ battery negative
On this stage of the current flow, it can be observed that this is the time when the transistor will “close”, this transistor action is exactly as what happens when we switch on the light at the house, as we tapped the switch, the light produced lights because the switch “closed”. So at the flow of currect described above, we can conclude that this is the currect flow when the transistor is “closed”. On this stage of the current flow, the circuit is said to be magnetized of its inductor component. Let us remember that everytime an inductor is magnetized, it is like saving its own power and electrical energy, ready to give it up if certain parameters are met.
At A Time When The Transistor “Opens”
As described, the joulethief is an “oscillator” circuit, which means that a circuit that makes current flow back and forth. Imagine this back and forth action as in a see-saw in a children’s playground, as long as the see-saw rocks back and forth the children will have a happy play time isn’t it? An oscillator cuts the circuit on and off, so if this is the case there should be another current flow diagram once the transistor opens. So here it is:
inductor positive –→ LED –→ battery –→ inductor negative
On this stage of the current flow, the circuit is said to be un-magnetized of its inductor component. When an inductor is un-magnetized, it gives off the energy it acquired when it is magnetized, this saved energy will be in the form of a current and voltage (electric) levels that enables the LED to light up. Now, earlier I described that the transistor closes and opens a thousand times a second, so in reality and even if we as an observer can not feel it anymore, we can conclude that the inductor (coil) is clearly magnetizing and de-magnetizing very fast, how fast? Well, enough for us to see the LED as lighting itself “continuously”. Our eyes can not cope up anymore with thousand sof times per second blinks, it just told our brains oh well, that is a continuous light source there!!!
MY PRELIMINARY INSIGHTS
As long as the battery in the joulethief has enough power, the LED will always light. Hmmmm, let me say this again as it is here we will play around, so did we really mean that as long as that battery have juice this light will light continuously? OK now, so how can I keep it “juiced” so that I will always have a light source?
If I am not mistaken, the great Nikola Tesla, for me the only scientist in the newer age that speaks of sense, said these things (I will just paraphrase):
“If we can not contain lightning, it does not mean it can’t be. We just do not know yet how……...”
This is the exact mindset that I have when I started observing the off-grid forums. Presented there were ingenious ideas on how to solve problems, but even the people posting just wants to throw the idea to be able to be solved. As per this God-given mind as given to me freely, I will always say there has to be a way how, and we need to distribute it freely as well.
We can make this battery charged, well, let us just say, we will fool ourselves into thinking that this battery will be charged always, and in doing so will keep the current flowing, like the Niagara. Even if I know that the Niagara will one day loose its water, but certainly not in our lifetime. Same with this battery, even if I can say that this charge will not hold forever, but if it will hold say up to 2 days just in time for another to “replace” it, then in principle it will run forever.
This will be our next topics, I assure you as the reader that this will all get very interesting. I am hoping that you will just continue to find these posts.