DIY Video : How to build a simple Off Grid Refrigerator using a 5 gallon bucket . No Ice Needed !!

    This project goes over the build an off grid survival fridge using a five gallon bucket . It has a peltier cooling module on the top. So no need of refrigerant or ice cubes. The materials you need to build are as follows. A 12V 12A Thermoelectric Peltier Refrigeration Cooling System unit from Amazon, a 5 gallon bucket , 4 gallon Styrofoam liner from Home depot.

    This refrigerator works by the principle of peltier effect. The Peltier effect shows that a temperature differential is created when a DC current is applied across two different materials .The peltier unit is made of using two thin ceramic wafers with a series of n and p semiconductor materials sandwiched between them. The ceramic wafers add rigidity and provide the necessary electrical insulation for the module. The n type semiconductors have excess electrons, while the p type have a deficit of electrons with one n and one p making up the junction couple that creates the thermoelectric effect. When a DC current is applied to the circuit, the thermoelectric module can work as a cooler or heater depending on the direction of the current. A thermoelectric cooler or tech transfers heat from one side of the device to the opposite side against the temperature gradient creating a cooling effect.

    We use heat sinks and CPU fans on the peltier chips to radiate and lower the heat generated on the hotter side and move the cooler air into the bucket from the cold side. The peltier setup in this build uses two 12V 92mm fans on the hotter side glued to a large 200m X 100mm Aluminum heat sinks, two 12v 5.8amps peltier chips are glued under two 40mm heat sinks using thermal paste. 2 40mm fans are also attached to the heat sink.

    The Styrofoam liner is inserted in to the five gallon bucket . Two small rectangular cuts are made on the lid of the liner so that the heat sinks fits inside there and gets good airflow around the edges.

    We cut a rectangle on the top lid of the bucket to allow the peltier module to sit in. Small vent holes are drilled on the sides of the lid using a standard quarter inch drill bit so that no hot air gets caught between the bucket lid and the Styrofoam lid.

    Cut a small notch in the bucket using tin snips so the wires from the peltier units will come out without getting pinched under the lid.

    You can hook this unit to 100 watt solar panels straight , 12 volt deep cycle battery, 12 volt transformer to the wall, or you can use your car CIG lighter. This unit can drop the temperature inside the bucket from 81 to 47 degree Fahrenheit in minutes.

    • DIY Video: Generate your own power by building a portable solar power station.
      This Video shows the build of a portable solar power station for camping, boating, off grid living.Save many thousands of dollars on power bills by generating my own power. In this video I'll share some of the tricks I've learned along the way and show you how to build a fully off-grid solar system on a budget. No need to pay someone thousands of dollars to install when you can do it yourself.This basic setup can be used for boating, camping or scaled up to power your whole house.

      Watch the DIY portable solar power station build video

    • How to build a Large 2000W Portable Solar Power Generator at Home from scratch.
      The idea of a completely silent power generator that can still run large power loads, and never need gasoline is a really cool concept. This project goes over the build of a large 2000W Portable Solar Generator that can power appliances ranging from a table saw to charging your phone effortlessly. We need a large box to hold our basic components. Here we use a pelican 1620 protector case that is durable, dustproof and waterproof .This is going to be the case that we package everything into. It's got wheels on the bottom so you can roll it around ,also has heavy handles on either sides. The battery is a AGM glass mat ,coil would style, 12V optima deep cycle battery. A deep cycle battery just allows you to get a little bit deeper into the discharge before you are starting to shorten the life of that battery. This battery also has the ability to be mounted in any orientation . So it is safe whether the battery is on its side on its back or even upside down as long as we have it mounted securely so that nothing shorts against our terminals. The next major components for our build is the 2000W inverter from Krieger. This one has some large terminals on the back for our wiring. Also has a active fan here for ventilation. Also comes with a remote control switch. The 100W Solar Panel is from Renogy. It has the bus on the back for connecting in to your solar charger .It also comes with a 30A Solar Charge controller. This can run up to four of the 100 watt panels in a 12 volt system. The back of the solar panel comes pre wired with MC4 connectors, as well as a couple of MC4 pigtails. We use high quality 16 gauge speaker wire to extend the connection. These wires are highly flexible for portable use. To connect it to the MC4 pigtails we need to go ahead and strip the insulation off and use butt splice connectors to crimp them to the MC4 pigtails. In case you cant to charge the system with standard AC power ,we use a 1.5A Battery maintainer / Float or Trickle charger. This will be good for just keeping it topped off when it is in storage. Or if you just want to charge up your batteries and you really don't have a place to be setting the panels out. Next step is mounting components on the outside of the case . Before mounting any component, factor in how the internal components are going to placed inside the case. On one side of the case ,we are going to mount a small LED work lamp with toggle switch, a 12V gauge pod with 5V USB output, digital voltmeter,12V cigarette socket ,an AC input plug for using with the trickle charger, a 6pin solar panel trailer connector. These components are secured in place using a RTV silicone sealant. One the other side of the case , we are going to mount the inverter remote control switch, 350A high current plug which is used for jumper cables or to add high current loads, a GFCI AC outlet with a weatherproof cover. The GFCI outlet is connected to the inverter inside the case. We want to put the battery as close to the wheels as possible, because that will help keep the heaviest part down low when moving the case around either on the wheels or by carrying it. We place it snug into a corner of the case using battery mount and couple of pieces of 2X4. The inverter is placed inside the case in such a way that there is enough space for air ventilation and for tucking some of the wires underneath. The inverters are secured in place using mounting tabs and 10x24 machine screws. The PWM solar charge controller is also mounted in the same way near the solar panel connector input. The trickle charger / battery maintainer is placed as low into the back of the case .This is not something that will get very warm so we don't need to worry about heat dissipation or anything like that . We plug the power cord from the trickle charger into the AC input cord. Next step is the wiring. We start by connecting the power cables from the inverter to the battery. The positive and negative from the inverter is connected to the positive and negative of the battery respectively. To distribute power in our generator ,we use a six circuit fuse panel for the positives and a busbar for the grounds. We use two inexpensive battery cables to run the power to our distribution blocks as well as running the power to our high current quick connector. The positive red connection from the quick connector goes to the fuse panel and the black negative connector to the ground busbar. Both connections are further extended to connect to the positives and negatives of the battery respectively. The LED lights are connected to the 3 way connector switches. The switches are further connected to the power distribution fuse block. Similarly a single switch is connected to the USB outlet, voltmeter and the cigarette lighter ports in parallel. The positive from the switch is connected through a daisy chain mechanism to the three positives of the ports ,the negatives are similarly connected to our distribution block. At this point, we now have a power wire and a ground wire for every single one of our accessories connections . We bundle these wires and keep it neat and tidy using zip ties. Separate the positive wires from the negative wires, we are going to be rounding the negative wires to our ground busbar. After we have all of the ground wires connected, we can move on to the power wires on our distribution block. Each one of the blade connectors represents one fuse circuit. We connect the positive red wires from charge controller, battery trickle charger, usb ports,voltmeter,12V outlet to the fuse circuit. We are using a 30A fuse for the charge controller,12V socket, 20A for the LED work lights, 5A for the trickle charger.
    • How to heat your Garage by building a Super Insulated Radiant Floor Heating System
      This project goes over the installation of a homemade radiant floor hydronic heating system for the garage. The radiant floor heating uses a pex tubing that is installed along the floor of your garage or room . Hot water is passed through the tubing which radiates the heat out into the room or space. The first step is to figure out what size pex coil tubing and how big of a water heater you would need . Also how many feet of tubing would allow enough heat to exchange into the concrete floor to sufficiently warm up the entire space. The total BTU/hour or heat required will be based on the square footage of your garage or room . We begin by levelling the ground and start laying down a vapor barrier .The vapor barrier is made out of 6 Mil Visqueen plastic PE film .The barrier keeps the moisture from under the ground to rise up to the surface of the floor. We then lay a mixture of sand and packing gravel before installing the two inch extruded insulating polystyrene foam on the floor and the perimeter. Four circuits of 800 ft half inch Pex tubing is stapled down on two inches of polystyrene insulating foam using a pex stapler. The eight tube ends are routed upto to a box from where it is connected to a manifold which is mounted on to the wall. The pex tubing with the supply and return tube is connected to the manifold with the help of a compression fitting . To check if all the connections are OK or if there is any hole or leak in the tubing, connect the manifold to a 100 PSOI air pressure gauge to do a pressure test. Five inches of concrete is then poured over the pex tubing circuits. Saw cuts of less than an inch are made into the concrete to allow for the shrinkage during the curing process. To insulate the pex tubing and to prevent water from entering into the floor, an expanding foam sealant is filled near the junction where the concrete meets the supply and return tubing near the manifold. The heating components of this system are mounted on a 4 X 4 square sheet of plywood. The heater has a rating of 7.2kW . The heater is flow activated which requires a circulating pump to pump water through it which then activates the heater based on the temperature setting. Two 120V fractional horsepower circulating pumps are used , one for running the water through the heater and the other circulates out through the pex loops. The pump has an inbuilt garden hose connector system used for draining. The hot water coming out of the output end of the heater passes through a pressure tank which removes the air bubble with an air release valve and prevents any water hammer to the system. This is further connected to the flow activated circulating pump for the heater with connections for filing and draining the system with the help of shut off valves. The water then comes down to a stainless steel manifold and then flows through the supply end of the pex tubing . The heated water splits into four supply loops at the manifold into the concrete floor. The water then returns back to the return end of the manifold through the other four loops of pex tubing and goes straight through another circulating pump and a Y strainer filter before circulating back to the heater. Two thermometers are connected at the supply and return end of the pipe to know the temperature difference of the outdoing water and the returning water. The flow is controlled by a thermostat and a switching relay that turns on the circulating pump .