This project goes over the details on how you can setup and install a 300W Off the grid Micro Hydro System for your home .
The water source mentioned in this project have a flow rate of 15 – 30 gallons a minute and the drop between the source and the house is about 150 feet.
The first step is to make an intake angled screen box for the system that helps in channeling the water from the source. The aluminum screen on the top blocks leaves, sticks and other debris to pass through into the box . The box is made of a 24 inch 2X10 ,2X4 and an 2X8 angled piece treated lumber.
We add 3 one and quarter inch attachment points on the lower side of the box for the hdpe poly pipes. The box is secured using exterior screws on the outside and inner tubes on the seam to prevent leaks.
The box is installed on the creek with help of couple of three and half inch concrete anchors and two boards are screwed on both the sides for support.
The outlet poly pipes from the intake screen box goes to 55 gallon plastic barrel which acts as a silt catchment and also an air free source. The 3 outlet pipes are connected to the top of the barrel with the help of uniseal rubber gaskets. A 2 inch pipe is installed midway on the tank for the penstock.
We also install an overflow pipe near the top of the tank to take the extra water out and a three inch cleanout pipe at the bottom . The cleanout pipe can be unscrewed to remove the silt and debris out.
To take the water from the intake to the turbine, the penstock used here is a 100PSI 1100ft 2 inch poly pipe. A threaded adapter is glued to the outlet coming out of the barrel. It is then connected to a two inch full port shutoff ball valve followed by an another threaded adapter and a pipe. The penstock poly pipe is attached to this pipe using barb fittings with hose clamps.
Next step is to install the pressure gauge and the surge tank to our penstock pipe. Water will come down through the poly pipe into another PVC pipe fitted with a pressure gauge, surge tank, two inch closing ball valve and a union to remove the turbine from the pipe. The surge tank is made of a standpipe that will prevent any water hammer affecting the pipes.
The two inch poly pipe coming out from the barrel is connected to the two inch PVC surge tank and pressure gauge using regular . If the main shut off valve is suddenly closed, this tank will allow some of the surge to be absorbed.
Next step is to build a housing for the micro hydro turbine. It is going to have a lid that opens up and a drain field pipe that goes out back to the creek. The housing for the turbine is made of three quarter inch plywood that is 2 X 2 foot wide and one foot tall. The turbine sits inside the hosing in the middle with the help of some 2x 4 scrap wood and a bucket lid piece. Then a 3 inch exit pipe comes out of here down through the middle of the housing .This drain pipe keeps the water from piling up under the turbine.
The Micro Hydro Turgo Turbine is custom built based on the head pressure and the flow rate of the water source. It has three ball valves and four quarter inch jet nozzles coming out of them. The ball valves can be separately turned off when there is not enough water .The turbine is wired up to be three phase. The water coming out of the penstock hits jet nozzles that turns the Pelton wheel which is connected to 3 phase AC motor.
To connect the turbine to our house, we use a 10/3 underground feeder wire. The wire is enclosed in a one inch conduit pipe. The proper way to install wire into a conduit is to get your conduit all glued together. And then you have a vacuum that pulls a string through. You tie your string to the wire and then pull the wire through the conduit. The wire goes into the house through a PVC conduit body.
We install a junction box on the housing of the turbine to join the 3 phase turbine output wires to the 10/3 UG feeder wires coming from the house. Inside the house, we connect a rectifier to the three legs of the three phase coming from the turbine .This converts the AC generated into DC power.
To generate useable power from this micro hydro system we need to install certain electrical devices in our houses. These include the MPPT Charge Controller, Grid Tie limiter Inverter, breaker box, disconnect switches and the batteries. These components are mounted on a 2 X 2 foot ,three inch plywood board. In case there is some excess heat for one of these electronics at some point, we cover the plywood board with a piece of sheet metal so that it will act as a heat sink.
From the rectifier, the connection goes into a 25amp breaker box .The red wire goes into the breaker box and then further connects to positive of the charge controller. The negative white wire is directly connected to the negative of the charge controller.
The five 12V AGM batteries are connected in series using four gauge cables. The positives from the batteries are connected to the charge controller and the inverter via DC switches .These switches allows us to isolate and disconnect the components individually. The negatives from the batteries are connected to the negatives of both charge controller and inverter respectively. The inverter is further connected to receptacle from where it goes straight to the main supply.
- How to build your own DIY off grid / grid down Solar Power Back up system from scratchThis project goes over the build of a Solar Power Grid Down Backup System to generate your own alternative power.A great way to utilize renewable energy as a backup source of power. Whatever may be the reason , may be to offset electricity bills or for self reliance to provide when the grid goes down, a solar backup system is simply a great way to provide alternative power to maintain a lifestyle of reasonable convenience. If the grid should go down, I can have a freezer, power lighting, pump water, maintain communications, use tools, and charge every little device I have from flashlights to kindles. This Off grid Solar Power System is composed of 5 components. Solar panels to generate the power, a charge controller to charge the batteries, the batteries to store the energy, the inverter to provide AC to the household items you wish to power. Also you need a Kilowatt meter. The kilowatt meter measures two things you have to know how much energy your devices draw at any given moment, and how much power they consume over time. Here we use 100 watt monocrystalline panels, a 40 amp MPPT charge controller, a 1000 watt pure sine wave inverter and to store the energy, 446 volt golf cart batteries totaling 470 amp hours. First you need to size your system by figuring out how many devices you are going to want to run at the same time. This will determine the size of your inverter, the inverters function is to take DC power from the batteries and converted to AC power for use with household appliances. If I have 1000 watt inverter, this means I can run up to 1000 watts worth of devices at the same time. Once you have evaluated every device that you feel that you are going to need, should the grid go down, you are gonna have a good idea of how much power you need to generate each day. The battery bank consists of four, six volt, Duracell SLIGC 125, golf cart batteries connected in series. Golf cart batteries are designed to deliver a lower amount of power over a longer period of time and then recharge quickly. When picking a spot to locate your panels, you have to consider that the sun will be lower towards the horizon in the winter, and closer to directly overhead in the summer. Building a system that actually tracks the sun would be best as the panels are always pointed directly at the sun. Also mount your panels as close as possible to the batteries. This is because the longer your wire run, the more energy is wasted due to resistance. You also need to select the proper gauge wire to transmit the power from the solar panels to the batteries. Between the panels and the batteries is the charge controller ,it controls the charge of the batteries and make sure that the batteries get the proper voltage that they need and that they don't get overcharged. Here we use an MPPT Solar Charge controller. If your solar panels are wired in series and connected to an MPPT charge controller, the voltage adds up ,thus giving us enough voltage to charge the batteries. An MPPT charge controller can charge your batteries nearly the entire time The sun is out. If your panels are far away and you want to save money and wiring, then the MPPT charge controller is way more efficient than PWM. The first step in making your solar system safe is making sure that there's an automatic and a manual way to disconnect power in each segment of the system. Starting right here at the battery box we have a 300 amp manual switch to kill the power from the batteries to the inverter as well as a 200 amp fuse that will blow automatically. Another component to the safety is the grounding. Grounding your system is quite easy to do. So get an eight foot grounding rod and drive it into the ground. Then pick up some copper grounding wire, some lugs and connect the frames have all the panels in any metal components in the system including the charge controller and the inverter.
- DIY Video:How To Turn Your Old Fan Into An Airconditioner AC for cheap.This project shows you how can take an old table fan and convert it into a simple ,cheap and easy to make homemade AC . The materials needed for the this project are a table fan, 75 gallon per hour fountain pump with valve to control the water flow, multi purpose zip ties ,two 3/8th inch transparent PVC Pipe tube, 15 foot quarter inch copper tube,two hose clamps. Unhook the locks if any and remove the screen of the fan. Take the copper coil and wind them across the rims of the fan .Secure them tight on the screen using multi purpose ties. Add the screen back to the fan body and then adjust the two ends of the copper coil by bending them to face the back of the fan and secure them using ties. Two 3/8 transparent vinyl PVC pipes are connected to the copper tube ends using hose clamps. We attach the fountain pump to the end of the vinyl PVC tube that goes straight into our cooler. The recirculated water coming from the other end of the tube goes straight back into the cooler bag. The cooler bag is filled with ice packs and water. The water pump is submerged into the bottom of the bag with ice and water over it. The water which is pumped with the help of the fountain pump gets recycled through the vinyl and the copper pipe and moves back into the bag, so you dont need to add more water .Both the pump and fan can be connected to solar generator in case if you want to make the system portable . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NuvzWaBulw
- DIY Video : How to heat your garage the Inexpensive way by building an Outdoor Stove with Heat ExchangerThis project goes over the build of an inexpensive garage heater using DIY outdoor barrel stove with a heat exchanger. This outdoor setup is safe because you dont want the stove inside the garage to catch fire if you are working with any flammable gas. We use a 30 gallon drum for the stove. The access doors and legs are purchased from the local store. The heater exchanger is made out of four inch steel pipe .We take couple of 4 foot pipe and weld them together using another small pipe. This pipe goes inside the firebox and connects to the chimney pipes. The pipe should be thick enough that it can withstand the heat of the fire without sagging or bending. This pipe heat exchanger adds positive pressure . Removable hatches are made on one side of the stoves to connect the 2 four inch aluminum flex chimney pipes from the outside barrel to the garage. Inside the garage we place a 4 inch exhaust fan blower that sucks the colder air from the floor and blows it through one of the flex chimney pipe into the stove. The blower is actually a hydroponics duct exhaust fan purchased from Ebay. The cold air gets pushed into the stove and moves through the heat exchanger steel pipe , gets heated and then moves out through the second chimney flex pipe and back into the garage. The hot air from the stove moves into the garage through the second pipe. In order to get more hot air, we also add a drip fed waste oil system to the outdoor stove . The oil gets dripped slowly from a tank into a frying pan on top of the stove .You can add cotton rags and let it drip into there and it just keeps burning like a wick. The combination of both wood and waste oil produce better fire . If the stove gets too hot, you can turn of the oil or use oil only to maintaining the temperature. You can put an insulated shack around the stove to minimize the heat loss. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn4CerxpNug