If you’re going to run your home ,cabin or garage off grid, you are going to need some way of having power. Enter Solar and Wind. This project goes over the build of a complete off grid power generation system that can harness the clean and green renewable energy of the sun and the wind.
Here is the basic rundown of the system .We go from sun to solar panels, there is no limit on how many solar panels we can put. It goes into a charge controller, it helps the solar panels create really efficient electricity to be pumped into your battery bank. Charge controller also makes sure that the batteries are being charged correctly and stay optimum. So solar panels to charge controller, and then that goes directly to your battery bank.
The other source of renewable power is wind. The wind turbine is connected to a stop switch that goes into your battery bank. In some cases in between you can put up a wind turbine charge controller.
Next step is converting the DC power to AC power with an inverter. The inverter basically converts the power to make it usable for your home. The inverter also has to be sized appropriately. From inverter to breaker panel which spreads the the power out throughout your house through your light switches, wall sockets. From breaker panel straight to your house or cabin.
The first step is sizing your system. The battery voltage is going to determine what type of equipment you are going to be buying, and how you are going to be wiring your battery bank. So if you go with a 12 volt system, then you are going to want to make sure that your solar panels are wired up correctly for 12 volt. Even when you go with a wind turbine, you are going to want to make sure you buy the correct wind turbine for your battery voltage .So everything has to be sized appropriately so that you can collect as much energies as efficiently and then you can draw that power out.
The golf cart batteries in my system are of 6 Volts. I have 6 of them wired in parallel, and in series to give me a 12 volt battery bank. The control panel box consists of my charge controller, voltmeter and 2 ammeters for both reading both solar and wind power amps.
Four 12V Solar panels , each 100 watts are wired together . All the positives are connected to each other and all the negatives are connected to each other. The wiring goes straight into the control panel.
The wind turbine used here is also 12V.The 3 Phase connections from the turbine goes into the bridge rectifier. The negative connection from the rectifier goes straight to the batteries, the positive goes to a junction box that connects the turbine and the inline fuse and 50amp breaker. The negative of the inverter goes into the negative of the batteries ,positive to positive. The romex wire from the inverter goes into the breaker panel in the house.
The Permanent Motor Alternator turbine stands on a 6 foot pole .We have these two steel pipes that go down into the ground, three feet. There’s another piece of steel that runs across here that’s welded together, and it’s in the bottom, and then we poured concrete over it to anchor it. Three tie down points are connected to the turbine to keep the pole steady from rocking around especially in high winds. So that way, when the blades turn, the bearings don’t get worn out prematurely from wobbling. The Permanent Motor Alternator (PMA) used in this turbine consists of 2 shell casing, two bearings, a rotor inside and a stainless steel shaft.
The tail of the turbine is made from a sheet metal cut to look like a fin.It is attached to a steel pole.This is further connected to the PMA alternator.
The 11 blades of the turbine is attached to a hub and a pulley through a steel shaft. The belt is connected to a secondary pulley which is connected to the Permanent magnet alternator. The wire from the PMA is connected through MC4 connectors to the control panel.
Wind turbine and solar power system overview :
Setup of the wind turbines :
- How to build an Offgrid Wood Gasifier that can produce alternative free fuelThis project goes over the build of a cross flow wood gasifier that powers a generator or a car or any kind of internal combustion engine using nothing more than wood scraps, paper, coal or any other organic materials. This unit was built in nothing more than an angle grinder, and a hand drill and parts that you can find lying around. These devices are taking advantage of a process called gasification, in which you can take any kind of organic biomass, really anything natural that burns and by heating it up, you are able to break it down through a process called pyrolysis to its basic elements. This creates a gas called syngas or wood gas. Here we are burning biomass in an oxygen deprived environment. And that heat which is sustained through just enough oxygen to not spread to ignite the gases produced by the heat interacting with the surrounding material is the process that we are using to create wood gas. The gases coming out contains things like water vapor from moisture content in the wood, also creates tar and creosote .So we need to filter out the gas. And the main concern of getting that gas to be clean enough to run an engine is by cooling it down. We connect the unfiltered gas coming from the pressure pot into a radiator to cool it down and then further connected to a bucket filled with saw dust to filter . The reactor unit is made of an old 5 gallon painting pressure pot . The first step is to burn it out removing old residue and paint. Also burn out the inside container as well. Make sure everything on the lid of the pressure pot is removed and sealed off with a plug or bolt. Remove the rubber gasket on the backside of the lid. The holes on surface of the lid are covered with three eighth inch bolts. At the bottom of the pot , we attach two pipes for the the air intake and the syn gas suction output. These pipes are held tightly to the pot with the help of one and quarter inch pipe flanges. The air comes up from the bottom, the gasification happens in the middle of this reactor and the ash gets sifted to the bottom through a passive shaker grate. The output pipe is capped at the top to prevent the residue ash going out and small holes are drilled along the pipe to allow the wood gas to pass through. Next step is to build the grate insert where the fuel will actually sit on and burn on. The grate will sit about two and a half inches off the bottom of the pot. The grate is made from the other stainless steel container that came with the pressure spray painting pot. Grid of holes are drilled along the surface of the grate using a quarter inch drill bit. The grate is finally is inserted into the reactor pot chamber . The gasket on the back of the lid of the pot is removed and replaced with fiberglass rope that can withstand temperature up to 2000 degree Fahrenheit. The rope is secured in place using a gasketing cement and stove sealer. The lid is clamped in place until the gasket cement is dry. The next step is to build the cooling and the filtering system. To get all the tar and steam to condense back into their liquid form , we use a old oil heater radiator that act as a condensate catcher . The gas coming out of the reactor is connected to the radiator which gets most of the heat out of them. We build the filtration system using a 5 gallon metal bucket to get the gas as clean as possible. The output pipe is attached to the bottom of the bucket using a flange. The bucket is filled with a filter medium such as wood shavings or sawdust that will trap any sort of particulates and get more tar out of the gas. An old car blower from a toyota is attached to the top of this bucket to get that gas up to the point where it can burn. The blower motor is supported with a old 10 tin can that is then secured at the center of top of the bucket .Another soup can is soldered to the 10 can on the side to attach the output hose pipe. We don't want there to be enough oxygen to actually just burn all the material in there before we can extract the gases . So we are limiting this by using a one way gate valve . The one way valve is important to prevent flashbacks if too much oxygen is there inside the reactor . We load the reactor with wood sticks and put some starter down in there, which is just some cloth, some paper and a sprinkle some wood pellets on top just to give us something small to start off with. We pack the reactor leaving a spot in the center . The fans is turned on and we start the ignition process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvl5XxVVjDM
- DIY Video : How to dig your own shallow water well for the gardenThis project goes over the instructions on how you can dig your own shallow hand pump water well using simple tools and save a lot of money. Before digging the water well, you need to know the ground. You got to have the right soil for this system to work. If your soil type is silt, clay, sand or loam, then its ideal .In our case, we have the first 10 or 12 feet of fine glacial silt and below that there is glacial deposits of river gravel. The first step is to dig a hole for the well casing. The tools you need to dig the hole are six inch post hole auger , three quarter inch extension pipe with coupling at the end and couple of wrenches. Once you have spotted the area where you want to dig the well, you start by applying downward pressure on the auger by twisting it. It screws itself into the earth filling its basket with material. When it's full, you pick it up and dump it aside or in a wheel barrel. Sharpening the auger can help it cut through tree roots but it will not stay sharp long. It is important to do your best to keep the hole centered. Once the bottom is reached, we pull out the auger and remove the basket from the handle and insert one of the extension using the pipe wrench. The next part is getting the casing down the hole. For the casing we are using a cheap and readily available six inch PVC sewer pipe. We use a rasp to smoothen the end of the pipe so that it fits a cap . A round piece of PVC flat stock is bolted and glued on top of the cap using a PVC glue. This becomes the mounting base for the pitcher pump. To get started with driving the well point, we need a long piece of 10 foot pipe and a sandpoint, a couple of drive couplings. The drive couplings are steel rather than cast which makes them stronger. But most importantly, they have that small diameter so that they can slip down inside, making them not much larger than the diameter of the sand point itself. The sandpoint is made of perforated stainless steel and a cast iron point at the bottom. We connect the sandpoint and 10 foot pipes using the couplers and some Teflon tape. Now you don't want to hammer on your drive point or any of your fittings without them being quite tight because you need those extra threads to spread the load. We drive the whole thing with a homemade post hole pounder which is a gooseneck trailer hitch ball welded into a piece of pipe. We insert the sandpoint with the extension into the well casing and start drilling by hand. We are gonna find out how far down that water is by dropping a string with a bolt tied to it to the very bottom. We finally attach a black ABS suction by sliding it down into our pipe .Then we cover the pipe with our PVC casing . And once the casing has been firmly tamped down, we will pack around the casing and tap that into place. The final step is to install the pitcher pump and prime it by add some water. The top cap is installed on the casing opening and the pump is bolted to the top of the cap. Priming the pump simply entails pouring a little water in that top basin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mG4j4I13y4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p5ked9gKuQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=334mj68JU0I
- How to build a Simple Homemade Wood Burning Stove heater with Heat Exchanger for your Garage .No Electricity required and Inexpensive…..This project goes into the build of a homemade wood burning heater with a heat exchanger for your garage . This heater is build from a recycled old propane tank . The other materials you need to build this heater are 55 gallon drum, fan blower, quarter inch steel plates , eighteen 2 inch steel pipes for the heat exchanger, welding unit, plasma cutter. Before cutting into the propane tank , make sure to clean the tank so that there is no residual gas left in it . Cut both ends of the tank using the plasma cutter. Now we cut a 30 inch length piece from the tank .This acts as a main body where the heat exchanger pipes are installed. The heat exchanger consists of 18 two inch pipes that run the length of the heater from front to back. Two quarter inch steel plates are welded at the ends of the propane tank . Before doing that we make 18 holes at both the ends of the steel plate. This is done to install the heat exchanger pipes across the length of the tank. With the help of an eighth inch hardboard, we make a template for cutting the 18 holes out of the steel end plates. The hardboard acts a guide for the plasma cutter to cut the holes. The pipes for the heat exchanger are cut 31 and half inches long. Half inch sticks out at both the ends of the heater. They are welded to the steel end plates at both ends. The opening for the door at the end of the heater for the wood intake has a dimension of 16 inch X 12 inch . A similar template is placed on the end plate and the opening is cut using the plasma cutter. A frame around the door is made using a three quarter inch by three sixteenths inch flat stock .This is used for the door opening and to give the door something to close up against. Hinges are welded near the door opening for attaching the door. The locking mechanism for the door to hold it shut is made using a flat stock and couple of bolts . The bolts are welded onto the flat stock and attached inside the heater just beside the door . The handle made of a 90 degree round stock is welded to couple of washers and the door is sandwiched in between. The end plates along with the door is welded onto the body of the heater at both the ends and a hole is made at the top of the propane tank body for installing the flue exhaust pipe. A small hole is cut near the door and a damper in the form of a simple sliding door is attached to the hole that will control the airflow into the heater. A section from old 55 gallon steel barrel is cut and welded onto the backside of the heater .An inexpensive fan blower is attached to this 55 gallon drum . This is installed to concentrate the air that is going through the heat exchanger pipes. The flue pipe is welded onto the top of the heater so that the harmful smoke and gases escape through the exhaust . A grate is placed into the heater through the door opening , wood pieces are introduced and the we start firing the heater. After few minutes , the fire will heat the heat exchanger pipes . The fan blower is turned on and the hot air is blown through the pipes into the garage . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gwiT7Ps1F0