This project goes into the build of a DIY pedal powered generator out of an old car alternator and a bike. This generator is useful for powering your devices and gadgets in case of an emergency or grid down scenario.
The materials you need to build this generator are bike, MDF for base plinth, magnetic trainer stand for bike, Alternator, drive belt, 12V battery, cable connectors, 12V socket, multimeter, screwdriver, insulation tape.
The rear end the bike and rest of the components are mounted on a one inch thick MDF board. This has a good amount of stability that keeps it away from moving around. We add an extension bit on the front. The extra height there just compensates for the fact that the back wheel is in a stand.
The alternator is mounted nice and secure onto the base using brackets. Bolts connect the alternator to the brackets and screw the brackets down to the base. Once you are pedaling, and you have got electrical load in the circuit, there is quite a bit of force pulling the alternator forwards. So it does need to be really securely bolted down.
Make sure that the wheel of the bike is in line with the alternator pulley .With any wheel, we have rim bed and the rim walls. Here what we need is a drive belt that fits purely in the rim bed. Make sure you measure the internal width of the rim bed .
Also measure the width and depth of the alternator pulley grooves and get a belt that fits accordingly . Also make sure you have got a belt that is long enough because a typical drive belt that is used in a car is not going to be long enough because it is only made to go around a pulley on the engine.
The car alternator used here has three wires coming out of them .It has a main power thick output wire, it supplies main power to the devices. Then there is two small cables, one for voltage sensing and the other for field coil ignition. The voltage sensing wire goes straight to the 12V lead acid battery in our case. To get the alternator generating power you first need to apply a small voltage through the field coil and that is because an alternator doesn’t have any permanent magnets in it.
The way that any generating device works is moving either electrical charges through a stationary magnetic field or moving a magnetic field around a charge. So the field coil inside the alternator is attached to the field coil ignition cable, and putting a voltage generates the magnetic field, which enables the alternator to generate power when you turn the shaft via the drive belt. You don’t need to keep applying a voltage to it as it’s running, because it will generate its own power. The negative from the alternator is connected to the negative of the battery.
The positive connection from the alternator is connected to the positive of the battery. The third connection coming from the alternator is the field coil activator .This is connected to a switch .The connection goes back to the alternator to active the field coil.
A standard cigarette lighter socket is connected to the battery terminals. It will draw power off the battery first, and once you start charging power, because the alternator is connected into that, it is going to draw it from the alternator, and the alternator will simultaneously power whatever is connected into that socket, and recharge the battery.
The alternator used here has voltage tolerance of 11 to 14V . A Modular splitter is connected to the cig power socket to charge multiple devices. Make sure that the plug comes with a fuse or whatever you plug in needs to be rated to the right power for what you are going to charge .
To run alternating current devices, we connect a 150W Power inverter to the circuit. The alternator actually generate alternating current. But its got a rectification circuitry built into it, which changes it to DC. The inverter changes the the DC output from the alternator to AC.
Finally ,we add a master switch that switches the battery on.The Power switch stops any drain from the battery through the field coil . The switch also connects the multi sockets that charges various devices. It isolates the battery from the circuit. It isolates the alternator from the circuit, and it isolates the remote switch and the battery from the field coil completely.
The AC generating device like an alternator have a minimum speed of operation in which they are stable. So do check for your alternator, what is the recommended minimum speed for it. If you spend it below that speed, what happens is because of the way it works, you get a periodically varying force which acts as a resistance to your pedaling.
- How to build an Emergency Waste Oil or Used Vegetable Oil Candle from Old Nail Polish BottleThis project goes into the build of a simple and inexpensive waste oil/ used vegetable oil candle from an old nail polish bottle. You can burn motor oil ,vegetable oil, olive oil or you can also use lamp oil in these types of candles. The first thing your need for this oil candle is a reservoir to hold the oil in. Here we use a finger nail polish bottle. Next , a length of 100% cotton yarn is needed that is slightly longer than the length of the bottle. Another requirement is a one inch square piece of aluminum foil. The first thing you need to do to start this process is to take the bottle , clean it completely and fill it with your source of fuel like veg oil, waste motor oil, corn oil, olive oil . When you are pouring the oil, you don't want to go all the way up to the top of the bottle. Leave small amount of space at the top of the bottle. Take the aluminum foil and fold it length wise in half .Puncture a small hole in the middle of the foil . Through this hole, the cotton wick is pushed through. Lower the wick into the bottle and fold the aluminum foil around the neck of the bottle. This acts as a lid . Make sure that everything is folded down nice and tight around the bottle. Check the candle and see if this wick is wet. And if it is not , turn it upside down for a minute . The oil will then come into this wick and saturate it. Be careful that your aluminum foil doesn't fall off. If your cotton wick is a little bit longer, pull it up a little bit . This exposes the wet part of the wick. Take your scissors and cut the wick down just a little. Light the candle . When you first go to light them it takes a minute because you have to get everything warmed up. Let it burn a little bit. Make sure to not use a thick layer of aluminum foil for the lid. The aluminum foil will heat up and cause problems. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbHFrvL99eA
- How to heat your Garage by using an Outdoor Wood Burning Boiler and an old car radiatorThis project goes into the build of an outdoor wood boiler for heating your garage using an old barrel and a car radiator. The first step is to make a wood burning stove out of an old barrel . Here we are converting the barrel into a stove using a vogelzang stove kit. We start by cutting a hole for the door using the the door accessory from the kit as a guide. Place the door on the side of the barrel and mark the four corners. Start cutting the hole using a grinder, reciprocating saw or a plasma torch. Align the door with the hole and drill holes for the screws. The door is now secured in place . Next step is to install the legs that came with the kit. Place the barrel on the the legs and align them so that everything is level. The spots are marked , holes drilled and the legs are bolted in place. To control the air flow and how hot the stove burns, we install the flange and the damper within the chimney area. Center the flange that comes with the kit near the edge and make a circle for cutting the hole. Also mark holes for the bolts using the flange as a guide. The flange along with the damper is then screwed down securely. The next step is to convert this barrel stove into a hot water heater. Begin by drilling two holes across both sides of the barrel and inserting couple of three eighth inch threaded rod across the sides. This creates a base where a 30ft coiled copper tubes are placed to circulate the warm water. A 30ft half inch copper coil with the input and output straight end is placed inside the barrel on top of the two threaded 3/8th rod base which we have installed previously. Two holes are drilled at the back of the barrel so that the input and the output ends of the copper coil can be connected to a pipe or flexible hose. The input end of copper coil coming out at the back of the barrel is further connected to another loop of copper coil outside the barrel . The coil is wound across the barrel so that incoming water is preheated using the outside coil before it goes into the barrel and gets further heated by the coils inside . The ends of the coils are connected to two pipes, the outgoing and the return . These pipes are then insulated using half inch pipe insulation foam to prevent any leak. A small trench is dug and the insulated pipe is extended to the garage. The water circulatory pipes are now connected to an old car radiator inside the garage. The incoming hot water pipe is connected at the top of the radiator and the return is connected at the bottom. To circulate the water ,we use a cheap submersible pump. The pump is submerged in a bucket . The pump will pump cold water out through the heater, the hot water circulates through the radiator , cools down and collected at the bucket and it is again recirculated. Two holes are drilled on the top of the bucket . One for the pipe coming out from the pump and another for the pipe coming back from the radiator. The inch and quarter radiator hose is adjusted to connect to the pex hose piping with the help of a PVC poly tube with a threaded end The other side of the polytube with the threaded end is attached to a PVC adapter and a slip fitting with a bushing. This helps us to connect the pex pipe to the radiator . To prevent the water from boiling , an antifreeze solution is mixed . A window fan is used as a back fan for the radiator. Placed right behind the radiator, this blows the hot air through it and into the garage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPw9HKAxr8A https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBMSDp5puEE
- How to build a Homemade Off grid Solar Powered Water fueled Air Heater and Air Cooler using an 8 X 8 heat exchanger and a car radiator fanThis project goes into the build of a homemade water fueled radiant Air heater / Air Cooler that can blow cold air or hot air into your room or space using a heat exchanger and an old car radiator fan . This system can pump out cold air at 1500 CFM with the temperature reaching 55F and heat output at almost 170 F. The entire system is powered by a 100W Solar Panel and costs around 60 to 70 dollars . The major advantage of using this cooler is that it doesnt add any humidity to the air. The materials you need to build this Cooler/ Heater are as follows. Standard bilge water pump or aquarium pump or 12V DC fan for solar, seven inch 12V 80W car radiator fan, 10 X 12 piece of plywood, a couple of eleven inch 2 x4's, 8 X 8 heat exchanger, one inch PVC tubing , a couple of hose barbs with coupler , a tub to hold the ice or hot water . A 12V DC heating element can also be used to warm up the water The first step is building a frame to hold the heat exchanger and the car radiator fan together. This is done by a taking couple of 11 inch 2 X4 's and mount them parallel to each other on a 10 X 12 inch piece of plywood. A hole is cut on the plywood to place the car radiator fan . The heat exchanger is attached on the back side of the fan just between those two eleven inch 2 X 4's.The heat exchanger is rated for over 25k BTU's and covers about 1000 sq ft that can heat or cool an entire living space. A tub containing Ice cold water or hot water is used as a source of heat or cold . The Water pump submerged into the water source is connected to the inlet tubing . This pumps the cold or hot water into the input of the heat exchanger . The car radiator fan is powered on using the 100 W solar panel and the hot or cold air radiates into the room or space. The water returns back into the tub through the other tubing . The solar panel is connected to a speed controller that is further connected to the radiator fan to adjust the air flow. The 200gph water pump with the half inch pipe is connected to the inch pipe main tubing using half inch barbed to inch threaded and inch threaded to inch barbed and a threaded PVC coupler. To make the hot water , we use a 150W DC Water heating element . The heat element is connected at the base of the tub or barrel . This unit is powered by a solar panel . You can use an AC powered immersion water heater if there is no option for solar. A 100W Solar panel is powering the 80W Car radiator fan and 12V 350 GPH Bilge pump that is used to pump the water to the heat exchanger and back . It also powers Heating element if you plan to heat the water this way. Another way to heat the water is using a 50 ft copper tubing. The water is pumped through the copper tubing using a small pump and a 5W Solar panel and heat it up. The hot water is then passed through to heat exchanger . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLspmypEqhM