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.
- 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
- How to build a Homemade Copper Pipe Solar Water Heater and get super hot water fast and freeThis project goes over the build of a Homemade Copper Pipe Solar Thermal Water heater which can produce super hot water fast .This reaches temperature at or above 150F with air temperature from high 40's to low 50's. Here are the materials needed for this project are : Two 10 foot half inch copper pipes - Type L 16 half inch 90 degree elbows 18 tube straps 23 X 35 half inch plywood for the back 18 X 20 half inch plywood for the pipe support 2 X 2 lumber at 20 and 35" for the sides 4 and 3/8 inch square dowel rods for the glass support 1/2 inch threaded pipe adapter 3/4" to 1/2" garden hose PVC adapter 1/2 inch coupler. The first step is to cut down a bunch of two foot sections out of the 10 foot sections using a copper cutter. We cut 7 of them and 2 more for the top and bottom which are 30 inches each. Next we cut 8 sections of 1 1/8" for the connecter pieces between elbow joints. This allows the pipe to be spaced exactly two inches apart on the board evenly all the way up and down Connect the pipes using couple of elbows and a 2 inch connecter piece and solder them .Do it for the rest of the pipes. Slide the pipes into the plywood frame collector and fasten them onto it using 3/8 inch screws to be more secure. A small internal board is placed onto this frame which helps the pipe to lay flat inside .Also it holds the pipe at right height so that it exits through the right holes. It allows for the pipe to be easily removed from the collector frame. Cut the wooden dowel rods and put inside the collector to support the glass. Sand them a little bit so that the copper pipe will fit back through. A straight coupler is welded on to the end of outlet then you can add any pipe or connecter or wherever you want the water to go. The inner board is secured to the back board using some three quarter inch screws. The 4 corners of the 2 X 2 wood frame is secured using 2 and half inch wood screws and the corners of the back board is secured by one and one half inch screws. A 20 X 32 inch glass is placed on the frame with the help of some silicone caulk around the edge. The highest piece of copper in there is eighth of an inch away from the glass and its painted black. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uOQEXmyHRs
- How to Dig a Shallow Well from Start to Finish for offgrid homesteadingThis project goes over how you can dig your own shallow well using simple tools that you can get from your local garden store. The materials you need to dig and install a well are as follows. A customized Seymour AUA2 Post Auger to dig the hole. A Shovel is used to move the pea gravel and dirt out of the way. A Four inch casing PVC pipe that is going into the hole that is dug and this is going to hold the water until you need it. One and one fourth inch threaded adapter. This connects the bottom of the casing pipe to the foot valve. The foot valve is one and one quarter inch. This valve allows the water to come in and not go out. This helps to keep the pump primed. A water well pump pipe which is basically a one and one quarter inch PVC pipe. This will pull the water from the bottom of the well bringing it to your pump. The length of this pipe is going to be determined by how deep your well is. It should be at least a foot shorter than the depth of your well. You don't want this pipe sitting on the bottom because it would just be sitting in sediment and it will be clogging things up. A pitcher pump that has a one and one quarter inch threaded water inlet at the bottom. A closet flange. It makes mounting the pump to the top of your well four inch casing pipe very easy and it also helps keep things clean. Basically you would just set this inside you your four inch pipe, drill a hole out of the middle of a board, screw that to the top of this flange then mount your pump to the board that you have fastened to this. A one and one quarter inch threaded adapter. This will screw into the bottom of your pitcher pump and in turn, it will connect to the pipe bringing water to your pump from the bottom of the well. Teflon tape, PVC glue. Pea gravel - This will go down around the casing pipe of the well. The amount of pea gravel you need is determined by the depth of the well and water height. Quikcrete or aerated concrete to cap the top of the well. This prevents groundwater contamination and keeps stuff from finding a way to easily get into your well. To find the spot for the well, we use couple of coat hangers as dowsing roads. We take a drinking straw ,cut it in half and slide it over the coat hangers. This helps us in not using our hands or fingers influence while dowsing. Also it is easy to rotate the rods within the straws. The rods are kept parallel to the ground . If the rods cross each other , then mark the spot on the ground directly down the cross . This is the ideal spot for the well. The auger used for digging the hole for the well is modified from the default Seymour Post hole auger. We use a custom 5 foot 11 gauge one and half inch square tubing as the extension for the auger . The handle of the auger is a three foot three quarter inch pipe welded to a four inch 11 gauge square tubing. We start digging into the the spot that we have found earlier using the dowsing rods. Pay attention to the changes in the color of sand , because that can give you clues as whether you are getting closer to water. We extend the auger using the square bar tube once the auger handle is near the ground. Once you have hit wet clay, there is going to be suction around. We twist and pull at the same time to get the auger out of the hole in this situation. Next, we put the 20 foot PVC casing pipe into the hole . We cut slots using a reciprocating saw on the pipe one foot from the bottom of the well to the top of the water level to allow the water to flow into the well. Pea gravel is poured around the sides of the pipe all the way up to the slots . The remaining hole area around the pipe is packed with sand and clay. We seal the well by packing it around the sides with quickrete cement. This helps the water not to be able to run down into your well but around it. We lower the one and one quarter inch well pump pipe with the foot valve at the end into the PVC casing pipe. A four inch drain flange is secured on top of the casing pipe . A pitcher pump is then attached to top of the pipe. To prevent the pump from moving, it is bolted to the board where the flange is installed. To prime the well, we pour some water down through the pitcher pump. Pump out the dirty water until it is clean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rYPRMm8Arw