How to Generate Emergency Off Grid Power using a Car Alternator and an exercise bike.

    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 build a Survival Water Distillation System for under $5 and turn Salt Water Into Fresh Water
      This project goes into the build a simple survival water distillation system to turn your salt water into drinkable fresh water. This setup can be made with little more than two glass bottles, some metal trays and some sand. So the primary components of this setup are two glass bottles, the wider the bottles are in diameter ,the better and a pair of metal trays. The first part of this process will be to prepare an area such that the two bottles can rest mouth to mouth. The important part is that one of them needs to be suspended over a heat source. This could be done over an open campfire, you just need to find a way to suspend the bottle above the flame either using rocks or logs. Cut a small notch on one side of the pan so that the neck of the bottles can sit a little lower in the pan. This is by no means necessary, but it will make the setup a little more secure. With the trays secured in place, both of them are now filled with sand. The sand will allow the trays to more efficiently act as heat sinks, one tray to cool one of the bottles and the other tray will be used to very evenly heat the other bottle so that it doesn't shatter from being heated too much on one side. The bottle is pressed firmly into the sand so that it gets good thermal contact and will be heated evenly. The second bottle is adjusted such that its mouth will meet up with the first and it is also pressed into the sand to obtain good thermal contact. Another reason that I'm using sand for this is because it makes it very easy to adjust the bottles angles and it is best to make the bottles meet up as evenly as possible so that there is not much room for water vapor to escape. We want it all to make it into this second bottle where it can condense as freshwater. As an additional measure to keep the cold half of the bottle cold, we wet the sand on this bottle with water or cover them with a wet cloth to allow evaporative cooling to take place. With such a large quantity of sand in this tray it does take a little while for it to reach the boiling point and get this process started. But once the sand has reached that point, it stays hot for a long time. So it is a pretty quick process as the water boils dry in this first bottle to simply refill it and you can continue on with the distillation process as long as you want. Rotate the bottle so that the top portion becomes hot from the steam, it is rotated into the cold sand below. And in that way the entire bottle maintains a cold temperature which causes the distillation to go much faster.
    • DIY Video : How to build a Homemade Mini Hydrogen Generator / Water to fuel Generator from simple Household items
      This video shows you how to build a Mini Hydrogen Generator / Water to fuel Generator using materials that is easily available around your house.This is achieved by Electrolysis which is an electro-chemical process whereby which hydrogen and oxygen are disassociated from water.By means of electrical influence using simple water one can get gas, and gather in into a special container and use this gas (hydrogen) for power supply of engines or other appliances.It is preferred not to use salt as electrolyte it will release chlorine gas.You can use sodium hydroxide, which can be bought as a “drain opener” at lowes or home depot, you could probably use any type of hydroxide though.

      Watch the DIY Homemade Mini Hydrogen Generator Build Video

    • DIY Video : How to build an Off Grid DIY 12 Volt Washing Machine from junk parts and pieces laying around
      This video shows the build of a homemade 12V washing machine made from junk parts and pieces laying around.Most of the materials you’ll need can be found around your house and most certainly at your local hardware store.Great for going off grid for a while preparing to be survive in case of SHTF or are you just a regular old camper that needs clean clothes at camp.Laundry has come up a number of times as a self-sufficiency topic. It makes sense for a couple reasons. First of all, because many people in our crowd are wanting to be self-sufficient of the electrical and water grids, and need find another way of washing clothes. Secondly, because we are also usually looking for ways to save money.

      Watch the DIY Off Grid DIY 12V Washing Machine build video