How to Generate Alternative Offgrid Power by building a Homemade Waterwheel Hydro Electric System

    This project goes into the build of a homemade alternative offgrid power generation system using a water wheel and flowing water source like a stream or creek. In order to catch the water from your spring or creek , the first step is to build a small dam. This enables us to produce maximum power from the running water wheel .

    First, We use a 4 inch pipe to divert the water before starting the construction of the dam. With a solid concrete foundation ,we aim to make a 42 inch dam with 30 inch of head . A six inch 36 inches long PVC drain pipe is installed on the high water side .The dam is constructed using four layer of hollow blocks and quickrete blended mason mix .Try raising the water higher to see how much higher it needs to go before it overflow through the sides.

    The dam board gates made of deck boards are installed in the middle .The back board and the front boards are spaced apart an inch and three quarters. The dam stop gate made of plywood with dimensions of one and half is inserted between the boards . To get a tight seal a half inch rubber tube is stuffed between these boards.

    With a 13 and half inch treated plywood and couple of 2X6 plywood side boards, the flume is built. The side boards are glued to the plywood base using adhesive sealant and screwed with exterior grade screws.

    To resist twisting and to keep the width of the plywood steady , four cross spacers are installed on the flume board. To divert the water without having to drain the dam, we make a small trap door in the flume near the opening . The trap door is made seven inches back from the face of the dam. The door is supported by a flange around the back and a stainless steel hinge.

    The flume is installed on the creek with the help of rebars and supporting deck boards. The rebars are attached to the boards using u-bolts and drill bit. Three more subsequent flumes are attached to each other. The gap between the flumes are sealed with poly foam caulk rope.

    The waterwheel is made out of a section of 55 gallon HDPE drum . The blades are made of 4 inch PVC drain pipe. The blades are curved so that it retains most of the water making it more energy efficient. 24 blades are attached to the drum using 16th by half aluminum angle pieces.

    A three quarter inch jack shaft from an old go-kart is used as the drive shaft. This is supported at both ends of the wheel with a help of pillow block bearings. Two 28 inch Circular end pieces made of plywood is bolted along both sides of the barrel using a 6 ten inch long half by thirteen carriage bolts to make the wheel build complete.

    Two square collar blocks are mounted on to shaft to center them. The holes are larger than the shaft so that the wheel can be adjusted to get the runouts reduced.To center the waterwheel and to adjust the runout of the center shaft , we use four blocks and adjustment bolts around the center block like a four jaw chuck .

    To install the water wheel securely, a support structure made of 2×4 boards are installed near the end of the flume. The water wheel is secured on these support boards with the help of couple of swivel block bearings.

    We use an adjustable Unistrut to mount the bearings,sprockets and the motor. This can be adjusted for chain tension as well. The Unistrut will stand vertically on top of the cross support that is under the flume.The Unistrut’s are mounted onto the wheel on both the sides with help of bearings and T-nuts. A Number 35 sprocket with 72 tooth is mounted onto the center wheel shaft.

    This sprocket is connected to a half shaft with 11 tooth sprocket with the help of a size 35 go kart roller chain. A Permanent Magnet Brushed DC motor mounted on 2×4 board is further connected to this shaft via another sprocket. This gear system has a ratio of 30.86:1

    Using unistruct angled brackets, the wheel is mounted onto the support board near the flume. The wheel is positioned near the flume in such a way that the water where it meets the wheel is exactly at the top.

    The charging system consists of a 12V DC emergency standby battery, MPPT charge controller, 300W sine wave inverter . The connection from the water wheel DC motor goes to the charge controller.The charge controller is also connected to the battery.

    Finally the inverter is connected to the battery which is further connected to a load. To make this charging system secure, make sure to make fuse connection between the components. All these components are mounted on a temporary wooden board.

    • How to recycle scrap metal in the backyard by building a simple Mini Metal Foundry from start to finish
      In this project, we're using equal parts of sand and plaster to make a simple backyard foundry that's powerful enough to melt scrap metal in seconds. With this homemade furnace, we have the power to liquefy aluminum in the backyard and cast just about any object we can think of. You will need some big bag of play sand and some plaster of paris both of which you can find at your local hardware store for under $20. We are also going to need a 10 quart steel bucket and a tablecloth to cover anything. For this makeshift refractory lining we need One and 1/3 buckets full of plaster Paris or 21 cups, One and 3/4 buckets full of sand or 21 cups and 1 and 1/4 buckets filled with water or 15 cups. Mix everything together. It's really important to get all the dry powder wet and work out any lumps as quickly as possible. And after mixing for a couple of minutes, it should be fairly runny and roughly all the same color. Transfer the mix to the steel bucket upto 3 inches from top. We use the plastic measuring bucket to form the center of the foundry. Let the mixture dry for 3 minutes. Next step ,we turn an old steel fire extinguisher into a custom crucible. Depressurize the tank and unscrewed the valve from the top to make it safe and easy to cut in half with a hacksaw. At this point the plaster should be pretty well set. So let's dump the water from the bucket then use a pair of channel locks to pull the bucket out. Next step is make an air supply port .Using 3/8 inch hole saw and a metal cutting blade, we cut a hole to accommodate the one inch steel blower tube. The blower tube is made of one inch steep pipe ,one inch PVC coupling and one inch PVC pipe.Threads on one half of the coupling screw onto the steel pipe and the slip adapter on the other end simply pushes onto the PVC side easily. Next step is to build a lid to retain the heat.You need a couple of 4 inch U bolts.Make them stand upright into a 5 quart bucket filled with the insulating mix. To relieve pressure buildup, make a vent hole using a 3 inch hole cutting saw. This design works great for venting pressure and gives us the option to melt metal as well without even having to take the lid off the furnace. By the way, if you run out of soda cans to melt, you could try using it as a blacksmithing forge or even a barbecue for summertime grilling. We evenly place 5 charcoal briquettes at the bottom of the crucible made out of steel fire extinguisher, helps smelt the can faster once we fire it up. A hair dryer is taped to a PVC pipe and inserted a couple of one inch couplings to connect the steel tub eat one end and give the blower to a quick release feature. This way it's super easy to take apart and fits into a five gallon bucket for easy storage. The charcoal is filled it to the top and we breathe life into the steel furnace with a propane torch.The hairdryer is set to the low setting and blow a steady stream of oxygen on the charcoal to really heat things up. The lid we made keeps the heat inside so it conserves energy while it's bringing up the temperature. The coolest part is that the crucible lines up perfectly with the hole in the center. The container is three inches wide, which is the perfect size for melting standard size soda cans like these and at temperatures over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit . In order to isolate aluminium, first we remove the crucible making sure we have got a very secure grip with our tongs and slowly pour the liquid into a steel mold. The Soda cans are molded in the form of ingots.The purpose of an ingot is to keep some pure metal handy for when you want to make something cool.
    • 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

    • How to convert an Old Ceiling Fan Motor into a 70W Efficient Single Phase Alternator Generator
      This project goes over the conversion of an old ceiling fan motor into an single phase alternator .You can't take your standard AC electric motor and spin it and get an electrical current out of it unless you modify it. The ceiling fan motor used here will produce about 70 volts at one amp which is roughly 70 watts. Through a bridge rectifier we can get about 70 watts of power out of it. We start by pulling the cover of the fan. Inside we have a squirrel cage rotor in the middle and 6 coil windings around it. The coil windings are placed in clockwise and anti-clock wise directions inside the stator. Next we remove the circular rotor from the threaded shaft which is attached to it with help of a vice. We attach the shaft with the rotor through it within a vice. With the help of an extra piece of pipe to give leverage, we press them against the rotor and push it away from the rod and pop it off. We are replacing the rotor that we have detached from the shaft with a two inch hex steel bar . It has six sides that matches with the six coils from the stator. With the help of one eighth inch drill bit we cut a hole in the center of our hex bar. We put the hex bar through the shaft and fit them snugly around the threaded area. We take six one half inch neodymium or rare earth magnets and place them along the the 6 sides of the hex bar. We place them in such a manner that the poles of the magnets are opposing each other. For permanent usage, wrap this with a little bit of tape or glue so that they are held in place securely. We place our modified rotor in the middle of the stator and align them such that they fit in tightly. The outer screen is bolted back onto the motor. We can also add second set of magnets to increase the magnetic field of the rotor .This will also bring it closer to the coils on the outside and increase the overall voltage. To convert the alternating current generated by our ceiling fan alternator to direct current, we use a bridge rectifier. It has 4 poles, 2 for connecting our alternating current, the other plus and negative for DC power.