background preloader

Our Simple DIY Home Solar Power System

Our Simple DIY Home Solar Power System
Bringing some of the benefits of electrical power to our off-grid home has been a hit-or-miss affair. Over the years we’ve tried some very simple approaches to lighting and small battery recharging for our flashlights, such as hauling a 12 volt car battery to a small rural school about a half mile away every time it needed to be topped up. This was time consuming and inefficient. But we didn’t want to lose the feel of our simple home by bringing in a large generator and the jugs of gas needed to run it, and the prospect of setting up a wind turbine or solar array seemed expensive and a technological eyesore in a natural setting. …developing using a dialup internet connection on a phone line strung through the woods was challenging… Today, with the help of a local expert on off grid home solar power and alternative energy systems, we have the best of both worlds. The cost of this complete solar system, in today’s pricing for the components, was less than $1000. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Microwave wind generator This is a lesson on recycling. Everything here was built from scrap microwave ovens with the exception of the bearings and pivot mount also the plywood. Microwave ovens have an abundant source for the materials used in making an alternator and the rest of the components of an actual working wind generator. They contain large 2 1/4" round magnets ( 2 in each unit - in the magnetron ) plenty of sheet metal ( cases ) and even useful wire in the transformer. You could actually use the transformer metal as the stator laminates. WARNING: Microwave ovens utilize very high voltage to drive the magnatron unit. This will probably dry up my source for microwaves but you can call any appliance repair and find many microwaves free for the asking. I started out by cutting an 10" disc out of plywood, cut strips of steel out of the case to make the laminates. Below are the beginning shots of the process... There is 60 feet of 3/4" steel in this stator.

7th Grader mimics Nature 13 year old copies Nature to Improve Solar Performance Thirteen year old Aidan Dwyer was walking in the woods in Upstate New York in the winter and noticed a spiral pattern to tree branches. Aidan realized the tree branches and leaves had a mathematical spiral pattern that could be shown as a fraction. After some research he also realized the mathematical fractions were the same numbers as the Fibonacci sequence. "On the oak tree, the Fibonacci fraction is 2/5, which means that the spiral takes five branches to spiral two times around the trunk to complete one pattern. Aidan's backyard in Northport, NY. The 7th grader next wondered why nature used such a pattern? Aidan discovered that the Fibonacci pattern helps deciduous trees, in higher latitudes, efficiently track the Sun and collect the most sunlight even in the thickest forest, on the cloudiest days. The American Museum of Natural History has awarded Aidan a Young Naturalist Award for 2011. Share this page... Got water?

Green Roofs Green Roofs on Homes and Sheds... Green Roof, Lakeland, UK Wildroof Landscapes Picture taken two years after planting with mixed plug plants. Pic: Green Roof on Faroe Islands, Norway. Pic: DaScott Green Roofed Arbor, Tatton Park. Green roofed shed near Penrith, UK. Findhorn, Scotland. Grass Roof. Sod Roof Torshavn, Faroe Islands Pic by DaScott Living Roofs - Farm buildings in Heidal, Gudbrandadal, Norway. Ancient Green Roof - the folk museum at Glaumbaer, Iceland. Green-roofed Blue Wagon Coffee Shop, Glenelg, Scotland. Green Roofed Arbor, Mississippi -- Green Roofed Shed constructed from found materials by Mark and Rebecca Ford Art Sculpture - Green Roofed Arbor in Mississippi by Felder Rushing. Green Roof Garden Shed in Raleigh, NC by Living Roofs, Inc. More images: Plans: As above. Cost.

BuildItSolar: Solar energy projects for Do It Yourselfers to save money and reduce pollution Can 1 miracle plant solve the world's 3 greatest problems? If someone were to tell you that they had a technology — a weed actually — that could sequester huge amounts of carbon permanently while lifting villagers out of poverty by providing both protein-rich food and super-insulated building materials, you might start to wonder if they were, well, smoking a different weed. But it appears that one retired building contractor, Bill Loftus, has actually come upon a brilliant application of the fast-growing, carbon-sucking plant known as Kenaf. Kenaf is in the Hibiscus family and is thus related to both cotton and okra. Originally from Africa, this 4,000-year-old crop was used for its fiber. It has the astonishing ability to grow up to 14 feet in one growing season, yielding 6-10 tons of fiber per acre and making it a great source of pulp for paper. But researchers have also discovered (PDF) a corresponding ability of Kenaf to inhale huge quantities of our most abundant global warming gas — CO2. But its not enough to simply absorb CO2.

Off the Grid Power Means Free Energy Via An Alternative Power Source Off the grid power is true self reliance, enabling you to have free electricity. Here's how. Power companies create electricity through huge generators. That electricity is then shipped through wires across long distances and into individual homes by power poles and wires. Most people who want power contact their local utility company. That company then sends someone out to connect the wires from the electric poles to their home. The problem is, when a squirrel crawls into a converter box, or when there’s an ice storm, or when too many people are using the power at once, you're without power – sometimes for days. So some people have chosen to get off the grid power. Here Comes the Sun A solar charging kit allows you to harvest energy from the sun. When these panels are hit with sunlight, semiconductors in the panels collect the energy and knock the electrons loose making them flow freely. Off the Grid Power and Harnessing the Wind Flows Like a River Getting Your Own Water

Alternative Energy Article: Pelmets I was amazed about how simple this is and how much sense it makes. Pelmets are those old fashioned protections for the top of the curtains. Over time we have obviously forgotten that they serve a purpose and delegated them to the realm of old fashion decoration. As soon as the hot air reaches the level where the top of your windows are, the air round the windows cools down and as cold air has a tendency to do it falls. The Pelmet acts as a stopper to this flow of air. Simple, cheap and it makes sense. How I built an electricity producing Solar Panel Several years ago I bought some remote property in Arizona. I am an astronomer and wanted a place to practice my hobby far away from the sky-wrecking light pollution found near cities of any real size. In my attempt to escape city light pollution, I found a great piece of remote property. I built a wind turbine to provide some power on the remote property. Here is a video of the solar panel set up and in use on my remote, off-grid property. Let me state up front that I probably won't be able to help you out much if you decide to build your own solar panel(s). So what is a solar panel anyway? I started out the way I start every project, by Googling for information on home-built solar panels. After a while, I came to some conclusions: Once I came to the realization that I could use blemished and factory-second solar cells to build my panels, I finally got to work. <a href=' I bought a couple of bricks of 3 X 6 mono-crystalline solar cells.

BLUE Ready to Rock - a "condensed" version shown for the photo, with a 3/4 hp generator, held by the inventor, Doug Selsam. Here are the blades of a 20 inch diameter turbine, that produces about half a kilowatt. They will be mounted on a shaft that projects for a long distance forward, and backward, at an angle from horizontal, so that the wind encounters the rotors like a stairway. Each additional rotor brings more power. The New Turbine is flown in Tehachapi, mounted to a Tower by Brent Scheibel, of General Electric Wind and owner of Well, it's up and running, with data being logged. Brent Scheibel,, His wife, Teri, with their dog Ezra, and Doug Selsam, windmill is seen in background This is the test team, Brent Scheibel, who handles Anemometry over at Zond / Enron Wind - now General Electric Wind Energy, and runs, His wife Teri, their dog Ezra, who barks at windmills, and Doug Selsam, the inventor. As evening falls, the sky serpent flies on...