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September 14, 2008 at 2:29 pm #36472
Hi all this is my first post. Me and my gf live off-grid in the UK and at the mo we live in a tent but we have just bought an old minibus and we are converting it in to our home. we will live in laybys and on friend’s driveways: a different place every night.
i think that this site needs a D.I.Y enegy part – how to build wind turbines, solar water heaters, and maybe even solar panels (but i don’t think that will ever happen).
i was on ebay and bought the plans of how to build a wind turbine so as soon as i get it back from my storage i will post it up.September 15, 2008 at 1:29 am #40341
You’ve hit both ends of the spectrum at once; solar panels are impossible, the others easy.
A small amount of study into energy and motion and you can build your gear:
solar water heater – reflector to focus sunlight, dark coloured container to absorb energy and hold heated water
wind turbine – any DC fan, the larger the better.
What you pay for is efficiency, packaging and marketing!September 15, 2008 at 8:19 am #40342
Now that I didn’t think of but it makes sense really turn a motor backwards and it’s an alternator. The plans iv got just use a car alternator and some bits and bobs you can pick up from a hard wear store
I met a guy that heated his water in the summer with radiators pantied black in a cold frame. Apparently a glass cold frame is better than plastic .
So who’s got some plans to put up then we should all get building, building tawwards a greener and freer would
Lol timOctober 18, 2008 at 12:12 am #40382
re: DIY energy
im just researching at this stage. But i wondered what the chances were of using the added wind energy from driving to generate power back. I did a few calcs and figured if we could find robust enough kit, with say 1/2m diameter rotors strapped to the front of a vehicle (lower front im thinking here!), i worked out you could generate a good few hundred watts in an hour or two. Apparently – depending on design, the generation increases with the cube of the diameter (which is a pain!!) so like only big turbines are gonna do a good job… but an interesting thought anyways.October 26, 2008 at 1:10 am #40408
Cold frames use glass not plastic as part of the greenhouse effect. The EMS frequency of IR is only partly reflected by plastic. Glass has a higher reflectivity index.October 26, 2008 at 1:16 am #40409
Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, only transformed.
Having quoted that, let me ask where the energy to turn the fans comes from? A windmill uses solar energy third-hand. The sun heats the earth; earth heats the air; air moves windmill. Fan attached to front of car decreases fuel economy; entropy says energy gained is lower than the energy value of the fuel because of inefficiency of internal combustion engine, and energy losses in the re-conversion and storage processes.December 1, 2008 at 2:49 pm #40464
I think traduck makes a valid point with ref to diy wind turbine plans.
I would be cool if we could settle on a set of plans and several of us have a go at building it and discuss the process on the forum.
Could be fun
Which plans should we choose
mamosDecember 1, 2008 at 3:05 pm #40465
As a follow on to this topic I have been searching the interweb for plans to build a simple wind turbine and I keep coming across these type of websites.
Are any of these plans any good? Or are they regurgitated information that can be found for free on the web?
I am always cautious of these mini websites that claim so much for so little
Has anyone ever bought a set of these plans
Any info would be much appreciated
mamosDecember 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm #40477
I have been on the net for sometime gathering info about this very thing, I live in France so its hard to get some of the parts for building solar panels. this guy has really good write up on how he built his wind turbine, Im sure you could build your own from his photos and article he also explains how to make solar panels.
from what I have seen on the net most chipped or broken solar cells come with the wiring instructions.
I have found a 200 watt wind turbine for 180 USD I dont think you can beat that price even building your own if you would like the info for that shoot me an email.
DDAugust 25, 2009 at 7:07 am #40588
That’s a very good post.You are doing a very well job I think.Living in a Bus is really awesome and converting your bus into a home looking very much resonable in these recession periods.September 6, 2009 at 1:54 am #40599
Aloha From Hawaii…. My name is Matt and I am ready to gain my freedom from the grid. I have year round sun and strong wind, and anticipate a hybrid Solar, Wind, Generator, Battery Bank System.
I have never put a system together before and would appreciate the expertise of those in the forum.
My Budget is $12,000 USD.
Here’s What I Need To Know:
What Specific Brands of Equiptment Should I Order?
Pole and Height
What am I forgetting?
Where should I make these purchases?
Where should I obtain the Instructions on putting the system together since this will be my first build?
Thank you in advance for anything you can share with me to help me get offgrid. I am anxious to make my orders and get this project started.
MattSeptember 8, 2009 at 6:57 am #40604
How much will it cost to buy a solar kit?April 3, 2010 at 6:01 pm #40757
Hi Micheal and All,
I also live in the UK and have been researching alternative energy for the past two years. My first experiments were with battery charging using impulse charging. you can find alot of infomation and many youtube videos if you search for a chap called John Bedini and Nicola Telsa. Since then i have moved on to self charging curcuits and lighting, you can research Bob Boyce ‘Hex Controller’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQDP4pD-ZBQ , Dr Stiffler SEC Theroy http://www.youtube.com/user/MRH2O2 , The Steap circuit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syTQWaWhvCI , the Rosemary Ainslie circuit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=craLwDwNdr4 , Tom Bearden Free energy generation and many more. I make many of my circuits from scrap such as old teles, radios etc.
Here is a pdf download link to one of my experiments using scrap.
If i can help please let me know.June 4, 2010 at 11:53 pm #40789
A year ago Mamos asked “Are any of these plans any good? Or are they regurgitated information that can be found for free on the web?
I am always cautious of these mini websites that claim so much for so little”
You guessed right the first time. Much of the stuff that is floating around is regurgitated information that is not that great for real applications. And it is equally true that new technology comes along every six months that surpass what was the latest and greatest yesterday. If the stuff really was so great you can bet it would get greater market exposure and promotion.
So many of the early adopters of off-grid living are not well funded for a serious effort at innovative powe generation. The less idealistic and more pragmatic people simply go ahead with whatever works for them. If that consist of running a generator most of the time the idealistic purists view them with distain as not being true blue off gridders who are not part of the real new wave of the future.June 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm #40790
Matt (ZPT2012) posted a good question but in most cases the answer will depend very much on where you live. Shipping not to mention import tariffs will vary and the presence or absence of a distributor will also have some influence. The list included:
Pole and Height
Battery and Battery components is almost continent specific because lead acid batteries are classed as hazardous material. Only the expensive AGM batteries are exempt and deemed safe even for airfreight. So now you are limited to whatever type and style is available locally as dictated by distributors or battery factories.
Distributors are able to get better discounts due to sales volume and may pass on some of those savings. however your choice may be limited to what they sell in volume and batteries are not all made equal.
I design electrical systems for off grid use but sometimes the client lives in some place where they simply cannot get the particular equipment I would normally specify. Then the hunt for a supplier is on. Therein lies another pitfall. Google and perhaps other search engines are now filtered to be specific to the geographical orogin of the searcher so sources on other continents gets filtered out. Someone located in Europe will not necessarily get the same result as I would nor would someone from China looking for the same product. I once had to contact an Italian manufacturer to get the name of their retail sales rep in China in order to get a part number for a part built into a boat destined for use in North America. In some parts of the world importing a product from another country can entail a lot of bureaucratic paper work.
To use wind turbine as an example. In North America only a handful of brand names are considered good reliable products.
There are however a few new products from India which are very price competetive and from all appearances as good or better. Unfortunately there are no distributors and the dealer in California is so far away the cost of shipping from ther to here plus the goverment tax erases most of the savings. Not to mention which delivery could be six to 8 weeks because the distributor does not carry a large inventory.
All of the above applies equally to just about every item on the list. When you ask for hardware specific items it would be helpful if you mention what part of the world you are located in.
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