Thursday, 25 October 2007


Off-Grid Power & Heating Design & Installation Service

Andy Mahoney
Home Brew Power
(Off-Grid Power Installer - UK)
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Wednesday, 24 October 2007


Project;Wood Forge Off-Grid Power To Remote Forge.

Home Brew Power comes across many bespoke projects in the alternative / renewable power generation business. Odian Wood Forge in Kent is a fine example worth a mention.

We are providing a solar setup to supply the forge with single phase 230VAC power to feed the extractor fan and forge fan motor. the Solar PV panel will charge a bank of SLA batteries via a charge controller which in turn powers a PSW (Pure Sine Wave) inverter. The system has been designed to allow additional sources of power to be added, if required, in the future.

The forge will be in use approximately 4 hours per week. The remainder of the time the autonomous RE (Renewable Energy) system will replenish the batteries.

Sunday, 21 October 2007


DIY Solar Hot Water Heater - Doug Kalmer
Monday, 16 January 2006
This is an article written by Doug Kalmer about his DIY solar hot water heater:

"This Photovoltaic (PV) pumped hot water system has been working well, with no maintenance, for years on my house.I am now past the point where the money I invested in the solar water heater equals the money I would have spent on electricity to heat water. Most of the year, we have more free hot water than we can use. Consider the fact that in the next five to eight years you are going to pay the cost of a solar water heater,whether you buy one or not. I kept costs down by doing all of the work myself, and buying a used collector panel, but still created a long lasting, efficient, high quality system.

I started by looking in the yellow pages under "Solar", and found a plumber in the nearest large city, with spare collector panels. I bought a 3`x13` aluminum collector with copper tubing and tempered glass cover for $100, guaranteed not to leak, but I tested it first, anyway. Assuming the collector needs to be freeze protected, a non-toxic antifreeze, usually propylene glycol, is pumped through the collector, to the heat exchanger tank. The simplest way to circulate the anti-freeze is with a 12 volt pump directly wired to a small photovoltaic panel, this eliminates the need for controls of any kind. When the sun is heating water, the pump runs. I bought a matched set of a 10 watt 12 volt solar electric panel, and bronze magnetic drive circulation pump from Zomeworks. The most expensive single component was the Heat Exchanger (HE) tank. I looked at what is available, and most are built around the ordinary glass lined steel water heaters, which have a limited lifetime. For less money, I had a stainless steel tank built with 50' of 3/4" soft copper tubing in the lower half as my Heat Exchanger. It holds 85 gallons, and acts as a preheater for the regular electric water heater. Non ferrous stainless will outlast me.

Storage Tank containing Heat Exchanger

Proper sizing of the system is important. Plan on at least 20 gallons of storage tank size for each of the first four people and 15 gallons for each additional person per day. You should have at least 40 square feet of collector area for the first two family members, then add 12-14 square feet for each additional family member. Keep tank size at a ratio of 1.5 gallons or more to one square foot of collector area to prevent overheating.

Besides the pump, panel, HE tank, there are a few other parts to the system:
1) A pressure gauge (0-60psi) will let you know the closed loop has not lost it`s charge of antifreeze.
2) A solar expansion tank allows the solar solution to expand as it heats.
3) A check valve above the tank to prevent thermosyphoning at night.
4) A pressure relief valve.
5) A hose valve at the lowest point for filling and draining. It really is a reliable, efficient system, we do no maintenance to it. I can read water temperature going in to my electric water heater, and most of the year, it is above the 120* setting of the thermostat.

It's your choice-you can invest in solar now, demonstrating your support for sustainable energy, and getting free hot water after your payback period, or continue to pay ever-increasing energy bills, which indicates your support for maintaining the status quo."
Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 January 2006 )

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


ABB has provided a comprehensive electrical infrastructure service for Enercon Gmbh to connect Northamptonshire’s first wind farm, at Burton Wold, into the local power distribution network operated by Central Networks, the E.ON UK company.

The project included making the individual cable links between 10 wind turbines, fitting out the site substation and commissioning the main 33kV cable that now feeds up to 20MW of renewable power into the Central Networks grid.Burton Wold wind farm started operation in May 2006.

The project was developed by Your Energy Ltd, is owned by Mistral Windfarms and operated by Your Energy Services Ltd – companies all operating under the Mistral Group. E.ON UK is buying the electricity output under a long term power purchase contract.The 71m diameter, 2MW, turbines at Burton Wold were supplied by Enercon Gmbh, one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers.

ABB has developed a long standing relationship with Enercon in wind farm projects in mainland Europe, and this resulted in the award of the grid connection contract for this project.Over a four-month period from December 2005 to March 2006, ABB carried out all the customer electrical infrastructure works at Burton Wold including: - installing and connecting the 33kv turbine power cables, fibre optic telemetry systems; supplying and fitting out of the site substation, carrying out all on-site civil works connected with cable-trenching and erection of switchgear; testing and final commissioning.

Monday, 15 October 2007


CHP,Micro CHP,Stirling Engine,Reciprocating Engine


These systems are usually fueled on gas, although some can burn a range of other fuels, and produce electrical power and thermal energy from the single fuel source. The two major types of engines used in microCHP systems are:

Reciprocating engines

The electrical output of this type of micro-combined heat and power (microCHP) units typically start at about 5 kW offering around 10-12kW of thermal output. Significant development work has been underway and currently continues, particularly in the USA, but here in the UK Baxi Technologies UK are leading the market.

Stirling engines

These are external combustion engines with a sealed system using an inert working fluid, usually helium or hydrogen. They range in size from ½ kW upwards and are now available on the market with the leading brands being Microgen and Whisper Tech