Sunday, 31 January 2010
Learn how to build a low voltage DC wind turbine and what is required.
I have read a countless books, mails, how to guides and the rest on how to build a wind turbine and none of the so called guides actually help, hence I will show you what is required, step by step.
The guides where OK but did not really get to the point, which was in simple terms what do I need to obtain to make one!
As you can see from the picture above, my wind machine is in motion and it is almost all of the time, so long as there is a breeze it is making free power to supply my battery bank, all day and all night!
My wind machine specifications
6 x Carbon fibre reinforced plastic blades 3ft long
1 x Circular steel hub 3mm steel (Home made) 150mm Diameter
1 x 10Ft standard steel scaffolding pole
1 x 4ft Angle Iron type steel for tail
1 x Custom mounting swivel bracket (Home made)
12 x M6 roofing bolts, nuts and washers for blade mounting
1 x Brooke Crompton 90VDC 3000W permanent magnet DC motor (PMDC)
1 x Length of 16MM 2 core copper twin wire for power transfer
1 x 600MM x 300MM x 5MM Perspex clear Perspex for tail fin
1 x Lucas blocking Diode to prevent batteries spinning wind machine!
A down to earth explanation of how it works!
The reason I chose this particular motor is because when you spin a PMDC motor then it produces DC, DC is what charges SLA batteries so PMDC motors are the ideal solution for a Homebrew wind machine, these can be found world over in surplus shops, look out for them!
So if we spin up a PMDC motor then we produce a DC voltage, the faster you spin it the higher the voltage will get.
When you connect a PMDC motor to a battery then the motor spins, this is using power from the battery bank to produce motive force, now if you where to manually spin the motor at the same speed as it was trying to go connected to the battery then effectively the motor would be producing the same voltage the battery was supplying, so the battery would not be under any load i.e. 12V battery connected in parallel to a PMDC motor spinning at a rate to produce 12VDC produces an equal and opposite electric force.
However, once you begin to spin the motor faster than the battery bank voltage then you are effectively charging the battery bank i.e. 12VDC battery bank connected in parallel to a PMDC motor producing 13.5VDC is charging the bank or in simple terms putting power into your batteries!
Now we could go into overcharging, regulating, desulfating, trickle charging and more but for now we have the basics in place and we are producing power and storing it in a chemical form (Batteries) for later re use.
Purpose is to allow the produced voltage to flow from the wind machine (PMDC Motor) into the batteries but not the other way, so in wind the batteries will charge but in no wind the wind machine will NOT rotate.
Purpose is to store electricity in a chemical form
Purpose is to effectively use it in reverse to induce a current flow into the motor windings from magnets and provide us with a useful charging current at the right voltage.
16MM Copper cable
Purpose is transport our voltage from the wind machine to the battery bank with the least amount of electrical resistance, copper is a good electrical conductor but of course it has a resistive value, the larger the cross sectional area of the copper conductor, the less resistance we have. Big really is better when it comes to your cabling!
Saturday, 30 January 2010
In larger battery banks, where you have multiple series – parallel strings of batteries, you run the risk of some batteries getting more “depleated” than others, and this degrades your pack performance.
A simple way to reduce this effect is to cross-tie your batteries. This is a not often used but important method of getting extreme life out of your expensive batteries.
See above diagram for details of Cross-Tied-Battery-Bank
The dotted lines show the cross tie cables. It’s also important to make sure your cables are large enough so that you are not losing power as heat through resistance.
If you have caps on your batteries, not maintenance free, check the water levels once a month and top them off during charging. Do not overflow.
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Green Electricity Using Trees
Here is a simple concept I have wanted to try out for many years.
1. Tie a rope to the tunk of a tree 2/3rds the way up.
2. Connect the end of the rope to a ratchet driven generator (Permenant Magnet)
3. Wait for the wind to get up.
4. Create free power!
Simple idea to produce electricity and could be scaled up to generate massive amounts of power from the swaying of trees in the wind
Thursday, 7 January 2010
1. Grow Your Own Food: Introduction.
You don’t need a large garden or allotment to produce fantastic fresh food. Growing your own is not only cheaper, it's healthier, good fun and satisfying. We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for you, and fresh from the garden is the best possible choice for all the family and guests.
2. Grow Your Own Food In Small Gardens.
You can do it in small gardens or back yards too! There are lots of herbs, fruit and vegetables that grow just as well in containers so you can easily turn your paved areas into a productive kitchen gardens. Choose dwarf varieties where possible. Not forgetting windowsills - there are seed trays and propagators specially designed to fit.
3. Try Grow Bag Gardening.
You can grow lots of plants in a grow-bag. They are great for tomatoes, but you could also consider cucumbers, hot-chillies and peppers. The potato sack is a relative newcomer into the grow bag selections. Just right for the patio, it's a no-mess, easy way to grow perfect, delicious, ready to cook potatoes.
Plant sprouting seed potatoes into an organic peat-free all purpose compost.
Keep adding more layers of compost as the plants grow.
Watch out for flowering as two or three weeks later your new potatoes will be ready.
4. How To Grow Herbs.
Herbs are perfect plants for garden, patio or your window box. Everyone can grow herbs, even a pretty pot of parsley on the kitchen windowsill will provide instant garnishes. Salads will come to life with the addition of home grown chives and the amazing fragrance of freshly picked basil. The more herbs you grow, the more uses you will find for them!
How To Grow Basil
Sprinkle on salads and add to tomato dishes. Grow indoors, or outside in summer.
How To Grow Mint
Confine the roots to avoid excessive spread. Use the leaves to make tea and add to cold drinks.
How To Grow Chives
Chop and add to salads and dips for a mild onion flavour. Very attractive clump forming plant.
How To Grow Sage
Versatile plant which has either silver green or purple foliage. Leaves used to add flavour.
How To Grow Coriander
Lower leaves can be used instead of parsley. Seeds can be dried.
How To Grow Sorrel
Use the young leaves in salads for a slight lemony tang. Larger leaves can be added to omelettes.
How To Grow Dill
Grow from seed each year. Dry the seeds for use in pickling, salads and fish dishes.
How To Grow Thyme
Lovely in pots but also good planted in cracks between paving slabs. Add leaves to meat and poultry dishes.
How To Grow Marjoram
A decorative plant which enjoys full sun. Use leaves fresh or dried in cheese or meat dishes.
How To Grow Parsley
The leaves can be used fresh, dried or frozen, often as a garnish. Sow fresh seed each year in spring.
5. How To Grow Fruit Trees.
If you have a small garden why not plant a fruit tree? Apple, pear or plum all look good and will provide a plentiful crop. They come in different sizes so you can usually find the right tree for the space available.
Plum trees are often overlooked, but they are attractive and will produce plenty of plump, juicy plums you can eat straight from the tree.
Even if you don't have a garden, you can still grow your own fruit trees. There are dwarf forms of apples, nectarines, peaches, cherries and pears, specially developed to grow in pots.
6. How To Grow Superfoods.
Certain foods have earned a reputation for being exceptionally good for us. This is because they are packed full of antioxidants which help to keep our bodies healthy.
How To Grow Blueberries
Buy young plants and grow them in decorative containers on the patio. They require an acid soil so use ericaceous compost and rain water. Grow two or more, so that the flowers will be pollinated and feed with B&Q Organic Living fruit and veg food concentrate.
How To Grow Strawberries
A strawberry pot with ripening berries looks fabulous on the patio. They are great value because at the end of the season each will have developed baby plantlets on the end of long shoots. Plant them into small pots whilst still attached. Once roots have grown, cut from the parent and you will have new plants for the following year. B&Q Organic Living fruit and veg food concentrate can help to improve fruit quantity and quality.
How To Grow Blackberries
A real seasonal treat. You can grow your own against a fence or over a wall in the garden. Cultivated varieties have larger berries than their wild cousins, produced on long, arching, very thorny stems. They are extremely vigorous, so prune hard.
How To Grow Blackcurrants
There are three types of currant, but the black variety is considered the healthiest. Attractive bushes which have pretty flowers and lots of juicy fruits in late summer. Can be container grown, but needs to be watered well.
8. Involve The Kids In Gardening.
Growing food is fun for all ages. Give children their own mini vegetable patch. They will have great fun, it's educational, and a good way to get kids to try new food. Let them plant things which are quick to grow and can be eaten straight from the plant. Carrots and peas are good, and strawberries will always be a hit. Teach them how to germinate seeds, care for seedlings and tend plants – let them enjoy the challenge and develop a valuable life skill.
9. Ready-Made Plants.
If you don't want to grow from seed, there's a wide range of fruit and veg available, already grown, and ready for you to plant. Look out for mixed collections, they give you a selection of plants which compliment each other.
10. How To Make A Raised Bed For Vegetables.
Raised beds for vegetables take up less space, are easy to manage and look great.
Raised vegetable beds can be any size so even a small garden can accommodate one. The idea is that you never step on the soil so it doesn’t become compacted. The plants enjoy a better growing environment and you can plant closer together, which is more economic and looks attractive too. Plant small quantities of each type so you get plenty of variety and interest.
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
With the Snow warnings around the UK right now I thought it would be a good idea to offer my readers a really good Snow Shovel!
General Purpose Abs Plastic Lightweight Shovel
ABS tough plastic spark-free blade with polypropylene mix shaft and moulded ‘Y-deeÕ handle. Blade width: 250mm and 305mm long. Sold loose.
The Draper Snow Shovel is ECO friendly as it should with care last a lifetime. ABS plastic will never rot.
Saturday, 2 January 2010
Find Lister CS Stationary Engines for sale in the UK simply bookmark this page and check it on a daily basis. These wonderful engines are easily run on waste vegetable oil (WVO) they will also run on waste motor oil (WMO) and can be used in combined heat and power (CHP / CHAP) setups to provide carbon neutral heat and power for somes and small businesses.
Friday, 1 January 2010
The Carbon Trust, a UK based non-profit trust set up by the British government, has awarded money to fund a new lighting technology that could lower your power bill and carbon footprint in the next couple of years.
The technology is being developed by LOMOX Ltd, a welsh start-up which won a grant from the Carbon Trust of £454,000 ($720,000) to bring organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) to the commercial market.
The fund money is going to 'Lomox', to aid further development of organic LED technology. OLEDs use approximately 50% of the power of fluorescents for a given light output, or about 12% the power of a traditional incandescent lamp.
Traditionally, the problem with OLEDs has been that they have a limited lifespan. Lomox believes it has found a way to make OLEDs last longer than fluorescent lamp technology, which are already a substantial improvement over standard incandescent lamps.
OLEDs can be painted on to a surface, enabling an endless variety shapes and uses. Those glow in the dark stars on the ceiling of your old room could be replaced with a printed roll of the Lomox paper, drawing a tiny amount of power and providing enough light to navigate in the night. The product could also find its way in to road signs and advertising boards.
In that application, small solar PV and rechargeable battery combos could provide power through the dark nights to illuminate signage more efficiently than traditional flood lighting. Since the message itself would be illuminated, less light would be spilled on the space around the sign.
Alternately, or perhaps additionally, the technology promises fixture-free lighting in offices and homes — the ceiling itself becomes the light source. This would also increase efficiency by moving from a point source (Incandescent Lamp) to a radiant light source. With light coming from every direction, radiant lighting reduces or eliminates the need for redundant lighting to prevent poorly illyminated sections in the room.
Lomox plans to have its first products to market in 2012. The OLED technology produces 150 lumens per watt, close to high-end traditional LEDs.
OLED technology isn’t restricted to lighting products, either. OLEDs have demonstrated the ability to be used in flexible displays, TV screens and PC monitors.
If Lomox has indeed found the cure for OLED’s usually-short lifespan and is able to keep the price low, the technology could be licensed for a new generation of thinner, lighter and more power-efficient home displays. Put in cell phones, OLED displays would yield longer battery performance.
In short, Lomox received the grant from the Carbon Trust to develop its longer-lived OLEDs into a commercially viable product. Once completed, the technology promises long-term energy savings and high performance in a highly versatile package. OLEDs could be the must have lighting solution for the next generation.
Estimates predict that 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved if all modern lighting was replaced with OLEDs by 2020. The future’s bright for wallpaper, a future which could be very illuminating indeed for green schemes.