DIY home electricity system
|Food and water|
This article is about making a non-polluting, DIY home electricity generation system. It has been taken from my website.
- To decrease the cost of home generation of electricity for the poor
- To eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from use of gasoline powered appliances for domestic usage
- To increase practical knowledge on the operation of home devices, electricity generation, ...
- To increase self-sufficiency by decreasing dependance on commercial solutions for home electricity generation, ...
- To open-source the practical information BioDesign posesses on self-creation of photovoltaïc solar panels
- To incorporate this information and the company of BioDesign as a whole to respectively the yourgreendream.com website and team.
- To incorporate the practical knowledge of KWB and The Sietch into this BioDesign-yourgreendream.com coalition and open-source their practical know-how on how to self-create thermodynamic solar panels.
- To incorporate further information from Instructables.com, PESwiki, Green Trust, Rebel Wolf Online, Energy Hack, Discover Circuits, the MakeZine community and other sources.
- To allow both the yourgreendream.com team as KWB to participate in the demonstration projects BioDesign hosts in the developing world.
As known, yourgreendream.com is busy describing on how to build a complete, non-polluting system for home generation of electricity from scratch (that is, from basic metal wires, transistors, and other electronic components). However, this website has not yet the information on how to self-create the PV-panels yourself, nor does this website offer any information on how to use this non-polluting electricity which would be generated could provide heatening for the domestic hot water system.
Combining the knowledge of the other companies above (BioDesign and KWB/The Sietch) to their tutorials would allow most of the energy generation system to be set up completely DIY, and would provide already some knowledge on setting up the water heating system, and give it more growth potential. To also allow the electricity system (to some extent) to also operate off-grid, some extra information on how to make a (imbedded) surge protector, a sine-wave converter, how to install flywheel energy storage, hydrogen fuel cell and/or deep-cycle batteries, ... should also be included. To complete the entire non-polluting water heatening system and make it DIY, additional information on how to create a DIY electric boiler (with hook-up to the thermodynamic panels) is needed, aswell as information on how to connect this boiler/thermodynamic panels to the additional domestic washing machinery (dishwasher, washing machine, ...).
In addition, the system is to include energy stacking in order to further heavily decrease national energy production/pollution and to decrease financial expenses for the people using this electricity generation/hot-water system. The financial savings would be realised for the system's users as electricity costs per watt are far lower at night than during the course of the day. Although this energy stacking may sound hard to accomplish, it would actually be done incredibly simply and at a very low cost.
The practical work out of this would simply be by not allowing the (non constantly essential) heavy energy consumers (dishwasher, washing machine, clothes dryer, ...) to operate untill nightfall (or when the off-peak hours have come in effect). This is done by simply loading the machines at any given moment in time and turning them "on", but by not yet actually providing power to the devices untill night has arrived (which can be done trough a plug-in timeswitch (which needs to be manually set). The machines will then only commence their operation at night and by morning all washing will be done and the machines can then simply be emptied.
As explained, by the decrease of the energy price paid/watt, the decrease in cost of the devices, the revenues of the net metering, and finally the dropped overall energy consumption, huge financial advantage can be attained for the users of this system. Also, in certain cases, the level of comfort too is increased for these people and a rather large environmental advantage is attained.
P.S.1: Note that the system is highly modular and that this allows him to switch in certain components for others (e.g. PV-panels or windmills, ...), to choose to whether to build all components diy or simply buy certain components from the commercial circuit instead to limit the work needed to be done (e.g. instead of building the PV-panels or windmills, they can just be bought, ...)
P.S.2: Rather than using printed circuit boards (PCB)'s, alternative wiring methods as wire wrap may be used, hereby eliminating the need of expensive equipment to create the PCB-boards. As an extra, wire wrap would also result in more durable devices and make them easier to repair (as the components can be more easily swapped out).
P.S.3: The timeswitch too can be build diy and doing so may (as the project develops) unlock new functions and allow the system of becoming more advanced. The extra function the diy timeswitch could deliver would be to allow the system of becoming flexible. Thus instead of turning on the highly energy consuming machines at a certain, preset time, the system itself may decide when to turn them on (at any given time when energy prices are low, and the energy grid is is delivering under-capacity). Practically, this is possible by upgrading the plug-in timeswitch and allowing it to gather the grid-situation information from the internet (through internet connection over the powerline). This feature would ensure that, as more users make use of the system, the peak load for the electricity grid does not simply jump to a later moment of day. However, atleast in the projects begin, this would definitly not be the case and thus for the moment, this feature does not need to be implemented.
P.S.4: Extra cooperation may be attained from PESN (Home Generation-section), Discover Circuits, Green Trust, EnergyHack and Rebel Wolf. Although not truly required, these websites/people may be helpful to the project by providing information for the system's users in better measuring out their private energy consumption (although a rough indication may be already attained from Howstuffworks; see below), and they can be helpful in making sure that the system can be very easily combinable with other environmental domestic systems (e.g. rainwater harvesting system, ...). Finally, for the described plug-in time switch and the creation of certain other devices as the diy-way, people in these organisations may be helpful.
P.S.5: The lighting may be set-up using (less-expensive) regular high power LED's rather than LED lamps (with imbedded electronics). The system can make use of the open-source Ledbus system. Open domotics systems are generally not used as (almost) everything would be operated by time switches and perhaps some devices able of communication with each other (without a central computer/control point). However, in certain situations (eg when the house is communal and thus very large), a central computer (preferably imbedded) can be added eg to control robotic vacuum cleaners and mobbers, security & intrusion detection systems, ...). In this situation, the system should use regular ethernet (without CAN, X10 or other purpose-specific coding language) and a (embedded) Linux Operating system.
P.S.6: The battery meter to use can be based on the open-source battery discharge meter of Christian Wendt. For the system itself a battery meter is also necessairy, especially when electrochemical cells are used for the energy storage. The battery has to be measured and recharged before the battery drains to a point where the cells begin to provide less power. This point where the recharge needs to be started can be determined using Elektor's Battery Checker. At this moment where the battery begins to no longer provide enough power, a switch is automatically flipped and the Elektor Powerloader battery recharge system starts up.
P.S.7: Aldough somewhat out of the line of the project's objectives/function (no real relation with space heating), the website may also incorporate information on how conventional (hot-water) radiators, running trough fossil fuel-burning may be altered to run on electricity. This is done by simply replacing the fossil-fuel fired heaters by electrical ones.
More information 
- Yourgreendream.com DIY-project
- KWB's Main site
- KWB's technical movie on how to construct thermodynamic solar panels
- The Sietch's thermodynamic solar panel construction (which may be cheaper)
- Peswiki Home Generation
- Wire wrap-technique
- DIY wind turbines
- DIY solar panels
- Some extra information on some of the electrical equipment used
- Rough indication of power consumption
- Off-grid function (deep-cycle batteries, flywheel energy storage, hydrogen fuel cell, ...)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_metering http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_energy_storage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_power_system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_cycle_battery http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question219.htm (car2deepcycle battery) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Home_Generation http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Home_Generation:Fuel_Cell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microgeneration http://www.elektor.com/magazines/2009/july-047-august/desulphater-for-car-batteries.986156.lynkx the Desulphater for Car Batteries
- Extra organisations able to help out/provide information.
http://www.instructables.com/tag/type:id/category:home/keyword:water/ http://www.instructables.com/group/solarenergy/ http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Home_Generation http://www.green-trust.org/ (see Water Harvesting, ...) http://www.energyhack.com/free-alternative-energy-magazines/ http://www.makezine.com/ http://www.geekcon.org/projects http://www.rebelwolf.com/ http://www.discovercircuits.com/
- Plug-in timeswitch DIY improvement
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_switch http://www.instructables.com/id/Digital-timer-for-any-electrical-appliance/ http://www.instructables.com/id/Control-real-world-devices-with-your-PC/ http://www.tuxgraphics.org/electronics/200606/article06061.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_line_communication http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_meter http://www.geekcon.org/projects#SMS2Boiler
- Changing fossil-fuel fired radiators to electricity-consuming ones
- Main set-up of energy storage system (if battery-based)
- Automated charging system for battery (Walter Trojan's Condition Trainer; mentioned in the Elektor-magazine of November 2007; Dutch edition called Elektuur)