Monday, June 4, 2012

Solar Cells- More Free Electricity

    Solar energy is harvested in two ways; passive or active; depending on the method through which it is harvested.  Active uses photovoltaic panels and thermal solar collectors.  Passive would adding a green house to the southern side of your home to use it for heating your home.
      Electrical power is measured in kilowatt hours.  One kilowatt hour is enough to burn a standard light bulb for 10 hours.The average household uses about 866 kilowatt hours in a months time.  This can easily be achieved with a solar energy system. 
     I would suggest you start slowly.  It takes 10-12 panels to power a house and about $10,000.00 with installation cost.  Each solar panel has 40 solar cells.  As with a windmill system, it takes an array of batteries and a voltage inverter for storage.
     The output of solar panels is directly related to how much sunlight they receive.  So as clouds cover the sun the output of the cells will diminish.  At maximum output you will get about 0.5 volts and approximately 2 amps per cell.  At 40 cells per panel you will get 20 volts multiplied by ten is about 200 volts at 2 amps is a pretty good charge to run your home.
     I would suggest if you are going to use solar panels you combine them with windmills.  Because the sun doesn't shine with the same intensity everyday.  Whereas the wind blows even at night. 
     Also I would use high amp output batteries to increase the current. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Windmills-Free Electrical Energy

     Windmills are a great way to produce free electrical power.  There are so many designs from complex to very simple.  There is also a wide variety of types of windmills.
     The most common is the wind turbine.  The wind turbine comes in two different varieties; horizontal axis (HAWT) and vertical axis (VAWT).
     A horizontal axis wind turbine sits on top of a pole and looks like an airplane propeller.  The central axis of the propeller travels into a generator.  The turbine must be faced into the wind to work.
     A vertical axis windmill sits directly on top of a pole but built more on the fashion of a hollow washing machine tub with the axis coming straight out of the support pole into the generator.  The advantage of a VAWT is that it doesn't have to be faced into the wind.
     Of course there must be batteries to store the energy produced by the windmill.  Depending on the generator output determines the number and size of batteries.
    The simplest windmill I have seen was made from a car alternator from the local junkyard with a house fan attached.  This forms the horizontal type of wind turbine.  Make sure and mount the alternator on a set of bearings so it can rotate into the wind.  This system requires two car batteries and an electrical inverter to change DC to AC power.
      It is best to keep a power meter on the batteries as too much charge can cause the batteries to explode.  A voltage regulator will shut the incoming power off to prevent this from happening.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Free Clean Water-Cisterns

     Cisterns are an ancient means of collecting and storing rainwater.  Cisterns have literally been used by all ancient peoples to collect and store rain water  For more information on the history of cisterns go to: .
     It is possible, in most areas, to collect enough water for your home without being on the grid and purchasing from the county or city.  The method is simple; you dig enough space for two identical water proof tanks in the ground.  12 feet by 8 feet by 8 feet is the smallest I have heard of.  The 8 feet by 8 feet seems standard today with length being 15 feet, 20 feet all depending on the space you have available.  Or you may want to work above ground.  Here is a youtube video of an above ground collection tank:  .  Her also are plans for an above ground system:
     You want two identical tanks because clean water grows algae and the water must be flushed into another tank to facilitate cleaning.  Proper method to clean a tank are:
     Most tanks are constructed of concrete or cinder block.  It is best to line this tank with glass to maintain the purity of the water otherwise it will need to be filtered before use in the house.  If it is glass lined you need only run all the rain water from your gutters through a large pickle barrel that has three sections inside; top layer is sand, middle layer is charcoal, bottom layer is sand; all in equal proportions.
     If you prefer other methods of filtering there are several places to check: and If these weren't what you had in mind here is another type of filter:    

Note:  All cisterns have soft water.  There will be no trace elements as it is collected rain water.