Alternative energy for the home with their own hands: an overview of the best developments

The reserves of fossil fuels are not limitless, and energy prices are constantly increasing. Agree, it would be nice to use alternative energy sources instead of traditional ones in order not to depend on gas and electricity suppliers in your region. But you do not know where to start?

We will help you to deal with the main sources of renewable energy - in this material we considered the best eco-technology. Alternative energy is capable of replacing the usual sources of nutrition: you can make a very effective installation for getting it yourself.

In our article, simple ways of assembling a heat pump, a wind generator and solar panels are considered, photo illustrations of individual stages of the process are selected. For clarity, the material is provided with videos on the production of environmentally friendly installations.

The content of the article:

  • Popular sources of renewable energy
  • Handmade solar panels
    • The principle of operation of the solar power system
    • Solar panel manufacturing
    • Basic rules for installing a solar panel
  • Heat pumps for heating
    • Heat Pump Classification
    • The principle of operation of the heat pump
    • Assembly of the heat pump from scrap materials
  • Device and use of wind generators
    • Wind Generator Classification
    • Wind generator device
    • Low-speed wind generator from the generator
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Popular sources of renewable energy

“Green technologies” will significantly reduce household expenses through the use of almost free sources.

Since ancient times, people used in everyday life mechanisms and devices, the action of which was aimed at turning the mechanical forces of nature into mechanical energy. A vivid example of this is water mills and windmills.

With the advent of electricity, the presence of a generator allowed mechanical energy to be converted into electrical energy.

How did the alternative energy for the home

Water mill - the predecessor of the pump of the automatic machine which is not demanding presence of the person for performance of work. The wheel spontaneously rotates under the pressure of water and independently draws water

Today, a significant amount of energy is generated by wind complexes and hydroelectric power plants. In addition to wind and water, sources such as biofuels, the energy of the earth's interior, sunlight, the energy of geysers and volcanoes, and the strength of tides are available to people.

In everyday life for the production of renewable energy the following devices are widely used:

  • Solar panels.
  • Heat pumps.
  • Wind turbines for home.

The high cost, both of the devices themselves and of the installation work, stops many people on the path to obtaining seemingly free energy.

Payback can reach 15-20 years, but this is not a reason to deprive yourself of economic prospects. All these devices can be made and installed independently.

Types of alternative energy sources

When choosing an alternative energy source, you need to focus on its availability, then the maximum power will be achieved with a minimum investment

Handmade solar panels

The finished solar panel costs a lot of money, so its not enough for everyone to buy and install it. With self-made panel costs can be reduced by 3-4 times.

Before you begin to device solar panel, you need to figure out how it all works.

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The location of the solar panel on the sloped roof

Installing solar panels does not require the allocation of separate space. Most often they are located on the slopes of the roof

Installation of solar panels on a flat roof

On flat and sloping roofs, solar energy processing devices are installed using adjustable supports.

Design to change the angle of the instrument

To obtain the maximum amount of energy, structures are used that allow changing the angle of inclination of their working planes.

Formation of the angle of inclination of the solar battery

With a perfectly selected angle of inclination, the maximum amount of sunlight falls on the light-absorbing surface, the efficiency of the device increases significantly

The location of the solar panel on the sloped roof

The location of the solar panel on the sloped roof

Installation of solar panels on a flat roof

Installation of solar panels on a flat roof

Design to change the angle of the instrument

Design to change the angle of the instrument

Formation of the angle of inclination of the solar battery

Formation of the angle of inclination of the solar battery

The principle of operation of the solar power system

Understanding the purpose of each of the elements of the system will allow you to present its work as a whole.

The main components of any solar power system:

  • A solar panel. This is a complex of elements connected into a single unit that convert sunlight into a stream of electrons.
  • Batteries. One rechargeable batteriesfor a long time is not enough, so the system can consist of up to a dozen of such devices. The number of batteries is determined by the power consumed by electricity. The number of batteries can be increased in the future by adding the required number of solar panels to the system;
  • Solar charge controller. This device is necessary to ensure normal charging of the battery. Its main purpose is to prevent recharging the battery.
  • Inverter. The device required for current conversion. Rechargeable batteries produce a low voltage, and the inverter converts it into the current of a high voltage required for the functional - output power. For a home, an inverter with an output of 3-5 kW will suffice.

The main feature of solar cells is that they can not produce high voltage current. A separate element of the system is able to generate a current of 0.5-0.55 V. One solar battery is capable of producing a voltage of 18-21 V, which is enough to charge a 12-volt battery.

If it is better to buy an inverter, batteries and a charge controller ready, then it is quite possible to make solar batteries yourself.

Panel wiring diagram

A high-quality controller and correct connection will help to maintain the battery performance and autonomy of the entire solar station as a whole as long as possible.

Solar panel manufacturing

For the manufacture of batteries, you must purchase solar cells on mono-or polycrystals. It should be noted that the service life of polycrystals is much less than that of single crystals.

In addition, the efficiency of polycrystals does not exceed 12%, whereas this indicator for single crystals reaches 25%. In order to make one solar panel you need to buy at least 36 of these elements.

How to make a simple source of alternative energy

The solar battery is assembled from modules. Each module for residential use includes 30, 36 or 72 pcs. elements connected in series with a power supply with a maximum voltage of about 50 V

Step # 1 - Assembly of the Solar Panel

Work begins with the manufacture of housing, this will require the following materials:

  • Wooden bars
  • Plywood
  • Plexiglass
  • Fiberboard

Plywood is necessary to cut the bottom of the case and insert it into the frame of the bars with a thickness of 25 mm. The size of the bottom is determined by the number of solar cells and their size.

Along the entire perimeter of the frame in bars with a pitch of 0.15-0.2 m, it is necessary to drill holes with a diameter of 8-10 mm. They are required to prevent the battery cells from overheating during operation.

Preparing a housing for a solar panel

Properly made holes with a pitch of 0.15-0.20 m will prevent the elements of the solar panel from overheating and ensure stable system operation.

Step # 2 - Connecting Solar Panel Elements

According to the size of the body, it is necessary to cut a substrate for solar cells out of fiberboard using a stationery knife. When its device also need to provide for the presence of ventilation holes arranged every 5 cm square-nested way. The finished body needs to be painted and dried twice.

Solar cells should be laid upside down on a substrate of fiberboard and perform desoldering. If the finished products were no longer equipped with soldered conductors, then the work is greatly simplified. However, the desoldering process is to be done anyway.

It must be remembered that the connection of elements must be consistent. Initially, the elements should be connected in rows, and only then the finished rows should be combined into a complex by joining current-carrying tires.

Upon completion, the elements must be turned over, laid as it should be and fixed in place with silicone.

Placement of solar cells on the substrate

Each of the elements must be securely fixed to the substrate using adhesive tape or silicone, in the future this will avoid unwanted damage.

Then you need to check the value of the output voltage. Approximately it should be within 18-20 V. Now the battery should be run in for several days, check the ability of charging batteries. Only after performance monitoring is done sealing joints.

Step # 3 - Power System Assembly

Having convinced of the perfect functionality, you can assemble the power supply system. Input and output contact wires must be brought out for subsequent connection of the device.

Plexiglas should cut the cover and secure it with screws to the sides of the housing through the pre-drilled holes.

Instead of solar cells for the manufacture of batteries, you can use a diode circuit with diodes D223B. A panel of 36 series-connected diodes is capable of delivering a voltage of 12 V.

Diodes must first be soaked in acetone to remove paint. Drill holes in the plastic panel, insert the diodes and unzip them. The finished panel must be placed in a transparent casing and sealed.

Observing the correct angle of the solar panel

Properly oriented and installed solar panels provide maximum efficiency in obtaining solar energy, as well as ease and simplicity of system maintenance.

Basic rules for installing a solar panel

The efficiency of the entire system depends on the correct installation of the solar battery.

When installing, consider the following important parameters:

  1. Shading. If the battery is in the shade of trees or taller structures, then it will not only not function normally, but may also fail.
  2. Orientation. To maximize sunlight on the solar cells, the battery must be directed toward the sun. If you live in the northern hemisphere, then the panel should be oriented to the south, if in the southern, then vice versa.
  3. Incline. This parameter is determined by geographic location. Experts recommend installing the panel at an angle equal to the geographical latitude.
  4. Availability. It is necessary to constantly monitor the cleanliness of the front side and remove a layer of dust and dirt in time. And in winter, the panel should be periodically cleaned from sticking snow.

It is desirable that during operation of the solar panel the angle of inclination is not constant. The device will work to the maximum only in the case of direct sunlight directed at its cover.

In the summer, it is better to place it on a slope of 30º to the horizon. In winter, it is recommended to raise and set at 70º.

How to get alternative energy with your own hands

In a number of industrial options for solar batteries, devices for tracking the movement of the sun are provided. For home use, you can think up and provide a stand that allows you to change the angle of the panel

Heat pumps for heating

Heat pumps are one of the most advanced technological solutions in obtaining alternative energy for your home. They are not only the most convenient, but also environmentally friendly.

Their operation will significantly reduce the costs associated with paying for cooling and heating the room.

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Heat pump with ground or groundwater heat draw

Heat pumps are designed to receive almost free energy, which is owned by the bowels of the earth, water, air

External block of the air-to-water or air-to-air heat pump

The simplest version of the device in the heat pump works on the principle of air conditioning, using the energy of the air

The relationship of external and internal components of eco-systems

Heat pumps include external and internal units. The evaporator is installed outside; the condenser is inside.

Equipment of the heat pump indoor unit

Indoor unit does not take up too much space. Modern models are compact and virtually silent.

Heat pump with ground or groundwater heat draw

Heat pump with ground or groundwater heat draw

External block of the air-to-water or air-to-air heat pump

External block of the air-to-water or air-to-air heat pump

The relationship of external and internal components of eco-systems

The relationship of external and internal components of eco-systems

Equipment of the heat pump indoor unit

Equipment of the heat pump indoor unit

Heat Pump Classification

Heat pumps are classified by the number of circuits, energy source and method of its production.

Depending on final needs, heat pumps can be:

  • Single, double or triple;
  • One- or two-capacitor;
  • With the possibility of heating or with the possibility of heating and cooling.

According to the type of energy source and the method of its production, the following heat pumps are distinguished:

  • The ground is water. They are used in the temperate climate zone with uniform heating of the earth, regardless of the season. For installation use a collector or probe, depending on the type of soil. For drilling shallow wells do not require obtaining permits.
  • Air - water. Heat accumulates from the air and is directed to water heating. Installation will be appropriate in climatic zones with a winter temperature not lower than -15 degrees.
  • Water - water. Installation is due to the presence of reservoirs (lakes, rivers, groundwater, wells, septic tanks). The effectiveness of such a heat pump is very impressive, due to the high temperature of the source during the cold season.
  • Water is air. In this bundle, the same water bodies act as a source of heat, but the heat is transmitted directly to the air used for heating the rooms through a compressor. In this case, the water does not act as a coolant.
  • The ground is air. In this system, the conductor of heat is the ground. Heat from the soil through the compressor is transferred to the air. Non-freezing liquids are used as an energy carrier. This system is considered the most universal.
  • Air - air. The operation of this system is similar to the operation of an air conditioner capable of heating and cooling a room. This system is the cheapest because it does not require excavation and laying of pipelines.

When choosing a type of heat source, you need to focus on the geology of the site and the possibility of unhindered earthworks, as well as the availability of free space.

With a shortage of free space will have to abandon such heat sources as land and water and take heat from the air.

Ways to get heat

The effectiveness of the system and the cost of its device depends on the choice of the type of heat pump.

The principle of operation of the heat pump

The principle of operation of heat pumps is based on the use of the Carnot cycle, which, as a result of a sharp compression of the coolant, provides an increase in temperature.

By the same principle, but with the opposite effect, most climate devices with compressor units (fridge, freezer, air conditioning) work.

The main duty cycle, which is implemented in the chambers of these units, suggests the opposite effect - as a result of a sharp expansion, the refrigerant narrows.

That is why one of the most accessible methods for manufacturing a heat pump is based on the use of separate functional units used in climatic equipment.

So, for the manufacture of a heat pump can be used household refrigerator. Its evaporator and condenser will play the role of heat exchangers, which take heat energy from the medium and direct it directly to heat the coolant that circulates in the heating system.

The principle of operation of the heat pump

Low-grade heat from the ground, air or water along with the coolant enters the evaporator, where turns into gas, and then further compressed by the compressor, with the result that the temperature becomes even above

Assembly of the heat pump from scrap materials

Using the old household appliances, or rather, its individual components, you can independently assemble a heat pump. How this can be done, consider below.

Step # 1 - Preparation of the compressor and condenser

Work begins with the preparation of the compressor part of the pump, the functions of which will be assigned to the appropriate node of the air conditioner or refrigerator. This node must be fixed with a soft suspension on one of the walls of the working room, where it will be convenient.

After that, you need to make a capacitor. For this ideal stainless steel tank of 100 liters. It is necessary to mount a coil into it (you can take a finished copper tube from an old air conditioner or refrigerator.

The prepared tank should be cut into two equal parts with the help of a grinder - this is necessary for installing and fixing the coil in the body of the future capacitor.

After mounting the coil in one of the halves, both parts of the tank must be connected and welded together so that a closed tank is obtained.

Heat pump condenser

For the manufacture of a capacitor, a 100 liter stainless steel tank was used, with the help of a grinder, it was cut in half, a coil was built in and back welding was performed

Consider that when welding you need to use special electrodes, and even better to use argon welding, only it can ensure the maximum quality of the seam.

Step # 2 - making the evaporator

For the manufacture of the evaporator, you need a sealed plastic tank with a volume of 75-80 liters, in which you will need to place a coil from a pipe with a diameter of inch.

Coil for evaporator and condenser

To manufacture a coil, it is sufficient to wrap a copper tube around a steel pipe with a diameter of 300-400 mm, followed by fixing the turns with a perforated angle

At the ends of the tube it is necessary to cut the thread for the subsequent provision of connection with the pipeline. After completing the assembly and checking the sealing, the evaporator should be mounted on the wall of the working room with the help of brackets of the appropriate size.

Completion of assembly is better to entrust a specialist. If part of the assembly can be performed independently, then a professional should work with the brazing of copper pipes and the injection of refrigerant. The assembly of the main part of the pump ends with the connection of heating batteries and a heat exchanger.

It should be noted that this system is low-power. Therefore, it will be better if the heat pump becomes an additional part of the existing heating system.

Step # 3 - Arrangement and Connection of an External Device

Water from a well or a well is best suited as a heat source. It never freezes, and even in winter its temperature rarely drops below +12 degrees. The device of two such wells will be required.

Water will be drawn from one well and then fed to the evaporator.

Groundwater energy use

The energy of the underground water can be used year-round. Weather conditions and seasons do not affect its temperature.

Further, the waste water will be discharged into the second well. It remains to connect all this to the evaporator inlet, to the outlet and to seal it.

In principle, the system is ready for operation, but its full autonomy will require an automation system that controls the temperature of the moving coolant in the heating circuits and the pressure of the freon.

At first, you can do with an ordinary starter, but it should be noted that the launch of the system after shutdown the compressor can be performed in 8-10 minutes - this time is necessary to equalize the pressure of freon in the system.

Device and use of wind generators

Wind energy was used by our ancestors. Since those times, in principle, nothing has changed.

The only difference is that the millstones of the mill are replaced by a generator and a drive, which transforms the mechanical energy of the blades into electrical energy.

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Step 1: Selection of parts for the manufacture of wind turbines

The main details of the future windmill are borrowed from a cordless drill, which they no longer use on the farm.

Step 2: Removing the motor and cartridge from the waste drill

For the manufacture of a wind generator will need an engine and a cartridge, which are attached nozzles

Step 3: Parts for mounting the wind turbine

To attach the unit to the site, you will need a unit, in the manufacture of which you will need a steel bracket and plastic parts with a liner made of cut steel pipe

Step 4: Install the mounting assembly assembled

A metal plate is connected to the drill chuck through the mounting knot, on which the blades of the wind generator will be fixed

Step 5: Installing the bearing from the inside of the plate

A bearing is installed on the back side of the metal plate, ensuring its rotation along with the blades

Step 6: Assembly of the wind generator and installation on the site; Assembly of the wind generator and installation on the platform

Individual parts of the wind generator are assembled and installed on the site of foam (boards, plywood)

Step 7: Mount the blades of the wind generator to the plate

The blades of the wind generator are attached to the outside of the round plate with screws. The system with the engine and the cartridge is desirable to close the casing

Step 8: A small homemade wind turbine A small homemade wind turbine

A small, self-made wind generator is useful for charging mobile devices and home appliances.

Step 1: Selection of parts for the manufacture of wind turbines

Step 1: Selection of parts for the manufacture of wind turbines

Step 2: Removing the motor and cartridge from the waste drill

Step 2: Removing the motor and cartridge from the waste drill

Step 3: Parts for mounting the wind turbine

Step 3: Parts for mounting the wind turbine

Step 4: Install the mounting assembly assembled

Step 4: Install the mounting assembly assembled

Step 5: Installing the bearing from the inside of the plate

Step 5: Installing the bearing from the inside of the plate

Step 6: Assembly of the wind generator and installation on the site; Assembly of the wind generator and installation on the platform

Step 6: Assembly of the wind generator and installation on the site; Assembly of the wind generator and installation on the platform

Step 7: Mount the blades of the wind generator to the plate

Step 7: Mount the blades of the wind generator to the plate

Step 8: A small homemade wind turbine A small homemade wind turbine

Step 8: A small homemade wind turbine A small homemade wind turbine

Installing a wind generator is considered economically viable if the average annual wind speed exceeds 6 m / s.

Installation is best done on hills and plains, ideal places are the coast of rivers and large bodies of water away from various engineering services.

Alternative energy for home from wind turbines

Wind turbines, the most productive in coastal regions, are used to convert the energy of air masses into electrical energy.

Wind Generator Classification

The classification of wind generators depends on the following key parameters:

  • Depending on the placement of the axis may be vertical flippers and horizontal. The horizontal design provides the ability to auto-rotate the main part to search for wind. The main equipment of the vertical wind generator is located on the ground, so it is easier to maintain, while the efficiency of the vertically located blades is lower.
  • Depending on the number of blades are distinguished single, two, three and multi-lobed wind generators. Multi-blade wind turbines are used at low airspeed, rarely used because of the need to install a gearbox.
  • Depending on the material used to make the blades, the blades can be sailing and tough. The blades of the sailing type are easy to manufacture and install, but require frequent replacement, as they quickly fail due to the sudden gusts of wind.
  • Depending on the pitch of the screw, distinguish changeable and fixed steps. When using a variable pitch, it is possible to achieve a significant increase in the range of operating speeds of the wind generator, but this will lead to the inevitable complication of the structure and an increase in its mass.

The power of all types of devices that convert wind energy into an electrical analog depends on the area of ​​the blades.

Wind turbines as a source of alternative energy for the home

Wind generators practically do not need classical energy sources for operation. The use of a plant with a capacity of about 1 MW will save 92,000 barrels of oil or 29,000 tons of coal in 20 years.

Wind generator device

In any wind turbine installation contains the following main elements:

  • Bladesrotating under the action of the wind and ensuring the movement of the rotor;
  • Generatorwhich produces an alternating current;
  • Blade Controller, is responsible for the formation of AC to DC, which is required for charging batteries;
  • Rechargeable batteries, needed for the accumulation and equalization of electric energy;
  • Inverter, performs the reverse transformation of DC to AC, from which all household appliances work;
  • MastIt is necessary to lift the blades above the ground to achieve the height of the movement of air masses.

With this generator, rotating blades and the mast are considered to be the main parts of the wind generator, and everything else - additional components that ensure reliable and autonomous operation of the system as a whole

Connection diagram of the wind generator

The inverter, charge controller and rechargeable batteries must be included in the circuit of even the simplest wind generator.

Low-speed wind generator from the generator

It is believed that this design is the most simple and affordable for self-production. It can become both an independent source of energy, and take on part of the power of the existing power supply system.

With a car generator and a battery, all other parts can be made from scrap materials.

Step # 1 - making the wind wheel

The blades are considered one of the most important parts of the wind generator, since their design determines the operation of the other nodes. For the manufacture of blades can be used a variety of materials - fabric, plastic, metal and even wood.

We will make blades of a sewer plastic pipe. The main advantages of this material are low cost, high moisture resistance, ease of processing.

Works are performed in the following order:

  1. The length of the blade is calculated, and the diameter of the plastic pipe should be 1/5 of the required length;
  2. Using a jigsaw pipe should be cut lengthwise into 4 pieces;
  3. One piece will become the template for making all subsequent blades;
  4. After trimming the pipe, the burrs on the edges must be treated with sandpaper;
  5. The cut blades must be fixed on a pre-prepared aluminum disk with the mounting provided;
  6. Also to this disk after rework you need to fasten the generator.

Note that PVC pipe does not have sufficient strength and will not be able to withstand strong gusts of wind. For the manufacture of blades, it is best to use a PVC pipe with a minimum thickness of 4 cm.

Not the last role on the magnitude of the load has the size of the blade. Therefore, it would not be superfluous to consider the option of reducing the size of the blade by increasing their number.

Wind turbine blades from PVC pipe

Wind turbine blades are made from a pattern of ¼ PVC sewer pipe with a diameter of 200 mm, cut along the axis into 4 parts

After assembly, the wind wheel should be balanced. To do this, fasten it horizontally on a tripod indoors. The result of proper assembly will be the immobility of the wheel.

If the blades rotate, it is necessary to perform their sub-point with an abrasive to balance the structure.

Step # 2 - making a wind turbine mast

For the manufacture of the mast, you can use a steel pipe with a diameter of 150-200 mm. The minimum mast length should be 7 m. If there are obstacles in the area to move air mass, the wheel of the wind generator must be raised to a height exceeding an obstacle of not less than on 1 m.

Pegs to secure stretch marks and the mast itself must be concreted. As stretch marks you can use steel or galvanized cable with a thickness of 6-8 mm.

Steel pipe mast with braces

Stretching the mast will give the wind generator additional stability and reduce the costs associated with the device massive foundation, their cost is much lower than other types of masts, but additional space is required for stretch marks

Step # 3 - Retrofit Automotive Generator

Alteration consists only in rewinding the stator wire, as well as in the manufacture of a rotor with neodymium magnets. First you need to drill the holes needed to fix the magnets in the poles of the rotor.

The installation of the magnets is performed with alternating poles. Upon completion of the work, the intermagnetic imperfections must be filled with epoxy resin, and the rotor itself should be wrapped with paper.

When rewinding a coil, you need to consider that the efficiency of the generator will depend on the number of turns. The coil must be wound in a three-phase scheme in one direction.

The finished generator must be tested, the result of a correctly performed work will be a figure of 30 V at 300 rpm of the generator.

Re-equipment of the automobile generator

The converted generator is ready for testing on the nominal voltage delivered before the final installation of the entire low-speed wind generator system

Step # 4 - completion of the assembly of a low-speed wind generator

The rotary axis of the generator is made of a pipe with two mounted bearings, and the tail section is cut from galvanized iron with a thickness of 1.2 mm.

Before mounting the generator to the mast, it is necessary to make a frame, the profile pipe is best suited for this. When mounting, it is necessary to take into account that the minimum distance from the mast to the blade should be greater than 0.25 m.

Wind generator work

Under the action of the wind flow, the blades and the rotor move, as a result, the reduction gear is rotated and electrical energy is obtained

To operate the system after the wind generator, you need to install a charge controller, batteries, and an inverter.

Battery capacity is determined by the power of the wind generator. This figure depends on the size of the wind wheel, the number of blades and wind speed.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Making a solar panel with a plastic case, a list of materials and the order of work

Principle of operation and review of geothermal pumps

Re-equipment of the generator and making a low-speed wind generator with their own hands

A distinctive feature of alternative energy sources is their ecological purity and safety.

The rather low power of the installations and binding to specific terrain conditions allow only the combined systems of traditional and alternative sources to operate effectively.

Does your home use alternative energy as sources of heat and electricity? Have you built your own wind turbine or made solar panels? Please share your experience in the comments to our article.

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