or Connect
Green Options › Forums › Sustainable Living Discussions › Renewable Energy › Homemade solar panels/wind turbines
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Homemade solar panels/wind turbines - Page 2

post #31 of 43

i still haven't got my own hands dirty when it comes to this matter, but have looked into it a bit. some key tips i've picked up: 1. get a good guide, 2. don't buy broken cells, 3. go high-quality (if you are expecting/hoping to live for awhile), 4. get a professional electrician (saw this noted above somewhere as well.. i think it is a must, unless you are really skilled in this area), 5.if you use batteries, keep your system charged. for more, check out my most recent article on homemade solar panels.

post #32 of 43

Hello Everyone!

 

(replying to everyone not to a specific person)

 

As you can probably see, I just joined this forum. I have read the entirety of this thread, though because of an extremely slow Internet connection, it has taken me over an hour to log on, bring up this screen and type this up.

 

First off, I would like to say that all of you (or at least the vast majority) seem genuine, not try-hards who know nothing (and those of you who do not know anything seem to be interested in learning). I am addressing the first section to they guy (or girl) who said that they would like to live completely off the grid with their home powered by wind and solar power.

 

It is a relatively easy thing to make a solar panel, and if you would like, I can give you (for free) instructions and suggestions that should make them a lot more durable and reliable. The difficult thing is converting the raw energy (DC, anywhere from 12 to 48 Volts) into 240V AC power (or 110V AC in America-correct me if I am incorrect). And it is even more difficult to completely convert a house completely over to renewable energy sources.

 

*(Assuming that you know a fair amount about electronics and have good soldering and carpentry skills, then it would be well worth the effort to buy solar cells off Ebay. Just go onto Ebay and type in solar cells. Years ago I purchased ten cells as a proof of concept idea, and I received thirteen instead. Only one was chipped, though I broke most of the rest due to poor handling and dexterity, as well as youthful over-enthusiasm.)

 

If you want to be good to the environment, then I suggest building a relatively large array of solar panels (800W at least, preferably more) plus all associated hardware. In the case of inverters, I would suggest using a grid-tie inverter; feed energy into the grid, use only as much as you need during the day, at night draw energy from the grid. This idea is most certainly not original; it is called Virtual Energy Storage-look it up, other websites can explain it better.

 

Basically you use the main power grid as a virtual battery (although the energy is not actually stored, it is distributed to other homes, businesses, factories etc). As for wind power, I have very little experience in that regard. It would certainly only be worth investing in if you experience high winds for at least 20+ hours a day. Certain seaside or mountainous locations may experience conditions such as this, however.

 

The actual storage of power on-site with batteries is extremely expensive and the manufacture and disposal of batteries is very bad for the environment, depending on the batteries you are using. Batteries are hideously expensive and unless you are salvaging and regenerating say, banks of old car batteries, it is not worth the effort. If you are truly determined to become a little more independent, save some money, help the environment and more importantly make your objectives achievable, then I would recommend banks of home-made solar panels (again assuming that you are at least competent with electricals and carpentry-if not then buy them, do not take the risk) with a grid-tie inverter using Virtual Energy Storage.

 

(Another little side-note: most but not all grid-tie inverters DO NOT offer power backup; if the mains fails, and you have three staggered batteries of solar panels, they will not give you any backup power whatsoever. You will have to pay a pretty penny in order to get one that does (as a starter, go to ww.jaycar.com, and looked up SuperCombi or CombiPlus, just to get an idea of the sort of prices you will be paying if you buy your equipment commercially (remember, that is just the inverter, not counting voltage regulators ($250-$500, mounting hardware, solar cells etc)).

 

Please reply to this and\or ask questions, even set me straight if I have made a mistake or posted flawed data. I have done tons of research over the last three years, read hundreds of articles, trawled dozens of forums, read dozens of books and run half-a-dozen mathematical and financial simulations. And remember, keep your objective achievable.

post #33 of 43

I agree with the previous comments. I think there is enough free information out there and I would suggest that you don't neccessarily need to pay for the advice and set up. From my experience I think installing a wind turbine is probably a more easier operation of the two and I've recently done just that myself with an outbuilding down the garden, which I use a workshop. It's entirely self sufficient in it's energy and electricity needs. Perhaps you could start with a project like that to begin with. Keep your eye open too for components. There are a few suppliers like this that are springing up and even eBay isn't all that bad with some of it's sellers. It is possible and it would save you money to do it on your own. But if I had the choice I'd like a professional to do it, namely because I know it's being done right and the system is as optimal and as effective as it can be for me!

post #34 of 43

QUESTION...  Why bother with solar panels when a single plasma energy battery can power your entire house and everything in it for over a decade without a recharging and with the same radiation level as a cell phone?  No, I am not drunk. Check this out: http://open.salon.com/blog/green_energy_reports/2012/04/15/censorship_-_the_only_reason_we_are_still_addicted_to_oil

post #35 of 43

Had a look at the video for windturbines above seemed do-able but personally i'm not to sure about the concept of making your own turbines as i've never been convinced due to actual amount of wind need to generate a good sustainable amount of energy.Think a previous comment said you'd need 28mph wind to achieve good results, I mean thats ok if you live on the outer hebredies so I'm still inconvinced.But would definietly love to hear back if you went for it and had a go a building your own system and how you found it. Found a good video at the following address and it comes in

a series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCzkDpisFLs 

 

Will definitely check back and see if you went for it, but if you don't I would still look in to solar as their are so many incentives still to be had read a good article recently stating how now is a better time than any to get in to solar: http://www.solarkinguk.com/blog/generate-free-electricity

 

But i totally understand why you are considering doing it yourself as the cost can be huge depending on the size of your house and the system you'd need

post #36 of 43

Hi,

 

Been exploring ways to improve on saving energy, renewable energy, cost savings when the funds aren't there to have commercial solar installation.

Seems you can rent or lease solar setups, too.  There are a number of articles submitted by home owners who found ways to reduce costs for little or no money.  Also, you will remember the expression "necessity is the mother of invention" and there are a few individuals who have worked out the problems and procedures for starting to build to of your own solar units - roof mounted or on the ground.  I found this website that lists a number of ways to improve energy use and articles submmited to Mother Earth News by families.  Take a look at http://www.greenerdiyaffordablehomeprojects.com.

post #37 of 43

SOLAR PANELS ARE FRAGILE AND SIMPLE NOT ENERGY EFFICIENT. THEY MAY BE GOOD FOR STREET LIGHTS AND REMOTE COUNTRY-SIDE

 

APPLICATIONS BUT THE BULK OF OUR POWER IN THE FUTURE WILL COME FROM CLEAN GREEN NUCLEAR - THORIUM.  I SUGGEST  YOU  GOOGLE

 

"THORIUM PLASMA BATTERY TECHNOLOGY"

post #38 of 43

For those of you you might find this of interest, Karlynn Cory has an article in RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT FINANCE.  financere.nrel.gov/finance

Pallets of PV: Communities Purchase Solar and Drive Down Costs Together

Karlynn Cory's picture

 

 

All of the great details, including how to set up your own program, are laid out in "The Solarize Guidebook: A Community Guide to Collective Purchasing of Residential PV Systems," released in May 2012. This roadmap is for state and local governments and community leaders wanting to create a program to buy PV in bulk. It describes how Solarize Portland executed its program, explains how other neighborhoods across the United States are building off their efforts, and describes the steps needed to have a successful campaign in six months or less [1]. This report is an update to a previous version published in January 2011 and includes new info on lessons learned not only in Portland, but across the other 1,960 Solarize installations.

All of the great details, including how to set up your own program, are laid out in "The Solarize Guidebook: A Community Guide to Collective Purchasing of Residential PV Systems," released in May 2012. This roadmap is for state and local governments and community leaders wanting to create a program to buy PV in bulk. It describes how Solarize Portland executed its program, explains how other neighborhoods across the United States are building off their efforts, and describes the steps needed to have a successful campaign in six months or less [1]. This report is an update to a previous version published in January 2011 and includes new info on lessons learned not only in Portland, but across the other 1,960 Solarize installations.

 

 

There are some solar systems that are 40 years old and still effective, according to solar experts.

 

 

 

post #39 of 43

Great site here! You can learn a lot about how to install your own solar panel and learn about what others are doing. Thanks

post #40 of 43

I don't agree at all with the rip off comments on his thread! Off course there are people how make incomplete DIY guides and charge a lot of money. But i myself bought a guide online and i'm using my own generated power through a solar energy system to this day. Just research and find a guide that you feel comfortable with, someone that explains the process step by step.

post #41 of 43

You can Absolutely and should get completely off the grid if possible. Many people are getting money from the energy companies because they have gone off the grid and the meter goes backwards. You can learn more at www.self-sustainable-living.com .

post #42 of 43

I am very much interested in Green energy, and it seems as though you are more than ready to teach me more. I would like to be able to make from scratch both solar and wind energy, and convert them for mobile use. i.e, campsite, phone charger, computer charger, basically plug-ins for various electronics at once. My email is artmanj@ferris.edu and I would love to hear from you soon.

 Thanks,

James

post #43 of 43

i am currently researching the same subject I want nothing else but to harness

my own power! forward me your email and i will share all i learn.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Renewable Energy
Green Options › Forums › Sustainable Living Discussions › Renewable Energy › Homemade solar panels/wind turbines