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Wind Turbine Projects

A Good Windy Day for VAWT Testing: Build #3 of VAWT Made from Wood Siding

5 Oct , 2014  

Scott-working-on-vawt For the last couple of months I wanted to test out the VAWT made from wood siding. I was curious if it would generate any power. But, as always, there was always something more pressing to be finished first.
Finally, during a weekend I was finishing up the deck project, the wind was really blowing. Thought it would be a good time to test out the turbine. So I took a few hours off and put it up on the roof of the cabin. (It would have been better on top of a tree, but did not have the resources or time.)
It was easy enough to attach the turbine, but the pulley system was difficult to attach. The pulley was either misaligned or really taught. It only spun when there was a big gust of wind.
I wanted to hook a multi meter up to a rectifier, but it was evident it would not turn freely in low wind. What a bummer! It probably would of worked better higher up in the trees.
The results were a mixed, it worked great on its own in the wind, but the pulley system was just not working well.

Back to the drawing board. IMG_4158

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Solar Power Projects

How to Charge a Generator Battery with a DIY Solar Panel, MPPT Charge Controller and the Sun

13 Nov , 2013  

DIY 60 watt panel

DIY 60 watt panel

The project for the day was to do some firewood splitting. Off camera, there was a pile of 18 – 24 inch tree rounds. They were a freebie given to us by a city dwelling neighbour (it cost $$ to dispose of trees in the city, most people are more than happy to give it away for free!)

Splitting firewood starts with of the big blue generator, 5 ton electric wood splitter, few extra hands and pile of firewood nearby. The generator was pulled out from the genny hut, hooked to the exhaust pipe and the starter battery. To my dismay, found out the battery had no juice. Bummer! Maybe it was showing its age or the below freezing nights must have sapped the power out of it.
So, I was in a jam. No spare 12 volt batteries, didn’t have long enough booster cables to use the car and the pull cord mechanism was broken. Didn’t want to give up. I had people waiting and didn’t want to spend another weekend doing firewood.

After I calmed down, I looked around and noticed there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Checked the forecast and it said that it was going to be above normal day in November for a warmth. Hmm… I thought that if I could get a couple of hours of charging into the battery, it might be enough. It was a small 7.2 Amp hour Gel battery, so it would need a lot of time to charge. (Just need enough for the generator started, once it’s running, it can charge the battery too)Dug through some of the old ebay solar stuff. Found an 60 watt DIY solar panel, MPPT charge controller, alligator clips and some wire. Sat down on the steps and rigged up a quick charging station. I kept the battery and the solar panel in the sun the whole time.

As the sun travelled across the sky, the panel was adjusted/moved to

DIY solar panel can be mounted anywhere

DIY solar panel can be mounted anywhere

get most charging. By 3:00pm, the battery had charged for 6 hours. Decide it was a good time to see if there was enough juice to start the generator.

Hooked it up to the starter, crossed my fingers and it turned the motor over! Sweet! It worked. Now the firewood project could finally get started.
So, in a nutshell, the sun charged the battery and it turned an obstacle into a solution. Plus,  keep old parts around, never know when they will come in handy.

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Wind Turbine Projects

A Great Source of Copper Wire for Homemade Wind Generator

9 Oct , 2013  

DSC02246 DSC02247 A short video showing where you can find a good source of copper wire to make coils for a homemade wind powered generator.
The copper wire is found in regular household appliances like blenders, microwave ovens and old power tools. Try to find motors that use lots of power. For example, the blender I found used over 600 watts! It had really nice chunky copper wire.
Don’t be discouraged with get the layers of metal plates, it takes time. One method is to heat up the motor super hot and then drop it in a bucket of cold water. I tried doing that on my BBQ and didn’t really work. I was concerned that the enamel on the copper wire might melt off. I used a hack saw, drill, axe and attacked it in my vice. The whole process is like preparing a fish-eating, strip away the guts and bones to get at the meat inside.
Feel free to comment on what works
Music credit; Strange Days by YouTube music Library

 

Music credit; Strange Days by YouTube music Library

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