DIY Home Power Station
power bills have been increasing for a long time but it has now reached the stage where power is playing a major part in the household budget. The increasing cost of power in conjunction with the climate warming problems created by burning fossil fuels, is encouraging more people to think green and explore the possibility of building their own renewable power supply.
Making your own solar panels or a wind generator is very tempting but how feasible is it? Can a home made solar panel or home made wind turbine really make a practical difference to a normal household power bill? Or are they just wishful thinking and urban myths?
There are many factors that affect the answers to these questions. The impact will depend on where your house is located and the extent that you wish to go with your home power station.
One of the main factors that impacts the output of DIY solar panels will be the exposure that your house has to the sun. It is obvious that a hut deep in the depth of a forest is not going to get much benefit from a solar panel! So check how the sun moves over your house, how many hours of direct sun does your house get? The good news is that most houses should not have any trouble in gathering enough solar power to produce electricity from a DIY solar panel.
The same logic is true when thinking about a home made wind generator; you will need wind to turn it! In most places the wind cannot be relied upon as the only source of power--it simply fills in the gaps left by solar power quite nicely. Luckily when the sun stops shining the wind normally blows.
The quantity of power that can be produced from a DIY power station will be a product of the size and nature of the devices being used.
Solar panels which produce electricity are also known as 'photovoltaic cells' or 'solar pv modules' The amount of power that you can expect to extract from a solar panel is worked out from the surface size and weight and typically will fall between 5 and 50 watts, although many cells can be simply linked together. Any excess power that is created can be stored in batteries for release at a later time.
The amount of electricity that can be generated from a DIY wind generator is derived from the square of the blade diameter (double the diameter and you get 4 times the power) and the cube of the wind speed (double the wind speed and you get 8 times the power). Although you can't choose the wind speed, you can select the blade diameter. Typical domestic wind turbines will have a diameter of around 6-8 feet and a typical domestic power system would be capable of creating 1 - 6 kilowatts with a wind speed of about 6-10miles per hour.
A home renewable energy power station consisting of a DIY wind turbine and solar panel is not only feasible but very practical. With a bit of research it is possible to find plans for constructing DIY wind turbines and solar panels and these do not demand any great degree of skill or unusual tools. In fact, all of the parts are readily obtained from local sources and the whole building stage shouldn't take more than a couple of weekends.
Is it possible for a DIY home power station save you money, yes it certainly can. Either you can power electric items in your house directly from the free renewable power, or if you are able to connect your home built power system to the power grid then you can offer your electricity to your power company.
Home generation of electricity is not only a fact; it is an easy way to reduce your power bills. Who knows, maybe all homes will have a renewable energy source in the future.
Visit www.my-ecopower.com and check out the plans that I used to construct my own low cost, easy to build domestic power station.
Published October 21st, 2008