Weekends Keep Slipping By…

Just a quick update… for weeks now I’ve been hoping to get back up to the farm, and tiny free house, to finish the walls and get the roof on. But as each weekend approaches something seems to pop up between me and the tiny house. A trip to LA, winterizing my big house, rain, and so on. It’s been a little discouraging but I’m still very hopeful that when I make it back to the farm I’ll get a lot done.

Oh and I got some bad news from James Burgett at Alameda County Computer Resource Center. It turns out he won’t be able to help me out. I’m not too bummed about about the stuff, more bummed out he won’t be able to contribute his ideas. One of them was to figure out a way using free stuff to provide power. He described making a wind mill out an old discarded power drill, a bike wheel, and milk jugs. I can’t really go into why James won’t be able to help, but my best to him. Rock on James!

3 thoughts on “Weekends Keep Slipping By…

  1. If you’re looking into do-it-yourself-juice, then it’s really hard to beat wind or hydro. The folks over at http://www.otherpower.com are the experts in home built versions of both, and share most of their ideas openly on their website.

    Unfortunately, solar is still something that needs to be made in clean rooms by big corporations ( even if you do make your own panels from individual cells)

    The only thought I have for a cheap home solar power system is using a parabolic mirror (such as a curved piece of aluminum foil on a frame) to heat a liquid going through a tube (painted black copper tubing?), and then use that heated liquid to power a turbine of some kind. It’s at least an idea, and something that can be made from relatively inexpensive parts (reclaimed wood for the frame, unused bit of copper piping, cost offset-ed but cheap role of aluminum foil, simply homemade axel-flux-turbine.)

    You can even create a closed loop for the heated liquid by using a heat exchanger to heat home water. At the least it’s something to research.

  2. A bit of looking shows a lot of more frugal, but less skilled do-it-your-selfers building these wind generators by just cutting the blades from a length of pvc pipe.

    http://www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/index.html
    http://www.thekevdog.com/projects/wind_generator/

    A second thought: it would really be worth the offseting to get a maximum power point charge controller. Even if you don’t get one of those, you still need a special charge controller for wind generators to direct the power into a dump load to prevent your batteries from over charging, or the wind generator from over heating or over spinning if the connections are just open.

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