I have been reading up on ways to generate electricity at home without spending a lot of money. I am fascinated by the idea. Does anyone have any project ideas or experience in this area?
I have been reading up on ways to generate electricity at home without spending a lot of money. I am fascinated by the idea. Does anyone have any project ideas or experience in this area?
Can't go wrong with that!
unless you consider the part about "not spending alot of money"
only cheap way to make electricity is building your own wind turbine. old washing machine motor, sheets of metal/plastic, long pole, job done.
If you don't need a lot of electricity (like for things on batteries) you can make a galvanic cell (which is actually a battery). The most simple one is to put pure Zn (solid) in ZnSO4 and to put pure Cu (solid) in CuSO4. Then you put a saltbridge between the two fluids (could be KCl + agar for example) and you're ready to connect it with something that needs eletricity. (This setting will give you 1.1V)
One school science book suggested the kids build a light cell by using a lemon, a piece of copper and zinc, and a flashlight bulb. Wishful thinking.
I ran some numbers and ended up with a flashlight bulb at 2.5V and approx 0.2Amps to light. The lemons provided 0.8V (not bad) but only about 0.00015Amps. You would need thousands of lemons for one bulb...don't try this at school, teachers
I don't really know how durable those solar panels are, but to me they look like they could easily be damaged by hail (only in areas that get some extreme hail, that is).
I'm originally from California, and about every house there had a tile like structure on the roof of the house. Now when I moved to South Dakota, a tiled roof is almost unheard of because the amount of hail they get here during the summer would demolish those tiled roofs to pieces. For example, hail here often takes out many windows on both cars and houses dents the metal on many cars if they aren't parked in a garage or under some sort of protective shelter.
But then again, maybe those solar panels are extremely durable and could handle some serious hail?
It's not the only way.
(And you'd be much better off with an aircraft alternator and a prop to put on your pole...)
There's hydroelectric; if you have a stream on your property, you might be able to build a dam and generate power that way, nice because that can be a very steady source of power.
There's also methane- Build a fermentation tank (not too expensive), and fill it with some bacteria and nearly any kind of biological waste you want. After a while, a lot of methane gas will build up- that gas can then be skimmed off, compressed, and burned just like propane.
That's usually only practical for farm owners though, because the equipment is bulky, and you need quite a lot of bio-waste to make a significant amount of gas.
If you get close enough to a high voltage power line with a fluorescent light bulb it will will glow from being in the expanding and collapsing AC fields. To me all this EMF is fugitive energy that could be recaptured and utilized without any additional fuel costs.
I don't know what it costs around the world but in my country, it is a bit expensive. Recent cost analysis shows that we have to invest about 5% of the total cost of building the house to generate enough electricity from the sun. What about yours?
How much does it costs to generate electricity for a house?
Over the weekend I heard about solar panel backpacks that are on sale. Has anyone got a backpack like that? I thought that was a cool idea for outdoors and hiking. Now if they can design backpacks that can generate electricity from freezing cold, that would be great, especially for serious mountain climbers who are scaling the Himalayas and other challenging mountains where it can be freezing cold. The photo is an example of a backpack which I grabbed off the Internet. They all look basically the same.
That backback is a great idea. I am definitely going to have to make my own now. I am always looking for new small solar projects because at the moment I am overloaded with spare PV panels that I rescued from the trash. It should be a pretty straight forward setup. I have a few LI-ion cells around to store the charge, throw some diodes in there, a small 120v ac inverter, and USB cord, and it should be ready to go.
the way you was going sounded like you had an idea of electricity/power etc, then you come out with that.
how many batteries exectly are you hoping or storing in this backpack? and how long are you going to be in the sun each day? lol.
A cycle generator might be a good idea.
I was interested in that when I was trying to think up a science model for the exhibition at school last year...sadly it never worked.
Here are some links -
That reminds me of another project I tried to do, but miserably failed again. Do electrolysis of water by a hand cranked generator, store the hydrogen in some way...hm..
yes, I think you've got a great thought.
I was thinking of the same a long time ago.
btw, the solar backpack is a nice thing. I saw an article on the same thing a few days ago.
A long time ago, on tv, I saw this guy running on a treadmill which powers his tv and some appliances in his home, I think he used a dynamo od sorts which did the trick.
I think the idea wud be to run the treadmill, or use some kind of natural windpower or hydro power and store it in a battery converted to an inverter which wud poer up the appliances.
any way to make power for free is really a good way! we can save much more money.
perpetual motion... You just need some kind of force or fuel to start it up, then use natural forces such as gravity to keep the device moving.
You'll no doubt have to replace parts at one point for such a device.
there is no such thing as perpetual motion, and if you have invented such a system you will become a VERY rich man.
To an extent, yes. Tune a radio receiver to 60hz (or 50hz in Europe), and you'll get a lot of received power. (relatively a lot; it still isn't enough for most practical applications of that power)
But, excessive capturing of this 'wasted' energy would use more fuel... Some of that energy will collapse back into the power line and be used- if devices are bleeding off that power, line loss will be increased from the extra work, and more power will be used. The further away from the power line your collection device is, the less it will do this.
Now, what would be an interesting experiment, is to place a wireless collection device below a power line and see if the power company tries to prosecute you for stealing electricity...
There are exceptions... In one town, there is a long-range radar site built facing the town. None of the residents there use electric-powered lights... they simply buy fluorescent bulbs. The radar's RF radiation makes these bulbs light up at all times, everywhere in the town -- if they want to turn off the lights, they put the bulb away in a box or closet, or cover it up.
The greater output from the radar makes this wasted energy plentiful enough to put to practical use.
You can only generate electricity with temperature if there is a difference in temperature. In order for that to work, it needs to be warmer inside the backpack than outside... And if it is going to work for very long, there needs to be a heat (power) source inside the bag to keep it that way. You'd basically be converting the heat energy inside the backpack into electricity. Which means that you'd need a lot of heat to create useful amounts of electricity. You could use body heat, but that wouldn't be good at all for cold weather emergencies!
If you have a river or check dam near by, you are lucky to get some energy conversion
with less effort. Stream river water through pvc pipe from 5 or 6 meter high. You could run
a small hydro- electric generator.
Quite right... You can also use a waterwheel, or even build a small dam; it actually isn't that difficult on a small scale, just labor intensive.
My imagination is
Almost free (very cheap) power will be available when we will be able to make small hazard free (very secure) nuclear energy devices.
It could be like this,
You buy a machine (say the size is of water dispenser*).
and you will get energy modules from some shops (say Walmart or Canadian tire ..)
When will it happen may be in next 30 years.
Otherwise it is not easy to produce electricity at home except what people mentioned (using solar cells which demands a lot of maintenance over time [for storage devices which are batteries])
are you talking about plutonium/uranium? cuz i really cannot see this happening, with them being extremely radioactive and highly dangerous etc...
also for this to be allowed everyone would need to be trained in nuclear physics as nothing is fail free, if one of these devices malfunctions it would be goodbye to your house and probably a few more in your street.
Well, for those who are interested in Solar Energy here's a website that can be really helpful, it determinates the cost of installing such a device, how many electricity you can make / a year, and tons of interesting things here's the link : http://mercator.nrel.gov/imby/ . You can put it right on your roof and see how much it will cost and how much you'll save by doing this.
And if you want to start with something smaller you can now charge your cell phone with a solar-powered device here : http://www.solio.com/charger/ it can be interesting.
Well, I really think that solay/wind energy will be the most economic ways to get some ''cheap'' electricity I can't wait to have some solar panels on my roof...
**EDIT : With the first link you can even simulate your electricity with a wind-powered station.
Well, you can have solar cells on your roof, as mentioned above. However, the cost when you buy them is not really that cheap, so you might want to have small wind turbines instead.
Personally, I'm for a mix of wind and solar power. It makes your house look cool.
Right, that's called counter-EMF or inductive reactance. On an electrical distribution grid it is measured in VARS and is proportional to the number of windings (motors, heating coils etc) are energized.
VAR metering is becoming very important at grid interfaces between different utility companies. At some point in time hourly contracts between utility dispatchers will have to pay/charge for VAR usage. Historically this cost has not been metered. As VARS increase voltage will sag unless compensated for with voltage control.
Me too,it can save energy and money with green living.
I saw this once in the TV,
A house and car powered technically by only water and sun.
They filled the roof of the house with a modified bubble wrap layer filled with water and some kind of cell which decomposes the water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. The 'cell' (sorry i forgot what it's called) is powered only by the sun and is the only expensive stuff in the project. The hydrogen from the bubble wrap layer is then collected and used to power a generator which in turn, powers part of the house. The waste? oxygen.
The car works the same way but skips the H2O splitting part (the hydrogen is fed directly into the car). The result is then water.
Yes, it sounds too good to be true. I mean, water happen to cover 3/4 of the entire world. But why doesn't everyone do it? Maybe because it requires a huge investment. The technology is not new but companies are yet to mass produce the 'cell', which makes it expensive.
I'm not entirely sure of my post though, i watched that a long time ago and probably included some of my fantasies lol. Please research more to confirm.
I also read something in 2008 i think about people in California making a very powerful laser to try and create a miniature Sun. If they're able to successfully make and contain it, then it's just the same as an "unlimited power supply". Plus, it is CLEAN. Nuclear fusion
Build a nuclear power plant, wait until it pays itself off, then pay for your own electricity with the profits?
That's as close to absolutely 'free' electricity you're going to get
You could talk a huge company into building you a free nuclear power plant.
Wow! If Toshiba pulls this off they're in for awesome times. One could probably start your own town with being independent with electricity supply. I'm just puzzled however. I would have thought those nuclear staffs that are fuelling these generators would require very complicated regulatory approvals, which in its own right would attract a huge cost in terms of regular inspections, and the cost of the fuel?
The fuel cost is a one time thing on these, not an on-going expense. It will be interesting to see how the licensing works out. Maybe they will do the operator licenses like a waste water facility where only one person on site has to have a 'K' license. I'm pretty excited about these little reactors.
It's such an amazing project I'll start a thread for it, so it doesn't derail this thread.
Build a windmill.
Does that not cost money to make?
Well, given the things suggested so far, I think I'd rather build a windmill than a nuclear power plant.
With the exception of Don Quixote, there aren't really famous stories about people being injured by windmills. Nuclear power plants on the other hand...
Sure it was in California! I bet you watched it in Spiderman movie, made in Hollywood, California! It was Dr. Octopus' project, . lol
Regarding the cars "running on water", let me tell you that I have been researching a lot about this topic for months. You can find lots of information in Google under "HHO generators".
1. It is NOT possible to run a car only on water with the technology we currently have.
2. You can ADD a simple device called HHO generator to your car that will help it save fuel, because it improves the fuel burning process with the hydrogen generated. This device needs electricity from the car's generator to run, however, the energy wasted during the generation of hydrogen is less than the energy saved by improving the fuel burning process. There is no ¨Energy law breaking¨ here. It only improves the combustion system of yout car. I made one of these devices for my own car and have been monitoring its performance for about 4 months, the total savings are about 25% in fuel bills. It definetely works.
3. I can also tell you there are a lot of sites with devices that don't work. So, be careful.[/img]
What are your favorite HHO generator web sites? Can you give us a couple of good links?
You are up against some pretty tough physics that does not take prisoners.
You must understand there is electricity and there is electric power. The difference is critical.
It's easy to generate cheap electricity, but hard to generate electrical power.
Now electrical power = voltage X amps. As others have stated, it's the amps that are tough. To muster enough amps to do anything useful, you need some serious hardware and serious money to invest.
Then there is the storage problem that must be addressed for situations when the input source (sun, wind, tidal action, water flow etc.) is unreliable or not available ..... think night time with solar.
All these are major obstacles and overcoming them means $$$ .... lots of $$$$$$$.
Not to rain on your parade though, if you can surmount these obstacles for small $s, you will get rich fast.
Good luck to you.
One solution to the storage problem is using a synchronized inverter to connect your power source to the electrical grid.
During the night, you buy power from the electric grid, during the day, you sell power back to the electrical grid.
If you generate enough, you'll break even or perhaps even make a profit.
Of course, synchronizers and inverters that can handle that much power aren't cheap either.
I agree, HOWEVER I suspect if finally it would result in harmful outcomes (say because of improper handling, leaking, fault … of radio active material).
I think until now best approach is THE USE OF SOLAR CELLS although it is hard to implement on many places due to volume and light dependencies.
I hope we will find some better ways soon.
hey , that is not correct , the tittle says free electricity and and commonly we trash a washing machine when it stops working (if not , i say you going mad) so , that can also mean that the motor is not working , thus making the whole effort meaning-less
I have heard that the ecological cost of making solar cells far outweighs their benefit. There are a lot of nasty chemicals involved in the process, not to mention the energy required to melt silicon.
I tried to make a battery with lemon juice and galvanized nails. I accidentally tasted the lemon juice and got high off the zinc. It scared me at first because I thought I was poisoned, but my friend (who was a wielder) said that that kind of thing happens a lot when you work with zinc.
Solar cells would really suck in Alaska during the winter when the sun doesn't get above the horizon for a couple of weeks.
He was a wielder of what?
I would also like to lean how to wield this mysterious power. ^.^
If you look at your house, the major source of energy leaks are in the windows and roof. So eliminate the windows and have a white roof.
Its tough to eliminate all sources of energy loss in your house, but by doing simple things like raising your thermostat 1 or 2 degrees in the summer, and letting your local power company cycle your AC.
Scott Adams just wrote a good article about this:
May I suggest you research the dangers of nuclear radiation? ...and how difficult it is to protect people in close proximity to it?
(Not to mention the global security threat of having fissionable (or even just very radioactive) material be a household item? It would make a dirty bomb simply a back-yard project, and it would bring true atomic bombs much closer within the reach of many who really shouldn't have them.)
It would be much safer -- and likely more efficient -- to have a large, communal unit for the neighborhood, then distribute it to individual households... or you could even have a single, huge, unit for a whole town or region... ... Oh, wait, we already have that.
I had a thoery if you put a light on a solar panel, cut off land power wouldnt that light on the solar panel keep going until the bulb blew out? I mean calculars run off bulb light during the night..... and you can do the same for cars.... but i would recommend carring extra light and bulb.... POT holes are horrible.
It would work if, and only if:
1: The solar panel was 100% efficient.
(None come anywhere close, and 100% efficiency is theoretically impossible in any system.)
2: 100% of the light from the bulb hits the solar panel.
(This requires an -- impossible -- perfectly reflective hood over the whole contraption, and requires that neither the bulb or the power lines to it absorb any of the light.)
3: The light bulb creates no heat.
(Nobody has invented a cold light source yet, because the inefficiency of the electricity to light transformation wastes power, which is radiated as heat.)
4: The wires in the system have 0 resistance.
(This is possible with superconductors, but we don't have any superconductors available for this yet.)
5: There is a perfect vacuum between the bulb and the panel.
(Otherwise air and dust particles will absorb some of the light.)
Even if you could accomplish all of these impossible things, the system would still have a net power output of 0. It would circulate the same energy over and over again, never taking any in, and never giving any out.
In other words, this idea is the same thing as:
Tesla's mission was to provide free and wireless electricity for all.
Quite ambitious, maybe impossible, but it was an amazing idea at the time.
The cool thing about this is that it eventually led to wireless communications which is in fact a very real example of a world-chaning project on its own, since we all use that nowadays
There's no such ting as physical 'free electricity' but there is 'free electricity', as in you don't have to pay for it. One example is using the magnetic field under a power cable. Another example might be jumping the wires on your power meter, but that's illegal.
The mythbusters tried it !
Though it didnt work that well
=D thanx for fixing !
what about windmills? how effective they are?
but according to some idiot who talked on ted about something involving nuclear reactor effeicency told that a few grams of enriched uranium can power a small town bt you could always lead-line the catridge so that most most of the energy can be obstructed fron radiating the guy standing nearby , but anyways , it is going to be in your basement so you your point is almost nonesense because no one wants a nuclear fission reactor in living rooms and such places (anything is possible in theory)
Just look on wikipedia how nuclear reactors in submarines are protected (sorry for my bad english , its my .... 3rd language)
But you need a certain level of mass -- critical mass -- in order for it to release its energy quickly and heat up...
Or do you mean that you would only glean the power collected from the radiation it emits?
The key word being 'most'. It takes a lot of protection to reduce it to safe levels, and you could never get it to be absolutely 0.
Right next to the water pipes, then?
Nuclear submarines are quite a bit larger than most houses... And they require a crew of highly-trained people to make sure the reactor keeps functioning smoothly and safely.
Even supposing you do manage to make it safe for the inhabitants of the house and supposing you're able to get significant power from a less-than-critical-mass core... How will you prevent various evil people from collecting the uranium, refining it, and using it to build nukes?
That's the easy part though... How will you prevent people from strapping one of your reactor cores to a few sticks of dynamite, making a 'dirty bomb', that sprays many people with deadly radiation?
In order to generate free electricity, get to the basics of electrical power generation. What you would need is two big permanent magnets or a horse shoe magnet and a spring suspended in between them . Add a weight to the spring and then take it away with you when u travel.. If the spring is connected to a wire which in turn connected to some equipment such as a bulb/mobile.. you would see the production of electricity.. It does not get cheaper than this!!!
If you modify the Road bumpers, so that when a car run over it, some spring will contract.
When car moov away from the road bumper, spring expand. We can moov, gears and pinions,
to convert its motion to run a small dc generator.
Such a idea was presented at energy exhibitions.
LOL ocalhoun.... this reminds me of a time when my colleague was cutting off 2 pin plugs for the Point of Sale computer equipment and putting in 3 pin plugs, and during the course of it, probably the 13th plug, he cut the wrong end, and it had one end as 2 pin, and the other end as 3 pin.
Me and my colleagues were laughing at it for weeks, surmising where he could put the other end in.
By Free electricity, it would mean an easy method to extract energy from a FREE source - which is Sun.
Scientist should work hard to make cheap solar cells, which will be a hope full future for all
I think that cheap solar furnaces* (used to boil water, then turn a turbine) would be an easier-to-accomplish way to make solar power widely available...
Cheap reflectors and reflector positioning systems seem to be easier to accomplish than cheap solar cells. (Turbines are already used at a variety of power plant types; no additional development would be needed to develop cost effective, efficient turbines.)
...And as a byproduct, such stations could produce distilled water, perhaps curbing the problem of drinking water availability.
*Perhaps combined with a robust distribution system to transmit power from the equatorial regions toward more polar regions.
If you chip wood up really small, add water and let it sit it will break itself down and create heat. Compost usually generates a lot of heat. If you add a tank with compost inside of that heating pile with a hose hooked up you can create your own natural gas as well.
Here is a youtube clip of the founder Jean Pain in France:
This looks like a real good idea if you have a lot of brush and wood on your lawn. You can create almost all of your gas and heating needs with this, granted with a huge wood pile.
BTW there is a second part to this video, just look to the right.
You can do this with any kind of decaying organic matter... but wood isn't exactly the best choice.
It decomposes relatively slowly, and leaves a lot of non-digested fibers behind, compared to other sources.
...And besides, wood is useful for other things, like lumber or paper.
Using farm wastes (manure and/or non-edible portions of crops) is a much better option.
The methane gas produced is the real energy source you want, since it is easily stored and utilized. The heat created during the decomposition process is best used simply to raise the temperature of the vats to the ideal temperature (around 110F, if I remember correctly), so that the gas is produced more quickly.
is best in all resources of electricity
and pollution free aLSO
For peat sakes, stop calling all this "free energy"
One can devise myriad ways to extract energy or convert energy, but it is never free. The suggestion of extracting electrical energy from a generator powered by the movements of a "bull" is nonsense. Such a contraption would require the bull to work harder (if only a little) and eat more to make up for it. So you have the CONVERSION of the sun's energy locked up in in the Bull's feed into the electrical energy extracted from the generator.
Whether you get it from the sun, the Earth's internal heat, weather, fossil fuels, animal or human movement, tides, rivers, nuclear reactions, lightening .... it is NOT free. It cannot be free
Well, if you manage to capture and use the energy from a source that would normally be wasted, that could conceivably be called 'free'.
Say, you figure out a way to capture and use the energy being radiated from the cooling towers at a nuclear power plant -- without impacting the plant's performance. The energy gained from that would be 'free'.
Here's my idea (it will only work if you have a pond nearby)
buy a pump -> connect a motor to the pump -> get transformer to boost electricity to 240 volts
Soon the money for the pump, motor, and transformer would pay for itself.
The only flaw would be the pump requiring electricity. You could buy a low-power one and connect it to a solar panel or small wind turbine.
How does that provide free electricity?
anybody already posted something about a 'solar updraft power plant'?
very economic and sustainable low tech plant
Really great, and also (pretty much) impossible.
You can only generate power from a temperature differential: a difference of temperature.
If both the inside and outside of the pack are equally cold, it won't be possible to use that to generate electricity.
(Likewise if both the inside and outside are equally hot, you won't be able to use that to generate power either.)
Generating power from the cold would only be possible if the inside of the pack was storing some heat source... Which means you would be exchanging that heat energy for electrical energy... and the heat energy would run out fairly quickly.
(Unless you use the body heat of the hiker, but if you're hiking in a very cold environment, I doubt you want a (probably heavy) machine on your back stealing your warmth away to make electricity.)
Theres no such thing as free! But solar panles are good!
Why solar panel is not taking off after all the hoopla? I think it's not cost effective.
the cold is just a sort of absence of energy
if you would charge the risks they take with atomic energy, and also the damages it causes, with costs,
well then solar panels are surely at least more cost effective than atomic energy.
and if they'd put as much money into scientific research about solar panels as they put into atomic research, those panels would probably be pretty much more effective in any way today.
But solar panels won't silently power your submarines, or provide material to make nuclear warheads out of...
Hence, the government interest in nuclear power.
nice house,,,Is that solar power??
Retrofit and re-purpose and old (or new) automotive alternator to function as a windmill. There are
numerous YouTube videos on making one. I'd make one myself, but I don't have any place to use it.
LMFAO....too true...too true....
But we do have some folks out there who are starting to clamor, so at least we can hope it will continue to pick up steam. As financial woes continue to hit people, the necessity of green power will force people to pay it attention. Agriculture and energy are in need of major overhauls. If people pay more attention to the deeper issues behind both, they may realize the benefits behind imporving both and start demanding it more heavily. That means more projects need to be started at any level possible, and shown to the general public to get their attention. Small steps, but steps never-the-less.
anyone allready mentioned this one?
there were some french scientists at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, who got some electricity out of a cactus (of course it was a very, very small amount only), which was in 2010, maybe they advanced a little in their resarches until now?
It seems like milking a cow, one could get electricity out of a plant, actually a power plant.
Sounds like a great idea fuzzkaiser !
Maybe certain plants can be genetically modified, to become very effective batteries ?
Say your power plant could be modified so that food for the plant results in recharging the battery on the fly ! This would render an eternal battery. Now put THAT in a car.. and our highways would smell like roses instead of gasoline
There's no point in putting it into a car.
The sun --> plant --> electrical process is unlikely to be more efficient than the sun --> solar panel --> electrical process that we've already used in cars.
...Not to mention it will be heavier and less practical to install and maintain.
You want to utilize biology to power cars? Use methane!
You just toss any random organic waste matter* into a big tank (a 'reactor') along with a few methane-producing bacteria.
Extract and compress the gas as it is emitted.
Then, use the gas for fuel. Any engine designed to run on propane can usually also work on methane.
That is a reasonably practical way to use plants to give your car energy.
*organic matter with a low celulose-to-energy ratio is best. The lower that ratio is, the more gas you can produce before you have to dump the non-usable material from the tank.
using Tesla's work
Well you can build magnetic geerator for free electricity
Please include diagrams and instructions on how they work and how to build one.
here i suggest a hint at the other thread "flashlight no batteries required", which is quite an old gadget, and also to the idea of sort of a bicycle connected to a power generator. the problem is, that you don't have a continuous flow of energy. for that one could take use of the often very very simple mechanics of oldfashioned (also big) clockworks, which allow a certain accumulation of kinetic energy and a controlled restitution of it.
Just bodge the meter haha, but don't get caught! Solar panels aren't a bad idea but they are no good if you need them on a night (unless you fit them with cells), combine solar and wind turbine and your onto good generation of power, all day every day.
Rub a glass rod with a cat fur and after that in this class rod there is static electricity.
Well that is really interesting, I am enjoying the discussion