Build Your Own Homemade Electricity Generator - Do it yourself and Save!
Why Make Your Own Electricity
Let's just say for the sake of discussion, you decide to investigate the feasibility of installing your own home energy power source.
There are many different factors to consider regarding making your own electricity. Government regulations, tax rebates and incentives, community zoning, installation procedures, repair and maintenance costs, location, operating costs...all of these things can influence your decision.
For now though, let's just take a look at some of the benefits to making your own electricity.
Benefits of Homemade Electricity
Some of the many benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Saving money. Why pay the electric company when you can make it yourself.
- Making money. If you produce more than you use, the electric company will pay you for the excess.
- Save the environment.
- Convenience. Reduce power outages during bad weather. Unless a storm hits your home directly; which of course we hope will never happen, your power will stay on.
- Remote power where you need it. Become energy independent, live off the grid (not connected to the power company)
U.S. Primary Energy Consumption by Source and Sector, 2008 (Quadrillion Btu)
If your first and foremost concern is to save money, then you might want to consider building your own renewable energy power generator. When it comes to making your own electricity using a renewable energy source, the two most commonly thought of first are wind turbines and solar panels. There are numerous resources available online that can help you build either one that can be purchased for a reasonable price (many of them under $50.00 U.S.).
If you are the handy type who likes to build things there is a wealth of information on the web on how to make your own electricity.
Building your own wind turbine is a great way to get started. It is considerably more economical than purchasing a commercially manufactured unit. You can purchase the materials you need locally or online and build one for under $200.00. Now granted, it may only be able to produce a few hundred watts of power but at least it will give you a good idea of whether your site has the right conditions before you plunk down a $6,000 - $30,000+ investment for a larger model.
The same can be done for solar panels. You can build your own and install them on your rooftop or some other location where they can be sloped to receive the most direct sunlight as possible. If your roof is frequently in the shade of trees or other objects you can mount solar panels on a tower similar to a wind generator, they just don't need to be elevated quite as high.
The DIY instructions you receive to build your own homemade wind turbine or solar panels will guide you step by step from material acquisition, to construction, all the way to completing the installation. Generally, with small units that you build yourself, you will need to link several of them together to produce a sufficient amount of power to supply your home. This information is provided as well.
Use the Wind to Power Your Home
Use the map below to give you an idea at least of whether you have a reasonable amount of wind to begin with.
If you are in an area that has an acceptable amount of average wind speed, then the next thing you want to do is fine tune your analysis. You can contact local authorities to determine a more specific regional breakdown of the average wind speed for your area. This will be more accurate than the national map, but it will not take into account factors such as trees, surrounding buildings, ground terrain and other obstacles that may affect the wind flow.
Or you can purchase a home weather station that has the capabilities of recording wind data to your home computer and determine precisely the average wind speed for your exact location. If you plan to invest several thousand dollars in your wind turbine, I would strongly recommend doing your own wind study. That way you can get the most accurate readings for your specific installation site.
U.S. Department of Energy Wind Resource Map
Convenience - Never Go Without Electricity Again
Maybe you’re not into the whole “green energy” thing and what you really want is to avoid future power outages. The simplest and probably fastest solution would be to buy a gas or diesel powered generator. Be for-warned though, this is not the most economical method. But then, hey, convenience is rarely economical.
You can purchase one online or at your local hardware or home center. The size generator (power output is usually rated in watts…i.e. 1000 watts etc.) you need can vary depending on how many circuits you want to power and what types of electrical components (household appliances, lights, water pump, furnace, etc.) are on those circuits.
You can purchase a small gas powered generator of say 1000 – 2500 watts that will power a few lights and a couple of small appliances such as a microwave or a toaster oven for a few hundred dollars.
In addition to the items mentioned above a medium size generator of 3000 – 5000 watts will power most all of your appliances (washer, dryer, water pump, refrigerator, etc.) one or two at a time, but not all at once. Prices range from $400 - $1000.
Most of the small and medium sized generators have a manual start. When the power goes off you need to go out and get them started to get your lights back on.
The simplest method for connecting a small generator is to just run an extension cord from the generator to whatever electrical appliance you want to run.
WARNING: All gas generators must be operated in a well ventilated area. The exhaust fumes from a gas engine are deadly.
If you plan to connect your generator directly to your household electrical circuits you will need to install a transfer switch. A transfer switch is a safety device that prevents your generator from back feeding power back into the power grid. You use it to isolate the specific circuits you want to provide power to, so you don't overload your generator with too many components.
For the ultimate in convenience a natural gas or propane powered home stand-by generator of 7500 watts and above will power most everything in your home simultaneously just like the power company. As an added convenience, many of them automatically start within seconds of a power outage so you hardly notice the change over to the generator. They operate quietly as long as needed, and automatically shut down and revert back to a stand-by mode when the power comes back on.
Home stand-by generators range in price from $3000 and up depending on the size (number of watts it will produce).
Unless you are experienced in working with electricity, I would strongly suggest hiring an electrician to install your generator.
Electricity - The Future of Energy
Fossil fuels are limited to a finite quantity. When they're gone, they're gone! Eventually they will be used up. As the availability diminishes the price will inevitably go up.
Renewable energy such as electricity is the energy of the future. The paradigm shift to electricity as the primary energy resource has already begun. Countries around the world have identified the need for an alternative to a dependency on crude oil.
As the demand for electricity increases, so will the price. Not only for electricity itself, but for the material and supplies needed to produce electricity generators; whether they are wind turbines, solar panels, or any other type of generator.
If you have ever considered installing your own power generator, now would be a good time to get started. Waiting will only cost you more in the future!
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