Showing posts with label wind turbine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wind turbine. Show all posts

Thursday, January 22, 2015

On the Bench- Building a Bigger Plywood Battery Box
Scott Symmes11:41 AM

Project for January, 2015

With my birthday coming up, I wanted to work on a project of my choice. In this case, it was a bigger battery box made from plywood. This project has been lingering in the background for 6 months.
The box would hold up to ten 6 volt deep cycle batteries. The batteries are an important component of an off grid power system. The primary use is to store the power generated from the solar panels and wind turbines. An inverter is then hooked up to the batteries and it converts the battery electricity (DC) to regular household electricity (AC).

Batteries are expensive and should be looked after.
They can range from $90 - $240 each. Three years ago, I purchased (4) 6 volt Exide batteries for $98.00 each (on sale). In the Spring of 2014, managed to pick up another four, used, 6 volt US batteries (brand) off craigslist for $40.00 a piece.

If the batteries have a clean, ventilated, safe, dry place to sit, they will last many years. With my experience, it's best to take care of them as long as I can. Don't let the charge get below 60% and check the levels of acid. I felt a little bad, that I had left the batteries just sitting under the cabin and not being tended. Batteries will slowly lose their charge over time and die a horrible death.

Back to the box... for the last couple of outings to the cabin, the plan was to get started on the box. I had even pre-cut all the plywood, but it just sat in pieces, waiting to be assembled. The winter chill made it hard working outside using the cordless tools.

The other day when I was driving to work, I thought, why not work on it during my lunch hour and get it knocked off. So, a few days before an outing to the cabin, sat down at the kitchen table and sketched out some rough plans.
Next, I went to the computer and figured out how the get the best use of a piece of plywood and made a cutting guide. It helps if you have all the information from the battery manufacturer. Using this as a guide, designed a plywood box that measures 24 inches wide by 48 inches long by 15 inches tall.  I purchased a 4' x 8' sheet of 3/4" thick Oak plywood. It was a damaged on one side and got it for $10.00. Sweet! That saved me at least $50.00.

With the sweet tablesaw at work, I ripped all the plywood up and started to assemble the box. Used 1-5/8" screws and Gorilla Wood Glue for all the joints. Got 80% of the box finished on my lunch break. Came back after work and put in another 20 minutes. Took the box home and applied 2 coats of Kilz Odorless Primer on the inside and Varathane America Walnut Wood stain on the outside. It came out pretty sharp.

Next, was a stand for the battery box to sit on. I personally hate bending over to work on stuff, it eventually hurts my back. I came up with a stand made for 2" x 4" and 4" x 4' posts for legs. The legs will be notched to fit directly under the 2 x 4 frame. I might add a 2" x 6" to tie in the legs with the frame for some added support.
Below is some of the videos of making the boxes.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Testing Out Wind Turbine Made from Recycled Parts
Scott Symmes2:44 PM

Great news! The wind turbine I was messing around with back in 2012, is working! (no load)
Now, I know that sounds really odd, but it has been on the back burner for quite sometime. I had a special location picked out and was planning to use it with another set of deep cycle batteries.

This particular wind turbine project started back in October 2012. My good neighbour, traded the wind turbine generator for a portable boom box. He mentioned that it wasn't working after an accidental shorting out of some wires. (He was extension cord style of wire ($69.00) than (2) 100' of 6 gauge welding cable ($140.00). Click on the links below below for more information.
drilling a hole into the tower and the drill bit struck one of the wires). So I took it home and messed around with the factory rectifier. Once it was removed, it was modified to a three wire AC system which would then be rectified closer to the battery box. To handle a 20 amp load, its much cheaper to run 100 feet of 12 gauge, AC, 3 prong,

Made a series of YouTube videos:
Part 1- Recycled Mount for Wind Turbine  
Part 2- Recycled Wind Turbine Mount- Stronger standoffs and a fancy cowling 
Part 3- Recycled Wind Turbine Upgrades 
Part 4- Homemade Wind Turbine Project v1.0 
Part 4- Buck Rogers Upgrade to Wind Turbine Project 2.0 
Part 5- Fancy Tail Fin for Wind Turbine Project 

So, with the completion of the new side deck, it was an
ideal spot for the big wind turbine. The plan was to erect the tower on top of the deck, next to the cabin and use the roof line as a support. Ended up moving the location 3 times before I found an ideal spot where it could be raised and lowered easily. Finally,  a good location was found at the corner of the cabin. Once it was in place, my next concern was the sound of the blades spinning and vibration.  But the next day, (the last day) there was no wind and I couldn't complete the test, bummer!
So, I let it sit for 3 weeks and see how it does. On October 17th, 2014, came up to the cabin to do some work on the insulation and check on the wind turbine. It was still there is one piece. Nice! Plus, it was a windy day and I heard it working. Boy, did it make a racket. Sounds just like a working power drill being pushed into a some wood with no drill bit. Quite loud and annoying!

So, the next plan of attack is move the wind turbine tower to a different location, but close to the cabin, with good wind and eliminate some of the noise. Below is a video of it working.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Build Three of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) from Cedar Wood Siding
Scott Symmes11:47 AM

This is the third version of the vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) made from cedar siding lumber. It’s very close to the Lenz style of VAWTs. These type of wind turbines are fun to build. Lots of room for improvements and coming up with new ideas.
For example:
- the hubs with bearings, came from my portable generator. Had a handy grease spout that could easily be greased with a grease gun
- the struts for the scoop (Lenz style) of blades were extended to clear the garage door style generator
- Used boiled linseed oil to seal the wood parts. The stain lasts forever and works great against the sun
- Did a quick test on top of our house, but, nothing really happened. (The motor garage door motor was not hooked up) The wind is quite poor in our residential area. Plus, without the aid of mirrors or a surveillance system, it’s difficult to see it spin when it’s right on top of your house
- The VAWT was designed to be mounted on top of a tree a off-the-grid cabin
- At the moment, the garage door motor on it, but, it does not turn well with the belt-pulley system. The wind really needs to be blowing. I thinking about going the magnet and coil route
- Had to take it down after 5 days of testing. A certain neighbours started to ask questions and I didn't want the bylaw officer give me a ticket for having a structure on the roof.