loading

Human Dependence on Electricity


Electricity is one of the most important need of the 21st Century. Most human beings are dependent on electricity for their daily needs such as Charging their Smart Phones, Powering their houses or even their cars, etc. Most of the electricity we use in our houses are consumed by Air Conditioners, Lighting, Water Heating, etc. According to a study conducted by the World FactBook, the world consumes 19,320,360,620 MWh/yr. China, U.S., E.U*, India, Russia are some top consumers of electricity. A majority of the top consuming countries are developing economies like India, Brazil, Taiwan, etc. Coal is one of the main resources of producing electricity. But due to its high demand, shortages it increases the cost of producing electricity. Around 18% of the electricity produced by the world is consumed by the Residential Sector.

Solar & Wind Energy

One of the simplest solutions of reducing the dependence of Human beings directly on Electricity and Indirectly on Non-Renewable sources of energy is to switch too Renewable resources of Energy. The most viable and easily available Renewable sources of energy are Solar & Wind energy. Solar & Wind energy can be easily harnessed with the help of Solar Panels and Windmills.

The Solar + Wind Powered House

The Solar + Wind powered house is a simple and aesthetically good looking design for Houses or homes that wish to run on Renewable Energy.

The Solar + Wind powered house that I had built was set up in a rural agriculture dependent part of India.

This house served two purposes:
• It provided a cost effective solution to my housing and electricity needs by consuming renewable resources of energy.
• The Solar and Wind energy was also used for the purpose of Irrigation.


The surplus energy produced by this house is perfect for applications like irrigation in Electricity Deficient countries like India. This system completely isolates and safeguards its user from Poor service, Power fluctuations ( which can cause damage to appliances), High prices, Blackouts etc.

The applications and benefits of this house are not only limited too Rural or Energy Deficient countries. This house can also be constructed in those countries which are not energy deficient for the purpose of a Green and a Sustainable way of Living.

• This Instructable teaches you how to Build and Construct a Solar+Wind Powered House.
• It also will help those who have an existing house or structure to setup a Solar or Wind powered House.


The Windmill Design

The windmill used in this house is not your typical windmill. Generally windmills have just one set of blades. In this windmill there are 2 sets of blades. The technology is called Front-set Double Flying Birds. the first set of blades consists of 3 larger(in length) blades. While the second set consists of 9 smaller size blades. The smaller set of blades start producing electricity at a wind speed of only 1.8m/s(Highly efficient). It also starts to rotate the larger set of blades which then gain momentum. In this way the windmill or wind turbine used is capable of producing electricity even at low wind speeds.

Kitchen

The kitchen stove isn't a typical gas cooktop. It actually is an Induction stove which means that it doesn't run on gas (propane,LPG). Instead it runs on electricity which is harvested from the Sun by the solar panels. This helps in regions where price of piped gas or cylinders required for cooking is expensive.

Step 1: Material and Skill Requirements

All the material may differ from country to country with respect too Available size, quantity, volume, capacity, etc. Hence for some material, the exact specifications have not been given.

Materials

  • Paint.
  • Primer.
  • Anti-Corrosion Paint.
  • 14 X 14ft I- beams with base plates.
  • 4 X 18ft C-Channels.

  • 18 X 23ft C-Channels.

  • 4 X 36ft C-Channels.

  • Plywood sheets.

  • 1 X Windmill/ Windturbine.

  • 4 X Solar Panels.

  • 4 X Lead Acid Batteries.

  • Wire.

  • 1 X Inverter.

  • 1 X Charge Controller.

  • 1 X Hybrid Controller.

  • Circuit Breakers.

  • Bathroom Sink.

  • Kitchen Sink.

  • Windows.

  • Sliding Doors.

  • Wooden Door and Door Frame.

  • Toilet.

  • Shower Head.

  • Water Tank.

  • Geyser.

Skills Required

  • Welding.
  • Soldering.
  • Basic Electrical Understanding.
  • Basic Plumbing Understanding.
  • Basic Carpentry and Woodworking Understanding.

Step 2: Laying of Foundation

Keep in mind that the homebuilding process may vary from region to region and builder to builder, especially if you’re building a custom home like this one.

Using a backhoe and a bulldozer, clear the site of rocks, debris and trees for the house and, if applicable, the septic system. Level the site and digs the holes and trenches for the foundation and the septic tanks.

The Foundation of this structure was built using a method called 'Plum Concreting'. Plum Concreting also known as Cyclopean Concreting, this is a variety of Concreting consisting of large sized stones(Plums) with interstices filled with concrete. This method of Concreting provides a Stable foundation. This method of concreting is also used while laying foundations upon uneven surfaces. Plum concreting helps in reducing the cost of the overall construction.

While carrying out the process of Plum Concreting it is important too ensure that concrete is thoroughly mixed and that their are no air pockets created in the foundation.

Once the process of laying the foundation is complete, the concrete will need time to cure. During this period, there will be no activity on the construction site.

I have constructed the foundation of the house so that the top most point of the foundation is approximately 6-10ft above ground level. This increases the overall height of the house. This increase in height could lead to higher wind speeds at the higher levels of the house which would increase the windmill/turbine speed.

Base Specification: 36ft X 23ft = 828sq.ft.


CAUTION: For people that live in a temperate zone (i.e., subject to frost and freezing), you must ensure that the foundation of the house extends below the frost depth. This should prevent the damage caused to the structure by frost heaving. Also make sure that the water pipes are buried below the frost line, or insulated to prevent them from freezing.

Step 3: Metal Framework & Layout

The Metal Framework of the house is what holds the house together. It consists of a number of I- beams, C- channels, Base plates etc. These parts are either wielded or bolted together. Together these parts form the essential skeleton of the house. Since these parts are generally made out of metal (generally iron), they do get affected by moisture and hence get corroded. Hence it is essential to protect these parts by painting an anti-corrosion paint on them.

The foundation, floors, walls, roof, etc are all held together by the metal framework. Hence it is necessary to construct the metal framework accurately so that it can bear the load of the house properly.

Layout

I have also attached a whole lot of images of the entire structure. These image layout plans were designed too depict the construction in a more 3D based method. This is the first time I have used such a type of program (Google Sketchup) to generate house plans. Because of my lack of experience using this software, there may be some design faults. However the plan images are pretty accurate and well detailed. In case you want access the 3D plan I have attached the file below.

Step 4: Laying of Corner I-Beams

First we start by with the laying of the 4 I- Beams. Each of these 4 I-beams are placed at each of the 4 corners of the base (top of the foundation). I-beam Length= 14ft.

  1. Start by bolting the base plate of the I-beams to the 4 corners of the base. The base plates have been pre welded to each of the I-beams.
  2. Make sure that the I-beams are perpendicular to the base with the help of a Spirit Level bottle.
  3. Once this is done bolt another I-beam to the top base plate of the lower I-beam. Do this for all four lower I-beams. This will take the total height to 28ft from the base.
  4. Make sure the top I-beams are perpendicular to the base and that the base plates are properly bolted together.

In the second image there are two 5000Lt water storage tanks placed on top of the base. As the purpose of building this house was also for agriculture, the tanks have been installed. These tanks store the water used for the irrigation of the agricultural plantations.

Step 5: Laying of Half Length 14ft I-beams

This step involves the laying of an I-beam at the centre of the Lengths of the base.

  1. Measure and mark half the distance of the lengths of the base. i.e.: 1/2 X 36ft =18ft.
  2. At 18ft of one end, bolt the I-beam to the base.
  3. Do this for the other length of the rectangular base.
  4. Make sure the top I-beams are perpendicular to the base with the help of a Spirit Level bottle and that the base plates are properly bolted together.
  5. Once this is done bolt another I-beam to the top base plate of the lower I-beam. Do this for both the lower I-beams. This will take the total height to 28ft from the base.
  6. Make sure the top I-beams are perpendicular to the base and that the base plates are properly bolted together.

Step 6: Adding the C-Channel

In this step we add the horizontal C-Channels. There are a total 12 C-Channels used in this step. C-Channels provide rigidity to the structure. They also maintain the distance between the I-beams.

There are two levels at which the C-Channels must be installed. One being the height at which both the I-beams meet together and the other being the top of the higher I-beam.

Each Level has 4 X 18ft C-Channels and 2 X 23ft C-Channel.

  1. Start by tying(with rope) the 23ft C-Channel between the two I-beams followed by the 4 18ft I-beam and then the second 23ft I-beam on the lower level.
  2. Do the same for the upper level.
  3. Make sure that all the C-Channels are parallel to the base with the help of a Spirit Level bottle.

Step 7: Welding & Anti-Corrosion Paint

Welding is the process of fusing together two or more metal objects.

  1. Once all the C-Channels are accurately parallel to the ground, start welding them to the I-beams at the joints.
  2. Do this for all the C-Channels.

Anti-Corrosion Paint should be painted on to the entire metal structure at this point inorder to prevent rusting of the structure.

Step 8: Adding C-Channel Lower Floor.

This step involves installing the C-Channel for the Floor of the 1st Floor.

There are 8 C-Channels used in this step.

  1. Start by Measuring sections of 3.5ft along both the 36ft Lengths of the Lower Level.
  2. Then tie the C-Channel together as shown in the Layout images with a 3.5ft distance between each C-Channel.
  3. Make sure that they are parallel to the base of the structure.
  4. After it is ensured that the C-Channels are parallel to the base, weld them at the joints.
  5. Paint all the C-Channels with Anti-Corrosion Paint.

Step 9: Adding C-Channel Higher Floor.

This step involves installing the C-Channel for the Horizontal roof of the 1st Floor.

There are 8 C-Channels used in this step.

  1. Start by Measuring sections of 3.5ft along both the 36ft Lengths of the Higher Level.
  2. Then tie the C-Channel together as shown in the Layout images with a 3.5ft distance between each C-Channel.
  3. Make sure that they are parallel to the base of the structure.
  4. After it is ensured that the C-Channels are parallel to the base, weld them at the joints.
  5. Paint all the C-Channels with Anti-Corrosion Paint.

Step 10: Adding the Central I-Beams

This step involves the installation of the Central I-beams of the Structure. The Central I-beams are placed at the centre of the base and support the windmill.

There are 2 X 14ft I-beams used in this step. Total Height= 28ft.

  1. Start by Marking the centre of the base i.e. The intersection of the two diagonals of the rectangular base.
  2. Start by bolting the base plate of the one 14ft I-beam to the Centre of the base. The base plates have been pre welded to each of the I-beams.
  3. Make sure that the I-beam is perpendicular to the base with the help of a Spirit Level bottle.
  4. Once this is done bolt another I-beam to the top base plate of the lower I-beam.This will take the total height to 28ft from the base.
  5. Make sure the top I-beam is perpendicular to the base and that the base plates are properly bolted together.
  6. Make sure that their is a Base plate welded at the top of the higher central I-beam.
  7. Paint both the I-beams with Anti-Corrosion Paint.

Step 11: Adding Higher Central C-Channel

This step involves the installation of 2 Central C-Channels on the Higher Level. These are used to provide stability to the Central I-beams and also connect the central I-beam to the entire metal framework

There are 2 X 36ft C-Channels used in this step.

  1. Start by placing one C-Channel on the two higher C-Channels on the two Breadths of the Higher Rectangle as shown in the Layout Image.
  2. Ensure that the C-Channel is touching one of the faces of the Central I-beam.
  3. The C-Channel must be perpendicular to the breadth of the rectangle and parallel to the base.
  4. Do the above steps for the other C-Channel on the other side of the Central I-beam.
  5. Weld the C-Channels to the Joints and the base plate of the Top Central I-beam.

Step 12: Adding Lower Central C-Channel

This step involves the installation of 2 Central C-Channels on the Lower Level. These are used to provide stability to the Central I-beams and also connect the central I-beam to the entire metal framework

There are 2 X 36ft C-Channels used in this step.

  1. Start by placing one C-Channel on the two lower C-Channels on the two Breadths of the Lower Rectangle as shown in the Layout Image.
  2. Ensure that the C-Channel is touching one of the faces of the Central I-beam.
  3. The C-Channel must be perpendicular to the breadth of the rectangle and parallel to the base.
  4. Do the above steps for the other C-Channel on the other side of the Central I-beam.
  5. Weld the C-Channels to the Joints and the faces of the joints between the two Central I-beams.

Step 13: Installing the Windmill

This step of assembling the windmill varies from windmill to windmill.

  1. Assemble the windmill into separate sections.
  2. This will make it easier to lift the separated sections of the windmill to the top of the metal framework.
  3. This can be done along with the Laying of the Flooring as shown in the images.

Note: The images of the layouts in the next couple of steps do not include the windmill. This is because designing the structure on the software along-with the windmill was difficult.

Step 14: Flooring and Horizontal Roofing

This step will vary from person to person. The sizes of plywood available in different countries varies from country to country hence providing one with accurate dimensions cannot be done.

Bolt the Plywood sections in place with the C-Channels.

You can install the horizontal roofing depending on your choice.

I have not installed the Horizontal roofing.

Step 15: Walls and Partitions

The sizing of the Plywood Sections cannot be specified as it could defer from person to person due to the size limits available in various countries.

Bolt the exterior walls and partition walls to the I-beams and C-Channels.

The partition wall will separate the bathroom from the other room and kitchen.

Step 16: Temporary Plumbing & Electricals

At this point one can start with the temporary plumbing and electrical work.

Pipes can be laid from the water storage tanks to the bathroom and kitchen.

Sewage pipes can also be fixed at this point.

Electrical wiring can also be started at this point.

Step 17: Interiors, Windows, Roofing Framework

The Installation of the Interiors, Windows and Roofing Framework can all be done alongside each other.

Painting the Interior and Exterior of the House can also be carried out at this point.

The door can also be installed at this moment.

The sliding doors can also be installed at this point.

Sinks, Toilets, Beds etc can all be added at this point.

The staircase can also be added at this point.

Step 18: Saircase

The Staircase can be added at this point as stated earlier.

Either you can buy a ready made staircase or assemble one yourself.

Make sure the staircase is aligned properly and also well painted.

Step 19: Roof Framework

The roof framework is the skeleton that holds the Inclined roof together with the entire metal framework.

  1. Start by Cutting out 4 X 3ft Sections of C-Channel.
  2. Place two vertically on each side of the house as shown in the layout.
  3. Each piece must be perpendicular to the base and parallel with the windmill.
  4. Arrange them so that they are at the side of the windmill as shown in the layout image.
  5. Weld them to the C-Channels.
  6. Next cut 2 X 36ft C-Channel and connect them horizontally to the 3ft vertical sections as shown in the Layout images.
  7. Weld the joints together.

Step 20: Laying of Roof

At this step you can choose whether you want to add more inclined C-Channels as I have done when I built the house.

For those of You who do not want to do so, I have not shown the inclined C-Channels in the image Layouts.

Since the available plywood sheet sizes vary from country to country I haven't specified the Dimensions of the Plywood required for the roof.

  1. Start by cutting sections of the plywood depending on the Size of the plywood sheet available.
  2. Next bolt the sheets onto the C-Channels as shown in the images.

Step 21: Laying of Aluminium Roofing Sheets

It is optional if you want to install aluminium roofing sheets on top of the Inclined roof. All you need to do is just bolt them to the roof.

For those of you who do not wish too add these sheets I have not included them in the image layout.

Step 22: Adding the Solar Panels

You can choose to mount the Solar panels directly onto the roof. This reduces the cost of building an additional stand for it.

I chose to build another stand for this purpose and also added an additional staircase that extends to the top of the roof. This too is optional.

For those of you who do not wish to build an additional stand, I haven't included the stand in the image Layout.

Step 23: Solar+Wind Block Diagram & Connections

This step includes just a basic understanding of the Solar and Wind Electrical connections.

The sizing of the hybrid system is given in the next step.

For a more detailed and a step by step guide on installing a Solar System you can check out this instructable that I have made especially for this purpose : Apartment Solar System . It will also show you how to assemble, size and calculate individual solar systems.

  1. Follow the block diagram while making the connections.
  2. The Red wires are Positive, Black are Negative. The Red wire between the Inverter-CB-Power Consumption Meter-Load is Live, Black is Neutral and Green is Ground or Earthing.
  3. Be Careful while making connections.
  4. Do not switch anything ON while connecting all the parts and components.
  5. Do not interchange the polarity and stick to the colour coding of the wires- Red, Black & Green.
  6. Cut all the wires to length using the wire cutter and strip the PVC covering of the ends of the wire using the wire stripper.
  7. Start by connecting the output terminals of the windmill to the input terminals of the Circuit Breaker (CB).
  8. The output terminals of that CB must be connected to the 'Wind Input' terminals of the Hybrid Controller.
  9. Next connect the output terminals of the Solar Panel Array to the input terminals of another CB.
  10. Connect the output terminals of that CB to the input terminals of the Charge Controller (CC).
  11. Connect the output terminals of the CC to the 'Solar Input' terminals of the Hybrid Controller.
  12. The connect the output terminals of the Hybrid Controller to the terminals Battery Array.
  13. Also Connect the the same terminals of the Battery Array to the input terminals of yet another CB.
  14. Connect the output of that CB to the input DC terminals of the Inverter.
  15. Connect the output terminals of the Inverter to the input terminals of yet another CB.
  16. Connect the output terminals of that CB to the input terminals Power Consumption Meter (KWh Meter).
  17. Connect the output terminals of the Power Consumption meter to the Load.

Windmill

The Windmill is a device that converts Wind energy into Electricity. The blades of the windmill turn by the force of the wind. This then turns the shaft of the generator. Due to magnetic induction created in the generator part of the windmill electricity is produced.

Solar Panel Array

The Solar Panel is the device which converts the light emitted by the Sun into electrical energy. When the suns rays fall onto the solar cells, the electrons in the solar cells get excited and begin to flow, thus producing electrical energy.

The diodes in the Solar Panel Connection Box are used to maintain the polarity of the solar panel. If the positive wire is connected in the middle terminal, the voltage is halved.

Circuit Breaker (CB)

The Circuit Breaker is a kind of Switch which switches OFF/shuts down/shuts OFF when a certain amount of current passes through it. It will shut OFF only when the current exceeds the given specified amount. E.g: 15A etc. It also shuts OFF when theres a short circuit. The reason one MUST connect the Circuit Breaker between different parts/appliances is to prevent the damage caused by lightning strikes, short circuits,etc. Lightning can cause the battery to explode and also damage the entire system. The Circuit Breaker immediately shuts OFF when lightning strikes the Solar Panel or Windmill.

Charge Controller (CC)

The Charge Controller is a device that regulates the voltage and current of the solar array. It gives a steady output which used by the hybrid controller.

Hybrid Controller

The hybrid controller electronically combines and controls the Voltage and Current supplied by the Solar Panel Array and the Windmill. It regulates the voltage and makes suitable for charging the battery array.

Battery Array

The Battery is a device which stores the electrical energy in the form of chemical energy. A Lead Acid battery contains lead acid in it. As the battery is used it releases hydrogen gas.

Inverter/ UPS

The Inverter/UPS is an electronic device which converts a low voltage DC input into a high voltage AC output. E.g: An inverter can convert 12VDC (from battery) into 220VAC (to appliance). An inverter is necessary if your appliances run on 220V AC.

Power Consumption Meter

The power consumption meter measure the running total of the amount of power-hours that have been consumed by the appliances. It is measured in Kilo Watt Hours (KWh).

Step 24: Solar and Windmill Sizing

The sizing of the Solar Panels, Windmill, Batteries, Charge and Hybrid controllers all depend on the desired load.

The charge controller, hybrid controller, batteries should all be compatible and also fit their respective parameters.

A detailed guide to the Sizing of the Solar Panels: Apartment Solar System.

The windmill/ Wind turbine can also add the additional power required to the system.

Both together should be enough to charge the batteries and should not exceed the maximum input values of the Hybrid Control System.

The inverter should also be compatible with the output of the battery array. The battery array can also be calculated from the above link.

Specification of this Hybrid System

  • 4 X 80W, 12V Solar Panels connected in series = 48V, 320W.
  • 4 X 180Ah Lead acid Batteries connected in Series.
  • Windmill/ Windturbine: 48V, 2kW.
  • Inverter/UPS: 48V, 3kVA.
  • Hybrid Controller: Solar Input- 48V, 320W, Wind Input- 48V, 2kW, Output- 48V.

Step 25: Plumbing Block Diagram

The plumbing block diagram will help you with the basic understanding of the plumbing work of the house.

Its basically depicts all the essential connections between the pump, tank, geyser, Kitchen and Bathroom.

The sizing of the pipes, fittings, taps, tank, pumps and geysers vary from country to country depending on their availability. Hence dimensions cannot be specified for these parts.

In the block diagram, the 'blue' pipes indicate the 'cold' (room temperature) water supply while the 'red' pipes indicate the 'hot' water supply.

Step 26: Safety & Caution

Safety:

  1. While soldering do not touch the tip of the soldering iron.
  2. Wear Dark Glasses while installing the Solar Panel.
  3. Do not look Directly at the Sun.
  4. Wear Safety gear while working and welding.

Caution:

  1. Keep the battery away from sparks, cigarettes, open flames, etc. These can result ion explosions.
  2. Do not throw water near the battery or inverter.
  3. Avoid metallic contact between the terminals of the battery, as this can cause short circuiting.
  4. Lead Acid batteries generate Hydrogen Gas.
  5. Do not hit, hammer or damage the battery, it contains lead acid and can leak.Make sure the output of the inverter is grounded/earthed.
  6. Do not block the vents of the cooling fan in order to prevent over heating of the inverter.
  7. Do not interchange the polarity of any of the connections.
  8. Do not weld joints without proper safety gear and guards.
  9. Hire a Certified Electrician or Plumber if you cannot perform certain tasks.
  10. Do not directly touch the welding machine.
  11. While cutting wood make sure you are wearing safety glasses.
  12. The chemical solvents used to join pipes should be used with caution.
  13. Used filtered water only to the Kitchen and Bathroom.

Things to Remember:

  1. Do not forget to install the Circuit Breakers.
  2. Do not switch the system on until all the connections have been made.
  3. The distilled water in the battery must be replaced at least once a year.
  4. Do not switch on the inverter if the charge controller is displaying the 'Overload' signal.
  5. Always use low consumption appliances such as CFL or LED bulbs and appliances.

After Use of Battery:

  1. This battery contains lead acid and sulphuric acid.
  2. Do not just through it in the garbage as it is hazardous to the environment.
  3. At the end of the battery life, return the battery to the authorised dealer for disposal.

Step 27: Observations & Conclusion

Congratulations you have reached the final step. If you make the house or even make an individual system. i.e. Only solar or Only wind, attach a photo of it in the comments section by clicking the "I Made It' button at the top of the page.

If you have any questions, suggestions or doubts pertaining to this instructable do leave it in the comments section below or below the step wherein you have a particular doubt.

Observations:

  1. Thankfully Rain does not pour through the roof!
  2. The windmill just needs regular oiling.
  3. Rust can be a problem in certain areas if not painted well

Conclusion:

I had a lot of fun showcasing this instructable. I hoped you enjoyed it. If you did feel free to favourite it.

App:

I'm planning on developing an app for smartphones and tablets specifically for this instructable. The app will help you to calculate the sizing of solar panels, battery array, wind turbine, load, etc and also a whole lot of other electronics calculators. If you are interested leave a comment below.

<p>Have you made your own <strong>Solar+Wind House</strong>? I want to see it!</p><p>Share a picture of your version of this project in the comments below and be awarded a <strong>3-month Pro Membership</strong> on Instructables.com &amp; a <strong>digital patch.</strong></p><p>3-month Pro Memberships remaining: <strong>10/10</strong></p>
<p>Thanks Jonathan! I built this little cabin in the Maine (USA) woods and I set it up with a 12v solar system. I also built a wind generator based on an article from <em>Make</em> <em>Magazine</em>--but I did not know how to incorporate the wind power into the PV system. Because the cabin was located in the woods, I had to locate my PV panel and the turbine in a field at the edge of the woods about 40 meters away from the cabin. Do you know if it is possible to send the power generated by the turbine thru the same wires that bring the PV power to the cabin? Or must it run first to its own circuit breaker before entering the hybrid controller? The picture shows the PV power entering the cabin thru the floor (behind fan), where it enters a circuit breaker--&gt;charge controller--&gt;a 2nd circuit breaker--&gt;into the battery bank (2 6v wired in series)--&gt;up the wall to a main breaker--&gt;b4 entering the 12v inverter. Your article has been extremely helpful, and I now know that my system will need a hybrid controller in order to incorporate the wind power into the system. Thanks so much for your excellent Instructable! Any advice you have for me will be greatly appreciated! Also, I am wondering if you or any of your readers have any tips for rating the power generated by the wind turbine? It is made from a treadmill motor. Thanks!</p>
Nice Cabin! Separate wires between your Solar Panel Array &amp; Wind Turbine are required. Common wires will not work.
<p>Nice! I have been learning all I can about solar and other types of energy because I hope to change one day. Your ible helps a lot! Thank u for sharing</p>
<p>Very nice instructable... I am on the process of turning my home running with renewable energy. To start with I have constructed a medium sized biogas digester which supports 25% of our cooking needs.</p><p>Unfortunately, present cost of raw materials for solar and wind power are very high. Also, we do not have any other cheaper option other than lead acid batteries to store the energy. I hope things will change soon</p>
<p>Prices are coming down. Solar is becoming more viable as an option to conventional electricity grid.</p><p>Do follow for more Instructables</p>
Excellent article. Thx for the very articulate explainations. I would only add a hydrogen process to the whole thing to make up for the sun / no sun prob. Im experimenting now with my place in florida. New to this but learning. Thx again and good luck.
<p>Looking forward to your Hydrogen process Instructable!</p>
<p>Looking to augment our house to be solar-powered. I will be looking forward to your app :)</p><p>&quot;Fav'ed&quot; for future reference! Thanks mate.</p>
<p>wow you are a boss! great work!</p>
<p>Thanks for viewing!</p>
Great instructable. Question, how do you seal the roof where the windmill tower protrudes?
Perfect, thanks!
<p>Heres how it looks. Hope you have a better idea now!</p>
The particular windmill that I used came along with a PVC/Plastic Cone that was fixed about the tower of the windmill. This basically seals it and prevents rainwater from coming through. If your windmill doesn't come alongwith this you will have to make custom one which would be pretty easy to do. Hope this helps. Thanks for viewing.
<p>Hi dryndantheman, sorry to say you are greatly misguided in your outlook on renewable energy (RE). The time/money recovery ratio (what you get for your investment) is constantly shrinking. You look at companies like Missouri Wind and Solar, they make modular systems that are almost plug and play at a very reasonable price... In my area of the woods, it cost almost $10k per electric poles to bring power on a acreage. I would need at least 6 poles, do you know what one can do with $60k on a Solar hybrid system.? It would be a system that would produce enough energy for any demands, even 240 volts. It means one could live without having to change his/her life style except perhaps for a few minor things. The alternative is giving money to bring energy that you will pay for monthly. You can not ignore where the energy comes from, a lot of it comes from coal fired plant that produces 75K tons of ashes, flue gases and heavy metal for 1 MW of electricity. The environmental signature/footprint of that energy production greatly surpasses any carbon footprints from Solar equipment production....or even batteries... I could go on like this for a while but I do not want to bore you.</p><p>Grizz (been studying RE for 3 years at Lakeland college, AB)</p>
<p>That's awesome! One note I would add: tri-color solar panels are a bit more expensive, but they are around 6-7 times more efficient. Also, does it not rain much there because if it does, you might consider gutters to catch the water, filter it, and direct it into the tanks.</p><p>~Lee</p>
<p>Thanks for the constructive advice.</p>
What did it cost for the Windmill and the Solar Panels. What is the Solar Panels watts and the Windmill. Output
<p>Prices may vary from country to country. Over here in India I got one 80W solar panel INR 4480. That amounts to INR 56/watt.</p><p>Here's a link to one of the cheapest solar panels I could find in Canada. <a rel="nofollow">http://www.homedepot.ca/product/160-watt-monocrystalline-pv-solar-panel-for-cabins-rvs-and-back-up-power-sy/1002831</a></p><p>This amounts to 1.625 Canadian dollar per watt.</p><p>So there is very significant difference in prices. I recommend that you buy these parts from the nearest seller in Canada.</p><p>As for the Solar+Wind Block diagram and connections... <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/WindSolar-Powered-House/step23/Solar-and-Wind-Electrical-Block-Diagram/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/WindSolar-Powered-House/step23/Solar-and-Wind-Electrical-Block-Diagram/</a></p><p>and for the exact specifications... <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/WindSolar-Powered-House/step24/Solar-and-Windmill-Sizing/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/WindSolar-Powered-House/step24/Solar-and-Windmill-Sizing/</a></p>
<p>Well done, and very well documented.</p>
<p>Thanks a lot.</p>
My thought about insulation comes from living in rentals across the US over the last 50 years while working in the construction business. The plastered or dry walled walls and ceilings absorb heat and add to the inside temperature, i.e. when the sun goes down and the outside temp drops, the inside walls and ceiling can radiate heat for hours and keep the interior 20-30 degrees (F) hotter for hours. I recall sweating until 2 or 3 in the morning sometimes....insulation seems to stop this from happening!
<p>How noisy is the wind generator?</p>
A well maintained windmill won't be noisy. Also make sure the windmill is properly bolted inorder to reduce the noise. Thanks.
<p>I'm amazed at the quality of this instructible,very good and one of the best Ive seen so far.Personally, I would have stored water inside the rock foundations for agriculture etc... and use the tanks for rainwater run-off.</p>
<p>The reason where those large water tanks on top of the foundation was too increase their height from the actual irrigated land. This would mean that even under a situation wherein they're wouldn't be any Solar or wind energy (Hence the batteries wont charge, pump will remain off) the water will still flow through gravity.</p><p>I also did this incase the pump suddenly stopped working or there were other maintenance or weather related reasons.</p>
<p>I'm surprised that you don't make use of some type of insulation like aluminized foam to cut down on heat gain that will pass through walls and ceiling. Maybe something reflective like aluminized mylar (Space Blanket). Insulation in the summer can be just as important as insulation in the winter. </p>
Here in India I'm not too sure that those materials are available. The elevated height and tree cover keeps the house cool even during summer. But for those who wish to add this to their Solar+Wind House they can certainly do it.
<p>A cheap efficient way to cool your house is to mix silicon spheres into your favorite roofing paint and paint your roof with it.(I mix it to a mud consistency and apply with mop and broom) Silicon spheres are used for decorative concrete,so you would probably get it from building suppliers.</p>
<p>Thanks for the constructive advice.</p>
how about electric stabilization and countinously...
<p>To which context are you referring too. I have tried using stabilisers to stabilise the voltage from the Grid supply electricity. Unfortunately the fluctuations were so common that they burnt the stabiliser. This is one of the reasons why I chose to go Solar+Wind and stay completely OFF-Grid.</p>
<p>Paint whilst on the ground grind the ends to get clean metal weld and touch up the welds as soon as cool after defluxing.</p>
<p>Thanks for the constructive advice.</p>
<p>Wow, this is a very intense project. Do you have any youtube vids of the finished project, and what country is this made?? Thanks.</p>
Thanks. As of now I don't have any YouTube videos of the finished house. The house is built in India.
<p>Great Instructable! Thanks for sharing. I did a research paper on alternative energy sources in college. Studies have shown that the wind tends to blow more when the sun isn't shining so bright; making solar and wind a wonderful combination.</p>
Thanks for sharing.
I disagree with you to some extent. Yes, renewable energy is expensive, but one can certainly recover the cost. The prices of solar panel's and windmills have been reducing over the past few years. Just around 4-5 years ago a solar panel would have cost 200 INR/watt, but as of today it costs one 56 INR/watt. For those who already have an existing house switching to renewable energy is a good idea, but will take a couple of years to recover the cost. Some people already do have inverter and batteries, but they charge these batteries through the Grid. All these people need to do is add Solar+Wind combination. <br>The research been done in the manufacturing and production of solar panel's and more efficient batteries is being carried out. This will certainly reduce the cost but increase the efficiency of the solar panel, windmill or battery.<br>Research is also being carried out to reduce the carbon footprint of the solar panels, windmills and batteries.
Also for those of you residing in places which are not suited for solar power, you'll can certainly go for renewable energy through the windmill method.
<p>I got a quotation here in South Africa to take my house off the grid. And the following was seen. To have a 3 kilowatt system to drive two refrigerators and some lights and vacuum cleaner or washing machine It came to three years fuul wages for a qualified journeyman! The batteries were specially made for this purpose very expensive and a usefull life of ten years then they would start to deteriorate. As we do not have reliable useful wind here where I stay I had to go full Voltaic recharging. The area needed for those batteries was also large.The maintenance is very low as the batteries will need occasional topping up with distilled water and the solar cells cleaning from dust and so on!Do not try to use automotive batteries as they cannot stand these loading an charging cycles. Batteries made for boats and caravans will live longer but special batteries work the best </p>
The thing about renewable energy is that it does take a couple of years to recover the entire investment especially in urban areas. In energy deficit countries or rural areas the investment is recovered faster. In Countries where the price per unit of electricity is very high, the investment is recovered in a shorter span of time.
<p> I did a research paper on alternative energy in college. Studies have shown that solar and wind work great together because the wind tends to blow more when the sun isn't shining so bright. Great Intractable! Thanks for sharing. </p>
<p>This is great! Would love to do something like this someday, appreciate you putting this up for us to view.</p>
<p>I got a quotation here in South Africa to take my house off the grid. And the following was seen. To have a 3 kilowatt system to drive two refrigerators and some lights and vacuum cleaner or washing machine It came to three years fuul wages for a qualified journeyman! The batteries were specially made for this purpose very expensive and a usefull life of ten years then they would start to deteriorate. As we do not have reliable useful wind here where I stay I had to go full Voltaic recharging. The area needed for those batteries was also large.The maintenance is very low as the batteries will need occasional topping up with distilled water and the solar cells cleaning from dust and so on!Do not try to use automotive batteries as they cannot stand these loading an charging cycles. Batteries made for boats and caravans will live longer but special batteries work the best </p>
<p>Enjoyed reading this article. A question about your water system. I notice the tanks are under the living floor. Do you use a 220v pump and pressure (ie air bladder) tank to pressurize the house? Any provision to collect rain water off the roof in the tanks?</p>
<p>Yes there is a 220V pump used for pumping water to the kitchen and bathroom from the tank. As of now the house does not include any provisions for rainwater harvesting. If you liked this instructable do follow me to get updates on my future instructables.</p>
<p>Well presented Instructable with a very interesting end result, which I voted for. My only question is: why did you run the windmill through the centre of the house? Was it for structural or aesthetic reasons? It would seem more logical to put the mast at either a corner or a gable end in order not to have the post down through the living space and also to allow easier access for maintenance,</p>
The placement of the windmill is in the centre of the entire structure, this increases the stability of the windmill and the structure. Being centrally placed it also looks aesthetically good. The central I-beam that supports the windmill is located at the corner of the walls separating the kitchen, living room and bathroom. Thanks for viewing. If you're interested in other instructables like this do follow me.

About This Instructable

111,335views

877favorites

License:

Bio: I'm Jonathan Pereira, a novice Electronics Engineer. I like to make Almighty Brainy Buttons, Tweeting Fart Detectors, Electronic Doohickey's, Lumen Powered Thingamajigs and ... More »
More by Jonathanrjpereira:Adruino Serial Plotter 8 Twittering Thingamajigs Tweeting Weather Station 
Add instructable to: