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Grid snapping in mm

How do you change the snapping of the Move etc. to snap to mm?

Topic by p07gbar    |  last reply


Grid Tied Generator? Answered

So I am planning on hooking up a grid tied inverter and generator, I still need to measure the voltage on the incoming lines, but I assume it is 120 ish so I think that is were I will hook the inverter and then it will go back out through the transformers into the lines, is this right?  Now lets say it is hooked to a wind turbine, will the amperage on the generator vary with the speed while still supplying the right voltage, if not how do I compensate for varying wind speed. We are talking 29 kw generator (it is huge, 16 more than the max on my meter, I will obviously consult the electrical company.

Question by jj.inc    |  last reply


LDR Grid + Smartphone = ?

Hi, I've got an idea but I don't know what it can be used for, yet. Maybe you'll have some ideas for useful applications based on this concept. The idea is to make a grid of LDRs which fits the size of a smartphone/tablet screen, write some code which draws a similar grid on the screen (or just switch images of that grid) so that each LDR will be affected by the light (and color) provided by each cell from the screen.

Topic by nivini    |  last reply


Grid Tie and Induction Motors

Yes, I know it's nearly 3am on the east coast... but and idea struck me. So the idea is to feed small amounts of mechanical power into the power grid. Not necessarily run the meter backwards, but supplement power consumption.I've researched grid tie inverters - which are very expensive. For those wondering, a grid tie inverter is feeds mains power back into the grid by syncing phase angle and phase (no dead shorts :) ) and applying slightly higher voltage. They are very efficient and really not within a college student experiment budget :pSo I was thinking... Rather than go from mechanical to DC to AC to grid - go from mechanical to AC to grid VIA an induction motor. As a proof of concept, use a DC motor + battery to turn an induction motor. Plugged into the grid, in theory, should apply current. Oh, but the phase you say? How do you prevent a dead short?"I've thought of this -- before applying mechanical power - have the grid bring the induction motor up to speed. Then try to turn faster (apply a torque) with the DC motor, for example. In theory, the amount of extra power put into the grid will be related to the slip angle of the motor - which will also control the speed of the input (so you can't go over speed by too much).Keep in mind that this whole battery business is just a proof of concept sort of thing - I'm not talking perpetual motion or any hohaa craziness. In the end, the final mechanical input will be around 200 watts. I expect this to be very low efficiency (likely 50%ish), 100W isn't an answer to the energy issues - but it's an experiment. It's also not going to come even close to driving the meter backwards, but it should run (as supplement) my laptop + two to three 13w CFL's :DI think the theory is feasible -- the inspiration comes from flywheel driven UPS systems. An induction motor is driven while mains power is on to keep a flywheel in motion. When the power goes out, the FW drives the motor and feeds to local grid.I'm thinking of using a "low" rpm induction motor.... If I recall, ceiling fans are 16 pole? So that's 60Hz2*2/16=450rpm... Add ceiling fan motor to the list of things to hunt for :) Looking at the one above my head, it looks like it even has a nice bolt pattern for some sort of pulley shenanigans :DCan someone either throw some ice water on me and slap me for being an idiot -- or let me know if I've found a boat to Valhalla.Oh, and my apologies for dancing around the "mechanical input" details.... There's a reason for this, I promise :) In any case, insight and information is appreciated :)

Topic by trebuchet03    |  last reply


grid tied bicycle generator

2 questions about grid tied bicycle generators: 1/ will they feed into the grid if voltage is lower than the grid voltage? 2/ could you connect several bikes to one inverter to feed into the grid? thanks?

Question by gouldy    |  last reply


what is hybrid electricity grid?

How to synchronize solar and wind energy?

Question    |  last reply


Off-Grid Stealth Cabin Plans

Hi everyone, I just entered my off-grid cabin design in the outdoors contest and I would like to invite you to view it, leave feedback and vote if you like the cabin and off-grid systems. I am a long time off-grid homesteader and I live in a 14x14 solar and wind powered cabin with many off-grid systems of my own design. My contest entry:   https://www.instructables.com/id/Off-Grid-Stealth-Cabin-Plans/ Thanks LaMar

Topic by LaMar Solarcabin    |  last reply


Grid Capacitors or Other Surplus Caps?

I am looking for some extremely powerful capacitors, I know that you can buy old grid transformers and I wondered if there was some kind of capacitor they use one the grid which could also be available.  If not, what industry would have old capacitors cheap that still work, I'm looking around 300 volts 1 Farad or more 

Question by jj.inc    |  last reply



Grid follower robot(analog sensors and digital sensors)?

OK first of all I am under time constraint (just 4 days to make a grid follower) Ok I have built a line follower before (two ir sensors and arduino), So now the problem is ,we have two sensors which we have made using ir emmiters and sensors (which work as analog ,ie no relay) We have now purchased two IR modules which has got a relay giving it a digital output. So I am asking how we should place these sensors to get the least wobling and correct 90deg turns

Question by cthaliyath    |  last reply


We live off grid and are looking for answers for power and grey water system. Can anyone help? ?

We currently have a gasoline generator and this provides all the electricity but would like to use renewable resources. We have built an elevated water tank and use gravity but this is only accessible during the summers, we live in Iowa. We haul the water in and bring drinking water we bring (only there on weekends currently). In our county they said we need to have a septic tank. We have an outhouse but no grey water disposal. In our county we cannot allow anything which touches the body to touch the ground so throwing it out on the ground isn't a long term option. Any options we are aware of are OK with the county but we would still have to run it through a septic tank first. This defeats our low budget project. We want to live simply and I have a hard time understanding why it is OK for the cattle lot just up the creek from us to run off from the lot into the creek but our bodies would contaminate our land. (I think the cattle lot already does this as it is sewage washed down to us) We do not currently use any of this creek water. Our cabin is about 1/4 mile away from the creek. Any new ideas?

Question by kathyrobbins    |  last reply


battery operated dehumidifier ?

Question by john53    |  last reply


Any tips or tricks to obtain free or buy cheap land in the pacific northwest ?

I'd like to give up the silicon valley and move on my own land somewhere that is suitable for an off the grid cabin/year round home. Ideal land would be suitable for small family sized garden, be near fresh water and not be a total snow pile like in klamath falls in the winter. 2000 feet above sea level or lower would also be ideal for what I'm looking for. But I'm sure others might like to know how other people have gone off the grid without having to save money for 20 years just to get there.

Question by solar    |  last reply


Alternative Energies house hookup?

I was wondering if there is a name for a specific term.  I want to create a wind or water turbine using old PC fans and rectifier diodes (which i have successfully done before).  I intend to create many of these and hopefully hook them to my house which is currently still on the main grid.  But i was wondering this.  Is there a way that i can hook up the output wires from the diodes (where the useful energy comes from) to a battery bank (which i have also created) and then make it so that when those are full, it supplies the extra occasional energy from the wind turbine, to any part of the house that might need it? and then when the power goes out the batteries kick in?   If not, is there a way i can make it so the batteries will fully charge off the wind turbine, then when fully charged, they will kick in and supply power to part of my house until they run out, and then allow it to switch back to the main grid while the wind tubines recharge the batteries? I have a large house so i know that my house can never be completely 24/7 dependant on wind/solar/water power.

Question by Gamingfield    |  last reply


No nails Australian wood shelter?

I saw part of a show about how to build a wooden shelter using no nails from logs.  It didn't look like a log cabin.  The sides were split logs held in an upright brace also made of logs.  It was simple to make but very hard work as much of it was done with hand tools.  But I think modern tools could be used now. ( This was sometime in the 1960's.) Anyone know anything about it?  It would be a good thing for off-girders.

Question by rookie1  


ReadySet Specifications

-----  Charge Input Specification Solar Solar Array Voltage: 16-60V Solar Array Power: 5-75W (up to 5 of the Fenix solar panels in parallel) Solar Power Algorithm: Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Note: Due the characteristics of the battery, the charge rate is limited to a max charge power of 30W regardless of available solar power. If energy is being drawn from the power ports while charging, the ReadySet can convert up to an additional 30W of solar energy and provide it directly to the outputs (bypassing the battery) for a total of 60W of solar energy conversion. AC-DC Brick Normal Power Brick Voltage: 16-19V Normal Charge Power: 20W Normal Charge Current: Charging is constant power, current will vary based on input voltage High Power Brick Voltage: 20-60V High Charge Power: 30W High Charge Current: Charging is constant power, current will vary based on input voltage Charge Source Qualification Once voltage is detected on the charge input, the ReadySet qualifies the input to determine what type of source has been attached. Voltage is measured and current is pulled from the input source to determine its stability and characteristics. If measured characteristic match those of a solar array, MPPT is enabled. If not, constant power charging is assumed and charge power is set based on the open circuit DC brick voltage (per previously enumerated AC-DC brick supply specs). The brick included with the ReadySet Kit is rated at 18V, 1.3A (23.4W). -----  Charge Output Specification CLA Output Voltage Range: 11.5V - 15VDC (nominal 12VDC) Current Limit: 6A±0.25A combined (approximately 72W@12VDC) USB Output Voltage Range: 4.75V - 5.25VDC (nominal 5VDC) Current Limit:  2A±0.1A combined (approximately 10W@5VDC) Note: Upper USB port is configured to signal 1A charge capability for Apple devices -----  Battery Specification Nominal Voltage: 12V Capacity: 9Ah Chemistry: Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid Max Charge Power: 30W Usable Energy: 54Wh Note: Usable energy is intentionally less than the full battery capacity to protect the battery from deep discharge and extend the lifetime of the battery.

Topic by ReadySet  


What is the proper way to operate the grids on a VFD? Answered

I have a VFD removed from an old DVD player, and I am currently trying to construct a driver for it. So far I have worked out a the pinout and a suitable cathode heating voltage and have determined that 20-30V is sufficient to properly light all the segments. As for the grids, I am unsure what the proper voltage to apply in order to light/blank each section. Currently, leaving the grids unconnected or at 0V effectively blanks all segments, and connecting the grid to the anode voltage lights the section. However, other designs seem to put the grid to 0V to allow the section to light and apply +/-15V or so to absorb/block the flow of electrons and prevent the section from lighting. Is it alright to pull each grid high and connect it to 0V to blank the section, or will there be problems when trying to drive each section? Thanks in advance for any help. Also, is it worth the extra circuitry needed for an AC heater voltage for a display this size (under 4.5" x 1"), if so, what is a suitable frequency?

Question by The Skinnerz    |  last reply


How can i make a electronic grid?

Question by dciocoiu    |  last reply


can you grid a saw into the back of a knife? Answered

Want a sawback knife, not willing to spend 70$ on one just yet. So with a file, a hacksaw, and some sharpening stones, could one easily make a "saw" or some very coarse serrations on the back of a knife suitable for bush craft and basic survival/trap/shelter construction? wouldn't need to cut down a tree, just make notches in branches for traps, and basic things like that.

Question by thebluemartyr    |  last reply


off-grid solar/wind powered greenhouse

 Hello DIYers, I am planning on building a simple greenhouse (hoop-house) this spring. The construction will be for an 8'x12'x8'H design. Building this part is wonderfully easy. The hard part is building the off-grid power to supply power to the greenhouse fans and hydroponic pump(s). I'm not sure where to start with the plans.  Here is what I am needing some guidance: Do I build a PV panel then design my electrical needs around that...or vice-versa?? (I have forty 2W solar cells on order) I know i will need batteries...how many 12V batteries do I need? Type? What is the best configuration for the batteries? Should I use a DC hydro pump or AC hydro pump? DC or AC fan for cooling? Future plans include using an arduino to be the main controller.... Please keep in mind that this is a small(ish) hobby greenhouse and I hope to build it to be fully off-grid, at least for the summer months. I have the time to build it, but don't have the know-how for fully designing it (electrical stuff confuses and scares the crap outta me). I'm not against keeping the price low, but am willing to spend a few extra bucks to make sure it's designed right.

Topic by Tweac-it    |  last reply


OFF GRID POWER Systems MSW invewrters Answered

Hi, Recently I purchase a 5000 watt 60cycle, 24vdc to 220vac inverter (MSW) to run my off grid cottage on, when I received it it had a 2 wire out put. could I conect the inverter 220v out to a 220 to 119/220v transformer  so i  could connect it to my north american house hold elecrical panel?? This would give me the 220v split single phase (full sinewave) similar to hydro power?? Our cottage maximum wattage reguired at any one time we only reguire 12-1500 watts as we have propane stove, fridge, furnass,and hot water. Therefore we only need power for vacum cleaner, washing machine, microwave oven and Led lighting. regards ron

Question by musselbeach    |  last reply


Long Range Off the Grid WiFi Repeater

Hello Everyone,  I've got quite the project that I am undertaking and I am looking for a bit of advice. This will be my very 1st forray into long-distance wifi, as well as off-grid power resources, so Im biting off quite a bit at once! I have a friend who has been helping me with the research who has a much firmer understanding of both electricity and hardware, but he will be out of town for the next week and I would like to get a bit of progress on this while he is gone. SO, I shall consult the hive mind known as the internet. Alright, this project consists of creating an uplink between a remote shed, and a home in a nearby city, with a broadband connection. The rub, there is 10,000 ft mountain range in between the two. We have a site were we can put a repeater node at approx. 10,000 ft elevation, that has wonderful line-of-sight to both locations. However, this site is very remote, and will have to run off the grid obviously. The distances are as follows: Home to repeater: 3.96 miles (thats with Google Earth following the contours of the          mountain/valley, not sure how to make it just do a straight angled shot, so thats a rough estimate) Repeater to Remote shed: 2.68 miles (same issue) Background environment info: shed has generator + 60w solar array with 3-4 deep discharge lead RV batteries at 7400 feet. Has spring fed running water, which could be utilized for power as well, as obviously its always running. Repeater location is at 10k, as stated. Moderate to high winds very likely (data from peaks of similar altitude in the general area show gusts ranging from 40-60 mp/h, temperature ranges of  averaging 7 to 90+ for a the later part of July and August (F). Obviously, its very possible to get soemething below this, though the lowest Ive ever seen at the shed has been -15 (f), I would say most winters we could get a few nights that see temps below 0, but not often. Equipment Ideas: So to pull this off, we have come up with two ideas for the network equipment, which I shall discuss 1st, then I will show you what we have come up with for power.  - Network    - Repeater Node: rb433 wireless access point ($99.00) http://www.routerboard.com/pricelist.php?showProduct=43         with 2 r52h mini PCI wifi chips ($59.00 x2) http://www.routerboard.com/pricelist.php?showProduct=69         2 8-18 inch satelite dishs converted for long-range WIFI use (20.00 x2) http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna/ OR instead of a rb433, we could use 2 WRT54G Linksys routers like this. (I also have 2 BEF 801.11b routers that are legacy to the WRT54G. I would like to use this if possible! http://hackaday.com/2005/08/23/how-to-greyhat-wifi-repeater/ Now, I know that this later choice would increase power use by about double. From what I have been able to find, the WRT's would at anywhere from 4.2w to 8w of power. Anyways, I like this later choice because it would be significantly cheaper for the equipment, but do you have any other ideas? I know that the RB433 would work great, but its rather expensive all said and done after I throw up the power as well. Plus, if it takes a lighting strike, its out of commission, and 2 cheap linksys routers are much cheaper to replace! Anyways any input here would be great! - Power  so power to the repeater node is the real challenge. We crunched the numbers and came up with something almost exactly the same as below: From the datasheets, a routerboard will draw between 6-10W. So design for 10W. Over 24 hours you will need 10Wx24h = 240 Watt.Hours of power. For 7 days, you need 7x240Wh = 1680 Watt.Hours. A single, large deep cycle 110Ah 12V battery gives you about 1320 Watt.Hours of power, almost meeting the requirement. Now, to look at the solar panels: A good rule of thumb is to install 6 times the wattage that is drawn by the device. This is because only about 8 hours a day in sunny weather gives you maximum power output from a solar panel. So the other 16 hours you need to draw from the battery. (So already you need 3 times the wattage drawn by the device to break even each day) To generate 1 full day of extra battery power per sunny day, you need another 3 times the wattage. This is how we arrive at 6 times. 6 x 10W = 60W. So at a minimum I would recommend 60W of solar panels. That qoute comes from http://diywifilink.wordpress.com/ and http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php?179547-Advice-needed-Setting-up-wifi-repeater-11km which is a project from a guy in South Africa almost exactly the same as the one that we are working on. The numbers came out to be about the same (Though they were a bit different when we calculated for the WRT54G option.) so, 60w of power generation to keep a decent charge on a battery. Now, we have a 60w panel at the shed, which is rather large to take up to 10,000 ft and place on the side of a mountain, and given the consistent wind element up there, we are hoping to do a hybrid system of both solar and wind. This is where things get tricky. A perfect balance, or even a more wind heavy balance would be great, such as 30-40w wind 20-30w solar. That keeps the panel size down, and uses a power source that runs 24/7. A Faroun Savonius wind turbine seems like the best system, but the controller to prevent overcharging etc is where I get nice and lost, having breached into very unknown territory. https://www.instructables.com/id/Faroun-Savonius-Wind-Turbine/ http://www.fieldlines.com/board/index.php/topic,129060.html This looked at 1st like a good, cheap system to use a controller board for the wind, but my question is would the controller board that comes with these solar panels (see below) work for both. That below is the setup that we use more or less at the shed, with some mods, such as a better alternator. http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11298029&search;=solar&Mo;=5&cm;_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search⟨=en-US&Nr;=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp;=S&N;=4001192&whse;=BC&Dx;=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk;=Text_Search&Dr;=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne;=4000000&D;=solar&Ntt;=solar&No;=3&Ntx;=mode+matchallpartial&s;=1&topnav;=&Nty;=1&s;=1 So, can a small, 30-50w wind turbine and generator be built, with a small solar array to power this thing? I dont care if we have some down time, this is primarily going to be used as a system to get a weather station with web cam to send in hourly photos during the peak hours. I can have the system at the shed shutdown automatically  using some cron jobs in linux during the evening to conserve power. When there are people at the shed, we would like to be able to get a good enough wifi connection to use a wifi device (such as an android phone or ipod) to use as a voip phone in essential communication. The teenagers aren't going to be chatting with their friends for hours, but we would like to be able to put a short call through in case something goes wrong, or we just need to get ahold of someone at the shed or in the city. Next the equipment at the shed should be comparable to the repeater node,  sans 1 antenna and just some low power embedded system. We would like to get a webcam and weather station hooked up on this end, but that can wait for upgrades later if needed, if power doesnt allow it. like I said, a simple water turbine could be used (something similar to the wind turbine perhaps?) and even another wind turbine could be built to add extra power dedicated to running any system at the shed, though I dont think the wind is quite regular enough to be viable here, but if its cheap, we could throw it on anyways. equipment at the home in the city is simple, just use an extra laptop or desktop we have laying around to be server/router, hook up antenna to this, broadcast connection, run the weatherstation/webcam web server off of this. So, thats the plan, but load of input is needed to try to come up with this. We hope to try to keep this sub $1000.00, but the budget could go higher. This is DIY at its finest! Thanks in advance for you help!

Topic by kydan    |  last reply


Scottish Island Stays off Grid - replaces diesels with 95% Green resources.

The Scottish island of Eigg (pronounced "Egg") has never had mains electricity, and has had to rely in expensive diesel generators for the power they do use.Devices that require 24/7 supplies, such as fridges, have been an unknown luxury.Today, though, that all changes:A renewable energy supply giving the Isle of Eigg power 24-hours-a-day has come online for the first time.The £1.6m system for the island in the Small Isles between Skye and the Ardnamurchan peninsula uses a mix of hydro, wind and solar power.It has been designed to generate more than 95% of Eigg's annual energy demand and is backed up by a battery storage system and two diesel generators.Residents have previously relied on diesel generators and hydro schemes.The dream of green power has taken 10 years to realise. A total of 45 households, 20 businesses and six community buildings on the island are linked together by six miles of buried cable that forms a high voltage network.The whole project was organised by the community themselves - at the switch-on ceremony (in the local tea shop), the island's children gathered round a candle-lit map of the island and blew the candles out as the power came on.Before the switch-on:homes were powered by diesel, wind or hydro-generatorselectricity was unreliable and restricted to certain hourssome residents went without washing machines and vacuum cleanersthe noise from the generators could be heard for milesDiesel was delivered by boat but services sometimes cancelledBBC News storyBBC Magazine article, with comments.

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply


Contest Prize Help

I won a prize inthe off grid contest and haven't recieved anything.  I entered my address in the link bar. The rules say I have to fill out a form, and to either call or email support.  I called and got a meesage to email and then a beep and the call disconnected.  I emailed and got a n autoresponder about how to cancel my membership. Needless to say I am a little confused about how to get the prize, which is sad because I was planning on doing a video review of the cool fenix kit for my website, but cannot because I just cannot seem to get it in the mail... tngun

Topic by Daves Homestead    |  last reply


Self sufficient garden idea? possibly off-grid? Answered

I had this idea for a rain barrel + solar timed pump+ drip irrigation system, but was having trouble about the pump itself. I would like the pump to let water drip every couple of hours, for about a week. I have had no such luck finding this item online or otherwise. Any information on such a product, like how to build or where to buy would be enormously helpful!

Question by Nekkyo    |  last reply


how can I start living off the grid? Answered

What are all the steps that can be taken to live off the grid and still live with all the things I have now?

Question by jakemaur    |  last reply


instructables hack: image-grid project browsing index

If you noticed the slideshow project index uses a grid of big thumbnails to let you view the projects. you can use this for regular instructables too! try these links:https://www.instructables.com/tag/type:id/?layout=imageshttps://www.instructables.com/tag/type:id/?sort=RECENT&layout;=imagesthe secret is the 'layout=images' bit, appending that to any of the 'explore' url's will show it in the new format.

Topic by dan    |  last reply


Help with building an off-grid solar powered greenhouse

Hey All!  I've been wanting to build an autonomous greenhouse (a growbox, frankly) in my apartment, as a proof of concept to build a real one in a place where is difficult to get energy to. I've some experience in building things, I know my way around a solder and given a schematic, I can pretty much do what needs to be done, but I have almost zero technical knowledge on the why the parts go where they go. My real question is if there is an instructable here that I haven't found that would allow me to build something that works like an alternator, that would allow my battery pack (4 unprotected 18650) to power the arduino controller when the solar panel isn't outputting energy enough and to recharge my battery pack when the solar panel outputs enough energy to power the arduino with some surplus (that would go to the battery). In case the battery pack is at full capacity, the excedent would be directed to a another output (that I would most likely not use, or would use something to drain that, like led strips or something). If there isn't an instructable, any site with this info would be nice. I also could use lots of Instructables (or outside sources) to build the thing. I tried to search for it, but english is not my first language, so I don't really know how to search for this. I don't know if I was clear enough or if this is the right place to ask. In case there's need for more info, just ask me, please! Thanks in advance for all of you who makes this community awesome!

Question by acustodio1    |  last reply


Help: Pump water into barrel for cheap? (and off-grid)

I'm sort of undecided on the best way to go with a water pumping project and hoping someone had some advice/ideas. The goal: pump water from a small stream into a rain barrel (or IBC tote) in a location with no electricity. It's for having water available for watering fruit trees and doesn't need to pump much volume (even 100 gal/week would be great).  It does have to do it while I'm not around though and I'd like to do it as cheaply as possible. My idea is to make a small diaphragm pump out of pvc (for the housing) and some rubber (for the diaphragm) and a couple check valves.  My inspiration is this guy's pump.  I could drive it with a small DC motor powered by a solar panel.  Maybe install a float switch that turns it off if the barrel gets full. Any other ideas on making a diaphragm pump using cheap or found parts? I've never done anything with solar and would appreciate any advice on components.  What needs to go between the panel and the motor, if anything?  I've heard talk of a "controller" but have no idea what it is or what I'd need...  Also a goal is to design using as low power motors as possible so that I don't have to spend much on panels. I've also played around with the idea of something wind powered, like this thing (but cruder, presumably).  And had this other crazy idea to make a bellows-style pump for a windmill using a toilet plunger. Anyway, any thoughts and ideas are appreciated!

Topic by Sam_NY    |  last reply


in a pentode vacuum tube how does voltage and current affect screen operation? Answered

I know that the 2 grid (screen) affects the current on the plate, but how does that work? does more voltage on the 2 grid make more current be on the plate ? also how does the amount of current on the screen affect all of this. Finally, is the grid current limented? Or will i have to connect a resistor?

Question by electricfan    |  last reply


What's the most efficient way to build a new small home in a midwestern climate? Can a laymen really pull this off?

I'd like to build as green and as efficiently as possible, most likely building it off-grid, and incorporating a composting toilet (clivus multrum style), and energystar appliances.

Question by bhsx    |  last reply


alternator control mechanism

Im planning for a project on alternator control mechanisms. can anyone provide me relevant ideas about the topic?

Question by Puranjay Menon    |  last reply


Suggestions for simple scale drawing software? Answered

I'm used to the archaic way of drafting floor plans ... T square + triangle + canary paper + pencil and eraser.  I need software that will let me make scale drawings on the computer. I've tried ProDraw and another trial, but all the 'helpful' stuff keeps getting in my way.   I don't want to drag every line around. So does anyone know of a (hopefully free or inexpensive) simple grid & line & scale system that will let me draw the lines where  I want them to be?     I have photoshop elements 1.0 and love it.  But I don't see how to make scale drawings on it.   Thanks.

Question by mole1    |  last reply


Powering LED array with 12V AC/DC converter?

Hi! Long time lurker here! I have a project in mind that involves the construction of an array of 121 LEDs in an 11x11 configuration. I want to power the LEDs off a 12V AC/DC adapter, but I'm a little unsure about how current works in this case. The adapter is a regulated 12V 1A adapter. The LED array, however, needs only 820 mA. I know the maximum DC current is 30 mA so if the full amp is spread across the 41 parallel series it should be passing ~24 mA through the LEDs. Will this cause any major problems? Is there a way to limit the current to the suggest 20mA? Furthermore, if anyone has any good ideas as to how to mount 121 LEDs in a square grid of inch spacing, I'm all ears. I considered using pegboard, but I can't seem to find any, and veroboard large enough is also proving difficult to source. I don't really have the resources necessary to make my own PCB. Maybe I could drill some pegboard of my own and attach some thin conductive strips for the 12V and 0V rails. Thanks for any help! I've taken a practical electronics course at university and done some soldering (just op-amps and the like), but this is the first real electronics project I've taken on, so any help is greatly appreciated.

Topic by headphoned    |  last reply


How to power a 12V motor with a pair of 250W solar panels?

I am on a team in a solar vehicle competition that doesn't allow for the solar panels to be connected to the circuit while running the 12V motor in a solar power race.   The solar panels are 24V @ 8.6 amps each. We have 2 of them, and are going to connect them in parallel for a total of 24v 16 ish amps. The panel's over voltage is 30.4V. The maximum current through the decades old (but free to us) brushed 12V electric motor is 35 amps. We are planning to run a DC to DC step down / voltage regulator between the Array and the motor, and a small charge controller to a battery for in between races. We are looking into charge controllers that allow a small battery and a load to be connected to them at the same time for charging and between races. The battery size is limited by the race organizers to 180Watt hours.    1st ?> Are charge controllers powered off of their Input sources? I.E. Will the charge controller even turn on with out a battery present? 2nd ?>   What would happen if my array is connected to the charge controller and the battery isn't connected to the charge controller? Wouldn't that be harmful to the charge controller or motor? 3rd ?> If charge Charge controller to motor is a viable option, then would a DC to DC step down still be necessary? Thank you in advance, Tony S.

Question by AnthonyS126    |  last reply


Modding a laptop to be solar?

I saw an instructable for a solar-charged ds lite (the solar panels soldered right to the top) and I was wondering if it would be possible on a larger scale for a laptop. Would this be terribly tricky to do? Would it hurt the screen? Any information at all would be awesome, many thanks.

Question by Nekkyo    |  last reply


It there a way to create an LED equalizer on the walls of my room?

Http://www.glowinwire.com/images/equalizer_large.gif  This is what I want to be on my wall(s). I don't care what the grid looks like but I rather not have the colors be rainbow. I want black grids with cyan bars reacting with the volume of the music. I don't know what the difference between volume and frequency is but I really want to make this happen. If you have a link to something I could buy or a kit I could buy to build something like this it would be MUCH  appreciated. I have never delved this far into technology before so try to use small words or allow me to look them up on Dictionary.com Thanks!

Question by nplato    |  last reply


off-grid, affordable, and open-source shipping container house

Howdy,  I've launched a kickstarter to build an affordable, off-grid, and open-source shipping container house:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1868967872/shipping-container-to-off-grid-house-conversion . Any feedback would be appreciated; thanks!

Topic by liseman    |  last reply


How can I build a house on the top of a steep hill?

My main tools would be two trucks, only one of which has a winch. I am especially keen on the idea of placing a home on a mesa or flat butte.

Question    |  last reply


Tips on wind power?

I am looking for tips on creating a small windmill to charge a twelve volt battery. what is the best type of motor to use? Does anyone know how to make a charging circuit, so that even when the winds are low, it can charge the battery? What is the best type of battery? Are there any other questions i should be asking about wind power, and what are the answers to them?

Question by cyc4015    |  last reply


about Combining solar power with Grid to reduce utility meter reading

Hello Friends, I want solution for utility metre reading. I have solar panel on my home and it charges battery. And all home appliances are works with AC power. I do want to combine energy from Solar battery and energy from company(grid) so that it will reduce energy from grid and alose reduce meter reading.

Topic by ysr1991    |  last reply


Electromagnetic levitation via a grid of magnetic "pixels"? Let me clarify...

 An idea popped into my head a few months ago whiles reading about superconductors and how they create a magnetic "mirror image" of the magnet levitating above them. I imagined a grid of small electromagnets arranged similar to the pixels of a computer screen, each one individually controlled by a computer. Some sort of sensing mechanism, of equal resolution to the grid, would detect the magnet's flux at any given point and send that to the software. The computer would model, in real-time, how it must adjust the magnetic grid to compensate for the momentum and weight of the unique magnet floating above the grid. Basically, the software would mirror the magnetic field to allow for perfect stability and even maybe some level of control by offsetting the stability slightly to make the magnet move across the table. So is this even possible? Does it already exist? Do I get a cookie? *Target all weapons on that idea and FIRE! Shoot it down.*

Question by FluxTesla    |  last reply


Grid tie solar inverter power from a fixed voltage source?

Hello there! We have a 4Kw solar system installed at our home. We also happen to have 2 seperate circuits (ie 2 electricity meters). Annoyingly the solar panels are installed on the circuit that we don't use much electricity off so most of the generated electricity flows into the grid and (I know it's selfish) we don't benifit from it at all. There happens to be one lonely socket next to the solar inverter that is powered off the other electricity circuit and I'm fairly sure that the two circuits are on different phases. This is what I wanted to do and I was hoping someone might be able to validate this: I install a 240v AC to 24v DC converter (PAK650-24) and then an inverter to convert this back to 240v AC to supply that lonely socket where we need the power. Our solar inverter has a clever power detecter that switches a relay when production goes above 1Kw so I would connect this circuit to that relay. I also wanted to use a solar grid tie inverter from ebay because they seem most reasonably priced. They do however have a MPPT algorithm which is where I am not sure how it would react to a voltage source. Might anybody be able to tell me whether it would be fine to do this and most importantly about fixed voltage sources and solar grid tie inverters (which aren't really meant for fixed v sources). Many thanks, James 

Question by fotherby    |  last reply


off-grid home lighting from solar panel and 12v battery?

I ran 3 parallel circuits DC all hooked to a circuit going to battery. each circuit had a 5w and a 3w high-powered LED and a 2w resistor. I spaced the led's about 4 feet apart in each circuit and the lighting was spectacular. lit up 300+ sq. ft. with 6 led's. then one of the 5w led's flickered, turned blue, and dimmed permanently.  I don't know what I did wrong. I thought led's would only use power available. the guy at superbright led wanted to sell me a $20 direct current driver for each light, which would make the cost 50 times higher. he said my math was ok and it should work. each light had it's own heat sink. any help greatfully appreciated

Question by johnsurvey    |  last reply


Can you attach a micro inverter after a ups to stop feeding back into the grid ?

I have a couple off ups set up so that they use solar to charge a battery bank and use that power before switching onto the grid (basically in reverse to how they should work). now id like to take some off the load off the inverter and use micro inverters to add to my inverter however i am not allowed to feed into the grid so if i attach the the micro-inverter after the ups would it feed into the grid when the ups is in grid mode or would it only power devices attached to the ups ?

Question by Kieren-J    |  last reply


How to limit A/C current draw from gird and draw power from secondary grid tied solar inverter ?

Micro grid tie inverters are an excellent power source and can be linked together to generate energy, however they do not function when grid is down, this is for the safety of line workers. In a real world scenario I want to ensure that all power is drawn from the energy produced by the micro solar inverters as the primary source while it can produce power and not from the grid which will act as a secondary power source, this will require some sort of current limiting solution from the grid without reducing the voltage to keep the inverter working.   For the safety of line workers I would like to have an automatic transfer switch which will have both the primary power source from grid and a tertiary inverter backed battery backup so that when the grid is off, the power is drawn from the Inverter and there is no power fed back into the line keeping lineworkers safe and since pure sine wave produced by the inverter can activate the grid-tie inverters and it should theoretically increase the VA of the UPS to the size of the installed Grid-tie micro inverter capacity, the automatic transfer switch should take care of switching between grid when power is on and to the backup inverter when power is off.  TIA for any advice in this regard !

Topic by Ruben GeradM    |  last reply


tesla ?

Hey guys is these two power sources plasuble http://www.teslasecret.com/ http://www.greenearth4energy.com/zero_point_energy.html for me to bulid 

Question by tinker234    |  last reply


DIY Solar Cells through screen printing

I was wondering if anyone has seen the "plans" offered by fuellessamerica.com on producing solar cells cheaply and at home through screen printing. They claim efficiencies of 12-14% can be achieved. I know most solar cells are screen printed, but I know the doping can be difficult. Has anyone seen/done this? I have seen the American patent held by a Japanese company that outlines the process. I didn't have much time to peruse it however. I did notice they were using correct terminology, but it was obviously geared towards commercial enterprise. Any thoughts?

Topic by bowakowa    |  last reply



3 phase AC wind generators, turbines, grid tie connected with NO battery

I have a number of 3 phase ac motors with fans on them from a large commercial greenhouse. If I put them out in the wind they spin the motor and put out 3 phase ac. I would like to know how to connect the 3 phase ac from them to grid tie with NO batteries. 

Question by Kbuchner    |  last reply