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Mark's Going Green


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Solar Hot Water System

12/20/07 - I made the panel years ago.  The panel backing is corrugated metal roofing.  I placed 1/2 inch copper pipe in each valley, a total of 10 pipes.  This year I remade the box for it.  The box is made of 2x4s and the double insulated glass comes from a used French door.  The box is approximately 5' by 3'.   I insulated the box with blue foam and painted the entire collector flat black.  The panel is connected directly to my hot water tank in a loop.  The connection starts at the bottom of the tank, then through a solar water pump, and next to the collector.  From the collector, the water travels back to the top of the tank to the connection for the cold water.  The pump is powered by a 10 watt solar PV panel.  I also purchased a solar powered differential temperature sensor.  It will turn on the pump when the temperature of the water in the panel is hotter than the water in the middle of the tank.  I tested the panel in July before installing it.  I laid it in the sun for 45 minutes, and it heated the water to 190 degrees!  I then connected it, and it heats my 30 gallons of water 130 degrees on a sunny summer day.

Wind Turbine

12/20/07 - This is my second prototype vertical axis wind turbine.  The first prototype sides were made from rolled sheet metal.  In some heavy winds, the metal started to split.  On the second prototype, the flat part of the sides are plywood while the curved part of the sides are rolled sheet metal.  This has made it very solid and very quiet.  This project of mine is still in the test phase.  I have connected the alternator to the wind turbine at the base with a chain and sprocket system.  The alternator is connected to a deep 12 volt marine/rv battery.  I have a regulator connected to the battery.  When the battery is fully charged , the regulator will start dumping the voltage to a 600 watt 12 volt water heater element.   I am waiting for some big winds to see what kind of eletricity will be generated.  Hope it comes soon. 

Video - Second wind turbine prototype w/o alternator

12/23/07 - Last night we had winds of 15 to 25 mph, maybe with gust of 30 mph.  My wind turbine generated 13 to 14 volts of power with a load (connected to the battery).  Without the load it would generate 50 to 55 volts.  It fully charged the battery and then starting dumping the extra voltage to the heating element.  It made some hot steaming water!  The only change I'm thinking about making is to double the size of the wind turbine.  To charge more than one battery in lower winds, it needs more power to turn the alternator.  The gearing ratio seems to be could, but might have to be greater if the turbine was more powerful.  So that is my next step. 

07/04/08 - Well after doubling the size of my wind turbine, it became too heavy and cracked.  So I decided on making a Lenz Ver.2 Turbine.  Yesterday I assembled the wind turbine in the picture below.  Without the alternator attached, in the slightest breeze it spune.  A much improvement from the last wind turbine I had.  The Lenz Ver. 2 uses a wing design.  The wing design takes advantage of both the lift and drag affect of the wind.

05/06/09 - With the strong winds this winter, the wooden tower developed a crack.  So I built a tower made of drill pipe.  Then within  a week the wind turbine broke, again because of strong winds.  One of the "Wings" broke in half.  There was no support in the middle of the "Wings", so I rebuilt it adding "Spokes" to hold the middle. This now seems to be working much better.  I am now generating 12 to 14 volts of power.  The amps are at 1 to 1.5 in regular wind.  With a big gust, the amps go as high as 5.  Below are pictures and videos of the new tower and rebuilt trubine.


Video #1

Video #2

05/07/09 - I installed my DC 13 Watt Florescent light fixture.  It is in the picture below.  I will use this at night when watching TV.

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