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Engineers! I'm wanting to go off the grid, I'm thinking of alternative ways of creating energy

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posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:23 PM
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I'm looking to throw around some ideas with some technical minded people.

I want to go off the grid over the next couple of years, this is with the intention of creating all of my own electrical power.
Most of my 'tech' I would like to build my self so I have been soaking up a lot of knowledge about creating solar panels, wind turbines, hydro, etc.

All great and fantastic though, if possible... I want to compliment those energy sources in any means.

Can anyone tell me about steam?
Is it possible to generate anything substantial from steam, say even just powering lights for an evening.

I have quite a specific idea too, much like a furnace but with a water tank and some sort of funnel system into a turbine ?
(I have more detail in my own drawing and idea but the fundamentals are the same)

Would love to hear some ideas, information, and any personal experiences



( SORRY MODS, CAN YOU MOVE THIS THREAD PLEASE )
edit on 20-7-2014 by fitnessguru because: Still learning the UI of ATS




posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:33 PM
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a reply to: fitnessguru
Lots of energy in steam, the problem is you have to put more energy in than you'll get back. Create steam if you want mechanical movement.

Have you looked into geothermal! you dont have to be sitting over a hot spot, just need to be able to lay enough pipe.

ETA: What fuel would you be using to heat the water to create steam?

edit on 20-7-2014 by VoidHawk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:36 PM
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I work at a power plant and steam turbines are my bread and butter. To undertake a steam turbine project for private use would be quite the endeavor. Even on the smallest scale, it would be very difficult. Things to keep in mind are that a steam turbine power plant is a closed loop system. The water has to be impeccably pure, and you have to have a cooling source to condense the steam and re-use it. You have to know about water chemistry to keep it in good shape. It's actually somewhat of an inefficient process, and I would foresee somebody having to stoke the fires in the boiler constantly to keep it going. Steam turbines like to run and it harms them to do constant starts and stops so backfeed into the grid would almost be a necessity. To generate steam at any useful enthalpy for conversion to electric, you need a turbine and piping system that operates under very high pressures. It would fall under your state pressure vessel code (ASME BPVC) and require licensing. I've thought about the same thing but I just can seem to find the junk I can convert to a sophisticated system to do it. It would be an all or nothing venture. Million dollar project.



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:37 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:37 PM
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Geo thermal could be great!

My idea behind the steam also is, well... I'm going to be using a wood burner to provide most of my heat, so couldn't I utilise that also and have say a water tank above the furnace which would then relay steam into a pipe with lots of small fans/turbines.

It wouldn't be a main source but, the use it to provide extra energy and just 'top up the batteries' so to speak.

Would a system like this be worthwhile at all ?

Also, geothermal is that cheap to install ? Can it all be DIY ?

a reply to: VoidHawk



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:38 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:38 PM
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They make devises you can mount to a woodstove or near a campfire that create about seventy watts also. Helps in the north during winter. I've been waiting for the technology to come down in price a little, it costs over five hundred bucks yet for a gadget that puts out 70 watts. The energy flowing from hot to cold is the source of the energy. They make fans for woodstoves that utilize the same technology.

Between that, solar, and wind a person may be able to get off the grid.
edit on 20-7-2014 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:40 PM
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What if my power demands from it were not needed to be extremely high, just to run say a few light bulbs for 5 - 6 hours a tnight ?

I'm thinking the more sources of power I have, the more reliability I have.
Even if a couple of those sources literally just powers a few novelties

a reply to: lynxpilot



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:41 PM
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Ahhhh so they do!?

That was my idea, i'm thinking it would be very easy to feed the steam back into the system via some simple cooling method.

This keeping the whole system quite efficient and self contained even.

a reply to: rickymouse



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:47 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
They make devises you can mount to a woodstove or near a campfire that create about seventy watts also. Helps in the north during winter. I've been waiting for the technology to come down in price a little, it costs over five hundred bucks yet for a gadget that puts out 70 watts. The energy flowing from hot to cold is the source of the energy. They make fans for woodstoves that utilize the same technology.

Between that, solar, and wind a person may be able to get off the grid.

That was why I asked OP how he was creating the heat. Those devices are a great idea. I've seen small versions fitted to small hiking stoves that produce enough power to blow a fan through the fire and charge small items. Once they become less expensive I'll be investing.



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:52 PM
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originally posted by: fitnessguru
What if my power demands from it were not needed to be extremely high, just to run say a few light bulbs for 5 - 6 hours a tnight ?

I'm thinking the more sources of power I have, the more reliability I have.
Even if a couple of those sources literally just powers a few novelties

a reply to: lynxpilot



If you boil water to make a steam source, it leaves everything that was dissolved in it behind. If you're talking tap water, or well water, or lake water, or anything but pure water that's gone through a deionizer and osmotic membrane, then whatever you used for a boiler will be scaled up in no time at all. When you scale up a boiler, the scale insulates the metal, so to get the heat into the water to make steam, the metal has to be hotter and hotter as the scale builds up. Sooner or later, the metal gets too hot and ruptures, or the scale allows little corrosion pockets underneath it that will pit the boiler metal and create holes. No doubt you could make something that worked on the cheap, but it would be a very, read VERY, temporary solution.



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:55 PM
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Rocket City Rednecks(TV Show) did an episode where they converted a propane generator to run from a miniature gasification stovewhich used household waste and yard debris. You could probably find similar plans online or hunt down the episode.
edit on 7/20/2014 by Kukri because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:59 PM
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Have you considered a hamster-wheel big enough for you to 'run' in it...attached to some energy storage device (batteries, capacitors, etc...)...?
Put an hour-or-so per day on the wheel - get your exercise - and, re-use/re-cycle the spent energy...
Or - make friends with a community of hamsters...



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 06:59 PM
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posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 07:00 PM
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As an aside, I think it's awesome that you are looking into this and I wish you the best of luck.



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 07:10 PM
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+1 for a Syngas setup.

Wood pellet gasification would probably be your only constant source of power if you live on wooded property.

Actually if you primarily use Solar + Syngas, you should have all your power needs.
If you can find some peltier circuits, you can tie them in with your heating elements to recoup some lost energy in heat dissipation.

You've also got Sterling engines which work on a similar principle of thermal differentials to create mechanical action.
That can be tied into a small alternator if you have a big enough rig.

If you have running water on your property, you can add in a hydro turbine for power generation as well.

edit on 20/7/2014 by Sovaka because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 07:33 PM
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Here are some details on a small solar setup for charging phone, batteries for lights and a couple hours of laptop use a day. Could also use the motorbike to recharge. www.kwakakev.com...



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 07:54 PM
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Hello fg....
look up Lynx steam on U-tube...monotube/flash steam boiler with steam engine and matching alternator....while there check out his wind mills and alternators for home construction....

combine the above 2 methods with some solar panels.....and you'll have your butt covered in all conditions....

solar panels and windmills are the easiest way to start off and to get the electrical ball rolling....compliment with steam down the track if needed....

steam is the most powerful source but it's the most expensive to set-up....compared to solar or wind.....

best of luck with your researching..... a reply to: fitnessguru



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 08:05 PM
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a reply to: fitnessguru

Now, I can't figure out why you can't use a copper tube going into a well and a panel made of copper on an outside wall of a house on the south side. Even a river would supply the cold water and a panel facing the sun to heat the copper would create electricity. It wouldn't make much power but there would not be any parts to wear out.



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 08:12 PM
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a reply to: VoidHawk

I read that some Canadian stove manufacturer was going to build a stove that would heat the house, cook your meals, and produce in excess of three hundred watts of power while using it. Now, if a person had batteries, LED light bulbs, a gas fridge and freezer, and a well, that would supply most of what you needed. Tie that to a few solar panels and a small windmill and you could supply all your power all year long to live with not too high of an investment. I know a thousand bucks can buy a smaller solar system and batteries, a small wind turbine would run about the same. You could even make a wind turbine if you had the parts and an old car generator.

The stove was in development a year ago, I suppose the wood/coal cookstove would cost about eight grand. But that would be saved in about five years between the heat and the power replacement.



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