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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 @ 08:13 PM
Look into this:
wood gasifier.

posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 08:29 PM
a reply to: fitnessguru

I just wanted to say good for you and good luck. All you need to be happy is love, food, shelter. The energy part is the hard part, but I know there are so many smart people out there with lots of ideas. I saw on Mountain Man, Eustice, power a truck with a wood burning stove. I was amazed.

posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 09:09 PM
something like this

posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 09:21 PM
I have a 700 watt inverter hooked up to an old 4 wheeler motor that I use for a redneck generator when the power goes out around here.

Its enough to watch some TV or plug up some fans or charge up phones/electronic gadgets and the motor is just a single stroke so it runs for a long while off a tank of gas.

Another thing is you can get are solar trickle chargers and just hook them up to a car battery to charge it up on sunny days. Plug your inverter up to it when you dont want to use gas. Its not going to power a house or anything but you can run small stuff on it.

posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 09:48 PM
i think any steam powered item off wood would be rather hard unless u went solar steam for power

atm the only logical off the grid power options are

1 on the grid/off power harvesting large metal something under big powerlines and convert it to power its been down is posible i belive the guy who did it got fined from the power company i dont rember the artical completaly

2 solar its about the best way to go

3 win another good option

4 if u have acsess geothermic power is good consistant and probly the best power you can get without nature

5 is there a stream/river nearbye lol would work good even a small stream being multi taped could make alot of power

posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 10:48 PM
Lately, I have been looking into building a small solar updraft tower or solar chimney and seeing what sort of output I could get out of it.

And rather than steam power, you could also build thermopiles. Which use the seebeck effect between dissimilar metals to convert heat energy to electricity. Once upon a time, homemade thermopiles were built around lanterns and would pump out enough electricity to power a radio.

posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 11:31 PM
a reply to: fitnessguru

one standard incandescent bulb is 60watts. Yeah, you could use 40 watt bulbs, but that's one lightbulb. 5 or 6 is 200watts all the way up to 360watts... just on bulbs.

posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 12:41 AM
a reply to: lynxpilot

agreed - the complexity / cost / upkeep of a steam turbine set up for a micro generation system is beyond the pale

but a simple expansion engine driving a flywheel ??

if the firebox on the boiler is fed by a automatic feed - ie a screw introducing wood chips

as long as the pressure system has correctly installed relief valves and a rupture disc

it would only need once a day care .

posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 06:31 AM
ok i would go sterling engine with either a freschnell lens or a parabolic mirror array why because ge are using this system to sell you electric already,
or i believe this one could be scaled down and if i had the funds i could prove it.
steam solar power
if it burns birds in mid flight this is very efficent again parabolic mirrors or lens (im thinking a suitcase sized that folds out so its portable a central tower and reflectors i am undecided which but even thirty magnifiying glasses in a surround 360 degree arc around central tower (circulate the water with a small solar pump)
would be very efficent

posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 06:34 AM
Some amazing ideas and lots of really great feedback however I should have mentioned, I want to keep this project minimal in cost and it doesn't have to produce a huge amount of power or be under constant supervision.

This would just be to create power as a 'bonus' if you will.

Let me paint a picture,

My 2 acres of land, I've got 1000watt solar panels, 4 wind turbines, and a hydro unit down at the river running through my land. ( this may be more than adequate for all the power needs I have but lets just overlook that for one minute because my interest is using any other means to create electricity as a BY-PRODUCT of my normal day to day tasks.

My first thought was, well the furnace/woodburner/stove - This is going to be heating my whole premises, especially in the winter this is going to be running a lot. Now all that heat, could that not be used (which now is clearly yes with the responses on here)

I think some people are giving me too much information though, I am looking for something of simplicity, something of minimal daily maintenance, something that even just drip feeds a small amount of energy. It doesn't need to power my lively hood but if it could get to the level of maybe powering my lights ( just 2 - 3 lightbulbs, efficient ones at that) for the evening that would be amazing!

I find it hard to believe that there is not some ways of producing some reliable and worthwhile in terms of output when we used to create steam engines.
The sheer weight of a steam engine, I still find it incredible that by heating water, creating steam, all that pressure was able to push along those huge chunks of metal.

If that can be done, I think I can make a furnace which will be burning wood and coal anyway into a pretty reliable turbine/generator ??

posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 06:37 AM
I think what you are suggesting seems to be a great idea, though I'm a bit unsure of what you mean by screw fed. Again this system is not to be automated, just for when I'm in the home or even through the winter, it doesn't need to run 24/7.

Much like a little top up on what's already existing, and so that heat which would otherwise be wasted is not
a reply to: ignorant_ape

posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 06:38 AM

originally posted by: allenidaho
Lately, I have been looking into building a small solar updraft tower or solar chimney and seeing what sort of output I could get out of it.

And rather than steam power, you could also build thermopiles. Which use the seebeck effect between dissimilar metals to convert heat energy to electricity. Once upon a time, homemade thermopiles were built around lanterns and would pump out enough electricity to power a radio.

This sound like they could be interesting / useful to look into.

Are they a project which can be undertaken by the average joe ??

posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 10:35 AM
I have never driven a train but have dabbled a bit with electric. imo If you have the money the best option is to go with all dc current appliances. the majority of lost power in all the different production systems is lost in conversion.

posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 08:12 PM

originally posted by: fitnessguru
This sound like they could be interesting / useful to look into.
Are they a project which can be undertaken by the average joe ??

If you mean the thermopiles, then absolutely. I even have plans for a simple one from a very old edition of popular mechanics. I will post them on here if you want. Speaking of which, I also have plans for a tiny steam engine, also from popular mechanics if you would like that as well.

If you mean the solar updraft tower, I'm not sure. I don't yet know if a scaled down version would create any air movement at all.

posted on Jul, 21 2014 @ 09:46 PM
Geothermal is good and can be DIY. You dig so many feet into the ground and lay a bunch of pipe then cover it up. There are lots of places to learn how via a google search. You'll need a heat pump though which might use a LOT of energy.

I'd also say don't concentrate so much on creating electrical energy. Concentrate on the type of work you need done and find other non electrical energy ways to do it - that can be Much easier and cheaper.

For instance, if you need heat, you can build a solar heater from tin cans.

If you need to cook you can use many things from a

Rocket Stove

to a Fresnel lens

or solar cooking box (solar oven)

You can even make a large rocket stove to use for heating the house.

and to heat water

You can even get free light during the day with solar light bulbs made from 2 or 3 liter bottles.

In this manner you can save any electricity you do produce for when you need it most like at night or to power small appliances.

edit on 21-7-2014 by JohnPhoenix because: formatting

posted on Jul, 22 2014 @ 02:29 PM
a reply to: fitnessguru

Many expeditions are using a company called Goal Zero. They make top end solar cells and batteries/inverters. I personally own a bunch of the lighter hiking kit. The cells hang off your pack and charge a battery they also make. It really is a great portable power solution. Brunton also make cells and so do others but goal zero is the best.

They make a larger kit that can power a whole base camp. It is semi portable. This is the only viable long term portable solution kit I can find.
edit on 22-7-2014 by SubTruth because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-7-2014 by SubTruth because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 22 2014 @ 03:37 PM
I must be missing something.... going 'off-grid' means weaning your lifestyle away from energy consumption

your idea is to replace Megawatt generation stations with power generators that are not part of the grid-system

so... you are energy intensive, a power hog, with a very large carbon footprint, who wants power/electricity from non-establishment' or exotic sources...

heck fire get a permit to make your own ethanol, tune your diesel engines to operate on that homemade fuel

Obtain legal authorization to produce ethanol.
•If you intend to produce ethanol fuel in the United States, complete and submit the following form to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB):

I would suggest you downgrade your grid need to using a DC electric system for your house lighting
a windmill or waterwheel with a alternator to charge up auto batteries will get you thru a night or fortnight of a down grid for shelter light needs

a propane refrigerator is all one needs for food preservation.... root cellars are also viable means of storage

but a I-phone, TV, internet gamer, party animal wants their power gulping stuff...too bad

posted on Jul, 22 2014 @ 07:10 PM
Going off-grid means just what it sounds like. Not being dependent on the national electrical grid. That does not mean you have to live in a hippy commune without electricity or modern conveniences.

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 11:11 PM
Wind power is probably the easiest thing to exploit that doesn't require a consumable. As long as you can spin some magnets past some wire coils, you'll have a basic source of electricity.

As for steam power? I know we're not talking industrial scale here. Crude and ugly could work if some relief is built into the system. In theory a car engine could be converted to a steam engine with a custom made cam and having a pressure line run where the intake manifold would go. Weld or plug up where the spark plugs would go. It would be messy and inefficient, but it'd work. (Not 2 stage like a piston engine designed for steam, more like an air motor that also works with steam.) It's likely to produce less power than what it would normally make with gas, but it could still run a generator or turn a compressor for refridgeration. Thing is for all the trouble to convert a piston engine to steam, wood gas would be an easier conversion and could work with existing valve timing and ignition.

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