Home Power System

One of the main things I’ve wanted to do since buying the property is to generate my own power and my ultimate aim is to eventually get off of the grid. I want to have a combination of wind and solar power.

I’m going to make the wind generators myself using the Fisher and Paykel washing machine motors and when I get round to these they will be covered on a separate page.

The solar component will obviously be based around solar panels and the project will be kicked off using 5 x 200W, 12 volt panels. This will also be covered on a separate page.

It will all be “off-grid” meaning that unlike a lot of current power systems, it won’t be putting power back into the grid. Everything that is generated will be used at home. The power will be stored in batteries.

All of the controls, batteries etc will be stored in a cabinet at the kitchen end of the house and in the cabinet will also be the mains-pressure hot water service and pump.

To get things started I need a concrete pad to sit the cabinet on.

The kitchen end of the house where the pad for the home power cabinet will be.

The finished pad. The water cylinder, pump, batteries and controls will be sited here. Next, I have to build the cabinet around it.

After more than a few months the cabinet is under way again. It does seem rather big but the size (well height mainly), is determined by the height of the mains pressure water heater. Here, the basic frame is in place.

The basic frame in place.

Below, the cabinet is taking shape with only the door, guttering and trim to fit. I wasn’t originally going to install guttering but after having the water race run out of water, having the ability to collect excess water is a must. To the right of the cabinet you can see the drain pipe from the kitchen sink which goes into the grease trap (out of sight). What I’m going to do is put a 200 liter blue plastic drum here, on it’s side, to collect the water from the sink and the cabinet roof. Any overflow from the drum will go on to the grease trap like it does now. Somewhere in the system will be a float (mercury) switch which will operate a small 12 volt pump that will drip-irrigate the nearby rose bushes.

Taking shape. All that’s needed now is the door, guttering and trim for the corners.