Human Dependence on Electricity
Electricity is one of the most important need of the 21st Century. Most human beings are dependent on electricity for their daily needs such as Charging their Smart Phones, Powering their houses or even their cars, etc. Most of the electricity we use in our houses are consumed by Air Conditioners, Lighting, Water Heating, etc. According to a study conducted by the World FactBook, the world consumes 19,320,360,620 MWh/yr. China, U.S., E.U*, India, Russia are some top consumers of electricity. A majority of the top consuming countries are developing economies like India, Brazil, Taiwan, etc. Coal is one of the main resources of producing electricity. But due to its high demand, shortages it increases the cost of producing electricity. Around 18% of the electricity produced by the world is consumed by the Residential Sector.
Solar & Wind Energy
One of the simplest solutions of reducing the dependence of Human beings directly on Electricity and Indirectly on Non-Renewable sources of energy is to switch too Renewable resources of Energy. The most viable and easily available Renewable sources of energy are Solar & Wind energy. Solar & Wind energy can be easily harnessed with the help of Solar Panels and Windmills.
The Solar + Wind Powered House
The Solar + Wind powered house is a simple and aesthetically good looking design for Houses or homes that wish to run on Renewable Energy.
The Solar + Wind powered house that I had built was set up in a rural agriculture dependent part of India.
This house served two purposes:
• It provided a cost effective solution to my housing and electricity needs by consuming renewable resources of energy.
• The Solar and Wind energy was also used for the purpose of Irrigation.
The surplus energy produced by this house is perfect for applications like irrigation in Electricity Deficient countries like India. This system completely isolates and safeguards its user from Poor service, Power fluctuations ( which can cause damage to appliances), High prices, Blackouts etc.
The applications and benefits of this house are not only limited too Rural or Energy Deficient countries. This house can also be constructed in those countries which are not energy deficient for the purpose of a Green and a Sustainable way of Living.
• This Instructable teaches you how to Build and Construct a Solar+Wind Powered House.
• It also will help those who have an existing house or structure to setup a Solar or Wind powered House.
The Windmill Design
The windmill used in this house is not your typical windmill. Generally windmills have just one set of blades. In this windmill there are 2 sets of blades. The technology is called Front-set Double Flying Birds. the first set of blades consists of 3 larger(in length) blades. While the second set consists of 9 smaller size blades. The smaller set of blades start producing electricity at a wind speed of only 1.8m/s(Highly efficient). It also starts to rotate the larger set of blades which then gain momentum. In this way the windmill or wind turbine used is capable of producing electricity even at low wind speeds.
The kitchen stove isn't a typical gas cooktop. It actually is an Induction stove which means that it doesn't run on gas (propane,LPG). Instead it runs on electricity which is harvested from the Sun by the solar panels. This helps in regions where price of piped gas or cylinders required for cooking is expensive.
Step 1: Material and Skill Requirements
All the material may differ from country to country with respect too Available size, quantity, volume, capacity, etc. Hence for some material, the exact specifications have not been given.
4 X 18ft C-Channels.
18 X 23ft C-Channels.
4 X 36ft C-Channels.
1 X Windmill/ Windturbine.
4 X Solar Panels.
4 X Lead Acid Batteries.
1 X Inverter.
1 X Charge Controller.
1 X Hybrid Controller.
Wooden Door and Door Frame.
Step 2: Laying of Foundation
Keep in mind that the homebuilding process may vary from region to region and builder to builder, especially if you’re building a custom home like this one.
Using a backhoe and a bulldozer, clear the site of rocks, debris and trees for the house and, if applicable, the septic system. Level the site and digs the holes and trenches for the foundation and the septic tanks.
The Foundation of this structure was built using a method called 'Plum Concreting'. Plum Concreting also known as Cyclopean Concreting, this is a variety of Concreting consisting of large sized stones(Plums) with interstices filled with concrete. This method of Concreting provides a Stable foundation. This method of concreting is also used while laying foundations upon uneven surfaces. Plum concreting helps in reducing the cost of the overall construction.
While carrying out the process of Plum Concreting it is important too ensure that concrete is thoroughly mixed and that their are no air pockets created in the foundation.
Once the process of laying the foundation is complete, the concrete will need time to cure. During this period, there will be no activity on the construction site.
I have constructed the foundation of the house so that the top most point of the foundation is approximately 6-10ft above ground level. This increases the overall height of the house. This increase in height could lead to higher wind speeds at the higher levels of the house which would increase the windmill/turbine speed.
Base Specification: 36ft X 23ft = 828sq.ft.
CAUTION: For people that live in a temperate zone (i.e., subject to frost and freezing), you must ensure that the foundation of the house extends below the frost depth. This should prevent the damage caused to the structure by frost heaving. Also make sure that the water pipes are buried below the frost line, or insulated to prevent them from freezing.
Step 3: Metal Framework & Layout
The Metal Framework of the house is what holds the house together. It consists of a number of I- beams, C- channels, Base plates etc. These parts are either wielded or bolted together. Together these parts form the essential skeleton of the house. Since these parts are generally made out of metal (generally iron), they do get affected by moisture and hence get corroded. Hence it is essential to protect these parts by painting an anti-corrosion paint on them.
The foundation, floors, walls, roof, etc are all held together by the metal framework. Hence it is necessary to construct the metal framework accurately so that it can bear the load of the house properly.
I have also attached a whole lot of images of the entire structure. These image layout plans were designed too depict the construction in a more 3D based method. This is the first time I have used such a type of program (Google Sketchup) to generate house plans. Because of my lack of experience using this software, there may be some design faults. However the plan images are pretty accurate and well detailed. In case you want access the 3D plan I have attached the file below.
Step 4: Laying Of Corner I-Beams
First we start by with the laying of the 4 I- Beams. Each of these 4 I-beams are placed at each of the 4 corners of the base (top of the foundation). I-beam Length= 14ft.
In the second image there are two 5000Lt water storage tanks placed on top of the base. As the purpose of building this house was also for agriculture, the tanks have been installed. These tanks store the water used for the irrigation of the agricultural plantations.
Step 5: Laying of Half Length 14ft I-beams
This step involves the laying of an I-beam at the centre of the Lengths of the base.
Step 6: Adding the C-Channel
In this step we add the horizontal C-Channels. There are a total 12 C-Channels used in this step. C-Channels provide rigidity to the structure. They also maintain the distance between the I-beams.
There are two levels at which the C-Channels must be installed. One being the height at which both the I-beams meet together and the other being the top of the higher I-beam.
Each Level has 4 X 18ft C-Channels and 2 X 23ft C-Channel.
Step 7: Welding & Anti-Corrosion Paint
Welding is the process of fusing together two or more metal objects.
Anti-Corrosion Paint should be painted on to the entire metal structure at this point inorder to prevent rusting of the structure.
Step 8: Adding C-Channel Lower Floor.
This step involves installing the C-Channel for the Floor of the 1st Floor.
There are 8 C-Channels used in this step.
Step 9: Adding C-Channel Higher Floor.
This step involves installing the C-Channel for the Horizontal roof of the 1st Floor.
There are 8 C-Channels used in this step.
Step 10: Adding the Central I-Beams
This step involves the installation of the Central I-beams of the Structure. The Central I-beams are placed at the centre of the base and support the windmill.
There are 2 X 14ft I-beams used in this step. Total Height= 28ft.
Step 11: Adding Higher Central C-Channel
This step involves the installation of 2 Central C-Channels on the Higher Level. These are used to provide stability to the Central I-beams and also connect the central I-beam to the entire metal framework
There are 2 X 36ft C-Channels used in this step.
Step 12: Adding Lower Central C-Channel
This step involves the installation of 2 Central C-Channels on the Lower Level. These are used to provide stability to the Central I-beams and also connect the central I-beam to the entire metal framework
There are 2 X 36ft C-Channels used in this step.
Step 13: Installing the Windmill
This step of assembling the windmill varies from windmill to windmill.
Note: The images of the layouts in the next couple of steps do not include the windmill. This is because designing the structure on the software along-with the windmill was difficult.
Step 14: Flooring and Horizontal Roofing
This step will vary from person to person. The sizes of plywood available in different countries varies from country to country hence providing one with accurate dimensions cannot be done.
Bolt the Plywood sections in place with the C-Channels.
You can install the horizontal roofing depending on your choice.
I have not installed the Horizontal roofing.
Step 15: Walls and Partitions
The sizing of the Plywood Sections cannot be specified as it could defer from person to person due to the size limits available in various countries.
Bolt the exterior walls and partition walls to the I-beams and C-Channels.
The partition wall will separate the bathroom from the other room and kitchen.
Step 16: Temporary Plumbing & Electricals
At this point one can start with the temporary plumbing and electrical work.
Pipes can be laid from the water storage tanks to the bathroom and kitchen.
Sewage pipes can also be fixed at this point.
Electrical wiring can also be started at this point.
Step 17: Interiors, Windows, Roofing Framework
The Installation of the Interiors, Windows and Roofing Framework can all be done alongside each other.
Painting the Interior and Exterior of the House can also be carried out at this point.
The door can also be installed at this moment.
The sliding doors can also be installed at this point.
Sinks, Toilets, Beds etc can all be added at this point.
The staircase can also be added at this point.
Step 18: Saircase
The Staircase can be added at this point as stated earlier.
Either you can buy a ready made staircase or assemble one yourself.
Make sure the staircase is aligned properly and also well painted.
Step 19: Roof Framework
The roof framework is the skeleton that holds the Inclined roof together with the entire metal framework.
Step 20: Laying of Roof
At this step you can choose whether you want to add more inclined C-Channels as I have done when I built the house.
For those of You who do not want to do so, I have not shown the inclined C-Channels in the image Layouts.
Since the available plywood sheet sizes vary from country to country I haven't specified the Dimensions of the Plywood required for the roof.
Step 21: Laying of Aluminium Roofing Sheets
It is optional if you want to install aluminium roofing sheets on top of the Inclined roof. All you need to do is just bolt them to the roof.
For those of you who do not wish too add these sheets I have not included them in the image layout.
Step 22: Adding the Solar Panels
You can choose to mount the Solar panels directly onto the roof. This reduces the cost of building an additional stand for it.
I chose to build another stand for this purpose and also added an additional staircase that extends to the top of the roof. This too is optional.
For those of you who do not wish to build an additional stand, I haven't included the stand in the image Layout.
Step 23: Solar+Wind Block diagram & Connections
This step includes just a basic understanding of the Solar and Wind Electrical connections.
The sizing of the hybrid system is given in the next step.
For a more detailed and a step by step guide on installing a Solar System you can check out this instructable that I have made especially for this purpose : Apartment Solar System . It will also show you how to assemble, size and calculate individual solar systems.
The Windmill is a device that converts Wind energy into Electricity. The blades of the windmill turn by the force of the wind. This then turns the shaft of the generator. Due to magnetic induction created in the generator part of the windmill electricity is produced.
Solar Panel Array
The Solar Panel is the device which converts the light emitted by the Sun into electrical energy. When the suns rays fall onto the solar cells, the electrons in the solar cells get excited and begin to flow, thus producing electrical energy.
The diodes in the Solar Panel Connection Box are used to maintain the polarity of the solar panel. If the positive wire is connected in the middle terminal, the voltage is halved.
Circuit Breaker (CB)
The Circuit Breaker is a kind of Switch which switches OFF/shuts down/shuts OFF when a certain amount of current passes through it. It will shut OFF only when the current exceeds the given specified amount. E.g: 15A etc. It also shuts OFF when theres a short circuit. The reason one MUST connect the Circuit Breaker between different parts/appliances is to prevent the damage caused by lightning strikes, short circuits,etc. Lightning can cause the battery to explode and also damage the entire system. The Circuit Breaker immediately shuts OFF when lightning strikes the Solar Panel or Windmill.
Charge Controller (CC)
The Charge Controller is a device that regulates the voltage and current of the solar array. It gives a steady output which used by the hybrid controller.
The hybrid controller electronically combines and controls the Voltage and Current supplied by the Solar Panel Array and the Windmill. It regulates the voltage and makes suitable for charging the battery array.
The Battery is a device which stores the electrical energy in the form of chemical energy. A Lead Acid battery contains lead acid in it. As the battery is used it releases hydrogen gas.
The Inverter/UPS is an electronic device which converts a low voltage DC input into a high voltage AC output. E.g: An inverter can convert 12VDC (from battery) into 220VAC (to appliance). An inverter is necessary if your appliances run on 220V AC.
Power Consumption Meter
The power consumption meter measure the running total of the amount of power-hours that have been consumed by the appliances. It is measured in Kilo Watt Hours (KWh).
Step 24: Solar and Windmill Sizing
The sizing of the Solar Panels, Windmill, Batteries, Charge and Hybrid controllers all depend on the desired load.
The charge controller, hybrid controller, batteries should all be compatible and also fit their respective parameters.
A detailed guide to the Sizing of the Solar Panels: Apartment Solar System.
The windmill/ Wind turbine can also add the additional power required to the system.
Both together should be enough to charge the batteries and should not exceed the maximum input values of the Hybrid Control System.
The inverter should also be compatible with the output of the battery array. The battery array can also be calculated from the above link.
Specification of this Hybrid System
Step 25: Plumbing Block Diagram
The plumbing block diagram will help you with the basic understanding of the plumbing work of the house.
Its basically depicts all the essential connections between the pump, tank, geyser, Kitchen and Bathroom.
The sizing of the pipes, fittings, taps, tank, pumps and geysers vary from country to country depending on their availability. Hence dimensions cannot be specified for these parts.
In the block diagram, the 'blue' pipes indicate the 'cold' (room temperature) water supply while the 'red' pipes indicate the 'hot' water supply.
Step 26: Safety & Caution
Things to Remember:
After Use of Battery:
Step 27: Observations & Conclusion
Congratulations you have reached the final step. If you make the house or even make an individual system. i.e. Only solar or Only wind, attach a photo of it in the comments section by clicking the "I Made It' button at the top of the page.
If you have any questions, suggestions or doubts pertaining to this instructable do leave it in the comments section below or below the step wherein you have a particular doubt.
I had a lot of fun showcasing this instructable. I hoped you enjoyed it. If you did feel free to favourite it.
I'm planning on developing an app for smartphones and tablets specifically for this instructable. The app will help you to calculate the sizing of solar panels, battery array, wind turbine, load, etc and also a whole lot of other electronics calculators. If you are interested leave a comment below.