Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hold The Power For As Long As You Like!! (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my last post on the epileptic power problem in Nigeria.

In 2007, I invested in an Inverter. I bought a 3.5 KVA Sukam Inverter http://www.blogger.com/www.sukam.com. It set me back almost N300,000 (about $1,986) for the unit, four deep cycle batteries, and the rewiring of my home. I consider it the best thing I have ever bought. It provides an uninterrupted clean (pure sine wave) power supply to my home, augmenting the epileptic local power utility and it us devoid of all the nuisance of noise, fire hazards of storing combustible gasoline or diesel in my home, cost ofuel, increasing my carbon footprint, etc. …that a generating set would create. To cap it all, it is designed to run unattended. So if the power fails at 3:00am, I will not wake up in a pool of sweat – as the Inverter would kick-in and also switch off when the power returns. Stress free you say? …Not quite.

Okay I will cut to the chase. When fully charged, the inverter supplied power for upwards of 8 hours (depending on what was powered on), so my only problem was that I needed about 3 - 4 hours of constant electric power supply from the grid to recharge my battery bank. But with the power holding company (PHCN – Please Have Candles Nearby) supplying less and less power everyday, I was forced to think up a solution fast. Since I live in sunny Abuja in the heart of Africa, the most obvious solution would be to buy solar cells and have the sun recharge my batteries during the day – but you would be surprised how much those things cost. A cheap solar panel would set you back N70,000 (about $463) and I needed about 4 – 8 to do the work. In these hard times, who wants to throw that kind of money at such a problem, so I had to look for another alternative.

I knew that a wind turbine would also do the honors, but at $3,000 they are not cheap too, but unlike the solar cells they were relatively easy to make – so I made one. I will spend sometime on this blog to explain how I built the above turbine for less than N30,000 ($x). I will do it in 5 phases:-

1. Phase 1 – Designing the turbine
2. Phase 2 - Buying and fabricating the parts
3. Phase 3 – Testing the turbine
4. Phase 4 - Hooking it up to the grid
5. Phase 5 - Lessons Learnt

Enjoy. See a video of its first flight...

1 comment:

  1. But why are you using my youtube profile picture? Good thought man!!!