With all of the uncertainty in today’s world many people are trying to become more self sufficient. Growing their own vegetables, raising their own chickens for eggs, or raising bigger animals like beef and dairy cattle if they have the room.
The more self sufficient are even making their own clothes and/or other household items, including building their own homes and even furnishing them with handmade furniture. Many of those people, those who desire to be off the grid, must find ways to power their homes without relying on the power company. Some, like the Amish for example, may choose not to use the modern convenience of electricity and so they use lanterns and work horses and the like to meet their needs.
But there’s no arguing that modern appliances and power tools make life easier, so for many self sufficient folks the only logical answer is to create their own electricity at home. This can be accomplished a couple of ways. One way would be to purchase somewhat expensive solar panels to utilize the power of the sun. Another way would be to spend thousands of dollars on a generator which can be used on its own or in conjunction with the aforementioned solar panels. But why buy a generator when you can make your own?
Getting Started on Your Power Generator
The average American is accustomed to a house power service that provides 110v ac to run basic electronics like the lights, television, computer, or refrigerator, and 220v ac to run their stove and clothes dryer. But if you’re living off the grid and doing so on a budget consider that you can run your house lighting system on a 12v circuit with battery backup simply by using automotive alternators and batteries (actually deep cycle marine batteries work better) with 12v lights.
This lessens the demand for power and in the event of a failure of a gas powered generator or inability to obtain fuel you can still run your house off of the batteries, and by supplementing the system with solar power and a wind generator built with an automotive alternator (or similar) you can keep the batteries charged to run the 12v lights and power inverter(s).
This 12v system can still run a refrigerator or stove simply by using a step up transformer commonly known as a power inverter or you can use the 12v system to power a 12v motor to turn an entirely independent generator system with a higher voltage output if you can source that free rather than spend several hundred dollars on inverters. Automotive alternators can supposedly be reconfigured to generate 110v.