I’ve been thinking a lot lately of ways that I can charge my bank of batteries without having to use power from the utility company or from fossil fuels (my electricity is, in theory, 100% green from the ladwp – or at least that’s what I signed up for….). As you may have read in the previous post, I’m building a peddle power generator, which I’m hesitantly optimistic about. It does seem to be the greenest option for me to recharge the batteries at this point, and if it works as well as I hope then I’ll be very close to unhooking the garage from the utility power – and I’ll be in much better shape to boot.
I’ve heard it’s necessary to have at least an acre and a half to have a turbine in my area so I can’t put one up because of my postage stamp piece of property. Solar is expensive, although I’m signed up on the Citizen-Re program, but they haven’t contacted me about installation in the more than 21 months since I signed up. Also, in order to have solar installed we would need to get our 25+ year old roofing redone first, which is $13,000 I just don’t have.
I’m a systems engineer by trade so I work on computers all day. I’ve often wondered how much power I could get out of one of the larger desktop cooling fans and have actually brought in a voltmeter to test it out. On one of my latest tests, holding the computer fan up to a box fan at full speed, I could get about .17amps out of it. So that would mean that a cluster of six of them would get around an amp in the same scenario. Not a lot, but it could be useful for something. I’m just toying with the idea for now, but I’m collecting the fans as I go along with the ambition of clustering a bunch of them together to see what kind of output they can produce.
I found this link of an entrepreneur in Hong Kong is doing something along the same lines. The fans are bigger than I would use, and I’m thinking of putting them in more of a tunnel format, but essentially the bones of the plan are similar.