I think it is pretty clear that we cannot carry on consuming fossil fuels the way we do now. Using the fuel isn’t a problem, it is the amount of carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere as a consequence that will have long-term effects on the planet.
If you like to keep busy, why not try a few experiments to cut fuel consumption and even learn how to generate some electricity? It is a fascinating subject, as you are about to find out. Some people start off small and become passionate about it. Even though they have to spend money on the latest high-tech equipment, it reimburses them over time by slashing fuel bills.
Let’s assume that it is a sunny day, and your garden features some quality timber decking in Perth; what can you do out there to keep you busy? Here are a few cool energy-saving experiments you can enjoy.
If you understand how electric motors and generators work, build a wind turbine and see what you can get out of it. Mount it on your deck and wire a charge controller to a battery. See how much electricity it will produce as the weather conditions change.
Solar Hot Water
It is easy to make a solar hot water heater, and when you see how efficient they are, you might decide to scale it up and install one on your house. For this experiment you will need:
- A sheet of glass for the front of the box.
- Copper pipe.
- Compression fittings for the pipe.
- Loft insulation.
- Black paint.
- A Bucket
- An old central heating radiator.
- Some planks of wood to use as the sides of the containing box.
- A sheet of plywood for the back of the box.
- First of all, you must make a box big enough to hold the radiator. You will need to fit insulation in their too, so add a couple of inches to the dimensions.
- Paint the radiator black.
- Fit the radiator in the box and install a copper pipe to each valve.
- Fix glass to the front of the box.
- You must mount the bucket above the radiator, so stand it on something.
- Connect some pipe from the side of the bucket at the bottom to the bottom valve of the radiator, Use whatever joints you need.
- Fix another pipe from the top radiator valve to the side of the bucket, but higher up than the first one.
- Keep filling the bucket with water until the system is full.
- Angle it towards the sun and wait.
The water will soon become piping hot for free. It helps you to understand how much money you could save if you were to install a full system on the roof of your home.
Buy a couple of used solar panels off the internet and mount them on your deck. Using a multimeter, see how much power they produce throughout the day. Maybe there will be enough to charge the batteries for the decking lights at night. It should enable you to calculate how many you will need to install on the roof to provide enough energy for your needs and to reduce your carbon footprint.
I think these experiments will encourage you to buy full-scale installations and become self-sufficient to an extent. We should all try to rely less on the grid; it might not be around forever.