Welcome to SIRTCO

     These are some of the solar and alternative energy projects that I am working on to develop. Some of these projects are still in the concept phase while some are farther along in the development process. I am trying to develop PRACTICAL and COST EFFECTIVE energy projects that can save users money by utilizing solar and alternate energy sources to reduce or eliminate the need to use more costly energy. I use or will use Arduino microcontrollers to monitor and/or control these energy projects. I hope these projects will inspire others to consider the possibilities of solar and alternate energy sources.



Arduino Based Solar/Wind Energy Environmental Assessment Measurement Apparatus (Weather Station)

     Before attempting to capture solar or wind energy, it would be wise to take an assessment of the site from where these energies will be collected. This Arduino based “weather station” will measure and record wind speed, wind direction, solar photovoltaic potential, solar thermal potential, ambient temperature and humidity to assess energy potential available at any potential site.

Biomass Gasifer

     In this project, I will attempt to produce synthetic gas (syngas) from yard waste, wood chips and other biomass products with the intent of using the syngas as an internal combustion engine fuel to run an electrical power generator.


Solar Clothes Dryer

     In this project, I am building a Solar Powered Clothes Dryer (sorry, not a clothes line). This dryer uses a direct solar air heater and photovoltaic / wind derived electrical power with solar heated water as a back-up heat source to dry clothes in a device very similar to a conventional electric or gas dryer. This project uses an Arduino Mega 2560 as its monitor, control and data display driver.

Biomass Biomethane

     I am going to attempt to produce methane gas by decomposing yard clipping and other biomass. I will probably also investigate using garbage, sewage and animal waste in producing methane. It is my intent to produce methane, extract unwanted byproducts (Primarily water vapor, CO and CO2) and compress the methane to be used as a motor fuel, specifically as a substitute fuel for my car.


Horizontal Axis Wind Powered Generator

     I will attempt to build a horizontal axis wind powered generator using a permanent magnet DC motor. The motor will probably come from a variable speed treadmill exercise machine or front loading washing machine and will use an Arduino family microcontroller to control and monitor this system.


Vertical Axis Wind Powered Generator

     The vertical axis wind driven elements will use relatively low Revolutions Per Minute (RPMs) and ‘brute force’ (torque) to drive the electrical generator at relatively high RPMs through mechanical advantage (large pulley to small pulley drive system). I plan on using a modified automobile alternator converted into a permanent magnet alternator as the electrical generator in this project and an Arduino Uno to control and monitor this system.

Low Pressure Circulation Solar Hot Water Heat

     In this project, I am going to rebuild a commercial solar hot water heater collector and re-use it to circulate low pressure fluid (water solution) to collect heat. The heated circulated fluid will transfer its heat either through a heat exchanger or will have a circulating fluid tubing to transfer the heat to a conventional electric hot water heater. This project will use an Arduino Uno microcontroller to monitor and control this system.


Fluorescent Light Bulb Tube Guard Solar Water Heater

     This project uses fluorescent light tube guards with reflective backing to concentrate solar heat onto a section of copper tubing while encapsulating the copper tube. This concentrated light heater will boost heat from other solar heaters to produce higher hot water temperatures.


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