Are you the type of prepper who enjoys DIY projects? DIY projects can take time, but the payoff far exceeds the time spent working on them. If you like to get your hands dirty, a DIY generator for preppers is one way to do it!

Did you know you can make a generator out of common things found around the house? In this article, we are going to talk about the many different ways you can create a generator from common items you may find in and around your house. 

Our goal is to give you the necessary information to build your own generator, but we will leave it up to you to decide which approach you want to take.

BENEFITS OF DIY GENERATOR VS. STORE-BOUGHT GENERATOR

What is beneficial about a homemade generator compared to one that is store bought? Consider the following benefits before you decide against a DIY generator.

  • Cost – DIY generators can be significantly cheaper than store bought generators. Since you can use items that you typically have around the house, expenses are lowered and the biggest cost is your time.
    Store bought generators can cost thousands. Not everybody is able to spend   that kind of money. DIY generators are overall much more affordable.
  • Repairs – The benefit of building something yourself is the ease of repairing it. When you are the one to put something together it’s much easier to figure out what went wrong and what you need to fix it.
    When you buy a generator you have the inevitable dependence on the manufacturer for parts and repairs, which can be quite costly. In fact, some manufacturers purposely construct their products so that you have no other choice but to go to them for repairs. You can avoid the hassle with a DIY generator!
  • More Power Choices – Generally, store-bought generators use gas or diesel. In this case, you have to ensure you keep fuel on hand for emergencies. And fuel isn’t always cheap, so you have yet another cost you have to consider.
    You can build DIY generators that depend on things like water, wind, and solar, all of which are much easier to access as they are provided by nature. You also benefit from not having to store extremely flammable fuel. Safety first, right?
  • Accomplishment – There is nothing like the satisfaction of building something yourself and then being able to use it. That sense of accomplishment is part of why a DIY generator is worth the time investment. Who doesn’t like to brag to their friends about their successful projects?

WHY DIY GENERATORS ARE USEFUL

DIY generators can help you stay connected with the outside world in disastrous situations. They can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They can help keep you fed and ready to fight against the unexpected forces of nature. 

We may live in an advanced world, but it’s always important to know how to stay handy and use what you already have. We may not always be able to head over to amazon to get what we need. Though convenient, it may not be available if the world goes into crisis mode.

SKILLS AND EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO BUILD A GENERATOR

Good news – you do not have to be an engineer or electrician to learn how to make a generator. All you need to know is what equipment you need and a general guide on how to put your generator together. Any handy person can build a simple generator. 

The equipment you need depends on the type of generator you plan to build, but you should be able to find what you need in common things around the house, as mentioned before. 

There are multiple DIY generators you can choose to build. We mentioned a few types of generators earlier in the article, but let’s get into some detail and take a look at different types of DIY generators and what you will need to build them.

BICYCLE GENERATOR

bicycle generator

The bicycle generator is a simple concept. You are using your bicycle to generate power. Yes, you actually sit on a bicycle and pedal! Physical activity is never a bad thing. It’s a neat concept. You expel energy through physical activity to create power. Your body is the source of energy, so you can be assured that you will never run out of it, within reason.

This type of generator is used to power things like small electronics such as a cell phone or a computer. You may not be able to power an entire house with a bicycle generator, but it is useful nonetheless! And you can stay fit at the same time. Win, win.

Supplies you need to make this bicycle generator

  • Chain
  • Motor leads
  • Diodes
  • Battery
  • Battery leads
  • Monster scooter parts motor
  • Powerbright inverter

HYDROELECTRIC GENERATOR

As you may have guessed, hydroelectric generators use water as a source of energy. Water wheels spin in the water and the water is then transferred to the wheels as they spin. As it gets going, power is transferred to the attached rotor, stored in the stator,  and then transferred to the battery, therefore creating power.

The only downfall to the hydroelectric generator is that you must be near a body of water such as a river if you want to build one large enough to power your home. Large home hydroelectric generators are not the easiest ones to install, but if you have the patience to learn, they are some of the most effective DIY generators. 

If you are not interested in building a large one, or do not have the natural resources to do so, check out what you need to build a small one. 

Equipment needed for a hydroelectric generator

  • Rotor
  • Stator
  • Turbine
  • Bottle/Plastic Tank
  • 8 Plastic spoons
  • Cork
  • Cardboard
  • Coils
  • Magnets

WIND TURBINE/GENERATOR

This type of generator is similar to a hydroelectric generator, but instead of water, the wind is its source of power. The benefit of a wind turbine is that you have so many options when it comes to materials and wind is freely provided by nature. Check out the linked article to see what options you have. We will list equipment needed for one of the listed turbines, but any of them will be beneficial as a DIY generator. 

Equipment needed for Wind Turbine/Generator 

  • Bike wheel rims
  • PVC pipes
  • Treadmill motor

Since there are so many options, you can choose which wind turbine will work best for you based on the available materials. The attached article even has an option to build a turbine that will power an entire home.

HAND CRANK GENERATOR

This is a common type of generator that you may be familiar with. You can buy a hand crank generator, but as simple as it is to make, why not build your own? 

With a hand crank generator, all you have to do is turn the crank to generate power. It is another generator that uses your physical energy to create power, though not as much as the bicycle generator.  You do not have to physically exert your entire body, but your arms will get quite the workout.

If building isn’t your thing, check out our buying guide on the best hand crank generators for preppers.

Equipment needs for a Hand Crank Generator

  • DC motor
  • Material (wood, plastic, metal) for crank
  • Gears for efficiency
  • Wiring
  • Battery

SOLAR POWERED GENERATOR

Purchasing solar power in any capacity is not cheap, but you can eliminate some of those costs by making your own solar powered generator. Solar powered generators use the energy from the sun and turn it into usable energy. Large enough DIY solar powered generators can power your entire house and are very much worth the investment. 

Equipment needed for a Solar Powered Generator

  • Weatherproof case
  • AC solar power inverter
  • Solar panel
  • Battery
  • Solar charge controller
  • Battery maintainer
  • AC Power inlet
  • LED flood light

CONCLUSION

As you can see, there are many types of generators you can use to power your home or specific items within your home. To determine which generator you want to build you consider what you are hoping to get out of a generator. Here are some questions you may want to answer before you decide which generator is best for you.

  1. Do you want to power your entire home or a few appliances?
  2. How much time are you willing to put in to make a generator?
  3. Which type of generator will work best for you in the long term?
  4. Which generator will work best with the weather conditions in your area? 
  5. How much physical activity are you willing to put into producing power? Not everybody enjoys riding a bike!

Every prepper has their own preferences, which is why having so many options is beneficial. Which generator intrigues you the most? 

There is nothing like utilizing what nature gives you for the benefit of survival. DIY generators make living off-grid a lot more practical. 

We hope this article has helped you take the first steps to building your own generator! You are one step closer to being prepared for the worst.