Category Archives for "DIY Project"
Solar energy DIY projects are an easy and fun way to get the whole family involved in environmental sustainability. The first thing many people think of when they hear the term ‘solar energy DIY’ is an array of high-tech solar panels on a roof or in a backyard. While this is certainly one aspect of solar energy collection, the topic of solar energy DIY actually covers a range of energy collection methods, some of them much simpler and easier to undertake than building solar panels.
If you are interested in using solar energy as an alternative to the fossil fuel energy supplied by most power companies, then it is definitely worthwhile looking at all these options to see which of them, either by themselves or in combination, will suit your needs.
An easy, yet highly effective way to harness solar energy is to build a greenhouse. This won’t actually cut your power bills but it will harness the sun’s energy so that you can grow your own fruit and vegetables, or simply provide you with a warm space you can relax in on a cold, clear winter’s day. You will also be able to save by cutting back on grocery bills, and you will have the satisfaction of growing plants the way you want, without any harmful chemicals. There is also a lot of satisfaction to be had from developing a more independent lifestyle. There are a few ways you can build a solar energy diy greenhouse. One way is to build a permanent structure on your property using masonry, timber and glass. However, there are much simpler and cheaper approaches. You can stretch heavy duty polythene over a frame, or use clear polycarbonate roof sheeting to collect the sun.
Another way to collect renewable solar energy and cut down on your power bills is to build a solar hot water heater. Even in winter there is plenty of energy in the sun’s rays, more than enough for many people’s needs. With a solar energy DIY project, you can easily heat your home, provide hot water for washing, or both. And during periods when there is no sun you can switch back to your standard supply. A hot water solar DIY energy project is relatively cheap and simple to undertake, and the materials you need are readily available from hardware stores and online sources.
A third solar energy DIY project you can do is to build solar panels that convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy. This is not a particularly easy or cheap option if you want to replace all your power needs, but you can certainly get underway with a simple project that will still have a significant impact on your power bills. One cheap approach is to buy slightly damaged/old solar panels at a reduced price and wire these into your home’s electrical system. They won’t be as efficient as new ones but it can be a good way to get started if you are on a tight budget. Alternatively, you can buy new solar energy diy kits for a reasonable price that will enable you to run at least some of your appliances using the sun’s energy.
If you are keen on making the transition through to a fully solar-powered home, it is worthwhile undertaking a combination of all the solar energy DIY approaches described above. Of course there is no need to do them all at once. Start small and simple, slowly building your overall system with a number of easy, manageable projects. This is the best way to build your confidence and knowledge without becoming stressed out. A solar energy DIY project can be more expensive and complex than using other sources such as wind power, but it is still a highly worthwhile undertaking and is well within the capabilities of most people.
You can easily adapt modern solar panel technology and learn how to make a solar panel to create power for your home. Solar panels have been around in the energy and space industries for many years, and the technology is very reliable and efficient.
The process of how to make a solar panel can be undertaken using the sorts of tools and materials that are found in many garages, and those that you don’t have can be easily found in places such as recycling facilities, hardware stores, on eBay or from other online suppliers. And best of all you don’t need a technical degree or a high level of skill; just the willingness to make your own alternative energy, a bit of spare cash and a few hours spread over a couple of weekends.
* Wiring solder
* A waterproof sealing agent such as silicone
* Plastic panel
* Wooden framing material & screws
* Black paint
* Solar cells
In terms of solar cells, make sure you go for quality instead of lowest price. Remember that you will want a high-efficiency system that will last a long time. When planning how to make a solar panel, you will need to calculate how much power you want to produce, and then divide this by the output of an individual cell to give you the number of cells required. Bear in mind that even well-constructed DIY systems will probably only produce around 80% of the claimed output per cell.
Once you have collected all your materials, the construction part of how to make a solar panel is quite straightforward.
Glue your solar cells together in square ‘blocks’ of 36 (i.e. 6 by 6), using the joining tabs to make sure that the electricity will only flow in one direction. Put the cells on a backing board and then fix them inside an insulated wooden frame. Paint the wooden frame black and cover the frame and cells with your plastic paneling. Screw the paneling onto the frame and make sure it is properly sealed with the silicone. Your solar panel will then be ready to place on the roof or wherever else is suitable.
The next stage in how to make a solar panel is to connect it to a series of storage batteries, so that you can ‘draw’ on the power when you need it. It is a good idea to talk to an electrician or battery supplier to make sure you get the right batteries and wiring setup for your needs. Either way, you should be able to complete this stage in a weekend without any difficulties.
Finally, place your framed cells on a roof or other suitable location that isn’t shaded by nearby buildings or trees, and align them in such a way that they will collect the maximum amount of sunlight for your location.
With some planning and simple materials, the process of how to make a solar panel is quite easy, and best of all, enjoyable. In these times of excessive reliance on fossil fuels, it is a great DIY project that can produce serious financial and environmental benefits for your family and community.
DIY magnetic energy is a great way to produce alternative energy for home use. Of course there are plenty of ways to produce alternative energy these days, including solar panel systems and wind turbines. However, converting your house to wind or solar is a fairly substantial task, so it is worthwhile considering other options such as DIY magnetic energy if you are looking to reduce your dependence on the grid or simply save yourself some money.
Magnets are very common, but they are mostly out of sight and as a consequence we don’t give them much thought. In fact, the properties of magnets are essential to many pieces of equipment we use every day. ‘Standard’ electricity is made when a rotating device called a turbine moves a magnet around a wire. This causes a current to flow in the wire, and we use that current to power the appliances in our homes. The rotation can be produced by wind, water or some other force. In comparison, DIY magnetic energy, sometimes called ‘free energy’, uses a self-running magnetic motor hooked up to another set of magnets/wire coils that produce the electricity. You only need a small charge to get the motor started and you are on your way to producing power from your DIY magnetic generator.
One of the easiest ways to make a magnetic motor for your generator is to build it yourself. There are some good online information sources that give detailed instructions on how to build your DIY magnetic energy generator. If you plan and do your research properly, you will find it quite a straightforward process and you should be able to construct the generator yourself using readily available equipment. It is a good idea to supplement any power you produce with another source such as the power grid or other forms of alternative energy. Relying on any one power source is unwise because it leaves you vulnerable to breakdowns or other supply problems. One advantage of a large DIY magnetic energy generator, or any type of alternative energy source for that matter, is that it makes it possible to feed power back into the grid if you have any surplus, and get paid for your trouble!
Once you have set up your generator and it is producing power, it is still a good idea to introduce energy conservation measures into your home so that your domestic costs are kept as low as possible. Simple measures like turning off appliances when they’re not in use, switching off lights, using energy efficient bulbs and switching your refrigerator and freezer to their optimum settings will all help.
There are many great options available for generating DIY power if you are interested in gaining independence from the power grid and using energy from more environmentally friendly sources. Which option or options you choose will depend on your personal circumstances and preferences, and with a bit of careful thought and research you will easily be able to find the best approach for your household.
Put simply, the main options available for DIY power are solar (heating collectors, solar hot water and photovoltaics) and wind power. If you are fortunate enough to live next to a significant stream, hydroelectric power may also be possible. In some areas it is also possible to extract heat from shallow groundwater using a heat exchanger – this is known as geothermal power. Other possibilities include extracting electrical energy from magnets or phone lines.
When you start to look at the various DIY power options, it is worth bearing in mind that making the transition to a home powered entirely by alternative energy is something that doesn’t need to be done all at once. It is best to start with a simple DIY project, say solar or wind, and build from there. It also pays to get clear about exactly what you want to achieve with your DIY power project. Is it complete independence from the grid, or simply to reduce your power bills by generating some power for yourself, or some other reason? Your answer to this question is important because it will guide which sort of project(s) you undertake. Another thing to keep in mind is that any take steps you take now to reduce your power usage will make it easier to achieve a significant degree of independence from the grid.
It can be very useful to undertake several DIY power projects so that you are not totally reliant on one system. For example, you could build a windmill to power your lights and appliances and a solar system to provide your family with home heating and hot water. This will also increase your chances of not having to use the grid.
One of the biggest benefits of DIY power is that you can sell any surplus back to the grid energy supplier. Of course you will have to remain connected to the grid, but it is a good way to offset the costs of installing your DIY power system while retaining access to grid power if you need a backup supply for any reason. And won’t it be great to have the power company sending YOU some money for a change!
An essential part of working out the best DIY power options for your household is to maintain a backup system, such as grid power or gas energy. Going ‘off-grid’ is a very significant step to take and a major lifestyle decision, so you will want to make sure you are totally prepared for it.
Even if you only want to partially replace your existing power source, the same principles still apply. As a starting point on your journey towards producing DIY power, sit down and work out exactly how much power you use during the year, and don’t forget that sometimes you will need to draw more power for heating or cooling your home. This will give you the sort of information you need to compare different forms of power generation. With some basic materials, advice and planning, DIY power projects can be fun and very rewarding for your family, both financially and environmentally.
DIY energy generation is easy to achieve with some careful planning and a relatively minor investment of time and money. It is also a very useful way to contribute towards the development of renewable energies and cut back on the world’s reliance on dwindling and polluting hydrocarbon resources. Solar and wind power are great choices for the average homeowner because the technologies are well-established and materials and information are readily available.
It has been estimated that in one day the planet receives more energy from the sun than could be used in about 25 years, based on current energy consumption rates. Unless you live in high latitudes, the chances are your home receives a significant amount of sunlight that you could collect right now to power your home and heat water for washing. And even when the sun isn’t shining you can draw power from storage batteries that you have ‘filled up’ during sunny periods.
The same holds true for wind power as a DIY energy source. Although the wind obviously doesn’t blow all the time, if you live in a place where there are regular periods of wind blowing at around 10-15mph, and you have sufficient space around you, then a small wind turbine on your roof or on a tower is a great DIY energy option.
Many people are drawn towards using solar DIY energy. Although it is often more expensive than other options, it is definitely more versatile. For example, you can simply use the power of the sun’s rays to heat up water in a low-profile reservoir on your roof. The hot water can then be circulated around your house for heating, or you can use it for washing. Many of these systems remain linked up to standard grid power as a backup.
An even more basic, yet highly effective way of creating solar DIY energy if you are building a house is to incorporate it into the house construction phase using so-called ‘passive solar’ principles. In essence this means aligning your house to collect sun during the cooler seasons, and using internal building materials such as masonry or concrete walls and floors to collect and store the sun’s heat, and then release it slowly during cooler periods or at night.
A third solar DIY energy option is to use photovoltaic cells on your roof to convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy. This is not particularly cheap DIY energy option if you want to power your entire house but it doesn’t have to be done on a big scale. It is often used in conjunction with other DIY energy options.
In many areas you can sell any excess power back to the grid supplier and offset your installation costs. If you are interested in this option, it is a good idea to check whether there are any tax breaks or subsidies available that will cut down your costs. Many people have installed systems that have virtually eliminated their monthly power bills. At the very least you will be able to make a significant reduction in running costs with a DIY energy generation system.
Homes with DIY energy installations typically increase in value, for obvious reasons. People are definitely willing to pay more for homes that produce their own energy. Check with your local real estate agent to see if they can give you an estimate of the benefits in your area.
Another slightly less obvious benefit of DIY energy is that it makes users more aware of their power consumption, thereby helping to reduce costs.
If you are thinking about building a DIY energy system, it is a good idea to estimate your household demand and how much your current costs are. This will give you a comparison point for any system you consider. It is also worthwhile to do a basic audit to see if you can fix up any energy leaks in your home or cut down on your energy usage in some way. This can often make a big difference to your costs and/or the viability of a DIY energy project.
If planned and executed with care, DIY energy projects can be very rewarding and can make a positive difference to your household budget.