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.
Greenhouses – A Simple Solar Energy DIY Project
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.
Hot Water Solar Energy DIY
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.
Using Solar Energy DIY to Create Electricity for Your Home
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.
Combination Solar Energy DIY Projects
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.