Solar Powered DIY Projects
There are thousands of garage
spun DIY solar projects online. Some of them are very complex
and require special tools or knowledge. Others come in kit
form and are relatively simple to construct. And, still others
a child could manufacture with items found in your house. I
have chosen to list ones that I find interesting or very useful,
disregarding any kind of common resemblance other than sun and
Solar Powered Outdoor Wi-Fi Access Point - Background
obstacles usually limit your WiFi coverage to approximately 300
feet, which is not optimal should you want to connect to the
internet or home network far outdoors. This DIY solar project
can extend connections an additional 300 feet so you can compute on
that hammock out back.
House Heating Solar Panel - Absorber made out of aluminum
cans, wood and a fan. Sends heated air directly into a home.
Use some cells to power the fans & there you go.
Drive Wind Generator - Build a small
using a step motor from an old 5.25 in floppy drive. Creates
5v USB power for charging things like MP3 players, batteries and
phones. Basically anything you can plug into a PC's USB port
the turbine can charge.
Solar Oven With Sun Tracking - Assemble a high end
solar cooker that includes a motor (also
solar powered) that tracks the sun for the highest efficiency.
Sun Jar - Here is a project you can do with the kids that is
cheap & easy but yields a cool looking light that is similar to
those sold for considerably more in stores.
Make Your Own
Solar Panels - There are plenty of sites online about
creating your own solar panels. I chose to include this video
because if you are anything like me, I learn best by
doing....watching is a close second.
DIY Home Solar Power System - This isn't really a step by
step guide rather, an overview of the components and utilization.
I do think it would be useful to a beginner DIY solar enthusiast
interested in powering their house. (The link in red below is my
blog, it is also a good resource for beginners who are thinking of
harvesting electricity from the sun for their homes.)
Altoid Tin Solar Charger - For some reason I really like
this little USB capable charger. It's practical & all but, I
think I like the flip up & power nerdy factor. A kind of steam-punk
appeal or something?
Homemade Wind Turbine - This guy is an astronomer who built
his wind generator out of necessity for $140. Although it is
older (2007) the website includes great information in addition to a
Sunlight Engraving - Here is a simple project suitable for
doing with the kids. (using caution) It's basically just using
a magnifying glass to burn designs but, still a pretty good way to
sear the power of solar energy into young minds. :)~ fyi - the
primary tool required for this project can also be used to
Thermoelectric Charger - OK, at the top I said wind and
solar power DIY projects but, this one is too HOT to exclude!
I often forget that electrical power can be generated through heat.
This is a project that displays that in the form of 5v USB charging
capacity in a catalyst of boiling water.
DIY Outdoor Solar Panel Installation - Step by step process
of installing solar panels outdoor (not on the roof). Includes
instructions, materials, video and photos.
Besides the DIY solar projects above that I like,
there are plenty websites dedicated to do it yourself electricity.
I've listed a couple of the more popular ones below. If you
have an interesting or fun project that you think I should link to, let me
know on the contact page & I'll stick it up
if it isn't bland.
DIY Solar Power Systems - Step by step overview on solar
powering your home.
Build it Solar - Good
place to find free solar building plans and ideas.
- Site contains allot of higher end solar projects. Cool site
for tons of neat DIY products.
Instructables - Huge selection of projects ranging from
solar stills to your own homemade solar panels.
- Blog with step by step solar projects.