Solar power could be the answer to off the grid energy and a lower utility bill.
Not to mention it helps shrink your carbon footprint when used correctly.
Whether you’re interested in preparedness, efficiency, saving some money, or all of the above, these projects will help you harness the power of the sun instead of electricity.
Check out these fun, interesting, and useful DIY projects for ultimate preparedness and efficiency.
Click the links for full instructions!
Spring is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for grilling and patio parties (yay!). How you light your get together can really set the mood and bring the party to life! We have been doing some amazing mason jar crafts recently and have a couple jars left over, so we decided to experiment with some mason jar lighting. Plus, the dollar store just started selling the solar lights that you can stick in the ground around your patio. In this tutorial we are going to show you how to make your own solar light with a mason jar. This is an inexpensive and easy way to add charm to any outdoor space.
The “mini solar book” is another solar power supply and charger, which acts as LED light too.
Its torchlight function is very useful and effective. Indeed white LED only consumes 20 mA, so it will provide light for about 30 hours with a single charge of the battery, and with solar cells addition its life is practically endless. Of course you can also use this device to power your cellphone, your GPS logger, or any other little USB gadget (although battery has a reduced capacity due to its small size).
You’re growing your own fruit and vegetables, or just trying to eat the things that are produced locally, you come across one obvious problem: when something’s in season, you have more than you can handle, and then there’s nothing for the rest of the year. So the obvious solution is to preserve your food when you have it in abundance. Dehydration is an excellent preservation technique that’s easy to do and that maintains a lot more of the original nutrients than canning or freezing.
This instructable is all about making solar panels. Solar panels are different than solar cells–a solar cell is a single piece of silicon. Typically, solar cells are low-voltage, high-current devices, putting out about half a volt, with a current proportional to the cell’s area and the intensity of the light. A modern 6″ x 6″ cell puts out about 7A of max-power current, at 0.5V*
Electrically, there’s not much you can do with 0.5V and 7A. So we combine solar cells in series and parallel to get to a useful voltage and current. If we combine ten solettes in series, we get five volts at the max power point, which is a generally useful voltage for powering small electronics.
Projects that involve warming air for space heating using the sun are plentiful. However, most of them involve permantly installed flat plate collectors made out of soda cans or aluminum downspout. Installing a permanant collector usually means drilling two large holes through the side of your house in order to route the ductwork. My collector mounts just outside a window and can be taken down when the heating season is over. The most invasive part of the installation is the removal of the window’s flyscreen.
I’m a solar energy advocate, tinkerer, and enthusiast, but let’s face it- solar panels are ugly! Flat, rectangular panels can only be arranged in so many ways and always look industrial, boring, and out of place. So I decided to build a functional, but more aesthetically pleasing version of a USB solar charger. I call my creation the “Solar Shrub”. It’s designed to resemble a round-leafed plant in a flower pot, but unlike a real plant, this one can charge my iPod, iPhone, and any other USB chargeable device!
For this project I set out to create the solar equivalent of the hot-water tap on a coffee machine: a solar on-demand hot-water heater. I was inspired by the functionality of a new software called 123D-Make that makes it easy to build large, geometrically precise forms. My goal was to build a device using 123D-Make that illustrates the power of the sun and has many practical uses. I decided to make my solar water heater by creating a mirrored parabolic dish that focuses sunlight to a point, then add copper tubing that runs a thin stream of water through the very hot focal point, creating near-boiling water on-demand.
I’ve been able to continuously power an 80 watt device for approximately three hours without interruption and it could have gone much longer, as well as run an electric drill under load with no hesitation or slowing. This is one powerful machine!
Check out my preferred solution for FREE unlimited battery power for life. This little “magic box” is your DIY solution.