5 Easy Solar Energy Projects (even a beginner can build in a weekend)

Posted in DIY Solar Power by Hank | 2 Comments »

solar energy projects 5 Easy Solar Energy Projects (even a beginner can build in a weekend)

I have found that one of the most common reasons that people fail to start their own solar energy projects is due to nothing more than intimidation. It must be that people are intimidated by things that appear to be complex in nature. But solar power is much less complex than it looks. I will guarantee you that once you see how simple it really is after finishing your first project you will be hooked for life. That is pretty much what happened to me.

I remember starting slow with my own solar energy projects, waiting to get some experience under my belt before tackling some of the seemingly more difficult ones. But the funny thing is that they never really got any harder. There may have been a few more steps in the process but each one was just as easy as the first.

So here I want to give you 5 ideas for easy solar energy projects that you might think are over your head but in reality you could build in a weekend.

Project #1: Solar Oven

In case you do not already know, a solar oven is an outdoor device that cooks food using nothing but solar energy. This is more of a fun project for the family but it can also be a great introduction to solar power.

There are many different types of solar ovens that you can experiment with. I have even built one that easily folds up that I use for camping.

Project #2: Solar Water Heater

This is one of those solar energy projects that most people find pretty intimidating. But let me tell you that this one is actually pretty easy, especially if you use a simple design. The best part about building a solar water heater is that it really is inexpensive and can save you quite a bit of money on your home energy bill.

Project #3: Solar Pool Heater

There really is not much difference between building a solar water heater and a solar pool heater. It is just a slightly different application. There are many different designs that you can choose from depending on what works best for your home and pool.

All you have to do is build a simple heat exchanger out of easy to find materials like PVC pipe. Your pool pump will circulate the water and do all the work for you.

Project #4: Solar Panel

Building a solar panel is yet another one of those solar energy projects that most people believe is difficult. But there really is not much to them. All you really have to do is connect some solar cells together and attach them to a panel. Once you have built one you can easily build 10 more in even less time.

Plus, there are many applications around your home that you can use your solar panels for. You can build a simple solar powered battery charger or even build your own home solar power system. You can even keep them portable and use them for a boat, RV, or even for camping.

Project #5: Solar Powered Landscape Lighting

This is a solar energy project that can actually add value to your home. It is amazing how something as simple as landscape lighting can increase the curb appeal of your home so much.

Instead of having to dig up your yard and run wiring you can easily put together some solar powered lights. Each light can be powered by a single solar cell. And you have the flexibility to move them wherever you wish. You can even take them with you if you move.

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2 Responses to “5 Easy Solar Energy Projects (even a beginner can build in a weekend)”

  1. Ted Jones says:

    Thanks for the how to build a solar array article. Seems pretty staightfoward. I might try it. Just to be clear the current generated is DC not AC, right? An inverter is required for most household uses.



    Hank Reply:

    Hi Ted,

    You are correct about the current. And if you want to convert it to be usable with any household electronics then you will need an inverter. I do know some people who use the DC to power small things like rechargable batteries for power tools, cell phones, and things of that nature.


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