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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 wind power.

Solar Powered Outdoor Wi-Fi Access Point -  Background noise and 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.


Floppy Drive Wind Generator -  Build a small wind generator 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.


Homemade 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 compelling story.


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 annihilate ants.


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.

HackaDay - 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.

Makezine - Blog with step by step solar projects.


Miracle Products 40408 800 watt Solar Home an RV Kit

Everything you need to install solar power panels.

RSR ELECTRONICS SLC27 Solar training kit

Beginners DIY solar power learning kit.