Build Your Own Solar Battery Charger First we need an old window, I got mine from a construction site. Its your basic old nasty basement window. Make sure you wash both sides of the glass well with soap and water and window cleaner, more dust means less light gets through to your solar cells. Next take your multi-meter and sit in a sunny spot (or under a flood lamp) and check all your cells to make sure they get about .5 volts per cell. For this project I used 12 cells but you really only need 6. As you can see they all fit with a lot of room left over, if I wanted to I could have used this window for a larger project but I only need a battery charger for right now. Next we get down to the fun part, soldering. Solar cells are always .5 volts, no matter how large or small they are, they always pump out half a volt. There are two ways to wire power supplies (like batteries or solar cells) together. To wire in series you wire the positive wire from one power source into the negative wire or the other.
7 Solar Water Heating System Designs by Michael Hackleman Issue #65 (Rob Harlan is a general and solar contractor with 25 years of experience with solar water heating systems in Mendocino County, California. Rob primarily designs and installs photovoltaic systems today.) MH: Rob, will you give a brief history of the last 30 years of solar-water heating system design and implementation? Rob: Solar-water heating systems got a real boost in the 1970s when tax credits were offered by state and federal programs to help folks make the investment. MH: As I recall, a lot of manufacturers also disappeared when the tax credits went away. Rob: Some designs were indeed flawed—poorly implemented, overly complex, or incorporating untested ideas. MH: There are a few parts that are basic to most solar water heating systems (Fig. 2): collector(s), storage tank, heat transfer medium, and interconnecting plumbing. Rob: And—on active systems, a controller turns a pump on and off as solar heat is available. Rob: Freezing protection. Rob: True. Rob: I would be glad to. 1. 2.
Build Naturally...Blog: Collaborate with the sun...passive solar design basics Passive solar design takes advantage of solar orientation and other climate conditions to minimize (and in some conditions, eliminate) heating and cooling requirements for a building. The name says it all... PASSIVE = no mechanical parts & minimal if any maintenance SOLAR = uses (free) energy from the sun DESIGN = integrated into the building design The result is free heating (& cooling) that works because of how a building is design, so it cannot break. The basics are simple! 1. The easiest direction to control when the sun enters your space is from the South side (see #2 below). 2. Have you ever noticed that the angle of the sun in the sky is lower on the horizon in Winter and almost overhead in Summer? 3. The biggest mistake made with a passive solar home is to make the Windows on the South too large. You also need to consider the size of windows facing North, East, & West. 4. This simple strategy is often overlooked, but is quite effective. Recommended Reads
How I built an electricity producing Solar Panel Several years ago I bought some remote property in Arizona. I am an astronomer and wanted a place to practice my hobby far away from the sky-wrecking light pollution found near cities of any real size. In my attempt to escape city slicker yuppies (you know the kind, the ones that like to blab loudly on their cell phone while they work on some business administration degree in a cyber cafe somewhere in Trendyland.) and their light pollution, I found a great piece of remote property. The problem is, it's so remote that there is no electric service available. I built a wind turbine to provide some power on the remote property. Here is a video of the solar panel set up and in use on my remote, off-grid property. Let me state up front that I probably won't be able to help you out much if you decide to build your own solar panel(s). So what is a solar panel anyway? I started out the way I start every project, by Googling for information on home-built solar panels. seller. Oops!
Solar Hot Water Basics What is Solar Water Heating? Solar water heating collectors capture and retain heat from the sun and transfer this heat to a liquid. Solar thermal heat is trapped using the “greenhouse effect,” in this case is the ability of a reflective surface to transmit short wave radiation and reflect long wave radiation. Heat and infrared radiation (IR) are produced when short wave radiation light hits a collector’s absorber, which is then trapped inside the collector. Two principles govern solar thermal collectors. Second, heat loss is more rapid if the temperature difference between a hot object and its environment is larger, in this case between the temperature of the collector surface and the ambient temperature. The most basic approach to solar heating of water is to simply put a tank filled with water into the sun. A more common collector is called a flat plate collector. The basic components in home solar heating systems include:
A straw bale roundhouse, step by step. The 7m diameter French roundhouse (6m internally) stands on a rubble trench [see picture 1] cut deep enough to reach below the frost line. This protects the building from movement in the winter when the ground above the frost line freezes and expands. The trench is filled with rubble over drainage pipes that channel out any water collected from above. A ring (often incorrectly called a henge) of debarked douglas fir roundwood, 15-20cm diameter, stands on stone pads that rest on the rubble trench  braced by six timbers to stop the frame twisting. The floor is a limecrete mortar consisting of 2 parts subsoil, 1 part sand, 2 parts pozzolane gravel (volcanic rock a bit like pumice) and 1 part lime (NHL5) poured over a geo textile sheet resting on a 15cm deep layer of stones. It's rare that any house is built by one person and this house was no different because Matthew had help from many hands including Tony, Joe, Kristian, Sam, Ali, Edouard and Guillaume.
How to build a Solar Panel Pump and Pipe Sizing for a Solar Water or Space Heating System Search The Renewable Energy site for Do-It-Yourselfers Overview of Sizing the Plumbing and Pump for Solar Collectors The basic underlying requirement is that you want a pump and plumbing system that will push enough heat transfer fluid (typically water) through your solar collectors to efficiently remove the heat that the sun is depositing in them. Too little flow, and the collectors will run hotter and less efficiently, too much flow and you are wasting money on bigger pipes and pumps than the system needs, and using more pump power than you need to. The steps involved in the pump and plumbing sizing: Calculate the flow that the collectors need Measure the vertical distance between the top of the collector and the tank water level Calculate the pressure drop and flow velocity for the plumbing system. The Example I will use my Solar Shed project as an example. In a nutshell, it has 6 collectors of 40 sqft each. Step 1: Calculate the Flow to the Collectors Pipe Pressure Losses
homesthetics Our walls are like blank canvases waiting to be filled with wonderful paintings and works of art. Bought paintings are a little bit impersonal and don’t really say much about the home’s owner. Thus we recommend you today Amazing DIY Paintings For Your Blank Walls that will give that dose of personality your home needs. All the projects are ridiculously simple and fun to do. They don’t really require much skill and some of them can be a fun family project to do on a free weekend. 1.Painting words 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.Using lace 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.
DIY Solar Panels Mike Davis is an astronomer. To practice his hobby away from the light pollution of cities, he bought some land in a remote part of Arizona. But there was a problem: No electricity. But he's a resourceful fellow. He built some solar panels using inexpensive blemished and damaged solar cells from eBay! Read on for more photos and some technical details to give you an idea of how he did it. I bought a couple of bricks of 3 X 6 mono-crystalline solar cells. A solar panel is really just a shallow box. Next I cut two pieces of masonite pegboard to fit inside the wells. I laid out the cells on that grid pattern upside-down so I could solder them together. I used a low-wattage soldering iron and fine rosen-core solder. Here's what the solar panel looks like from the front. Here I am testing first half panel outside in the sun. I drilled a hole in the back of the panel near the top for the wires to exit. [...] Here is the finished product, producing 18.8 volts and 3.05 amps in the sun.
The Efficient Windows Collaborative: Guidance Efficient windows basics Designing new homes can be a complex issue, but some straightforward principles and guidelines may help you set a solid foundation for window energy efficiency upon which you can further improve with careful design. Two of the most straightforward principles of selecting efficient windows are these: The windows must meet the locally applicable energy code requirements ; Windows that are ENERGY STAR qualified for the home's climate ensure state-of-the-art energy performance even in locations with outdated or nonexistent energy codes. Code-compliant windows, especially if ENERGY STAR qualified, offer benefits including energy cost savings , improved comfort , less condensation and fading , and the potential for HVAC downsizing . Design considerations for window performance The figure below shows several design conditions affecting window performance.